I have a pattern with reading reviews on Goodreads. A quick scan through the first ones up (which will conveniently be topped by reviews by anyone I’m friends with). The enthusiasm of those (or lack thereof) leads to whether I should check highest, lowest, or mid-range reviews. Just to get a well-rounded overview.
I don’t always read the full lengths of reviews. There’s got to be something there to entice me to click the More link and read the rest. But there are ways to guarantee that I’ll skip a review, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this.
1. Copy the book blurb into the top of your review. Really? I already saw that. The odds that anyone skips the summary to go straight to reviews is approximately nil. You’re adding zero value with that. Maybe you follow the summary with brilliance, but I highly doubt it, and I won’t bother to find out.
2. Post a link to your review on your own blog. I know, you read somewhere that this is a clever way to drive traffic to your site! But you forgot that there’s a whole lot more reviews here. Why would we waste time going to another site to read only one? You just became Self-Promoter Guy, the person that others edge away from at parties because all you ever do is talk about yourself and try to sell. People hate that guy. Don’t be that guy.
3. Make your review book-length. Scroll, scroll, scroll, tl/dr. It’s lovely that you have so much to say. Learn to edit.
4. Add lots and lots of animated gifs to illustrate your points. I’ve seen added images done well a few times. Very few. I thought about demonstrating the point here, but just suffice it to say, it screams of TRYING!WAY!!TOO!!!HARD!!!!!
Well so what, you say, I don’t care if a few narrow-minded people won’t read my amazing and life-altering reviews. Liar! If you didn’t care, you wouldn’t bother to post a review. Part of the benefit here is potentially finding like-minded people to link up with. If you scare them away, you aren’t doing yourself any favors.
Admission: So far, I have a whopping one review that has any likes, and I suspect it’s more the political aspect of the book itself rather than any real skill on my part. But I do have a few ideas of what not to do—all the things that really annoy me in other reviews. It’s a handy guideline for all kinds of things.