[Think Aloud] – #34 – Would You Read Reviews Written By Your Clone?

Think Aloud explores book-related discussions encompassing reading, writing, blogging, and perhaps newsworthy content. The focus is to push the boundaries, stretch the mind, and encourage dialogue within this community. Let’s all think out loud. 

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Table Topic:
Would You Read Reviews
Written By Your Clone?

Abstract:

Step 1: Clone yourself.

Step 2: Ponder if you would read the review written by said clone (who is actually you).


Thoughts:

This will be a very obscure thought process all about self-reflection.

You often hear the writing advice to “write what you want to read” but does the same concept apply to book reviewing?

Here’s the dilemma: would you read and/or find yourself gravitating towards a review written by you if you were someone else? (If that statement lacks clarity: just clone yourself and ponder if you would read the reviews written by that clone.)

See: I write fucking long ass reviews. Sometimes they’re short (my definition of “short” is still ~750 words) but most times they’re skyward of 1,000 words (Red Queen was 2.5k…well 2,780 words if you want to be specific).

But the odd thing is that I don’t think I’d read my own or someone else’s book review of that length on just a whim. The culture of consuming media on the Internet sits between three extremes of accessibility, information, and its value of entertainment. They’re all linked; a constant balancing act on the outside to understand the needs of your target market while having that internal battle to fight for your voice and artistry so that you are you.

But let me get technical and expand on these factors from a [book] reviewing standpoint.

Do note that I’m making this shit up as I go and that many of these elements blend into and influence one another.

Accessibility

…regards the structure of the review for the purposes of visibility, delivery, and consumption. Is it short or long? What medium is it on (word, audio, video)? Are there images and GIFs? How is the voice being promoted and on what platforms?

Since I knowingly sacrifice [shortened] length to write a bunch of random shit, I throw in a quick summary for the entire review for those who only skim the beginning and/or who don’t have the time to read everything else.

Example:

glass-sword-victoria-aveyard-scorecard-600x300

Plus an additional bullet point too long; didn’t read blurb.

Information 

…focuses on choosing the facts you want known while knowing there’s a possibility for non-discrete information to be obtained.  Is it a spoiler-y review? How legitimate is the voice? Is there enough done to pique interest? Do I sound like every other reviewer? Am I focused enough in the topic?

Looking at the graphic above, I always break it down into smaller sections of discussion. By doing this, I’m able to give myself a direction to write about and this hopefully sets an expectation of reviewing style [for the reader].

Entertainment

…considers the overall experience of reading the review. What is the tone of the content and does this come naturally or is it forced? Is there snark/satire/humour? Is there retention value in readership (e.g. do people come back because I’m XYZ)? Is it worth sharing?

There’s nothing I can objectively say because entertainment differs per individual. What I will say is that I review as if I’m candidly speaking to my reader in order to achieve a conversational tone. My process involves reading what I write out loud just to hear how it sounds (which also involves hand gestures) haha.


Would I read a review written by my clone?

Yes and no.

While I may enjoy writing [optimistically objective] snarky bullshit in my reviews (re “keeping it real”), I know in my gut that it’s unlikely that I would read lengthy word vomits because I tend to reach for quick grabs of entertainment more than anything else. That is what I value. It is in this reason that I gratuitously devour Khanh and Emily May’s reviews on Goodreads — because regardless of length, they’re proven goldmines of honesty that somehow turns into minutes of laughter.

But know that not all [book] reviews are not made equal.

Personally, as long as there’s some merits of humour, sass, and unfiltered honesty (e.g. the more profanity used = the more I will love you), then length is less of a concern for me because time flies when you’re having a blast.

So…sorry clone, I’ll be picking and choosing what I read from you.


Afterthought Prompts:

What is the likelihood that you would read a review written by your clone and/or if you were someone else (not you) reading a review written by you?
What are the types of things you look for in reviews? (e.g. honesty? GIFs? humour?
Who are some of your favourite reviewers and why? (Let me know, link them!)

As always, think aloud. 

