Thursday, July 7, 2011

ON BLOGGING ~ Under Review...


This week's post is less about giving a blogging tip than it is about seeking helpful tips from you. Specifically, I would love input today from the reviewers out there. Those of you who review things on your blogs - be they books, products, movies or any other item.

I feel it is important that if you have a recurring review feature or format to have clear guidelines available on your blog. One set of guidelines would be for those wishing to supply you with items to review. It explains your review policy - what you do or don't accept, your time table for producing a review, what you will provide in exchange and what you won't.

Another set of guidelines would be for those reading your reviews. It explains your review process - the categories or qualities you evaluate, the definition of any ranking system and why you reviewed it to begin with.

Since the Quirky Girls and I are trying to establish some policies for books that we review I thought it best to solicit advice from those of you with experience in such matters. So tell me, what kind of review guidelines do you have in place? How did you decide what they would be? And where do you put them so that interested folks can find them?

7 comments:

kaye said...

I know at the beginning of last year some agency required that you list your review policy on your blog. I think Staci at Life in the Thumb could bring you up to speed on it. She accepts ARC's and books from publishers and reviews them. I review books--but I think it would be more accurate to say that I keep a weekly journal of what I read. It is for my own reference really. I did make a review police which is under my "books" tab. It says--"this blog is for my personal book reviews. Publishers do not provide books and I am not paid to review.
I also review once a month for Barries book club."

Sandy Nawrot said...

This is actually good timing because I've been reviewing books for, what? 2 1/2 years? I've yet to write a review policy, but I really need to. I'm so lazy that way. So I have no good advice except that it needs to be done. Expectations are all over the place and it is good to set them straight from the get-go. Curious to what you guys end up doing.

ds said...

Good question, Molly. I started out writing about the books I owned that I had read & with the occasional exception (noted, I hope) that is what I continue to do. When I do it, which is less and less. I've no answers, but you've certainly raised more questions for me. So I thank you.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

One of the top complaints of bloggers seems to be that they go to all the trouble to post the review guidelines and nobody reads them. I concur with that! I get email after email from people who obviously have not read the guidelines (but say amusing things like "I've read every review on your blog and know you would like this!"). So maybe it's not so important - no one will look anyway! :--)

jehara said...

I'm more curious about how people set guidelines for review copies. We mainly review copies of our own books or books we've borrowed, but what to do about the book given for the sole purpose of a review? Is it acceptable to take the book but then not review the book if you absolutely loathed it and there is no way you can be objective in your review at all? Or what if you can't finish the book? If you accept a book for review is it okay to give it a less than gushing review?
I can write and be objective about what I like and do not like in a book. It is rare that I read something that I absolutely could not stand, but it does happen. It is one thing if it is your own book, but how do you handle it when it is a book given specifically for review?
That is mainly what I would like to set guidelines for. I think I shall go reading other's policies for some inspiration in regards to this matter. . .

stacybuckeye said...

I'm sorta with Jill on this one. I have never posted a review policy because I am not actively seeking review books. If someone takes the time to email with an offer and it sounds good I'll accept. I think I've accepted 5 or 6 this year and that's more than I like!
As for a guideline on my review process, well, I think if you've read a few of my reviews you get what I'm doing. I'm certainly not reinventing the wheel.
I'm curious to see what you guys come up with.

Kaye said...

I'm with Jill too. I posted a review policy and the same things happens. I keep getting e mails saying they love my blog, yet don't know my name and the book they pitch is something I would never read never mind review. Keeps the whole experience interesting, though.