The main reason that I prefer doing film and dvd reviews is a commitment of time involved. With a DVD or film, it’s fairly easy to watch and review quite quickly. It generally just requires a free day to watch the item in question then write a review about it. Whereas with books, you are asked to commit yourself to long periods of time to actually finish the thing (because I don’t want to be one of those reviewers who does the bare minimum in terms of research) and then have to write a review about it. Indeed, this is the main reason I used to not do them at all. There was a period of time when I had 2 book reviews on my blog and maybe 3 on Blogcritics. Then I started reviewing a lot more books, one of which I’ve just put into pending. I think I have about five coming my way at the moment, all in all. Doing reviews for publishers outside of the normal process is a good way to get in their good books so I oblige every so often and sometimes some genuinely good books come along (see my reviews of 33 Days, Riding The Alligator or Ultimate Regeneration).
I also vastly prefer the DVDs I get sent generally, as among other things that I’ve been able to review for Blogcritics, I’ve reviewed Doctor Who Series 5, The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air Season 6 and the rather excellent Buried.
The other reason that I don’t like doing book reviews as much is that the author is a lot more likely to read the feedback than a film-maker, because those are typically offered through representatives (one company, Noble PR, seem to exist solely to send me horror movies). However, self-published authors interact with me through email when they’re actually sending me the books. Obviously I don’t like hurting people’s feelings but I appreciate that sometimes it has to be done in the name of honesty. I think I’ll be the worst kind of reviewer when I stop caring about other people’s feelings. And I’ll be honest, quite a lot of the time I get sent crap, although that ratio is starting to even out as I get better at picking out the good ones.
(Incidentally, I almost never do music album reviews at all. I just appreciate the free promos.)