Hey guys! So I'm here today with a post that I've been contemplating writing for a little while now. I mentioned a few posts back that I was going to start doing some open discussion blog posts to mix things up a bit and to bring something fresh and exciting to my blog. For my first discussion since this post I thought I'd talk about the topic of spoilers in reviews and why I include spoiler warnings for all of my reviews.
Let me tell you guys a brief story. Sorry that it's not overly exciting and filled with boy wizards going to a magic school, I'm no J.K. Rowling after all. Anyway, a while back for my first ever review on this blog, I uploaded my thoughts on a book that has been out for years. A book that is known for it's very prominent and dramatic cliffhanger ending.
Now I'm not going to name the book in question, but if you're that eager to find out, go back to my first review and you'll see what it is. Now this particular review was only about two paragraphs long and terrible, but due to the very important ending I decided to discuss it. Now those of you who are familiar with my reviews know that I attach the above image just under the synopsis of the book and this review was no different! It was very prominently placed and I put it there for a reason, so that I could warn of the spoilers I was going to be discussing.
Back to the story - At the time when this review went up I received some anonymous hate in regards to the fact that I spoiled the whole book for them by discussing a certain scene. Funnily enough, the scene aforementioned was not actually the massive spoiler that lies at the very end of the book, and that the book is known for having.
It got me thinking, are there some plot points that to me wouldn't be a spoiler for fans of the series that perhaps others considered a major spoiler, even if you've read the books? Interesting.
From this random anonymous user, I changed my outlook onto how I would portray my reviews, and this is the same outlook that I use to this day. I place a spoiler warning on every single one of my reviews because I just cannot be too careful. As a reviewer, I feel it is my duty to inform my readers of my feelings on particular books. Obviously to do so successfully, I need to discuss certain elements such as plot, characters, pacing, writing style, enjoyment factor ect. However, to some people, even knowing that a character develops in a novel is considered a spoiler.
It got me thinking, especially as not so long ago one of my blogger friends told me they were anxious to read my review because they saw the spoiler warning. Now this review in question was totally free from major plot points or any references to anything that could spoil them in my opinion. It was just vague justifications of my thoughts. On the other hand, I was glad they brought it up because it shows that the spoiler warning I place actually does work, and part of me is glad for that.
The other part of me is worried that I'm not able to reach out to my target audience as far as I would like. To manage this, I have decided that after the spoiler sign, if there are any elements that I considered to be majorly spoilery, then I will indicate this. I have done this very recently with my Queen of Shadows review and as well as my ILLUMINAE review which is scheduled to be uploaded soon. It's all ready and waiting.
Because of my fear that I cannot reach my whole intended audience, I wanted to reassure my readers that my warning sign is purely for my own personal protection? I guess that's how I would call it? I would like to the best of my ability to remain blameless for any spoilers that you as a reader come across while reading my review. If you see the sign and purposely ignore it and then further ignore yet my other warning, then I feel it is your responsibility, and therefore your fault if you proceed further and see something you disagree with. Leave me out of it.
So there we have it. I don't want to go into too much more detail with my thoughts because I want to leave it open for you guys to jump in on and leave your thoughts on below. What do you think of spoiler warnings on reviews? Are you less likely to read them? How would you go about changing that? I look forward to your suggestions!