Cheers,
Joey

connect: 
afterthoughtAn // twitter
anotherafterthought // goodreads
picturevomit // instagram

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Post Inspiration:

This post is inspired by self-doubt and self-reflection. Sometimes it’s good to have both in your life.

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7 thoughts on “[Think Aloud] – #34 – Would You Read Reviews Written By Your Clone?”

  1. I probably wouldn’t read my own. This post is actually really helpful because I’ve been trying to think of how I would revamp them. Now I might have an idea!
    I actually love your reviews. I like the humor and how you set them up.

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  2. As with all reviews, it would depend. I skip a lot of reviews even from my most trusted sources because I often prefer to go into books blind. Pre-conceived notions often mar my own enjoyment. The ones I tend to read are of books I’ve not heard of before, am unsure I might want to read or already know I won’t be reading. For spoiler-induced reviews, I would read my clone’s reviews because along with the summary comes snarky critique. For normal reviews, it would depend on my mood and the length of the review. In the very least I would read the headers (good anchors) and then skim the sections that interest me.

    My favourite reviewers are a bunch of close blogging friends who sadly aren’t all too active bloggers. But they do broadcast their thoughts on Twitter and on GR too, albeit to a lesser extent. The one whose reviews I particularly trust is Sana. She reads across genres like me, which is a big plus as well.

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  3. If you are reading reviews for research/analysis, then yes, it’s sometimes worth a long read, but if you just want an opinion about whether a book/film is worth your time and why, then a shorter read often works better.
    That’s my two cents worth.

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  4. This is a great post. I don’t know if I would, I’m sitting here and thinking about it, now. I was thinking I wish I put in that thought that you did when reading this and that I want to really get into blogging to this point again. So, I would say, yes, I would read my reviews because I feel that while they AREN’T perfect, that they are good and maybe I would have suggestions that I would give myself if I were another person, and I don’t know what those suggestions are but I’m thinking I want to ask for them. I’m thinking that…I want to think of this as I write reviews, lie I’m writing one and have paused to catch up on some posts that I have missed on your blog because you’re my fave blogger and I always miss your blog when I’m not on it, and now I feel sort of energised to not just write the review, but really make sure I am alive while writing the review and thinking, sort of how I’m seeing you do, but not exactly, I just want to make sure I’m not doing it just to do it because anyone who reads my blog would be able to tell. I want it to be full of the passion that is really what my voice is. As for fave reviewers, you and Emily May and Cait. MIGUEEEEL, his reviews are so deep, man. Always on fire.

    I like reviews that are sarky, blunt and funny whilst also knowing when to “settle down” and be serious enough to drive a point home and the point is driven because you have enticed and captured a reader by joking and your tone so they like you and then you make a good point and it really makes them pay attention and listen. So here’s the link: anotherafterthought.wordpress.com. Check him out, when it comes to reviews, I feel like he’s the one worth going to first. They make me feel better, think, laugh, and no matter how long they are, I feel it’s worth it to read every word.

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  5. No way would I want to read reviews written by my clone BEFORE I read the story. I’d read reviews written by my clone after. However, before I read the book, I know I’d tip my hand too much about the characters. While I always try to keep the plot under wraps, the story lives or dies by character cast for me. I know it’s all my clone would write about and it would ruin it for me.

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  6. I’d definitely read reviews written by my clone. I had a short-lived book blog back in 2010 or so, when I didn’t even know there were other people blogging about books. Literally 2 people read it, me and my friend who is a librarian. Eventually I stopped and forgot about it, until recently when I found an old review of mine on Goodreads which linked to it. In 6 years a LOT of things have happened in my life and I could not recall writing any of the reviews I found. I read them, and actually enjoyed them, it was actually like reading reviews written by a clone, because I knew they were written by me, but it also felt like it wasn’t me because I have grown and changed so much.

    As for things I look for, definitely honesty, discussion of the ‘bigger picture’ (ie the context of the book, what it adds to the genre as a whole etc), things I don’t like are gifs – those reviews tend to just be personal reactions which aren’t really substantial enough for me.

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