There are so many reviews out there, that it can be hard to sort the overly bias ones from the completely objective ones – and as readers, we need something in the middle. I don’t read too many reviews for books I don’t have any interest in reading, but I make exceptions (as do we all). Here are some techniques to make your reviews more clickable.
Make it personal. There are so many reviews that I start reading, only to realise that all the writer is doing is summarising the plot. Sometimes, yeah, this can be effective. Maybe the book was confusing, or the blurb completely misrepresented what was going on. But seriously? Most of the time this is not needed. Talk about what made the book so brilliant to you, not what your readers might want to hear. If you think the general public would love something about this book, but you don’t, write that down! Tell us why you didn’t like it. If you loved something controversial about this book, scream about it! Look at both sides, weigh them up against each other and let the readers come to their own conclusions. Don’t retell what everyone else before you has, make your review unique.
Come up with a creative title. Let’s use The Roanoke Girls as an example. The title ‘A Review of The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel’ doesn’t really do it for me. Something that does catch my attention is ‘The Roanoke Girls scarred me for life’ or ‘This Book Messed Me Up | The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel’. Please keep in mind that I haven’t actually read this book (it’s a work in progress), but it’s titles like these that made me want to read what other people thought about it! I’ve now added it to my TBR shelf on goodreads, and am planning on looking for it whenever I go to a book sale. Kudos to those people who introduced this book to me ♡
Don’t bully the author or the people who like the book. If I see any sort of cyberbullying in someone’s review, it’s an instant click away. I get it, maybe the book was shit. Maybe it was problematic – but calling the author a whole bunch of swear words, doesn’t make it any better. In fact, it makes you problematic. Just because something is terrible, doesn’t mean you get to be terrible in return. Just because you thought something was completely stupid, doesn’t mean the people who liked what they read are also completely stupid. Making blanket statements like that is not only unnecessary, but can often repel readers instead of make them want to keep reading.
Have a nice cover picture. I tend to get most of my reading material from Bloglovin’ which might not be that great of an idea, but what that means is that the image of your post is front and center. Guess what? If it’s just a picture of a cover, taken from goodreads and stuck on the front of your post, I’m way less likely to read it. Why? I’m not entirely sure. Maybe because it seems like it’s less personal. Maybe it’s because it appears as though minimal effort has gone into the post, and so I don’t want to waste my time reading it. Or maybe it’s because it feels generic. Whatever it is though, I don’t click on those posts.
Taking your own photo, or creating your own graphic draws my attention. It makes me look a little more carefully at your post, because it’s unique. How many other people do you think have placed [book name] alongside your plants or your pet cat? None. That’s what makes it all the more interesting. When the pictures are personalised, you feel as though the review is going to more personal and therefore more relevant to you. You’re actually getting someone speaking through the screen, as opposed to regurgitated sentences that really don’t mean anything.
I’m in no way a professional on this sort of thing, and this is all of my own opinion. What makes you click on a review?