To all readers and reviewers. How do you choose the next book to review? It appears to me (and I know I could be wrong) that the greatest percentage of the reviews I see are for YA books. Are most reviewers drawn to YA? What percentage of the books you review is YA? Romance? Mystery? Memoir? Paranormal? Adventure? Other? Also, if you mostly read YA books, what is your age? Under 20? 20 to 30? 30 to 40? Over 40?
I have just decided to start doing book reviews after going through the process of submitting my own book to reviewers. The problem I found was that very few reviewers would accept non-fiction and a lot wanted fantasy fiction. The other problem I had was how to convince them that, based on genre - Non-fiction, biography, music/religion - my book was a good read.
I am taking a break from creating a website for my reviews when I saw your post. because of my experience I am including the words "........I will trust you to convince me that I should read your book" and "....is up to you to deliver me a work that is interesting and entertaining.
I will read pretty much anything. I think my new openness to any written word, whatever the genre, came about from the years I lived in a foreign country where English was not the primary language. I even paged through a thick English dictionary because I was afraid I'd forget words. Lately I have gravitated toward YA fantasy literature. I've just found some of the most whimsical, poetic descriptions in that genre, and I need that right now. :) Thanks for the question!
Thanks for replying. I like your comment about whimsical, poetic descriptions. I never thought about that.
I am just starting out and as my site is aimed at parents helping their children to read I would like to review children's books.
Thank you for your input. Sometimes I think I'm the only one who doesn't care for straight YA. Checked your "about me" where you said, "I can feign interest if not so moved - for a while, at least. I frequently think in song lyrics." LOL
I tend to read a wide variety of genres, but at the moment I'm most focused on literary fiction because I'm working through a lot of review requests in that genre. I want to read more non-fiction this year, though -- particularly books about the lives of painters.
I would be interested to know what you are reading these days, because I haven't found much "literary fiction," being published lately. In fact, based on what I am told by my friends who have had their manuscripts rejected by "literary" agents, literary fiction is the last thing that they are looking for because it is "hard" to place. For example: Paul West, considered by many critics to be the greatest living literary stylist, and who in 1996 was a runnerup for the Nobel Prize in Literature, now publishes with Onager Editions, a small press here in Ithaca, NY, which I am involved with.
Besides Paul West, you might like to check out the well-written books by my friend Stephen Poleskie, three of which Onager Editions has published. While Poleskie doesn't write about the lives of painters, he once was one himself back in NYC in the 1960s. There are some interesting photos of his paintings, as well as photos of him with some of the leading artists of that time, such as: Helen Frankenthaler, Louise Nevelson, Larry Rivers, and Elaine deKooning on his extensive web site. You can see the photos and read excerpts from his books and complete short stories at: www.StephenPoleskie.com. If you go there be sure to read the short story "The Banquet" which was published in "American Writing," and is an ironic tale about a down-on-his-luck painter living in NYC.
I'm sure you will find Poleskie's work and his life quite fascinating.
I write my reviews for the upcoming week on the week-end. Usually I select a group of books that are related either by genre, similar character, or reading age.
I've noticed the prominence of YA reviews on many blogs. So I've steered away from that to keep from repeating what someone else has probably said already. Instead I try to review Classics.
I have to admit to a preference for literary fiction, historical fiction, occasionally steampunk, classics and non-fiction but I do read and review a small amount of children's and young adult fiction mainly because I often work in children's or youth libraries. I also started reading or re-reading children's classic fiction this year and I feature some of those titles on the blog. As to age I must confess to being over 40 now and my young adult reading is largely work related, when my daughter was younger I also made a point of trying to read at least some of the books she was enthusiastic about.
I sometimes feel like I'm one of a small group reading and reviewing adult literary fiction, which is pretty surprising.
I actually see quite a variety of books reviewed, but I guess it depends where you're visiting when looking at reviews.
I guess there's quite a number of YA reviewers for a number of reasons... Younger readers generally have more time on their hands to read and review, YA books tend to be shorter than other genres...
Personally, I like quite a mix of genres. I read and enjoy YA books despite being over 30. However, I think crime thrillers are my favourite, but I enjoy all kinds of books... Mystery, adventure, childrens, autobiographies.
I read pretty much everything! I review most of the stuff I read.
Now, what I choose to review depends on if I bought the book or if I got it from netgalley or the author/publisher. I try my absolute best to review everything I'm given by a publisher, even if the review is bad. When I request, I tend to request in my favoured genres first, then the general fiction stuff. I base it on whether its sounds like something I'd like to read.
With books I buy, it's pretty much the same except I don't feel an obligation to review them as I already spent money.
I suspect a lot of reviewers ARE drawn to YA and fantasy etc, or it may simply be that those genres are getting a lot of books published in them right now. II can imagine that if you don't write those it could be tricky to find reviewers- but then quanitity does not equal quality.