Devourer of Books. Today's topic for discussion is audiobook reviews:
Discuss the essentials of audiobook reviewing. What do you make sure to include? What do you want to see when you read other people’s reviews?
When it comes to reviewing books and audiobooks, it's important to remember that there is no set formula. Each of us has our own quirks and habits, so it makes sense that there are as many different review styles as there are bloggers. Although it's taken a couple of years, I've finally worked out a review format that works for me.
I always start with the basics: title, author, narrator, publisher, publication date, and length of production. The length important to me because it's nice to know whether the time commitment is eight hours or thirty hours.
A brief plot description follows. Some bloggers write wonderful plot descriptions but, unfortunately, I am not one of them. I will often use summaries from amazon or the publisher, and always give them credit. I have a feeling not many people read this section of a review. They may already have a general plot idea or prefer not to know too much about it.
Personal reaction and thoughts about the book comes next. This the main body of the review and consists of a few sentences or a few paragraphs (whatever it takes) explaining what I liked or didn't like, and, when possible, why. I'll often mention the reason I chose the book - book club selection, recommendation from another blogger, etc.
Specific thoughts on the audio production is an absolute necessity! How was the reader? Did his/her voice fit the book? I usually mention previous experience with the narrator. I also talk about special quirks or things to be aware of with the production. Finally, it important to mention whether the book works well on audio and why.
A rating. This is a semi-controversial area of reviewing. I rate books and appreciate when other do, too. I find it very helpful, especially with bloggers whose tastes I've become familiar with over the years. Rating can be trickier with audio - on rare instances, I've had to give two ratings, one for book and one for audio production. Many bloggers choose not to rate books and that's fine, too.
I like to end with the bottom line or a one sentence summary. This often restates my overall reaction and recommendation.
So that's my approach as it has evolved over the past few years. It works for me, but I know it's not for everyone. How do you go about reviewing audiobooks?
Visit Devourer of Books for links to others posts on this topic.