ionR: How influential are Book Reviews?

Posted August 22nd, 2015 by in Blog, Features, ionR / 26 comments

ionR: How influential are Book Reviews? 



How Likely Are You to Be Influenced by a Book Review?

Today we are asking you, the readers how (if in anyway) are you influenced by a book review prior to a purchase.
ionR_BookAt one time or another we have all read reviews on an item regarding what we were looking to purchase. Often times it is important to see how others favored, used or disliked the actual item. In fact the most recent review I read was actually on an insulated tote that I wanted to purchase. I knew little about the tote except for the designer, but I knew that the bag was something I wanted. Thanks to a few, openly expressed reviews written by the customers who had already purchased and used the tote I was convinced into my purchase. I loved it. The same can certainly be said about book reviews.
Whether a blogger, author or even a professional review writes a review it’s meant to somehow influence the reader into making a purchase or in some incidents to stray readers from making the buy. Reviews are meant to be helpful to a larger group of audiences such as to publishers, to author and of course to you, the readers.
In my opinion readers have the biggest job in the industry because you guys are the ones out there buying the books and supporting the authors the most.
For me my “duty,” as we will label it, as a professional reviewer is to remain neutral . I’m not allowed to judge a book based on the fact that my favorite author(s) wrote it. There are guidelines to follow and rules that cannot be broken that the company that I review for has set. Basically those same rules apply to every blogger or reviewer. My opinion is meant to point out what I enjoyed about the book, the flaws, plot, romance and you get the general idea. The most important part about my opinion to readers is whether or not I would recommend the book, series or the author.
It may not seem like a huge deal to read a review, but it actually is. The company that I review for (Not HJ) currently hits over one million readers a month that read the reviews of professionals prior to making their purchases. That’s a lot of readers being influenced and yet readers like yourself may not be as influenced as others and that’s fine.
The best part about being a reader is being an individual. We all know what we love about books and even some of the traits that we do not like. Of course it is perfectly alright to be undecided and need help prior to making our purchases and that is what reviews are all about.


How likely are you to be influenced by a book review? What if anything does influence you into the purchase of the book? Tell us as we would love to know what your thoughts are! 🙂


Leone @bookishromantic


26 Responses to “ionR: How influential are Book Reviews?”

  1. kim amundsen

    Not at all. I read the back of the books to see if I like. Most reviews can be spoilers.

    • Leone (@bookishromantic)

      Hi Kim! That is terrible that selective reviews contain spoilers. Reviews especially those regarding books should never contain spoilers it ruins the fun for readers! A reviewer should always make sure not to give too much info away! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Sylve T.

    I do read Amazon and goodreads reviews and they do sometimes influence my purchase when it comes to new authors I have not read yet.
    Recommendations from friends and family also help influence a purchase.
    Not going to lie but sometimes a book cover will make a difference.
    I do try to write reviews for books I absolutely love when I can, but I don’t always remember.
    Blogger reviews are also really great, they are lengthy but detailed and usually dont have many spoilers. I am subscribed to a lot of them lol

    • Leone (@bookishromantic)

      Hey Sylve that is awesome that you support bloggers by subscribing to their reviews! I agree with you that a book cover certainly makes a big difference and sometimes I just go for the cover instead of reading a review.

  3. JenM

    I read them a lot, mainly because I like certain things and dislike others in my romance and want to figure out whether I should check the book out or steer clear. For example, I adore beta heroes, caretaker alphas, and heroes that are willing to chase after the heroine. Often the book description doesn’t make it clear, whereas the review will be much more explicit about what the hero is like. On the other hand, I’m really not a fan of the “she’s my best friend’s little sister so I must stay away from her” trope, so reviews help me avoid those as well as other things I dislike. There are so many book choices out there that I hate to waste my time and money on ones that I probably won’t like.

    • Leone (@bookishromantic)

      Hello Jenm. Your thoughts were very thorough and makes a suggestive point. As a reader you know exactly what you want to purchase in a novel and reviews can help with that and save readers money at the same time. That was a great point and thank you so much for sharing it.

  4. haddies.haven

    I will read reviews, when it is about a topic that I enjoy, though it is quite rare that I let those reviews influence me, but I love to give my support all the same. I like knowing what other readers thought about the book (whether I read the book or not) and I will often put the unread book in my mental TBR.

    As a reviewer myself, I read/review books that intrigue my personal interest and hopefully try to tell others how I felt about it. I do not have many specifics when it comes to requesting a book to read. My reading preferences have expanded over the last couple of months, which has broadened my views and perspectives. (As JesseTheReader often says) There are some books that are not my cup of tea. I have run into a few books that just did not settle, and they were books that I had expected to love and enjoy. I have yet to give a review that is under 3stars. I like to be fair, and a fair review is what I like best (spoilers or not)

    • Leone (@bookishromantic)

      Hi Haddie. I’m so happy that you brought to attention equity of reviews as it is highly crucial. I have noticed in my own personal experience in writing reviews that honesty is necessary and yet so is being fair to both publisher and to author. I think that is something that readers also expect to find. :))

  5. itsaprogression

    I’ve changed my mind about purchasing an ebook after reading one star reviews at Amazon. Most recently, I cancelled a pre-order of a long awaited novel in a series because of reviews and comments on a blog and will find an alternate source (Overdrive) to read the title.

