Behind The Scenes of a Blogger’s Book Reviews

I try to upload at least two book reviews a week to my blog. This doesn’t necessarily mean I read that many a week so how do I go about getting eight books reviewed a week? Read on below to find out!

Behind the scenes of a Blogger's book reviews
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Please note that this article contains affiliate links. This means if you choose to purchase any of the services or products within this article, I will receive a small commission or gain at no extra cost to you to support the blog. These affiliate links do not affect my final opinion of the product.

Every single day I do something that relates to books – whether it’s popping on Bookstagram, listening to an audiobook, reading an article about the latest books out, checking my Amazon wish list for discounts or actually reading!

As I said, I write around two to three book reviews a week (or I try to at least) however, more often than not, I’m not actually reading that many books a week, so what do I use to get my reviews and what am I doing behind the scenes to get my reviews written?

So what about when I’ve read the book, what is the process then?

Write a brief review on Goodreads

A lot of the books I read, I read on Kindle or listen to in Audiobooks rather than physical copies. Therefore, when I finish a book, it takes me straight to the option to review the book so I write a short review on Goodreads and Amazon that I can then refer to later for my full review on my blog.

In this short review, I take a mental note of the two main categories I focus on in my book reviews – plot and character. I write one or two sentences on both that I know will help with my final review.

Open up Google Docs and begin writing the review

When I actually finish a book, I like to start writing the review as soon as I can. If I finish it during the day, I’ll start writing something down that evening or if I finish it in the evening, I’ll try and write some words down with my breakfast and a coffee in the morning.

More often than not, I’ll end up staying later or end up writing first thing when I wake up to try and get the written part out of the way (this may explain a lot of the typing errors you’ll find in my reviews – please let me know if you see any). This way, the thoughts and my feelings are refreshed.

I don’t ever finish a book and instantly go to write the review however as I feel, and I imagine a lot of people will agree, that books can take some time to digest your true thoughts on them. Sometimes I’ll be reading a book that lots of other people loved and just not feeling it and I’ll get to the end wanting to like it more than I did. But a few hours later, I have just come to accept that I didn’t like it as much as other people and that’s fine. Or there are some books that I think I absolutely loved because the last 30 or 40 pages were epic and amazing but the first 400 before that were subpar so I come out of it and need time to realise that I need to note the slower start to the book in my review and not just gush over the ending. You can read more about How I Decide My Book Review Ratings.

The disclaimer

So I don’t know if you know but I use affiliate links within my book reviews. What this essentially means is that if you click on one of the links of the book I’m reviewing and it takes you to Amazon – if you then choose to purchase that book, I will receive a very small percentage of that sale at no extra cost to you.

However, for legal reasons, I have to state this. I also personally choose to state that I don’t let this affect my opinion of the book in any way. I don’t want people thinking that because I may receive financial gain from making sales from the book that this increases my opinion of the book – it doesn’t!

Creating the graphics

I don’t claim to be a graphics designer so I used Canva to create all of my designs. If you’re not using Canva, then you should definitely look into it – it’s a great free tool. I have a template that I use for my three social media channels and also that cover my blog’s images. I use Pinterest one (1000 x 1500) and the Blog banner template on my blog (you can just search “Blog Banner” on Canva) and then I generally try and use a square image for Instagram, however, due to the selfies I take, they end up being slightly taller. The one I use most regularly is 1080 x 1350 as this allows room for the selfie and then the addition of the text at the bottom. With Instagram, I also add a second graphic that gives my summary of the review.

I try not to give away too much of my review on my Instagram as I do want people to come here to my blog as they’re more likely to then find other content they want to read too and all of this leads to more newsletter sign-ups, a more loyal user-base and then inevitably this can lead to more revenue on your blog.

Here’s a picture of where I take my selfies – it’s just in my “man cave”/study where I have my bookshelf and computer. It’s often where I work from home and do my gaming. And yes, that is a cat house made out of cardboard – we’re not so poor we can’t afford a real one – they simply love cardboard more than any real house (any cat owners will know!)

I use the Blog banner image at the top of the review and also sometimes on socials, however by posting the link, Facebook and Twitter both automatically preview the page so I don’t feel the need to. Then I use the Pinterest image after the introductory paragraph on my blog as something for people to directly share to their own Pinterest site and, of course, I use this on my own Pinterest page, where all of my content also goes.

Sharing to social media

Once I’ve then finished one of my book reviews and decided on a final rating and uploaded the relevant graphic for this, I then go ahead and begin the important part which is sharing it to my over 3,000 social media followers across Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. Why do I have so many different forms of social media? It’s mainly to reach as wide an audience as possible.

I have a Telegram group too which I post to first before any of the social media platforms as this is something I’ve promised for people joining the group. I also give members the chance to choose which blog posts I write first and even give extra entries to giveaways to those within the group.

After this, I then usually get my Twitter post ready. Sometimes I schedule it, sometimes I don’t, I have an upcoming article on how to best use social media for your blog – something I know a little about as I’ve been getting paid full time for nearly half a decade to do it! After this, I then use the Business Suite on Facebook to post to Facebook and Instagram which some people may be surprised by. The Business Suite is perfect if I decide I want to schedule both posts, but Instagram has recently launched the ability to post to Instagram directly from the desktop which is a game-changer if I want to just post there and then.

Finally, I’ll put it on Pinterest. With all of these platforms, I try to optimise the post for each platform. For example, I’ll use one or two hashtags on Twitter, I’ll use every hashtag I can think of on Instagram; I’ll include the link on Twitter and Facebook but remember to direct people to my bio on Instagram. In my bio on Instagram, I use LinkTree which is a free service that allows you to essentially set a really simple landing page as where people go to when they click the link in your bio and this gives you the opportunity to promote loads of links.

What do I use to do all of this?

In regards to what technology and software I use – I have a Kindle Paperwhite for reading which I think is the perfect device if you’re someone who prefers an eBook. It has weeks of battery life, a pixel-perfect screen that can be seen in the dark and in bright sunlight due to its ink-like technology and it has enough storage to store as many books as you like – plus it works perfectly with Amazon (my source for nearly all books.)

I write all of my reviews on my Macbook M1 – I had a 2012 Macbook Pro from Uni up until around February of this year and decided to splash out on the new M1 Macbook Air because I’d heard it was very fast and one of the best slim laptops you could buy for the price – plus I absolutely love MacOS.

As aforementioned, I use Google Docs to write my book reviews as I have a template on there that I use to get the right headings and such. I use Microsoft Word for some of the longer articles too as WordPress itself really starts to lag once you’ve been writing for a while, unfortunately.

Oh and to grab my selfies, I’m currently using a Google Pixel 5, however, I was using a Samsung Galaxy S21, which I’d argue did produce slightly better selfies – though both are great for using on my graphics.

Summary

It can take me a couple of hours from start to finish to get a book review written, looking how I want and scheduled to social media. It depends on how quickly the thoughts flow from my brain to my fingers and whether I’m procrastinating or all of my concentration is on the review.

Either way, I tend to spend around 6-10 hours a week on my blog (not all writing reviews) and I feel this is the maximum I’d like to spend on it. I really enjoy blogging, don’t get me wrong, but I end up taking up too much time writing the reviews of my books, I may end up dreading the coming of endings of books as I may end up dreading having to spend ages getting the review up for them. If you’re a book blogger, how do you do your book reviews? I’d love to hear your process.

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