With recent talk about the perm ARC list and what it takes to be shoulder tapped, I thought I’d take the time to dish out the dirt on what makes a reviewer go from okay to AMAZEBALLS!
One of the things that make authors cringe the most in a review, are spoilers. So I’m going to focus mostly on that.
So what is a spoiler?
Great question! It’s information that reveals the ending of the story. That’s easy to avoid.
The harder spoilers to avoid, and that are too often seen in reviews, are when people reveal various events, plot twists and unexpected information that come out throughout the book, mostly elements that may have surprised you or that have a profound impact in the story. This is the kind of thing that you wouldn’t want to share in a review because it diminishes the reading experience of others.
The best way to keep this from happening is to pretend you’re talking to someone about your favorite book. Tell them what you liked about it and how it made you feel.
It’s your experience with the book that people want to know. Is this good? Yes? Okay, why? You can be a blabbering mess of excitement without being able to put your fingers on specifics and that speaks so much more clearly to readers than anything else. When someone is flabbergasted by a book and they slam it on your desk, bug-eyed, and say READ THIS! You know it’s a damn good book. You want to channel that excitement into your review. The goal is to sound like you, talking to a bud about a book.
Example: The relationship in this book really spoke to me. The characters had a deep connection and I could feel her pain.
How can I tell if it’s a spoiler? What if I’m not sure?
Here are 3 quick questions to ask yourself:
- Is it included in the book description? Yes? Then you are safe.
- Be vague. You don’t have to spell everything out. A review is YOUR reaction to the book. It’s not cliff-notes.
- Don’t post specifics about things that left your jaw on the ground. (see rule #2)
Should I post spoilers?
Try to avoid it if you can. The whole point of a review is to help another reader find a book they might like. If you have a review-a-phobe that is afraid of spoilers and scanning the page between her fingers, it’d be nice if your review will help her. People who don’t mind so much won’t care.
Why are spoilers viewed as a bad thing?
My books are made to make you giggle, gasp, and experience the story. If you know what’s coming, you read the book differently.
Are there ways to post a spoiler and hide it?
YES! So happy you asked! On Goodreads, there are two ways of doing so. You can choose to hide you entire review by clicking a box or you can add some very easy coding to your review to hide a specific section that you may suspect would dampen other readers’ experience. Here’s an easy graphic to show you how to hide your spoilery review on Goodreads:
Here is an example of what you review will look like if check that box at the bottom:
If you really, really, really want to know what the spoiler is, then you have the freedom to do so by clicking on “click here” and see what the person had to say.
On other sites that don’t let you use coding, so I wouldn’t recommend putting spoilers ANYWHERE ELSE until they can support hiding it like Goodreads.
So, if I’m not retelling the story in my review, what AM I writing?
You’re telling other readers why this book was amazing by giving your emotional reaction.
“I love the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning because it’s dark, gritty, and is flowing with tension. That tension is why I read. It can be conflict, immortals, or sexy tension and I’m in love!
Mac isn’t a pansy. She’s the type of girl I can relate to, which is a big deal. I’m tired of stories with airheads that are TSTL. If you don’t know what that means, TOO STUPID TO LIVE. Dear God! Please give me a chick with a backbone! Even if she’s a dumbass, I want a spine. This series has one heronie, no wait, it has several kick ass women.
What about the dudes? Hot men. Dark, mysterious men that are too sexy to live…swoon. They fall into the alpha range for the most part. Confident, strong, and sexy.
And this. I HATE it when I read a book and the character doesn’t learn. How many times can you do the same thing and still put your hand in the fire? Learn, damn it! This characters learn and grow. Some shrink, but they change. Their lives throw them into situations that have repercussions and watching them play out is like watching a fire. It’s hot, desperate, and read to consume everything in it’s path.
If you liked Demon Kissed, you’ll totally love this series. Think Apocalypse. Think dark knight. Think so freaking awesome! It moves at a fast pace and has a plot to engage you and characters that leave you thinking long after you put the book down. I loves that!”
Giving them a frame of reference is SO helpful! Dudes, that’s how I found the Fever series in the first place. It was a Demon Kissed reader who pointed it out. SCORE! Think about another book like this one that you liked and clue people in. It’s so hard to find a good book and that’s what reviews are all about!