Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Timing of Review

October 12th, 2009 by Debbie's World of Books

I’ve been going through my list of books to review to decide what order I should read them in.  Some of them are not due out until later in the year or even early 2010.  When the publishers don’t give a specific time period to post reviews I always debate when to post my reviews.  Initially I used to just read them and post the reviews when I was done even if the book wasn’t due out for months.  Lately I’ve been holding my review until around the release date but then I notice there are a ton of reviews of the same book at the same time.  Is this a good or a bad thing?

As a reviewer…Do you hold your reviews until a book is released?  Post it right away even if it’s not due out for awhile?  Wait until some of the hubabub dies down?  Some other timing?

I can see pros and cons for all of these options:

Post on release day:

  • People can go right out and buy the book if they are interested
  • Generates some good buzz for the book on release day
  • Could be a bunch of people posting on the same day so maybe if someone has read a bunch of other reviews already they might skip yours.  I know I do this after reading a few reviews I stop looking at the rest if they are all posted on one or two days.

Post reviews right away even if release date isn’t right away:

  • Starts generating some early buzz
  • People can add it to their wish list and plan out their book purchases
  • Some people may forget about it by time the release day comes around

Post reviews a few weeks after the release date:

  • Brings the book back to people’s attention if they did not buy it immediately
  • Not likely as many reviews are being posted at the same time as you so more people might actually read your review

What do you think?  As a reader rather than a reviewer what is your opinion?  When do you prefer to read reviews before a release date, on a release date or after the release date when the buzz slows down?

Posted in Books

20 Responses

  1. BrookeReviews

    Good Morning!

    When I post reviews I usually post them within the week before the book comes out. That way people are ready for the release. As a reader I prefer it this way too. I also like when people get buzz going about books early. Hype is always a good thing (if the book is worth it).

  2. Kate

    I have been contemplating that issue for a while now myself. I think I have finally decided that if it is a book that I am DYING to read that I will get to it as soon as I can, even if the publication date is far off. That way it can help build some hype for it. If it is a book that sounds good, but I am not like “I have to read you now!” then I might wait on it and work on other reviews. If I have noticed that around the publication date, there seems to be a bombardment of reviews for a specific title, then I tend to wait awhile. I think this helps bring the book back into the spotlight for a little bit, and may help create some additional buzz.

    As a reader, I like early reviews and then reviews a while after the book. To be honest, there are usually so many reviews around publication that I get overwhelmed and stop looking at them all. Hope that helps you some.

  3. Sstephanie

    This issue is one I’ve been going back and forth on. I prefer to publish my reviews right after I write them (and I prefer to write them right after I finish a book) but sometimes I wonder if I should save them for the release date.

  4. Mark

    I write reviews as a finish a book. I read books by what catches my interest. Of course, I get maybe two or three pre releases a year. Other than that, I buy all the books I read and review, so it’s not like I am really in a position to review something early very often.

  5. Michelle

    Unless specifically requested to post at a particular time (if I can manage it) I think posting either really early or much later is preferable. The review loses its impact if it’s one of many in and around the blogosphere at the same time. I think I tend to go more for the after than the before just for the reasons you outline….it prompts people about a book they haven’t purchased yet especially since many won’t read a review prior so as to not spoil events within it.

  6. Julie J

    I have debated this one with myself for awhile also. I tend to write the review as soon as I finish the book so I don’t forget what I want to write about it. It’s great to see other points of view too!

  7. Amy @ My Friend Amy

    The publishers usually prefer for reviews to post after the book is available unless they are looking for endorsements.

    I sort of see a bunch of reviews at once being pretty typical of what happens when a book comes out in the print review world, too. :)

    As a reader, I feel frustrated to read a review of a book not yet available.

  8. Holly

    I post my reviews on Goodreads and Amazon as soon as I read the book. As far as my blog, unless I’ve been requested otherwise, I put the review up when I’ve finished the book as well. If it’s for a specific blog tour at a later date, I’ll just write the review and preschedule it to post on the day of the tour, or the day the publicist requested. A lot of books I review, I’ve gotten at the library so, in that case, the date of the review really doesn’t matter.

    I can see all your points! It never really bothers me to see a lot of reviews on the same day or around the same time. I do agree with Amy that, as a reader, it’s frustrating to read a review of a book that won’t be available for months. I’ll see people post reviews of books that aren’t available until 2010 and I wonder how they got the ARC and I didn’t!

  9. Falling Off The Shelf

    This is a really good question. I was wondering what people preferred more as well. I’ve been actually reading and reveiwing some books…and then placing the reviews aside so that I can just post a few a week. I figure, that if I read read read..and post only a few reviews..then eventually, I’ll be able to post a review a day and get more books out there to my readers. It’s going to be a slow start, but it’ll be worth it in the end.

    I usually post the review about a week before, or after the release date. It really depends on whether I have time to get my butt to the computer, lol.

  10. J. Kaye

    Being that I am so behind on books to review, this isn’t an option. Mine always post way after publication date. Next year, when I am caught up, I will post the week the book is scheduled to be published.

