Guest Post with Clo. Reviewing Books 101: #3 Reviewing Backlist vs. Hyped vs. New Releases

Guest Post with Clo. Reviewing Books 101: #3 Reviewing Backlist vs. Hyped vs. New Releases

Clo from Book Dragons is joining me today for the last installment of her book reviewing mini-series. It’s been a true pleasure, Clo!

Are we ready, for the last post in this mini series. Where I’ve discussed 3 key topics which crop up when review books books. In case you missed the first two, they’re linked below.

Reviewing All Books We Read

How Important Are Star Ratings?

Now, I don’t know about you but I am a fan of pretty things. Specifically anything shiny, sparkly (yes I was a magpie in another life). New releases. Look at this post and tell me through the post, that you don’t ever drool over a new release. Hmmm…that’s what I thought you do hehe. It’s totally ok though, we’re all a bit starry eyed with new releases because they’re new and we adore new things.

Before we jump into this post, I’m going to clarify a few things below for you all, so you’re not sat confused.

A backlist book, is a book that’s not been published in the present year. So this year, any book that was published in 2018 and previous is a backlist book.

  • A new release book is as the name suggests, a book that’s been newly released this year. When this post goes up, all new releases are published in 2019.
  • A hyped book or series, can be both a new release AND/OR backlist book. It simply means the book/series got talked about a helluva lot, lots of attention, reviews etc but it may not be a new release.

Reviewing Hyped Books

What books come to mind, as soon as you read hyped? Keep thinking of them, were any of these on your mind?

A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Maas

Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

Twilight saga by Stephanie Meyer

Caraval and Legendary by Stephanie Garber

The Maze Runner series by James Dashner

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Divergent series by Veronica Roth

I’m 99% sure one of these will have crossed your mind, I may be wrong, in which case do leave down the ones which you thought of in the comments! Some of these I’ve read, others I’ve erm…not got to yet. And there’s one series I DNFed part way through but watched all the films to. (spoilers it’s the maze runner ok)

A great way to gain traffic to your blog, is through reviewing popular books, as they get searched more often. So you’re post may show up in the search engine, plus even if the books are backlist…the hype happened. We don’t forget the hype which means even if you’re 7 years late to the party, if it was hyped there’ll be people who have read it. See you review of this hyped book and click to see your thoughts.

However the con to reviewing hyped books is sort of why you may be wanting to review them…they were popular. A lot of people will have read them which is great BUT it will also mean there’ll be a lot of reviews out there of the book/s. Keep in mind though, that the older the hyped book is, the less new reviews there will be. As a whole the book community seems to drive the new releases more, than backlist. (this is totally from my experience and what I’ve seen in my year and a bit of blogging!)

If you’re like me, you’ll read a lot of backlist books and not that many new releases. Which can alienate you from a lot of chats with your fellow bloggers…the bonus? You don’t feel stressed or pressured, to consume all new releases and ignore the towering backlist TBR, that’s plotting your murder right about now.

You can take any Sarah J Maas or Cassandra Clare book, write a review; BOOM. You literally have a sitting audience, who will either love you or perhaps attempt to burn you. Depending how harsh you were if you didn’t enjoy the book, but if you couldn’t stand their books, I’m just gonna sit here and interrogate you on why. I’m nosy like that, as long as you remember not to totally insult Jem or Will or anyone in TID we’ll be fine. *winks*

Pros of reviewing hyped books – a lot of people have read them, will typically get more views than more unknown titles

Cons of reviewing hyped books – already a lot reviews out there so yours may not stand out – depending on when you post it, negative reviews can be a touchy one depending on the series as the more hyped the series/book is, the more readers there are to get offended *rolls eyes*

Reviewing New Releases

Hi there, I read 2 new releases last year, their reviews have yet to be posted on my blog either because wow I’m so behind. Anyway, I read Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeymei and A Thousand Perfect Notes by C G Drews. My point is just because it seems every book blogger and their dog (or cat!) is reviewing them, doesn’t mean you HAVE to. You know reading is for our enjoyment, we don’t have to read any new releases if we don’t want to.

For instance at the time of writing this, I still need to get round to read The Hate U Give (I’m 70 pages in still…baby steps). It came out in 2017, and I’ve not got to it yet. Terrible I know, on the flip side though, I also only read two 2018 releases because I love backlist books too much.

