Random Musings : Moving forwards with Scorching Book Reviews

Posted June 30, 2019 by Nix in Random musings / 9 Comments

Top Picks will be up tomorrow – there isn’t actually a lot that has caught my attention so I need to keep looking.

So, the blog has been little sparse of late. Most of that has been down to real life being busy but there is part of me that just doesn’t know what to do with it. The stats have dwindled for the last couple of years and I know that some of that has been because the blogger landscape has changed but some has been that I haven’t been consistant enough in updating it.

Reviews are hard. I love talking about books but actually constructing a review? That isn’t that much fun anymore. Reviews take hours. First is the draft, then the editting and then the promoing….. it takes a lot. Then you have to hope someone reads it and, also, that no arsehole decides to take umbridge with your review and cause mayhem (I have had negative comments from both authors and their fans … not fun). I don’t write reviews for me (I have read/loved the book); I write them to highlight books I love (or really hate) but, if no one is reading them. who are they actually for?

For the next couple of paragraphs I will talk stats. Please don’t think I’m all about the stats (I really am not) but they do show that currently I am talking about books to the ether and I want to be talking about them to people!

I ran a series of polls on Twitter asking people what they use blogs for. I’ll be honest, the results weren’t a surprise to me because they showed that most people use blogs the way I do. I don’t usually go on a blog for a review of a book; I get recs from Twitter and then use GoodReads to look at a variety of reviews. I don’t really focus on blogs anymore because Twitter allows me to have discussions about books, rather than read a snapshot of a review.

All these findings match my page-view stats which have been getting quite low for reviews but staying quite stable for recommendation posts or events. The polls showed that the biggest thing that people visit blogs for is recommendation posts and blogger events – the stats for the Sex Scene Championship are the biggest I’ve ever had so that is clearly what people use my blog for.

The landscape of blogging has changed so much over the last few years. Gone are the blog-hop memes that I loved participating in so much and blog rolls seem to be a thing of the past. Blogging used to be a social opportunity which was what I loved (I love talking books to book people) – the stats show that blogs are no longer the way that readers talk to each other. I want to keep the blog but I want to enjoy it too so, with that in mind, I am changing things up.

This is what I will be moving forwards with…

  • Top Picks will remain on Sunday (except this week) – this post is partially for me and I enjoy doing it. I rarely follow author’s so this allows me to pre-order or mark books that take my fancy.
  • I won’t be doing full reviews on the blog anymore. I will be doing reviews on Goodreads and then, once a week, I will do a round up of what I have read and recommend (or not). I know GR is evil however this is the way I and others find books so I am working with what I have.
  • Monday, I will be sticking with Hot Cover Monday – the stats are pants but I like it 🙂
  • Once a week I will be doing a quote/excerpt of the week.
  • I will be doing more events. I am not sure what they will look like but I am thinking feature months. This one is a work in progress.
  • I will be doing more tweeting out of the books I read – this will include quotes. I find this is the more social way to talk about books. The blog was removed from Facebook so I won’t be there.
  • I will be doing more random musings posts. These are generally an extention of my twitter rants anyway!!

I’m also probably going to redesign the blog – I am less and less enamoured with the way it looks so it’s time to change this up!!

What do you think? What else could I be doing to make the blog more useful to readers?

9 responses to “Random Musings : Moving forwards with Scorching Book Reviews

  1. Mzcue

    I have enjoyed your blog since I started reading Romance seriously a number of years ago. It’s been very sad to see so many Romance blogs disappear. As you said I do use blogs for the recommendations first. I hate spoilers so much that I avoid reviews until I’ve finished the books. I am not a Goodreads fan. When people started larding their comments with gifs I found the reviews pretty tiresome. I hope you do continue. Personally I find the look of Scorching Reviews to be pretty sharp. Best of luck to you.

    • Nix

      I completely agree on GIF reviews … I also have a little hatred of the reviews where people “cast” the protagonists as I often can’t get them out of my head which ruins the book on rereads!

      I think that is another thing that stops people reading reviews – they want a star, CW warnings and maybe some idea of the tropes and that it is! I get it – I’m the tyoe to read the end first so that isn’t me 🙂

      I promise I will be continuing – if nothing else I’ve paid the fees for the next year!! 🙂

      • Mzcue

        That’s very good news. Also, let me repeat that I like your site’s look. It’s sharp and makes your Tweets stand right out since the scorching theme carries over.

  2. Amy R

    Thanks for the update. I like to see what you are looking forward to that is releasing and the fun extra stuff. If you could link your Goodreads reviews when you do the weekly post that would be good as don’t go on Twitter much.

    • Nix

      I will link them I promise – I won’t be stopping talking books on here; it just will be in a different way!

  3. mishukitty

    While I love your blog (sniff!), I understand and applaud you for taking an honest review. I think overall the changes you propose are good ones.

  4. Becky

    Thank you for the work you do! I like reading on Sunday about what catches your eye because very often you bring books I have not heard of yet or never make it to the “releasing the week” posts I follow elsewhere. GR is where I keep up with what I have read and y’all are right, those GIF reviews are awful and why I don’t even read reviews there anymore. I like the suggestion above that maybe you could link your GR page/reviews to remind us when you have new stuff there .

  5. Lynn A. Reynolds

    I can understand where you’re coming from. You have to do what you feel is right and where you want to take your blog. I’m sorry you’ve had authors leave negative comments. When I first started doing reviews, I had an author that asked me to redo my review. I refused and I haven’t done a review of any of her books since. I feel that you we are asked to give an honest account of your feelings and impressions of a book.. Leaving a negative comment to a reviewer would be a turn off and would make it near impossible for me to pick up one of their books again.

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