interview · Pay It Forward · Review · Writing

My Review Process

Reviewing is a tough job. Especially when you’re a full time writer. Not only does it mean taking off days at a time to read other people’s work, but it also means that your reading matches your writing – such as reading a 5 book series about BDSM reminded me that I had a BDSM novel sitting untouched, so I was suddenly in the mood to work on that, even though I have a million other things to do first.

However, I try to keep myself organised. Here’s how –

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What I Review

Books I’ve Bought

Requests through my Blog

Divine Magazine Books

Netgalley Books

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How Do I Choose?

Basically, for Netgalley, I choose anything that’s in a genre I like to read, and if the blurb and cover catch my attention, even better. The same goes for Divine, though I have to really curb myself there, to let the other reviewers get a chance. I’d probably read everything they offered if I had the chance. lol.

For requests through my blog and books I’ve bought, I have to consider what free time I have and if the book interests me.

All books are weighed up against my writing schedule – basically, if I have a book coming out in that same week, I’m unlikely to get time to read. Length/page count also applies as a factor.

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How Do I Organise?

I have lists. Lots of lists.

First, I have a month planner that I print up. It has dates but no days marked, so that I can make it for any month. I mark off the times when I know I’ll have a full day of reading, then I place a ~200 page book on that day. Days when I only have half a day to dedicate get a short story, if there are any. Everything else is up to chance and how well I get through the ones that have Due Dates.

Now, Due Dates are very important. I always finish in time for a Due Date, because I prioritise the book, even if it means staying up until 3am or 6am, not sleeping at all or doing nothing but reading. However, I try to avoid that for my own sanity.

My Divine Magazine and Blog books go on this monthly planned.

On a separate print out, I have a spreadsheet with my Netgalley books – Title, Page Count, Word Count, Archived, Publisher, Publishing Date and Download Date. That way, I can organise by word count or page count, if I want to work through the shorter books first. Or, if I have a lot of free time, I can read the longer books. Or, I can organise them by the Download Date, which are Archived already etc. You get the picture. I re-print this list at least twice a month, as new requests are fulfilled or books are crossed off. It keeps the sheet clean and keeps my focus on those that need done.

I also keep a separate list, with a two column table, that I print onto the back of the monthly planner. In here go the extras – books that have no set Due Date for Divine and books for my blog etc. They’re listed by Title, Page Count and Where to post my review.

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After that, it’s all a matter of timing. At the moment, I am seriously behind on 3 books for Divine, that have no dates, and 2 pages of Netgalley books (I kid you not! It’s double-sided). What I really want to do is spend at least 2-3 weeks zipping through the longest books first, but that’s impossible. I have a book coming out next month, a book that I’ve just finished spending 2 days editing and I have a lot of work going on at home that doesn’t lend itself to calm, quiet reading.

But, I will get them done eventually. I just need a lot of uninterrupted days, where no plot bunnies attack me. I’ll get there, eventually. I will.

I absolutely will not be writing blog posts when I should be reading.

Nope.

Not me.

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