23 November 2011

When are reviews most effective?

Lately I have been thinking a lot about reviews and the timing of their publication. I rarely read ARCs, so I'm normally not in a position where I read a book that will not be published for several months. But many book bloggers do and there seems to be a trend to publish a review as soon as a book is read, regardless of the publication date of the book. That leads to some weird situations in which you will read a lot of reviews (early hype) on a book 2-3 months (or even up to six months) before the book is out, but on/around the publication date you will see only a few (if any) reviews on the book. 
I know that early hype is important to inform other bloggers/readers about upcoming books, but if all bloggers concentrate on the early reviews and hype, then it's weird. And let's be honest, a normal reader will not read 50 plus blogs, she/he will concentrate on reading a few fav blogs and if they all do the super-early-review-thing, then it's weird. 

As a reader (not speaking as a book blogger) I prefer to read a review close to the publication date, ideally on the pub date or after. I will not preorder every book that sounds interesting but that will not be out for a few months. I will put these kinds of books on my to-read list on goodreads and then will propably forget about them a few weeks later (at least that is my experience). It's a bit sad that I forget about these books so easily, but that's what happens. Btw, I mostly preorder books by authors that I have already read and enjoyed before. 
But when I read a review of a book that will be out in a week, or that was just published or that has been already published for some time, then it's easy for me to gather some more info on the book, and if I like what I read, then there's a pretty good chance that I will buy the book. 

So I discovered that a review close to the pub date makes me more often buy a book than a review 3 months prior (or earlier) to the publiction date. But maybe I'm an exception and most readers love these super early reviews. 

What works for you as a reader (not as a book blogger) best? Is there a timeframe when a review is most effictive on your book buying decision? 
Do you, like me, prefer reading a review on a book that will be out soon or that is already out? Or do you love to preorder books even though it's months till a book will be out? 
Do you manage to keep up with all the books you read about months ago (I can't!) ? And do you remember to look them up again on their pub date (once again I can't!) ?


  1. I'm like you. If the review is too soon before publication date, I'll forget about it by the time it comes out. I also don't typically pre-order books unless it's by an author I love and trust. I'm very picky about authors' writing style, so I typically sample most books on my kindle before I buy them. If the sample doesn't grab me, I won't buy it no matter how much hype there was, so that pretty much rules out pre-orders. If anything, I'd rather read a review for a book that's been out for a few months instead of a review for a book that won't be coming out for awhile.

  2. I like to read book reviews which are published around the time the book is released. If the book sounds good, I can buy it right away. If it doesn't interest me I know to avoid it. If it comes out too soon, I get angry because 1. I can't buy it and 2. it defeats the point of building hype for a books release cause I'm gonna forget about it. I also wonder if the person reviewing the book is friends with the author which would make their opinion invalid.

    I don't preorder books until close to the release, like a week max. I only preorder when it's part of a deal like Amazon 4 for the price of 3 or the 40% off it usually offers on hardbacks for early order. Again, this is only done close to the release date, not months.

    I keep the books I wanted on my Amazon wishlist. As I read them, I delete them from the wishlist. I also delete books from my wishlist if I read several reviews (from sites I trust) which remark upon issues that bother me.

  3. I'm like you, I never used to pre-order book that weren't part of a series I'd been dying to read the next one from. That said, I did pre-order Under the Never Sky and Shatter Me because of all the buzz, so maybe my buying-behaviour is changing...
    But I do like to read the reviews closer to the release date, because like you, if I don't have the book easily available, I will forget about it if it's not buzzed about while I can actually get my hands on it.

  4. @ Leanna: Intense Debate killed your comment - sorry. But thanks for the info, everything you said makes total sense to me.

    @ JenM: I'm also super picky about the author's writing style, and it's getting worse :)

    @ Scooper: I also get angry when I read a review of a book that sounds great but can't buy the book immediately. I'm not very patient :)

    @ Daisy: Good to know that I'm not the only one who has trouble with forgetting books.

  5. Well for me it depends. I pre-order a LOT! As in months ahead! So I love reading early reviews. A month before the release is the earliest that I like. More than a month and I can easily get annoyed at having to wait so long ;)
    I know that on Book Lovers Inc we try to review most of our ARCs either on release day or a week prior to release. BUT, I know that sometimes you cget SO excited over a book you need to tell the world about it as soon as you read it. I've been guilty of this a few times. But yeah 1 month before release at most is what works for me. =)

  6. Lots of questions Sabrina. I do read early reviews. I don't read reviews of a book I am expecting on my doormat in a few days, as I don't want to spoil the slightest details for me. I keep a calendar in Word, with all the books that are coming out and that I want to buy/read. And I am extremely jealous of all those people who already have the book that I really really want to read but have to way weeks for.

