Discussion Post: Reviewing New Releases vs. Backlist Books

Top Ten Tuesday(67)

I know, I know I do a lot of “versus” discussion posts but that’s just how my mind seems to work! I think of topics and boom suddenly it’s a battle of the topics! Today’s discussion post is pretty straight forward and it came up when I was looking at the stats of some of my book reviews. So of course the idea came to me that I’d like to hear your guy’s opinion as well!

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Why are reviews of newer releases more popular than reviews of backlist books?

Well this is pretty obvious……we read reviews of new releases because they’re new! We want to know what the general consensus is on a book before we buy it, right? Is that new mystery/thriller full of twists and turns, or is it a flop? Is the latest contemporary or fantasy problematic? We want to know these things before we go reading or buying a new release so we read the reviews for these more than those for books that are older.

However, does this mean reviews of backlist books are obsolete?

Definitely not! At least in my opinion. After all a backlist book is anything that was published last year or later and a year really isn’t old at all! Remember all of those new releases you bought last year and haven’t read yet? Those are now backlist books too!

I find that I care about backlist book reviews as much as new release reviews, especially if the backlist book was very popular (or still is) when it was released. I like to see if a book is worth my time no matter when it was published!

Does this affect what books we decide to read and review as bloggers?

For the most part I would say no but there are also a couple of other factors that make me say yes.

If you want your blog to grow quicker or get more views etc. I would say reading and reviewing more new releases is the ticket since they are more widely read, in which case this would affect what you read as a blogger.Β  Do I advise doing this just for that stats? No. You should read what you want to be reading!

Another thing to factor in is ARCs which some bloggers receive to review before the release date in which case you HAVE to read these new releases which would clearly affect what you are reading and reviewing as a blogger too.

So I’m a bit in the middle on this part because no I don’t think this SHOULD affect what you read and review drastically but sometimes it does regardless.

So what side am I on?


Image result for both is good

Reviews of new releases and backlist books are BOTH useful because opinions are important no matter how old the book is! I personally love seeing reviews for both types of books since I’m a book addict and am always looking for new books to add.

Do I find that this affects my own personal reading and reviewing habits? No, not really. The only time I HAVE to read and review a new release is if a receive an ARC of that book but other than that I read and review whatever I’m in the mood for!

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What reviews do you like to read more?

Do you find new release reviews or backlist reviews to be more useful? Or both?

Do you find that your new release reviews are more “popular”?

Do you find this affects what you read and review as a blogger?

The Sassy


19 thoughts on “Discussion Post: Reviewing New Releases vs. Backlist Books

  1. the (book) supplier June 26, 2017 / 10:52 am

    Interestingly, I prefer to read reviews of books I’ve already read. I don’t like to read reviews (mostly) before I read a book, whether it be backlist or new, because I don’t want my read to be influenced by someone else’s experience with the book. In terms of what I’ll read or review – this year I’m trying really hard to take other people’s recommendations, so I’m reading whatever is recommended to me (mostly by my wife, and mostly within reason).

    Liked by 3 people

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek June 27, 2017 / 2:00 pm

      I do the same thing as well, although I read reviews for both books I’ve read and haven’t read. I can completely understand how it could potentially influence your experience with a book though! I like to try and read reviews before trying a book if it seems iffy to me but if it’s something I know I will enjoy I try not to read any reviews at all.
      I’ve been trying to weed through many recommendations this year as well! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. jeanjeanjeannie June 26, 2017 / 11:17 am

    I enjoy both to be honest. New releases help me to decide which books to throw onto my TBR, but I usually look up older reviews of previous releases after reading a book to see how other people felt about it. So while I definitely read new releases, it’s kind of more of a skim. I read reviews about books that I’ve just read myself much more thoroughly!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek June 27, 2017 / 2:01 pm

      I agree, I do both of these things as well. I really enjoy reading reviews of books I have read for the same reason, it’s always fun to see if there were things I missed that others picked up on! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Life of a Literary Nerd June 26, 2017 / 11:28 am

    For writing reviews, and reading in general, I try and alternate ARCs/New release and backlist books. There are so many great books that are older so I don’t want to neglect those.
    I usually don’t read reviews unless I’ve already read the book, or don’t care about spoilers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek June 27, 2017 / 2:06 pm

      Yes, I 100% agree! I try to alternate as much as a can as well. I have so many books that I own that are backlist that I try to read but the hype of new releases gets to me sometimes, haha!
      Just curious, do you read reviews for books you haven’t read if they are spoiler free or do you mean you’d prefer to go in 100% blind and not know anything and that’s why you prefer not to read the reviews?
      (sorry that’s such a long, dragging question! I’ve had a lot of people voice this and I’m curious since I personally read reviews for both books I’ve read and haven’t read!)