  11. melissa @ 1lbr

    I’ve done both before and after. I usually don’t wait too long after it’s been released if I can help it.

    I agree sometimes that it is frustrating to read all the pre-pub reviews and still have months to wait. But, I also don’t like reading hundreds of reviews for the same book over and over. Except when I am one of those hundreds (can we say Catching Fire?)

  12. Emma Newman

    As a reader, I agree with those who have expressed frustration if I see a review about a book I think I’ll like and it’s months until the release date. I’m simply not organised enough to note it down and remember for any pre-ordering. Hmmm, note to self: be more organised!

    I’m new to the world of online book reviews (Oh brave new world!) and it’s so great to be able to tap into all of these resources, but I wonder if my opinion is as important as those who have used reviews online to find books longer than I have?

  13. dsuzuki

    Brooke-a week sounds good. I just need to be more organized!
    Kate-I know what you mean! If I see too many reviews I stop reading them.
    Sstephanie-I know, it seems so much easier to just publish them after I finish the book. Right now I try to schedule them later but then need to remember or check what is scheduled for when so I don’t have a bunch of reviews all posting at the same time. Seems like a lot of books come out on the same day.
    Mark-yes, this has only become an issue as I have been reviewing more ARCs
    Michelle-I’m tempted for the after unless it’s a book I loved and then I just want to put the review out there as soon as possible in my excitement.
    JulieJ-thanks! Still figuring things out.
    Amy-I wonder if publishers specifically say when they are looking for endorsements. I’ve only recently started seeing a few bloggers mentioning their reviews were used as endorsements. Wasn’t sure if that was because they were specifically asked to send their review in early or if the publishers just happened to see it early enough and wanted to use it.
    Holly-I know, sometimes I see ARCs for 2010 and am jealous because I want to read it so badly!
    Falling Off the Shelf-yes, I am glad to hear people’s point of views. I am one who likes to hear about a book early so I can just add it to my GoodReads TBR list but can see why people want reviews after a book is out or closer to the publish date. Having a stash of reviews ready to go is also nice when I’m in a reading slump or in the middle of a long book and don’t have any other reviews ready to go.
    J. Kaye-your comment about being behind also makes me wonder what publishers expectations are if they don’t specify a date as how late do they expect the review within a month or so after publication date and does it bother then if it takes you longer to do a review. I’ve started slowing down on accepting books for review because I notice it’s taking me longer and longer to get to some books. I’ve had some now for over 2 months. I used to turn around review books within a month. And this is without me even reading many of my own TBR books. I have so many I want to read but just haven’t had a chance to get to them.
    Melissa-lol. Even Catching Fire I stopped reading the reviews after awhile.
    Emma-good luck on the getting organized. I still haven’t had much luck :) I think everyone’s opinion is important because you never know if your reader is a reader new to the online book world or not and I appreciate anyone who visits my blog.
    Thanks for all the opinions so far! I think I am going to start trying to schedule reviews closer to the pub date.

  14. J. Kaye

    I’ve had some of these books for over six months. These weren’t with publishers, but authors who knew going in I’d take a very long time. Starting in 2010, I am cleaning up my act though. Books I accept will be reviewed as soon as they arrive, meaning I won’t need the New Review Book Arrived post. I just might participate in the What’s In Your Mailbox meme then…lol. The reason I offer the promo post is that I do take forever to review a book. This will stop next year though. Steve is helping me dig out of the pile I am under so that I can start next year fresh.

    I think from a publisher’s POV, they are just happy that you are reviewing it. Not all reviewers make such a promise. Two or three months is a fair time-frame in my opinion.

  15. dsuzuki

    J. Kaye-you always amaze me how quick you get through books though. I am really going to try and keep my review pile down and get to my library and the books I own next year. Although I just signed up to review for a local newspaper and got a little over zealous. I had to restrain myself when so many of the books looked good. Luckily I have until end of November to read those.

  16. Jackie (Farm Lane Books)

    I never post a review before the release date. I get really frustrated when I read a great review for something that I can’t get hold of and will just skip reading it if it is something I plan to read in the near future.

    If the book is one I really want to read then I will read it straight away and just schedule the review for release day. All other books I will read nearer the time of their release.

    I do get frustrated by seeing loads of reviews for the same book and realise that people start to skim when they see too many for the same book, but I don’t mind. That is just a reason to read more older books! Great question!

  17. dsuzuki

    This is all great to know. Now I have an added complication of reviewing for an book review paper that asked me not to post my reviews on my blog until there publication has gone out.

  18. J. Kaye

    Debbie, this is another reason I love Blogger. I can pre-date my post to not air until the date I specify. One book I have has already been read and the review written, but won’t air until November. Makes my life a bit easier.

  19. dsuzuki

    LOL. WordPress does as well but if only I could program myself to read books in order of when the reviews should post. Some of the ones not due until later look so good I can’t resist picking them up sooner and then rushing on others.

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