Why get associate reviewers? | Fun Questions

February 15, 2014 Fun Questions 26

Join me every Saturday as I ask a Fun Question that’s been on my mind. I’ll give you my take, but I really hope you’ll jump in with your answers too, since I’m really curious to know what my fellow readers and bloggers think! So today’s question is…

Why get associate reviewers?

When I first started blogging I was only semi-aware of associate reviewers. Well, I was only semi-aware of pretty much everything to do with book blogging, to be fair. However, when I thought about it, I was thinking about myself as an associate reviewer. And that didn’t appeal to me at all, but I totally understood why someone would want to do it. Don’t worry about the technical stuff (which wasn’t easy and sometimes STILL trips me up), don’t worry about costs (which are only minimal, but still) and don’t worry about producing a lot of varied content – just do your regular reviews and get to be part of this great blog community.

Sounds like a win, right?

Well for me, it wouldn’t have been. I’ve loved learning the technical stuff. I love having a place that is mine. I love that I can produce whatever kind of content I want, like this chatty post. I couldn’t do this if I were an associate reviewer (I don’t think at least).

But now, here I am more than 6 months later (I know! When’d that happen? My blog is over 6 months old? Ok, mini freakout over) and I’m thinking about associate reviewers from the other end. And I have to admit, the concept is intriguing. I’ve been thinking about it a lot and I definitely see the benefits.

The biggest benefit I see: More content with less work. I think this “less work” angle would depend on a lot of factors. Like how controlling you are. Do you let them log in an write/format their own posts or do you do it yourself? Do you monitor the content and writing or can you trust them? I guess that also has to do with how you select your reviewers.  But being able to produce more reviews because they aren’t all coming from inside my head and from the time I have to read sounds like a definite plus.

A related benefit: A greater variety of reviews. I read a decent variety, but there’s some genres I have very limited interest in and others that I really want to read, but haven’t gotten around to because my other loves beat them out. So to have a reviewer that covered other genres could be pretty great. Although I wouldn’t want to be stuck in my genres just because I brought them on. I mean, if I get in the mood for a good historical, I want to read it. And I don’t want them pigeonholed either. No one wants to be forced to read just one genre.

I also think it could be potentially really fun to have someone to share this with. I love my blog and having someone to share it with at the level could be pretty great.

However, I also see a lot of potential problems. What if I had a post scheduled and they didn’t produce? What if I’m constantly having to edit their posts because they just don’t care as much as I do? (After all, this is my baby, not theirs!) And, as my little brother will tell you, I’m a bit of a control freak. I like things just so. Organized. Planned. And yes, I’ll admit it. My way.

Ultimately I think it could be super cool to have associate reviewers, but for me, right now at least, I don’t think it’s the way to go. Maybe if someone approached me and we really hit it off I would consider it. But I’d also worry that it could hurt a friendship by changing the nature of it, so even then I’d be hesitant.

What do you think?

Are you an associate reviewer?

Do you have associate reviewers?

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Berls

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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

26 Responses to “Why get associate reviewers? | Fun Questions”

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Thanks Brandee – sorry I’m just now replying! I’m trying so hard to get caught up on comments tonight :/

      Well – I personally love when bloggers have their kiddos post reviews – I don’t know if they’re quite associate reviewers, but I vote yes! I wish I could get my step-son interested enough to do something like that!

  1. A Voracious Reader

    This year, I’ve needed an occasional break and I hooked up with a wonderful fellow InD’tale Magazine reviewer who doesn’t have her own blog. When I need a spot to fill she usually has a review I can use and she can be my guest reviewer. She sends me the review and I draft the post. Voilà! I have a day filled with a break for me. I’ll keep using her as long as she’ll let me. LOL
    A Voracious Reader recently posted…The Sunday Post ~ 30th EditionMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      LOL! Sounds like a nice setup – nothing too permanent and intrusive, but allowing you to have occasional breaks!

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I cringe just thinking about someone messing up my system. It may not make a lot of sense to someone else, but it works for me and I need that control. So they’d probably have to submit things to me and I almost wonder if it would create more work, not less.

