Guest Post by Gabrielle Carolina: What Makes a Good Review Blog?

Is it an exact science, or is it an art form? Psh, it’s both. For the most part, the creation of a fabulous book blog rests in the hands of the personality behind the page.

If you have no interest in starting a brand, a business, or being paid in books or a few bucks, then just go for it without expectation and expect nothing in return. I applaud you, but that was never my vision for MPB. I wanted to make something. I never imagined it would come to mean so much to me, but every moment I’ve been given has been well-worth what I’ve put into The Mod Podge Bookshelf. Your blog can be all that, and a bag of chips, too.

What makes a good book review blog?

One, a blogger who clicks the ‘create’ button understanding the commitment they are making. You must social network. Not just to “make friends,” but because the extent of your ability to publicize the books you receive, the debuts you’re interested in and your thoughts on a recently-released title go farther when you’re Tweeting, Facebooking, Goodreadsing and Instagrmin’ all about it. If you don’t have time for one, you have no time for the other. Blogging is bigger than Blogger, wider than Wordpress.

Two, accept that you want to blog because you want the books. It may sound noble to deny this, but I began my blog because I wanted the books. Of course, along with wanting the books, I wanted to talk about the books and make some sort of impact on the contemporary publishing market. In order to do that, I had to be hands-on with the latest catalogues, or even a step ahead, so at some point it becomes noble, or at least graceful. Now that you’ve accepted that you began your blog to get the books, focus on the fact that you should work for them. And work hard.

Three, great content. Start with memes, get your feet wet. Move onto posts you would like to create. Cover Lover, The Character of Names and Mod Podge Thoughts are all MPB branded. Are they memes? No. Do people use the ideas? Everyone does, and that’s not because I was a genius or a maverick, it’s because my unique incarnation of these popular slants showcase my voice.

Four, voice. Create one, make it authentic and do not borrow, beg or steal, because readers will know. Like a favorite book, a favorite blog speaks to the heart of the reader. Numbers really have nothing to do with it, but quality does.

Five, reviews. Write honest reviews, leave the Gifs on Goodreads and get creative with your format. You should include some information- page numbers, publisher House, title, and Author name to start, you decide on the rest. Did you hate the book? Think about why before you just state your abhorrence with as much integrity as possible. If you don’t, it could reasonably called bashing by any and all. Did you love it? Gather synonyms for the word ‘adoration’ and GO!

Have any questions? Come on over to The Mod Podge Bookshelf and ask away!

My love affair with books began at a very young age, being the only child of two passionate readers, I suppose the seduction was inevitable. As I’ve grown, and read through my local libraries, I kept feeling as if there was an entire world I was missing out on, something grander than liking a book, something more special than owning a bookshelf. I wanted to be heard, and to think, I wanted to know that my love for a character was the same love someone else possessed. I wanted to immerse myself between the pages, and that is how The Mod Podge Bookshelf came to be.