Discussed! .. When To Post Reviews….

Posted 1 December, 2012 by Danny in Blog, Danny, Discussion / 27 Comments

Morning and Happy Saturday!

Last week I came across a review from a book that comes out next year. Not only is the Review posted super early (around 4 month before release) but, it was also a 2 star review.

I admit, I cringed when I saw this!

And, this got me thinking. When to post reviews, and is there or should there be a difference between positive and negative reviews?

Well, of course I have an opinion and I’m truly looking forward hearing what you think!

So, here are my thoughts:

In general I’d say one month before release, or the weeks directly after release. This is at least the time frame how I handle it here. But, this also highly depends on the publisher. Some even like to see it the review 2 weeks before and consider 1 month before too long.

Also, posting it before or after is something I always ask myself.

Please note, the following section is all about positive reviews!!!!

This can generate an excitement about a book and most publishers are happy when we post our reviews earlier. I think most of them say they are fine as long as the book is ready to be pre-ordered. This brings on the next point. I know Publisher love the numbers of pre-sales!!!! So, if we Blogger can generate a little buzz before, they are all happy!!

Sometimes when I REALLY love a book I would LOVE to shout out my love right away, but I try to respect the wish of the publishers, even though I’m just dying to talk about the book!

Quite frankly, this I only do when I run into time scheduling problems and when I find no free date in our calendar. But on the other hand, I feel like when the book is already out people feel more inclined to go and buy the book right now, instead of having to wait… I’m like this. I am not a big pre-orderer and more of an instant buyer!

But, let’s move to the more controversial point…

Is it really helpful and respectful to post such negative reviews so early? Like 4 month early?

Truly, I hate writing negative reviews, yet there are two books I recently read that I didn’t like at all. Since, I got the review copy I’m also going to post my review here at the Bookworms, but I thought hard about exactly when I should do this!

I actually had one of these books on my calendar to post 4 weeks before release and then, I felt actually really bad about posting it so early! I feel like it generates a negative feeling about a book which didn’t had a chance to reach a bigger audience yet.

So, I decided to post my negative reviews after the first excitement is over and the book is already for a few weeks.

Is that the right thinking? Do I over think? Is it not fair to my readers to hold a negative review back? I have no clue… but this is how I feel about it..

And again, I remember feeling super sad and actually cringed when I saw such a review so early! I feel like this book deserves each chance to get all hyped up from the ones that loved the book and I don’t want to spoil this excitement..

How do you handle this? When do you post your reviews? Do you care about the publishers wish, or do decide yourself when it’s the best time for YOU to post a certain review?

What about negative reviews? Do you handle them differently? Or, do you handle them exactly the same way as the positive ones?

Much Love,

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27 Responses to “Discussed! .. When To Post Reviews….”

  1. You raise some interesting questions, Danny! Although I tend not to post reviews 4 or more months earlier than release dates, I do think it’s completely fine for bloggers to post as early or as late as they want. It’s their blog, their review, and if they want to post a review (even a negative review) months early, then they are fine to do so. Though I do have to admit, if it’s a review of a book that isn’t out for ages still, I tend to forget about it once the release date arrives! There is always the risk of the buzz dying away. But the only time I think bloggers need to think about when to specifically post reviews is if the publisher has asked for the review to be up between a certain time frame. Other than that, post whenever you want to I say. πŸ™‚
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    Danny 12/1/2012

    You are totally right Sam, in the end it’s out blog. But, we get the books from the publishers and should we really go against their wishes in posting a review so early? Sometimes it’s not easy to find the publishers wishes, but I’m sure they all feel similar about this. Some even say not more than 2 weeks in advance.

    Also, you raised a very good point- with posting so early buzz can die down and that’s surely not what is in the best interest of the author and publisher.

    Oh and I totally forget about books when I read a review super far away from the release date.
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    Sam @ Realm of Fiction 12/1/2012

    Oh I agree that there should be some consideration when the ARC is received for review purposes! I personally like to post reviews closer to release dates (and I even tend to organise my reading list in accordance with that) but not everyone will do so and I don’t think I am in any position to tell them otherwise. It’s quite easy working with UK publishers over here so I know when is too early for them and when not. πŸ™‚

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  2. Four weeks is fine but four months is crazypants! Especially a negative review. That blogger could have written the review right after reading it but scheduled it closer to release. Absolutely no reason for a super-early negative review.