      • Life of a Literary Nerd June 27, 2017 / 3:13 pm

        I usually like to go in blind, even if there are spoiler free reviews.

        If I’m uncertain if I’ll like a book, I’ll read from reviews though.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Maria Casacalenda (Big City Bookworm) June 26, 2017 / 1:42 pm

    I have always struggled with this! I used to post backlist reviews all the time, but I found that they weren’t really gaining any traction on my blog. So what I decided to try this year was post review for new releases on my blog and post both new releases as well as backlist reviews on Goodreads! So far that seems to be working out for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek June 27, 2017 / 2:39 pm

      That’s good to hear and I’m also glad to hear I’m not the only one that has notice the pretty big gap on stats between backlist book reviews and new release reviews!
      I really try to alternate between both! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. celestialblackrose June 26, 2017 / 3:16 pm

    Great post! Yeah, sometimes I feel like I should be reviewing newer books but I’m kinda picky when it comes to what I wanna read and when. If I’m not in a mood for certain things I just leave it for later and grab a different book because I know if I force myself to I just won’t enjoy it as much as I could. I still love seeing reviews on other blogs for older books too because it usually influences whether I get to that book sooner or later if I already own it. A review is a review for me, doesn’t matter if the book is new or old I still enjoy reading it.


  6. Whimsically Meghan June 26, 2017 / 3:34 pm

    First off, that gif I can’t stop watching it I have no idea why haha! πŸ˜› Second, I’m not much for someone who reviews new books just because I don’t get them often. I usually review books that are a few years old. Plus I’m trying so hard to get through my tbr and that stretches back to new releases from 2015 sooooo… that leaves me reviewing older books. I like to review what I want, I’m really not worried about my stats, although seeing good stats never hurt nobody πŸ˜‰


  7. Bionic Book Worm June 26, 2017 / 4:25 pm

    I agree with you 100%. I will read a review of ANY book. Newer, older, and even genres I don’t typically reach for. I read reviews to see if the book is worth looking into. And with so many books out there it’s virtually impossible to hear of them all so reviews of older books may have brought something up I wasn’t aware of. And I like to read reviews of books I’ve already read to see if their thoughts match my own.


  8. Lauren Busser June 26, 2017 / 6:37 pm

    I read and write reviews of every book I read, from newer releases to older books. Sure, sometimes the book I found at the used bookstore for a dollar, that I think is awesome will get like three views, but I enjoyed it, and my blog is for me at the end of the day, to keep me writing. I was fortunate enough to have a couple authors retweet links to my new releases and that helped traffic immensely on those occasions, but I also want my reading to be enjoyable so I need the leeway to read what I want, when I want, otherwise a slump happens. (Like the six month one I am clawing my way out of!)


  9. Eva@Brilliantly Bookish June 27, 2017 / 3:26 am

    When it comes to new releases I find the first few reviews very helpful, but after a while I get bored when all the reviews are on the same book.


  10. ashley June 28, 2017 / 6:00 am

    I review both, although right now I’m concentrating on reading and reviewing more backlist books than newer books. I think it’s all about personal preference.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews July 3, 2017 / 7:48 am

    I tend to only review ARCs because I hate writing reviews πŸ˜‚ but I much prefer reading reviews for books that I’ve already read? So those tend to be backlist. Overall, I don’t think backlist books get the love and attention they deserve.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek July 5, 2017 / 2:33 pm

      I literally have to FORCE myself to write reviews, glad it isn’t just me. It gets so stressful sometimes.
      Reading reviews only for books people have read also seems to be the common answer in this discussion. Of course I seem to do this more as well but I also read reviews for books I haven’t read. I just read lots of reviews, haha.
      I really don’t think backlist books get enough love which is what brought me to do up this discussion too! πŸ™‚


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