  7. I'm like pattepoilue, I pre-order a lot so I enjoy reading reviews for books that are coming out later. I pre-order them in advance and then forget about it until it shows up in my mailbox and then I remember and get a pleasant surprise after work. Total win! =)

  8. I agree I like to post mine as close as I can get. A week is good it keeps it on peoples minds.
    As a reader and blogger I tend to get supper busy and forget if I see a review a month or more ahead of time. So they do no good posting so far in advance. Plus I dont thing the publisher or author intends for someone to do that.
    As for preorder. I do like to read early reviews to see if I want to buy the book. If I hit someone like you for instance that didnt like the book well I would push it back and not order it for a bit until I see more review on it and compare.

  9. @ Pattepoilue: A month before the book is released is still ok for me, then my brain has at least the chance to remember the book :)

    @ Aurian: I'm noisy :)
    The calender on word seems like a great way to keep track of the books.

    @ Rowena: Lol, that also happens to me sometimes, I get a book and wonder when I ordered it. But that's mostly with books by authors I already read & enjoyed.

    @ Laurie: I agree, a week before is a good timeframe.

  10. I rarely pre-order, I did pre-order Shatter Me, but the last book before that was CoFA, and before that was Last Sacrifice.

    I do like some early reviews, I love a bit of early buzz, but later reviews WILL entice me to buy the book more. Like you, they'll just get put on my GR list and forgotten about otherwise.

    BUT bloggers are independent, they don't all know what everyone else is doing-so if a lot of them think "I'll do an early review" then that's what you get. Personally, I do all mine on/around publication-but that's just my personal preference. I can't comment on what others do, they're well within their rights to put early reviews up.

    However, from an impact point of view, I think around publication is best for everyone.

    Great post, interesting to read!

    The Cait Files

  11. I do get a few arcs through to read sometimes months before they're published however, it is very rare that I'm organised enough to be able to read them as soon as I get them or with a long delay before publication date. I have tried to become more organised and I now have a spreadsheet detailing when each of my review list are due for publication and I try and prioritise my reading according to this so that I can post a review within a week (before or after) publication date. How long I'll be able to keep up this pretence of organisation remains to be seen but I'm with you, I'd rather read a review of a book I'll be able to get hold of shortly.

  12. I'm with you on this one, I like seeing reviews closer to the publication date. I only pre-order books by authors that I'm already familiar with. Sometimes, it's also frustrating when you a well-written review convinces you to pick up a book only to discover that it won't be out for a couple of months. I don't get a lot of ARCs, I only get review galleys so most of my reviews are for books that are already out there.

  13. I like early reviews, they give me time to read up on the book (or author) before the release. If I decide to buy the book I will be able to preorder it, which is pretty good 'cause preorders are mostly cheaper than getting a book right after its release.
    I don't really have a problem with forgetting about books, if I really want to read it I will remember it and I can always look books up on goodreads, there's also the possibility of making lists there so that's already pretty easy.

    About reorders, I tend to put books I'm seriously considering to buy on my wishlist on TBD and if they are not out yet I will not preorder them right away, especially if the author is new to me, but will let it sit there for a while and look up reviews until I make a final decision some time before the actual release, so when the book comes out I will already have decided for or against it and if I decided against preordering I still might buy it some time in the future, but probably not anytime soon after its release.

    I don't really mind waiting for new releases unless maybe it's a book in my favorite series (and still then I think it's ok to wait) and I don't mind reading early reviews because they are like appetizers that make you look forward to the book or warn you when it might not be to your liking I think it's nice to have that kind of advanced notice. I also don't really need to have to be able to get my hands on a book right after reading a positive review simply because I already have quite a few promising, still unread books at home. I can afford to wait for new books since it's not like I'm going to run out of reading material, so there's no need to be too impatient.

    Finally I think it's nice if reviews are spread out before and after the release. It's better when not everyone reviews the same book the same day or week, unless maybe on the release where it's understandable, but I think it's nice when there are early reviews and also some just before the book is out, or even weeks or months after the book came out^^

  14. I like a mixture. If I read a review about a book that sounds interesting I add it to my Amazon wishlist, but its organised into separate months, so I can forget all about it and when that month comes around I have a handy list of new releases coming up. For example I have about 11 books saved that are coming out in August next year - I don't need to try and remember who they are written by or when they come out because its done for me :)

    I do pre-order books that Ive been excited about for a while because of buzz on the blogs. Its always a nice surprise when a book suddenly turns up that you have forgotten about lol

    I don't have many ARCs myself, but I have had a few where the publisher has requested that reviews go up asap to generate interest (they like to create a buzz months in advance) so a lot of times it is just the blogger doing as the publisher requests.

    Saying that - Im that organised and tend to remember what books I heard about months previously because I read so much and because I check out so many blogs. If I was an average reader and not really part of the book blog community I would forget about a book reviewed too early, which is why reviews on/around the publication date are really important too!




Email *

Message *