Saturday, October 18, 2008

Do You Review?

I was thrilled when my November Blaze, "Unleashed", was awarded the Romantic Times BookClub Magazine's Top Pick! Up until that moment, I'd thought that the woman who reviews Blaze simply didn't "get" me, that there were certain types of books she enjoyed, and mine weren't them. And I had done what most people do in a situation like that. I dismissed the importance of reviews completely.

It's probably not wrong to state that in literature, reviews don't effect a book's popularity one way or the other. At least, not like movies, where Ebert & Roeper can practically make or break a film. So far, I haven't seen a lot of correlation between the sales of my books that reviewed well and the ones that didn't. Which is good when you get a crap review, disappointing when you get a good one. Because, while I'm thrilled the reviewer enjoyed my book, I doubt it will result in any noteable difference in sales.

Maybe it's because I write series, and we have a fairly fixed audience with fairly fixed buying habits. But as a reader who reads a lot of single title, I admit that I haven't let a review sway my buying decision in one way or another. I recall once, I was looking for a new James Patterson book, and chose one over the other because of the star rating. But that's about it.

So I'm curious to know, have you ever let a review sway your book buying habits? Do you hang out on blogs where people discuss books and choose some based on their opinions? Do you regularly make choices based on the review sites like AAR, Romantic Times, or Dear Author?

Share your buying habits and I'll select one person who comments to receive an advance copy of my November Blaze, "Unleashed"!

For more information about Lori's books, check out her website at


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I totally rely on reviews, particularly Publisher's Weekly (which I'm months behind on reading). What I look for is simple: does the plot sound interesting?

If so, then I look for certain words -- sort of like an SEO spider -- for things that I know will turn me off. Rambling. Slow-moving. Tepid.

Sometimes the plot will be enough to make me add the book to my wishlist. Sometimes not.

As for online, heck yeah, I come across stuff I want to read. I spend a lot of time within the Book Blogging community and I've found that when I post a contest at my Win a Book blog, some books' synopsis catch my eye immediately. Others need that buzz for me to wonder what I'm missing out on.

It all depends on the book.

sarabelle said...

I am constantly reading blogs and groups about books. I have found somany new books to read from these sites. If i really like an author then i dont neccesarily go by the reviews, my likes and dislikes my not be the same.

Karen H in NC said...

The only time I tend to read reviews is when I am considering purchasing a new-to-me author's work for the first time. Combining the reviews, book blurbs and excerpts give me a good idea if I want to buy & read the book.

Dina said...

Yes, I also go to read reviews, eso for new authors. Everyone;s opinions are different, but there is usually something about the author or book that catches your eye and you just need alittle help. :)

Rebekah E. said...

I don't really use reviews. I usually look at the back of the book and if it sounds like a good story then I get it. I guess I really like the blurb of a book, blogs tend to put those in then that is hoe I decide wether or not I'm going to read it.

CrystalGB said...

I don't let reviews influence my book purchases. If I read on blogs that others have enjoyed a book, I will pick it up to see what it is about.

ilona said...

I'm not a big one for reviews as it is usually only one person's opinion. However I do read review blogs ot get an overall impression of peoeples opinion of a book after I have read the blurb on it.

Estella said...

I don't pay much attention to reviews. A review is only one persons opinion of a book.

cas2ajs said...

Reviews can lead me to check out blurbs, summaries and/or excerpts on the author's websites but I've never bought a book based solely on a review.

Lori Borrill said...

Wow, more people than I realized make buying decisions based on reviews! What an interesting mix of answers. I appreciate everyone dropping in and sharing their thoughts.

And as promised, I drew from the commenters and the winner of the free copy of Unleashed is "Sarabelle".

Congratulations Sarabelle! If you send your snail mail address to I'll get your book in the mail to you!

Thanks again everyone!

Michele L. said...

Yes, yes, and yes! In answer to all your questions.

I am a reviewer with Romance Junkies so I receive many free books. I have bought books based on reading other people's reviews too.

In addition, I have many favorite blogs that I go on and love to read about new books coming out so I can decide what to buy. Also, I have signed up to receive many authors newsletters so I know when their books are coming out.

Congratulations on your new book!
Michele L.

Liz Fielding said...

Congrats on the Top Pick, Lori!

I'm not sure whether reviews relate to sales -- I tend to look for authors based on comments of people I trust -- but a good one sure lifts the spirits!

Jasmine Haynes said...

Before I was a published author, I didn't read reviews or care. I chose the books based on friends' recommendations or because they were in a genre I liked or by one of my favorite authors.

Now that I'm published, I actually read reviews. But I still chose my reading the same way!


Jasmine Haynes said...

Sorry, Lori, I forgot to say congratulations on the RT Top Pick!


Jane said...

I visit a lot of review sites and I do read most of the reviews. Even if a book gets a negative review it doesn't necessarily convince me to not buy the book. If I'm already considering buying a book and I read a positive review about that book then I'm more likely to purchase the book.

kim h said...

yes i do i like to have opinons for books,i am use to it now i like rt mag

congrats on your top pick such a hot cover

Maureen said...

I do read reviews but don't rely only on them to pick the books I buy. I like reviews because they actually give you a good idea of the story, more so than the little blurb on the back cover.

robynl said...

yes to all the questions.
I buy according to blog comments, review sites, author chats, etc. I trust people's opinions/suggestions and try out books my sister/friends recommend.

kim h said...

any winner?