Welcome to Caffeinated Confessions!
I wanted a forum where we could talk about bookish subjects from swoon-worthy covers to the price of eBooks. I hope to share my thoughts on a different subject each month. So that we can all chat and share opinions. In the process I hope we get to know each other a little better. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and lets dish!
~*~*Review Burnout *~*~
I have been blogging since August of 2011 and have written and posted oodles of reviews. My technique slowly evolved and I settled into a pattern with my reviews. It was all well and good. Easy to read, informative. Followers could stop by and know the third paragraph talked about the plot, pacing, writing and world building. For those of you who haven’t read my previous tips or spoken to me, I generally write my reviews within the first 24-48 hours. Usually the morning after. With the new year and after months of cranking out 4-5 reviews a week I hit a wall. A big one. Instead of reviews flying out of my head as fast as I could type them, I got stuck. Bored. They were all starting to sound the same. I was forcing out the words. What was a blogger to do? I was still reading and my anal tendencies demanded that I write those reviews. *le sigh*
I decided to take my own advice. So I went back to my How the Heck Did You Do That Posts. Let go, and mixed it up! I was already doing Coffee Pot Reviews; my version of mini-reviews done in the length a time it takes to make a pot of coffee. Why not add more formats, mix it up, try something crazy.
I follow a lot of blogs that use different formats from bullet points to speed dates. These aren’t exclusive ideas, in fact, lots of bloggers use them. Each tweaks the original idea and varies them a little. For some, it is their daily method of review and for others, they change things up now and again. I even stumbled upon a few Twitter-style reviews and all GIF reviews. (hilarious by the way)
What happen? I began using these different methods, tweaking them and making them Caffeinated. A few things happened. The first and perhaps most important was that I got over my burn out. When faced with a review I could do what felt right and not squeeze my thoughts into the self-imposed format I had created. I felt inspired, excited and the words once again flowed through my fingertips. The second and most exciting aspect was the response. My followers enjoyed these changes and engaged more. It freshened things up for all of us. I actually gained new followers and saw an uptick in traffic. Hooray!
Different Methods of Review
- Mini reviews (coffee pot, short and sweet, all feels reviews)
- Bullet point (likes/disliked) I have seen this mixed several ways. A list of likes and then a paragraph explaining the dislikes or vice verse. Others do bullets for both.
- Poems -all types from original to acrostic
- Dates– usually three dates, breaking up the reviewer’s thoughts. Some are short and sweet speed dates, others give full paragraphs. Some talk about the book and details, others just give you their feelings
- Best/Worse– short and sweet usually two paragraphs. Bloggers use different titles like Good/Bad
- GIF– short and sweet sentences with Gifs in-between that explain it all
- Tweet style– 140-word reviews (most posts include several books at a time)
- Labeled reviews – a review is usually a few short paragraphs and is labeled for example characters, plot, romance. Some use bullet points and others write a few sentences or break it down by each character etc.
- Five Things-share five things about the book.
- Freestyle– just let those thoughts out, random format. Almost like a story.
- Letters– A letter to the character, author, reader sharing your feelings about the book.
- Formatted– beginning, middle, and end. Paragraph form with each paragraph detailing one aspect of the book. (usually along the lines of why I bought, quickie set up, characters, plot, would I recommend it)
I am sure there are other methods of review that you have come across. I intend to try more formats and love the unlimited possibilities. So try something new! Take a few ideas and make them your own. For example, I incorporated my caffeinated theme into mine. Caffeinated Aspects/Decaffeinated Aspects. Coffee Dates, Coffee Pot Reviews etc.
So you have heard my confession, and realize I struggle. Have you experienced this? How did you get through it? What review formats have you stumbled upon? Any favorites? Share your thoughts with us…