        • Berls
          Twitter:

          I’m playing catch up on comments, but I still wanted you to know I appreciated your comment. So please forgive my tardy reply!

          I think you and Jonetta seem to have a flawless system down – I mean she’s running this whole event this month and it’s so smooth. Obviously you work well together 🙂
          Berls recently posted…#COYER Read-a-thon | Christmas in July!My Profile

  2. Angie

    hummm… it’s amazing to me how many people commented on this have co-bloggers or are one themselves. It is true… I can see the lure. It does make it to where you don’t feel pressured to read so much. I like to have one book review a week on my blog, but honestly I know people are looking for ore then that and if I had a co-blogger I would probably get more reviews up. But I like my blog being my personal hobby. I do everything on it myself … the fails and the wins. I love it being mine. But I can totally understand why people like sharing. The only problem I have with that is sometimes when I am commenting on a blog like that sometimes I don’t know which bloggers I am talking to.
    Angie recently posted…Sunday PostMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I also really enjoy having the blog as my personal hobby. And I’ve had times with blogs that I’m not sure who I’m talking too either – I prefer when they have signatures at the end to keep it clear.

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Oh that’s smart – prepare for unexpected posting problems by not giving them important days/posts. I like the way you think!

  3. Lizzy

    I decided to become an associate reviewer for several reasons.

    1) The stress of posting every day is too much.

    2) I commit to reviewing 2 days a week. Once I get my ass back into gear and writing reviews, I’m usually 3 weeks ahead of schedule.

    3) Publishers care about pageviews and activity. I no longer want to spend the time needed to get those ARCs. I can use Parajunkee’s stats to get access to these books and the only condition is that I have to review the book on her site. Win. Win.

    4) I still have my own blog and any excess reviews I write are on there. Heh, I read about 4 books a week. So, theoretically I could write 2 reviews on each site each week without feeling pressured. It’s the extra content (cover reveals, promos, discussions, giveaways) that take a lot effort for me.

    5) My focus is now on the books and not promoting. It takes a lot of the stress out and leaves all the fun parts in.
    Lizzy recently posted…Book Review: Replica by Jenna BlackMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I hadn’t really thought about point 3 – but it’s a very valid one. I personally don’t have the stats to get most coveted books (not many at all frankly…) and that’s a definite advantage. And not having to deal with the promotional parts of blogging could be a nice break. And since you’ve maintained your own blog, you still have your own space for what you want without the pressure. sounds like a win win to me!

  4. Bea
    Twitter:

    I’ve been on both sides and being an associate reviewer didn’t work for me. I now have two co-bloggers and it’s been working pretty well. I can be a control freak also but they’re god at navigating that and I trust them which lets me ease up on control. One does her own formatting, I just check it and maybe tweak it (we use templates) and the other writes her review and I put it together.

    A good thing about co-bloggers is that when needs a break for illness or life stuff, the others can step up and fill in. Another is the variety of viewpoints and style. We haven’t argued yet about reviewing books. If there’s one book that two or more of us want, we just do a joint review of it. We have yet to have an author or publisher refuse to provide copies for us to do so. We also review a mix of books we own and books we get for review so that helps. It helps that I knew both of them in real life, we’d been friends for a while before they joined me on the blog.

    Having co-bloggers has taken a lot of the weight and stress off of me and we have fun chatting about books. It works for me.
    Bea recently posted…Excerpt from Killing Bliss by E.C. SheedyMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      You make a good point – perhaps I couldn’t swing it as an associate blogger myself because I just need that control, but if I found people who were okay with me being a bit of control freak (a nice one though! lol) maybe it would work. Because I definitely see the advantages.