    That being said, my timing is all over the place. Since I’m less of a planner when it comes to my blog, my reviews are usually right on top or after the release date. As for negative reviews, I try to be quick — like pulling off a bandaid. I don’t tend to dwell and even when they’re negative, I try to find something positive. (Probably the teacher in me!)
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    Danny 12/1/2012

    Aw!!! Thanks Mary you totally said what I was feeling!! It feels a litlle like getting the attention when posting such a negative review so early. It’s one of the first reviews I have ever seen of this certain book and then the first one I see is negative? Why do something other than getting attention?

    Oh don’t get me started on my own scheduling! lool. I try to be better and more organized but sometimes I push books back to make room for books I am super excited to share lol!

    And yeah about being a Teacher – I feel the same and always try to look for the good things even though sometimes it’s hard πŸ™‚
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  3. I honestly think it’s really disrespectful when people post reviews more than 4 weeks in advance. Most publishers clearly specify that they want reviews to be posted no more than 4 months in advance. And for the ones that don’t, I have a feeling that they still prefer the 4 month time frame as well. Now if someone is reading a book that isn’t published for 4 months, they had to have gotten it from the publisher (or from a friend/trade I suppose). That publisher is giving them a free book in exchange for publicity (a review). I think bloggers need to respect publishers’ wishes for when the review should be posted. I know it’s the blogger’s blog and the blogger’s review, but it’s the publisher’s book. They’re the one who gave you that book for free. The least bloggers can do is respect their time frame preferences.

    I recently got a book from NetGalley and in my approval e-mail, they explicitly said they wanted the review posted no more than 1 month in advance. Then I came across another blogger who also got that same book from NetGalley—so I can only assume they got that same e-mail—and they were already posting their review at least 2 months in advance! If my assumptions are correct, that’s just blatantly going against the publisher’s wishes. I think it’s rude! If I were a publisher, I would be much less inclined to give that person more free books in the future.

    As for whether or not negative reviews should be posted before release, I’m not sure. I honestly hadn’t thought about it before. I definitely understand your points, and I always feel bad about negative reviews too! But also, there are no guidelines about this like there are with that 1 month rule. I know publishers understand that you can’t love every book so they don’t always expect positive ratings. So ultimately, I think this should come down to the blogger and his/her preferences (as long as it’s no earlier than 1 month before release!).
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    Ashley 12/1/2012

    Oh and another interesting point: what about Goodreads? I personally post my review on Goodreads right after reading the book, even if it’s earlier than a month before release. I do this because sometimes it can help other bloggers decide to request that book on NetGalley/etc. But I always wait until ~2 weeks before release (or later) before posting it on my blog. And then I always bump it back up again on Goodreads so it gets attention again!
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    Danny 12/1/2012

    Oh I sooo wholeheartedly agree!!! We get a “free” book from a publisher for the only reason to talk about the book and all we have to do is read the book and post a review. But, publishers want the 1 month time frame for a reason and I also feel it’s disrespectful to go against this!! In the end. we want to have a good relationship with them, so why go against their wishes? And you can’t tell me no one knows about this! They say it on goodreads and I’m sure everyone knows this by now!

    And THANks for the goodreads point!
    There, I feel it’s different as the reviews are not lost in a daily posting routine and can be pushed whenever we wish to do so . When I have time I also post them there earlier and I never heard publishers complaining about this. I also think it might help deciding to review a book even though you might have dismissed it before.
    Danny recently posted..Discussed! .. When To Post Reviews….My Profile

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  4. Great post! I haven’t actually reviewed for anyone who’s asked for a specific date so I haven’t put much thought into this. But now that you mention it, it’s a good question. I agree that the negative review should come after the book has been out for a few weeks. Otherwise, someone who was excited about it could change their mind even though THEY may actually love it.

    I generally post reviews when I get the chance. Right now I’m so far behind that I don’t have a system, I just post as I get the time. Hopefully once I catch up I’ll be posting the review within a few days of reading the book. Unless this situation comes up then I’ll try to be more strategic about it when working with the release date and what not. πŸ™‚
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  5. Personally I try to shoot for two weeks before or after (rarely 4 weeks early). Sometimes it’s earlier, depending on the publisher’s preference. (I’ve actually been asked by one to post 2-3 months ahead of time and while I thought it was odd, I did it anyway. πŸ˜‰ )

    As for negative, I feel those should be held until the release. :\ It’s not fair to the publisher/author. I know we review for ourselves, our readers, whatever..and NOT the pub/author, but it kind of seems mean otherwise.
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  6. AH

    We tend to follow the publishers’ preferences when posting reviews. Most want reviews no more than 30 days before release date, others ask for reviews on or after the release date. I think they appreciate it when we follow their wishes.

