Reviewing Difficulties

As mentioned in a recent post, I am now reviewing for a teen literary magazine. While I am very, very grateful for this opportunity that not everyone gets, I am finding that it is HARD to change my review format!

My review format on this blog (Synopsis, Why I Picked It Up, What I Liked…and Didn’t Like, You Should Know, and Who I Would Recommend It To) is certainly not traditional, but it works for me and I have gotten used to using that specific way of reviewing books. I also know that reviewers are supposed to be flexible with their formats, so I am going to start doing practice reviews in the format. Don’t worry, I will still use my format the most.

The most difficult part of all was trying to fit my review into a word limit. My reviews have no word limit, and oftentimes I write long reviews because I don’t want to leave anything out. But reviews for the  magazine it is limited to 75 words. In my review for Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend I had 669 words for my review. By the end of that sentence, there were 189 words in this little blurb about reviewing. 75 words seems tiny.

While this is just something I have to deal with if I want to review for the magazine, I would love to start my own magazine where book review bloggers from all over the world got to review books in their own format. And the best part – there would be no word limit. Sure, it would be a little eclectic, and probably very long, but I think that it would be much easier to enjoy writing the reviews that way.

I’m taking a risk by putting this out there, by complaining about a job that I am extremely fortunate to have. But I think this needs to be said. Don’t read this the wrong way –  I am no way telling the literary magazine (or ANY literary magazine, for that matter) to change the way they run things. I am not saying that would be able to run a magazine better. I am simply giving my own opinions and ideas, and saying what I find challenging about my current job.

Hopefully as I get used to the other format, it will be become easier.

What are some of the difficulties you have while reviewing/just reading books?

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11 thoughts on “Reviewing Difficulties

  1. Emma says:

    75 words?! That’s seriously short. I think they should allow at least 100. That’s more standard than 75, of all things…

    And I like your format! A lot of reviewers don’t separate their thoughts like you do (or even I do), and I like organization. It makes it easier for me to tell if a book is something I’d want to pick up or not.

    • Rose Tyler says:

      I know! And I was confused about why the adult reviewers get 250! I understand that certain teen reviewers may not be able to get to 250, but at least make it more than 75.

      Awh, thanks! :) That means a lot and I strive to have my reviews make it clear to the reader whether or not they are interested by the end.

  2. eloisedesousa says:

    It’s always good to share what you feel, especially if you want to attract like-minded people. Hope you do start the magazine. Sounds like a great idea. Good luck!

  3. Ana @ Butterflies of the Imagination says:

    75 words? At first I thought that I read that wrong! I don’t think that I would be able to clearly express my feelings on a book and why I feel that way in such a short amount of words. Personally, I like to both read and write thorough reviews that tell me a lot about the ups and downs of a book. Anyways, good luck with writing those reviews!

  4. Briana says:

    It is difficult to say anything meaningful in 75 words. Without knowing what magazine we’re talking about, though, I guess that the editors determined that 75 words is about the length their readers are willing to read, or they thought or shorter reviews would allow them to cover more books per issue. Just some thoughts.

    • Rose Tyler says:

      Yes to everything you just said. ;) I don’t have anything against the magazine for limiting the word count, but it makes me feel like my reviews are do not have very good quality. Thanks for chiming in! :)

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