  5. Jenna
    Twitter:

    Like you, I think it would be fun to have someone to share the work, but I don’t know that I would trust another person to keep to their schedule. We all get busy and not being able to have a review done “on time” occasionally is understandable, but if I’m counting on that person’s review to fill a slot, I need that post done when it’s scheduled to be done. I guess having backup posts ready to go would help with that, but I like the control that doing it on my own gives me.
    Jenna recently posted…Review: Better off Friends by Elizabeth EulbergMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Exactly – I miss things on my blog from time to time, but that’s because I decided a few days without content would be okay. But I think I’d have a hard time not having posts because someone didn’t do what they were supposed to. I’m a control freak…

  6. Jonetta (Ejaygirl)

    As an associate reviewer, I’ll say that first and foremost, it’s important that you share a philosophy about work ethic. Jennifer and I are very different but we are totally in sync about vision, focus and intensity of keeping our word about what we say we are going to do. Sometimes it’s scary how well we work in tandem. I’m really grateful that I’ve had the opportunity for this kind of relationship.

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      That makes perfect sense! Y’all do have very different voices but the blog never feels disjointed, so I guess that’s a testimony to how well you work together.

      • Jennifer
        Twitter:

        Having a great associate reviewer like Jonetta has really taken a lot of pressure off of me as the blog owner. But really I think more of Jonetta as a “silent partner” now than an associate reviewer.

        I like that she brings more genres to our review schedule. Which has brought in more followers and has made me read outside my normal UF/PNR genres.
        Jennifer recently posted…Snagged @ The Library: Andrews, Palmer & RothMy Profile

        • Berls
          Twitter:

          I’m playing catch up on comments, but I still wanted you to know I appreciated your comment. So please forgive my tardy reply!

          I think that’s a definite plus to having an associate reviewer – or in your case, someone who’s really evolved into a partner.
          Berls recently posted…#COYER Read-a-thon | Christmas in July!My Profile

  7. Nathan (
    Twitter:

    I tried and failed to blog on my own. Too much pressure to keep up content and I wasn’t enjoying myself. I got so incredibly lucky to have Pauline (and later Ana) answer my call for a co-blogger. But it works for us for several reasons.
    1. No content control or schedule. If we want to post something we do. The only thing I will change is formatting in the title and add a page break.
    2. They both have a separate blog of some kind and have shown no desire to be active in the design aspect, leaving me the control on that side. No arguments over the meta aspects.

    I have seen joint blogs work with heavy schedules but you need to have a great relationship and constant communication.
    Nathan ( recently posted…International Giveaway: ‘The Book of Apex: Volume Four’My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I can see how keeping things low-key like that would make for an easy co-blogging experience. I wish I could be that way, but I’m just way too type-a (as my brother reminds me frequently lol). I have to have a schedule for everything or I go nuts!

  8. Jessica
    Twitter:

    Berls with the thought-provoking questions 😉 I think it depends on a MULTITUDE of factors. I, of course, am an associate reviewer, and for me (at least with Carmel), it’s perfect. Having a blog was always a cool idea in the back of my mind, but starting one on my own seemed overwhelming. I suffer from what my family and friends lovingly refer to as “a false sense of urgency.” The weeks, then months, then YEARS it could potentially take to acquire a good following would have been too emotionally distressing for me. Sure, on the one hand I’d be talking about the things I love, and that should be a reward in itself, but without positive feedback, I would have languished.

    As an associate reviewer, I was IMMEDIATELY plugged into an amazing community–think I would have found you on my own? I seriously doubt it. I have a highly experience mentor to bombard with all the questions or problems that come up, and I have the freedom still be myself. The only drawback (for me) is potential book fights with other associate reviewers, but so far that hasn’t been a problem. Of course most people probably aren’t lucky enough to have someone as laid-back as I do to “work” for. I know I wouldn’t be, I’m hella type-a/control-freakish lol.

    And that’s where I’m going stop b/c I seem to be writing a book this insomniac early morning 🙂
    Jessica recently posted…Review: Cress by Marissa MeyerMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      LOL I love it – “false sense of urgency” – I may suffer a bit from that too. Though with my blog, I never expected anyone to ever stop by, so the fact that I have regular visitors is still shocking to me. I thought I would be begging my mom and brother to stop by regularly until I finally just gave up lol.

      Having the support of a mentor like Carmel would have been incredible when I first started. I’m still getting the hang of things – like managing to keep up with comments, seeing as I’m currently about a month behind on replies! I still consider myself fairly new, though since I’ve only been around since July. That’s new enough to still be figuring things out, right?

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