Another thing I want to touch upon, is ARCs. They are the main way, a lot us bloggers are able to read new releases before they come out. This means others may not have read them yet, as they may not have been approved for the ARC or it’s not available in their country. In my instance, I only accept physical review requests now, not because I’m against the other formats. It’s due to me being a quicker physical reader, I also have no real device designated for eBooks. Also I’ve realised I lose focus on eBooks and I’m disconnected from the story, so I’m gonna stick to my physical books for now.

Pros of reviewing new releases – most of the community is talking about them (or it tends to seem this way a lot of the time!) You’ve got people to fangirl with already!, a lot of people tend to read a lot of new releases meaning you may see a rise in your stats for those reviews.

Cons of reviewing new releases – if you’re getting eArcs, not everyone in the community does go down that lane (*waves* hi there, I don’t read eBooks or listen to Audio books) so if the book isn’t out yet, and you choose to discuss it. Be careful of spoilers and make sure you warn people, we don’t want to be spoiled ok. A lot of book loggers will be reviewing new releases, sometimes it’s tiring seeing the same 5 or so books circle throughout twitter etc when looking for reviews.

Reviewing Backlist Books

Ah good ol’ hidden gems, see these books tend to get lost or forgotten, if they weren’t previously hyped. There’s a ton of great backlist books out there, that we rudely ignore because secretly, we’re all magpies and prefer shiny new books. I love reading backlist books, mainly because there’s more chance you can binge read the series. You’re not under pressure to read them, cause erm backlist, hello there friend of old. Also, I love reviewing them because it means I get to introduce older books back to current readers of today.

Granted some backlist books, could have done with more editing, some have plot holes that weren’t patched up. But, they still have a story and some can become our new all time favs. What’s not to love?! Oh right, they’re backlist and sometimes, if they’re super underrated/obscure you won’t have a ton of readers to fangirl with. It’s fine, this is why you write the review – to convert us all so then we can ALL fangirl with you.

Pros of review backlist books – depending how old it is, you may still find you get a decent amount of views off it, satisfaction of converting us to loving that backlist title

Cons of reviewing backlist books – obscure backlist books often mean it’s hard to find a fangirl buddy, which also means people may not be interested enough to click on your post and read your review.

Do you notice the types of books you mostly review? Do you prefer one type over another? I definitely prefer backlist books, then probably new releases. I’m super wary of hyped books unless I discovered them, before the hype.

Pin it for later!

I am the author behind Foals, Fiction & Filigree. An all-encompassing blog about horses, books, and my art.

3 thoughts on “Guest Post with Clo. Reviewing Books 101: #3 Reviewing Backlist vs. Hyped vs. New Releases

  1. I definitely try to review more backlist, but sometimes seeing all the reviews going around leaves me feeling left out (like for Wicked King right now) and I’m sad that I can’t participate in all the excitement that other people have as well.

    Btw, your links at the top weren’t working. I don’t know if it’s just me or not, but “Reviewing All Books We Read” and “How Important Are Star Ratings?” are just text to me.

  2. i do think i need to make a better effort at reviewing the books i pick up myself but somertimes it soi easy to just not simply bc no one is expecting me too

  3. if an attraction to “anything shiny, sparkly” is the criterion, I think most of us were magpies in another life 😜 and SAME with Maze Runner – I barely finished the first book, but I watched the movies because Dylan O’Brien and Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Ki Hong Lee 😍

    I feel like I shouldn’t feel so pressured to read backlist, and yet (for more recent releases, like 2017 & 2018) it seems like I need to get to them ASAP or be left in the dust/never get around to them because millions of books come out every year. (maybe literally? I wouldn’t know, lol.) but also yes to series binging – I love skipping the years of “OMG WHAT HAPPENS NEXT” or forgetting about the series in the meantime and just reading straight through to the end!

    ARCs are fun and all, and it’s exciting to get to read books early, but it does also mean that there are fewer early reviews – and from a reader standpoint that’s not always great, because those early reviewers might not have picked up on the kinds of things that will bug me, leading to me wasting my time and energy on a book I don’t end up liking. on the other hand, it’s also nice to get to form your own opinion before too many others are posting theirs (because I have a bad habit of snooping on a book’s Goodreads page right before I start it, though I’m getting better about not doing this 😅) so there’s less influence from hype or hate.

    hm. it’s a tough one. but once I get through this batch of ARCs, I’m definitely switching to backlist for a good long while – just to avoid that time pressure, lol.
    Isabelle @ BookwyrmBites recently posted…REVIEW: The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate MascarenhasMy Profile

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