  6. duelalias

    I take them with a grain of salt. If someone says it’s really good I know I’ll most likely like it, but if they says they don’t like it for a specific reason I think twice about it.

  7. Ellen C.

    I like reading reviews. They usually help me to decide what to read, not necessarily what to buy. I only tend to buy something I like enough to re-read. (I read too much to buy every book.)
    I like fair reviews that don’t bash the author, but let me know about plot and characterization. Helping me to avoid tropes I don’t like really helps.

    • Leone (@bookishromantic)

      Hello Ellen. I’m glad that you pointed out regarding author bashing during reviewing. I certainly pass on reviews that contain any amount of bashing towards the author as well. Your description of a review such as regarding the plots and the characters were exactly right.

  8. ndluebke

    I do look for clues. Some I like and some for I don’t like. For instance, I don’t care for erotic or shiifters. Those clues will pop out at me and I don’t waste any more time or money on them.So yes, review do help some.

  9. Terri C

    I do check reviews on blogs to see if the book would be one I’d be interested in reading. If the blogger doesn’t like the book or sees major flaws with it (it amazes me that they actually publish books with lots of grammatical errors), I will probably pass.

  10. nikkiphilton

    I do read reviews and subscribe to several bloggers who review, and I am influenced by reviews I read. However, it’s mostly the 1 and 2 star reviews that do the trick. I usually don’t buy/read books with a lot of negative reviews. I really don’t pay attention to the 4 and 5 star reviews, unless the reviewer is someone I know or follow. But there are some things I just stay away from–MMA and all the other types of fighters and rock stars. They just don’t do it for me, so if I read a review and they mention that, I’m out.
    I do like reading your reviews and I appreciate you writing them.

  11. Lisa M

    I like reading reviews … i don’t enjoy spoilers, so I don’t read those …
    But I like to know if someone enjoyed the book and why

  12. Leanna

    I Read several review blogs. The reviews that I read have led me to some great new authors. I also look at the negative reviews, if a book has gotten negative reviews on several sites I may pass on a book or get it from the library.

  13. marcyshuler

    I love HJ because I know I can trust their reviews to be honest.

    If it’s a new-to-me-author I’m more likely to read reviews on Goodreads or Amazon before deciding to purchase and I’ll start with the lowest reviews first. That way I can usually find out if there’s something in it that I might not like. I dislike the reviews on Goodreads that read like a book report and basically tell you the whole story. I look for the short reviews to read. I just want an overall feel for the book, not the storyline spelled out.

  14. Loverofromance

    I actually rely on reviews quite a bit when choosing a book to read! Mostly from blogs and a few from Goodreads of friends that have similar interests in. Even if I like the blurb, I always read reviews before I even think of purchasing it.

  15. Sue

    I sometimes read reviews to find out more about the book I might be thinking of purchasing. (Usually for books from authors I am not familiar with) For example, I want to know before I buy if it’s written in first person or third person. Lots of times the blurb doesn’t tell you, and I don’t usually enjoy first person pov’s. Also, sometimes the review will help me get a better idea of the characters…another example is that sometimes the blurb is not clear that a book might be young/new adult and if I have no desire to read those books I want to know before purchasing that I’m not going to be disappointed. So for stuff like that I’ll read reviews, and sometimes just to get a general feel for the book. I am a bit cautious though because I do find some reviews to have too many spoilers, and I don’t want to know everything or how things turn out before I even open the book. 🙂

  16. belindaegreen

    Yes, I do read reviews but tend to make up my own mind about whether to purchase or not. I don’t mind spoilers because the storyline is what it is. Most of us enjoy reading books again and again even tho we know what’s going to happen. I’m not sure what all the uproar is about spoilers in reviews. If you like the book or author, you’ll buy the book regardless.

    Anyway, I use the cover, the blurb/excerpt and the author’s rep in part to make my decision. Some authors I buy because they are one of my favs and they rarely release anything I don’t like.

    One thing which leads me to suspect reviews in general, is I personally know of authors who pay/bribe readers to write favorable reviews which I think is dirty pool. I also know there are those who encourage some readers to write negative reviews against other author’s work…ruthless, mean, and nasty! ! That stuff rarely pays off in the long run. Payback is always a bitch.

    I will give verbal reviews and/or recommendations when asked with the proviso that it’s my opinion. I rarely write them. I will however, rate how I felt about a book when done, if I remember.

    I’m a reading addict and read hundreds of books a year. I don’t mind sharing my thoughts but not always in writing.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share. 🙂


  17. Amy Rickman

    If it’s a new to me author I typically check Goodreads to see what people I follow and trust have said about the book. I don’t typically trust blogs that post OMG 5 stars best book ever for every book they post on their blog.

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