The A to Z of Handy Tips for BookBloggers – L is for Length of Reviews

May 15, 2017 A to Z of Handy Tips for Book Bloggers 11

  1. Today’s blog post is brought to you by the letter L! Or more specifically in The A to Z of Handy Tips for BookBloggers -L is for Length of Reviews!

When I joined the book blogging community, I found lots of experienced bloggers were only too willing to share their blogging secrets and pass along tips that had worked for them.  And I soaked up that knowledge and applied it to my blog.  So now I wanted to do the same for others but rather than spewing it all out in one lengthy blog post, I’ve decided to post in an A to Z format.  As inspired by the A to Z April Challenge.The A to Z of Handy Tips for BookBloggers

A to Z of handy tips for book bloggers


L is for Length of Reviews

When I started blogging, I found it hard to know just what length my review should be. Too long and I was rambling, too short and I was omitting vital information. So, I thought a lot about what the magical length should be.  The one that wasn’t too long or too short, but just right. I wanted a Goldilocks happy medium.

I finally found my rule of thumb. Psst if you think I’ve stumbled upon a secret formula that every book blogger should know; then you’re wrong. Instead I went back basics and followed my instincts.

“say what you have to say, then stop!”

If that’s one line, so be it. If that’s an essay, so be it.

My rule of thumb:

I decide based on what I feel I need to say about the book. Sometimes one word can say it all (I’m looking at you MEH). Sometimes I’m full of thoughts, and those thoughts spout in every direction. Great, I go follow them and see where it ends up. I word vomit all I have to say. Then prune back the unnecessary.

The other thing that works for me is not to only have one review format. That works for lots of people, and I can see the attraction of having a set pattern. It’s easy, and you just fill in the blanks. But I bore easily, so that won’t work for my personality. Instead I built up a store of formats, like straightforward review, twitteresque reviews, balancing the books, etc. Depending on how much I have say, I will choose one of those for my review.

Something I noticed as an avid review reader is some people are skilled at long, flowing reviews, and others do short and sweet perfectly. So I think experimenting is a good idea, and might surprise yourself with which one you prefer. Are looking for feedback on what format works best for you? Then go to where all your data is. Your blog! Check what review got the most chat going, and see if you can see why that was.

So don’t let anyone tell you what length a review should be. You know best based on what observations you want to share. Have confidence, and let it flow!

Talk to Trish:  What is your favourite review length to read? Do you stick to certain review lengths?



Never miss a bookish post! Plus you get a free download - Note to Book - to document your own bookish thoughts.

Signup now and receive blog posts by email.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

11 Responses to “The A to Z of Handy Tips for BookBloggers – L is for Length of Reviews”

  1. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

    How funny, we both posted tips about book reviews today! But yeah, my rule of thumb is the same as yours. Mostly. I talk a lot though, so sometimes I’m kinda like, “I NEED TO INCLUDE ALL THESE THOUGHTS TOO,” when probably they aren’t actually that important and don’t really *need* to be included in the review lol. But when I’m interested in a book, or when I’ve already read a book, I like longer reviews. So I figure there are probably people out there who like my long reviews too!
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Blogging Tips: Tips for Writing Book Reviews When You Don’t Have Much to Say

    • trish

      I saw that this morning when I was checking my bloglovin feed, great minds think alike! I like both long reviews and short reviews when I’m reading, I genuinely don’t have a preference.

  2. Let's Get Beyond Tolerance

    Great advice. I like that bloggers have different styles. I TRY and keep mine in a happy medium, but some are longer than others. I don’t usually have super short reviews though. Not yet at least! I like reading them though.
    Let’s Get Beyond Tolerance recently posted…Back Piece by L.A. Witt

    • trish

      I agree, I think it’s lovely that we all have different styles. It mixes it up and keeps everything interesting.

  3. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

    Good question! I’d say your rule of thumb is the same as mine. 🙂 My reviews can be quite long or very short, depending on how long it takes to get across what I want to say. I hope my readers are OK with that, but I’m not really sure. Sometimes it is nice to know there’s a go-to blog for short, snappy reviews, or that you can expect that another blogger will always go really in-depth. I suppose I’ll just keep my readers guessing!
    Lory @ Emerald City Book Review recently posted…Four books to feed the spirit

    • trish

      Haha Lory, we are the same there. I never really know what review format I’ll go with until I sit down and write it. I surprise myself, never mind my readers 🙂

  4. Arra Abella

    Oh it varies for me. I believe it also depends on our mood to write or how excited we are to write it. If I’m super into the book, I’m sure I’ll go all out. Sometimes, I go all out also when I hate the book. There are also days when I can’t seem to find the right words to say or nothing at all. It really depends. But hey, I don’t pressure myself if I really can’t. 🙂

    Style Reader
    Arra Abella recently posted…Book Review: Safe House by Meg Cabot

  5. Karen Blue

    It is so hard to figure out how long a review should be. I couldn’t actually tell you, just that I write what I want to say.
    I do get frustrated with one paragraph or 5 sentence reviews. I don’t think those “count”, or I wouldn’t count them anyways. I admit that my DNF reviews are usually short, if that even matters?
    I like lengthy reviews but you have to cut those paragraphs short. Lists are fun, and so are reviews where the blogger breaks down the aspects of the story (characters, world building, pacing, etc..).
    Great topic!
    Karen Blue recently posted…Reviews: THE SEVEN REALMS by Cinda Williams Chima


    Great post Trish, I struggle with this all the time, sometimes a review flows effortlessly out of me and other times I stall. Different formats are good, I tried a quick review post a couple of years back, I might bring it back as some books don’t deserve many words at all!
    HEATHER DUFF recently posted…REVIEW – Ms Marvel by Wilson and Alphona

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.