    With regards to negative reviews – I think that as a blog we tend to choose books that we know we will like for the most part. However, there comes a time when a book is not what we expected and I think it is important to state in a professional manner what works and what did not work for me as a reader. If a blog only gives out 5 star reviews, I tend not to read those reviews. I’d like to see a variety of reviews.
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  7. What a great topic! I personally don’t think anyone should go against the publishers wishes and post a review outside of the requested timeframe. I only get review books from Netgalley normally and most of mine have included posting details. They are providing this book to us so we should follow their wishes! Books that you purchase yourself… knock yourself out, post whenever you want! I normally end up posting no more than 2 week ahead of release date but normally it’s within the release week. If I seen a review now, for a book that was released in 4 months, I would have forgotten about it by the time release comes! In regards to negative reviews… I also hate posting them. I feel awful-books are really a personal preference, what someone loves you may hate! I also know that so much time is put into a book so I hate tramping all over the hard work. That being said, I still post my negative reviews but always try to put points I enjoyed as well. Posting a negative review 4 months in advance is a bit much I think. I don’t think anyone should ever hide their feelings about a book, be honest, but the reason for review copies sent out is to generate buzz about a book. If the only review posted for several months is a negative one that may leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth about it… and let’s be realistic – there will definately be people would like the book!

    Phew… I’m done. That’s my rambley reply! Awesome topic πŸ™‚
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  8. This isn’t a problem for me since I only review writing craft books on my blog. I occasional review novels on Goodreads, but mostly I just rate books.

    If I were to review novels, I agree with waiting until after the book is released before posting a negative review. I would hate to scare someone away from a good book that just didn’t work for me. Now, if it was a self published book that was poorly edited and I can’t finish it because it’s a mess, that’s a different situation. But the only time I would be put in that situation is if it were a book belonging to a friend, and fortunately that hasn’t happened yet.

    Usually I wait until a book has been reviewed on a book blog before I decide to buy it. I’m leery of just relying on ratings alone when they’re only a few of them, and especially when they are mostly 5 stars. Those could be from friends who haven’t read the book. Yes, that happens a lot.
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  9. I personally value negative reviews much more than positive…because honestly, anyone can rave about a good book. Rave reviews are basically all the same to me. How many times can you say you loved it? (This goes for my own, too!)
    On the other hand, negative reviews focus on the reasons why the reviewer didn’t like it, and those are the points I need to see. I’m a very picky reader, and just because a book SOUNDS fabulous doesn’t mean I will think it is. I may get halfway through and find a nasty case of instalove (which completely ruins the book for me, because I hate instalove with the fire of a thousand suns). That’s not something they put in the synopsis. So, by reading negative reviews I may be able to get fair warning that things like that are in the book. I like to know ahead of time what issues may arise while I’m reading so I don’t go in with sky high hopes and end up greatly disappointed, causing me to write a worse review than I may have written.

    Another great example – Origin by Jessica Khoury. I didn’t know going in about the kitten killing, resulting in a DNF and an ugly rant review because my emotions were running high and I was angry. If I had been told ahead of time, I’d never have touched the book in the first place.

    Hope that makes sense!
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    Jessi @ Auntie Spinelli Reads 12/1/2012

    ***But I still don’t think any should be posted more than a month in advance (I try to aim for 2 weeks), positive OR negative.
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  10. I always try to listen to the wish of the author/publisher. I recently had my troubles, because I had my first ARC. I ended up posting my review the day before release, because that seemed like a good date.

    I don’t think that negative reviews should get another treatment than a positive review. If you want to post it a week before the release date and it’s negative, than you help people. Otherwise they may end up buying a book they don’t like πŸ™‚ It’s not only about making publicity for the book, but it’s also about giving your opinion to your readers on the blog πŸ™‚
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  11. I do honor publisher wishes for when they want reviews . I usually do mine 1 month before , but if its a book that is mine that I got from a friend and I disliked it …I will review it.

