Helpful advice from two kickass book bloggers.


Color key: Jolene | Harlow


Once upon a time, Harlow and I were very VERY avid book bloggers. We submerged ourselves in books, book reviews, pimping books to unsuspecting strangers, attending every book con that was in our area, and in some cases, flew all over the country to meet some of our favorite authors. In a sense, we were your quintessential, obsessed book bloggers.

Throughout the years of book blogging, we learned a few things that we thought would be beneficial to new and old bloggers…….as well as, our lovely authors.

Let’s get down to business, shall we?


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cringed when I would read a review that was just a tweaked version of the synopsis of the book. (OR WORSE the blurb on the back) Retelling what the story is about is NOT, let me repeat…. IS NOT, A REVIEW. What you wrote was a book report. BAHAHAHA 

Seriously, you aren’t fooling anybody. By copying the blurb and then throwing a few stars on your review doesn’t make it a review. Got it? it makes you look lazy and it doesn’t help anyone who is interested in the opinions of those who actually read it. 

A review should have these points:

Did you like it?

Did you hate it?

Was it a page turner or a flipping snooze fest?

On my blog I rate them like this.

Bazillion Stars – These land on my favorite shelf.
5 Stars – LOVED IT
4 Stars – Liked it a lot
3 Stars – Nether hated nor loved it.
2 Stars – Needs work (and I explain why)
1 Star – This usually is due to a rushed book, poor grammar, or both.
DNF – Did not finish (I try really, I do but if I’m yawning by chapter five, a lot of times the author loses me and I never recover.)

Without giving too much away, what were your favorite parts of the book?

Were the characters engaging?

I always write my reviews like a positive sandwich. Start with the positive, typically the style and prose of the author, then I will include what I didn’t like about it or parts that could be improved, and finally close with what I did write, my favorite scene and quote(s).

What if you couldn’t relate to the story or the book was a flop but it so happens that the author is your friend or in your inner indie book circle; do you flub the review just because you don’t want to piss off the author or do you speak the truth?

This could be a tricky situation but if the author is cool they will still love you regardless of your honest feedback. I typically choose to not review it.  That way they do not get a negative hit on their review numbers.

Also, authors really want to know what you thought of their book. This isn’t the time to brown nose the author and hand out stars that aren’t deserved. Don’t give them 4 or 5 stars if the book lacked character development or the story didn’t even make sense. I agree, but again I try to give the author the benefit of the doubt and usually will go to them with my concerns and not during the review. 

Harlow, I’ve actually done this more than a handful of times. I’ve listed the inconsistencies of the story as well as any grammatical errors with page numbers and sent them to the author WAY before it went out for publishing only to find those helpful hints/corrections were tossed aside or overlooked.

Bloggers, please leave the male authors alone!!

It has baffled me to see the amount of bloggers who will do almost anything to win the attention of the author by just fawning over their non stellar work and giving them accolades that they weren’t deserving of.

OMG yes. This is especially true with the dick chasers as I like to call them.  The scores of women that drool over these male authors.  I mean seriously? 

It’s beyond pathetic. Just because they write about big, thick, engorged penises doesn’t mean they have one and from what I hear through the good old indie pipeline is that even though they can write smut when it comes to their actual moves outside the pages of their book, they actually fall short. Like way short. 

Remember ladies, stop fawning over these male authors. Just because one is giving you a lot of attention 9 times out of ten he’s giving others the same attention…….he has a fan base to build. He can’t disappoint his fans. 

Let’s get back to why we chose to do this in the first place.


We, as bloggers (or if you are part of the ARC team) will just do a disservice to the author if we boost their ego and aren’t honest with them. Don’t you want them to succeed? Don’t you want them to get better at their craft? I know I do. I see their potential for greatness. 



Don’t rush through your novel just because you have book conventions scheduled.

Haha, I saw a Twitter post the other day about a writer bragging that they wrote 17k words in one day.  I’m like why?  It’s not a contest on how fast you can write.

I can honestly tell while I’m reading a book when an author is just rushing to complete their novel or meet a deadline. It’s totally frustrating, so much so I want to just toss the book off the balcony….but I couldn’t do that to the book, it’s not the books fault that the author didn’t pump the brakes and put more time into expanding the story. You need to quote that shit lol

Dear Beloved Authors: A bad review doesn’t mean you’re worthless and should throw in the towel. 

You need to have thick skin if you want to survive in this business. Amen sister. You will, I promise, YOU WILL have one or more readers that do not like your work and will leave a negative review.  Learn from it, grow from it, and move on and strive to be better.

Take every comment as a learning tool. If the majority of the reviews spoke of the lack of character development, then instead of insisting that they were all wrong or start threatening that you were done with writing. Take their comments as creative criticism and begin to research how to make your characters stronger and more developed.

And if all else fails, drink wine. 










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