After months of constant frustration with the star system - Why did I like some four-star books so much more than some other four-star books? Why were there five-star books I actually sort of hated and three-star books I loved? - I have decided it is time for something new. What this something new is, as you may have noticed in my wildly inconsistent review formats this week, is up for debate.
OPINION TIME, my lovely followers. Answer as few or as many of the following questions as you'd like in the comments.
First question: What information about the book would you like me to include in the review? I currently stick to title, author, cover, and blurb, with a link to the book's Goodreads page. I'm considering adding page number, genre, and publisher.
Second: What associate links would you like me to include in the review? As I mentioned, I already link to Goodreads, as well as IndieBound and Barnes & Noble. I'm a proud indie shopper and Nook owner myself, but I know that's not an option for everyone, so what other sites would you like to see?
Third: Should I get rid of my "why I read it" section? I've been doing this for awhile in various forms, and the things I write range from silly to serious and are also wildly inconsistent. I'm just not sure if it makes sense outside of my head. Any thoughts? (You can see an example in my Harmonic Feedback review.)
Fourth: Does a long review/short review format work? I experimented with this in my Harmonic Feedback review in the absence of a star rating and also did it in a slightly different form in my very early reviews. I write a few paragraphs of ramblings under the long review section, and then cut straight to the chase for my short review. Is this helpful?
Fifth: Any ideas for ratings systems outside of the star system? I'm a fan of both Forever Young Adult's grading breakdown and The Story Siren's shelfability, but obviously need to come up with something new that works for me. And I'm stumped. I've thought about doing categories like read it/skip it, ZOMFG/OMG/Meh, Loved/Liked/Not for Me, etcetera etcetera, but none of them have felt quite right and I'm just not sure what would be most helpful to readers. I'd love input!
Sixth: Any other feedback about my blog or reviews? I'm pretty sure this is self-explanatory.
Thank you so much for your input and time, and I hope I can make Maggie's Bookshelf a more user-friendly place to hang around in the future.