    I wrote a review from mesphisto covanent and I disliked and this year I disliked incarnate, and Beta. Yes they were not my faves but I need to publize my review whether the author liked it not. Its my opinion. I wasn’t even going to review Beta , but it because a book that I needed to rant about my dislikes ,and come to find out others felt the same way.
    Negative reviews helps sales too. I usually do a blurb at good reads of my initial thoughts but not a full review. I always end up posting my reviews at amazon, but thats another place I tend to not to like because of the likes, and dislikes.
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  12. In my experience, publishers like reviews to be posted as close to release as possible, so I try to stick to that. And I know publishers who love reviews to go live on release day so that then buzz can be created via twitter etc. I rarely post a review before a book has been released – I don’t really pre-order and I just feel as though people are more likely to go buy a book if it’s out already. Posting a review four or five months before release doesn’t really make any sense to me. I’m not going to order a book five months in advance. Maybe one month, but not five.
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  13. What a fabulous discussion! I’ve only posted right around the date that the publisher prefers. I have honestly never thought about not posting in that time frame. I have only been blogging since March so I am still learning so much but I feel the same as most here… If the publisher is willing to allow me to review, I’m going to do what they want!!

    I love the Goodreads question! I wind up posting on Sundays after all of my reviews are out for the week so I don’t miss anything. Posting when I actual set the post would make life sooooo much easier!
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  14. I always love seeing reader feedback on this issue. Personally, I’m not the pre-order type either and I’m REALLY not the waiting type. I like to be able to read the book not long after I read the review, both because I’m impatient and forgetful. I try to post my reviews on or after the book has already come out.

    Negative reviews I usually try to post after the book has already released, but I don’t make much of an effort to get it into my schedule right around release date. If it’s a little later, I’m ok with that. Like you, I feel a little bad posting up a negative review before the book has even had a chance to get out there. But sometimes I’ll post these on the day of release or shortly after just because it’s what works in my schedule.
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  15. I try to post as close to the publisher’s requested post date as possible – for both positive and negative reviews – which is usually within 2-4 weeks of the release date.

    The only time I delay posting a negative review is when I have signed up for a book tour, because that is a promotional event, meant to create hype.

    Having been asked to provide a review for a book, I was not asked to do anything but give my honest opinion. And sometimes, that means my opinion will be negative.
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  16. I think it’s really important to follow the publishers’ wishes. I’ve received books that specifically say “please don’t review earlier than one month before release” And, then I see people review the book (received from the same place) many months before publication. That makes me cringe. Negative, positive…doesn’t matter.

    I think posting, maybe in a “Waiting on Wednesday” post that you’ve read the book and it’s great — is appropriate. But I just don’t find detailed reviews that are posted really early to be that helpful. I’ll forget by the time it comes out.

    I like to post within a week before publication, or shortly after publication. I think those posts mean the much (at least to me, when I’m adding to my list!) I still enjoy reading reviews of books that have been published even over a year ago, though. There are so many great books out there that I’ve “missed” and it reminds me to move them up the list!

    I guess maybe I’d be inclined to wait longer to post a negative review. But, if the book is being heavily reviewed around it’s release, it’s easy to see a “trend” in reviews, so that might be helpful. Usually if the reviews are all over the place, it just makes me want to read the book — to get my take on it.

    Interesting thoughts.
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  17. I know it can be difficult when you didn’t love a book that was sent to you. But I do think it is okay to post your thoughts before the book is released, whether negative or positive. Not four months before (for postive or negative!), but I think it is important for readers to know if the book is something they would like. I mean, I think it is good to show some positive, if you can find something, and I don’t think it is okay to just bash a book. But publishers can’t expect everyone to like every book.
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  18. Super good discussion. I must agree with you about posting negative reviews early. Its almost just mean! If you don’t like something, you are more than entitled, but to generate some negative buzz before others even get to form their own opinion? At least give the book a chance to receive some love from those who DID enjoy it. It is quite rare that you’ll see ALL negative reviews for a book, since everyone enjoys different writing styles and themes.

    However, posting a positive review before release I see as a good think to generate hype about a book that others may have not even heard of! But realistically, what is ANYONE gaining by posting an early negative review? Getting it off your chest? No. Your really just hurting the books only chance at survival, I think its a bit mean and heartless :-/
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