Should I Always Mention Spoiler Free?

This is a topic I’ve been thinking about for a long time. When I write my reviews, they are always spoiler free. Even if it is a sequel in a series, I will usually write my reviews so you won’t get spoiled for the previous books. If it’s a sequel, I won’t even include a synopsis in my review posts because that’s already a spoiler to those who haven’t read the first book. 

I have noticed that when I review a book, especially if it’s a sequel in a series, I get more views (and thus more people reading my post) when I mention spoiler-free in the title. Yet I feel kind of silly doing so, because I always take care to be spoiler-free. So it feels redundant to mention it every time. It seems like a much better system if I just use the words “spoiler review” or “spoiler discussion” when I actually do include spoilers, so only people who have read the book would read it. 

When reviewing a sequel in a series, I often avoid saying anything about the plot, because that is an actual spoiler for the first book. I just describe the pacing, the characters (and their possible development), the vibe this book gave me, how much I enjoyed it, whether I’d recommend the series and so on. Yet I know that not every blogger chooses to do so (which is their right obviously). So to me, it is obvious that my review is spoiler free. But to readers, it may not be…

My point is, I feel silly adding the term “spoiler-free” to every review title. I would never write a normal review with spoilers, because spoilers are the spawn of Satan. Yet it seems that more people will read my review if I do add it… Shouldn’t every review be spoiler free unless explicitly mentioned? 

What do you think? Should I always add spoiler free to my reviews, even though they are ALWAYS spoiler free? Have you noticed the same trend in your reviews?

P.S. I have never written the word “spoiler” so often in 30 minutes.

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23 thoughts on “Should I Always Mention Spoiler Free?

  1. I think we add in our description that our reviews are spoiler-free, unless marked otherwise. I usually mark in the review the spoiler, and allow people to select it if they want.

    Here is another question that has been on my mind for a while: are reviews truly spoiler free? I usually avoid reviews for books that I haven’t read, unless I see really unfavorable reviews, and I am trying to decide if I still want to read it. But I like to go in as blind as possible. It has been something I have thought about speaking up on for quite a while.

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  2. I don’t really have a problem with spoilers (I actually love them, for some weird reason), so I usually don’t mind if a review has “spoilers below” or is “spoiler-free.” Although I do think of reviews as spoiler-free unless there’s that big, bold text saying it does have them.

    That statistics thing is quite interesting though! It’s weird that your reviews get more views when it specifically mentions that it doesn’t have spoilers. But if that’s the case, then I think you should continue to go with it! 🙂

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  3. Interesting! I’ve never actually thought to look into statistics and whether it is affected if I mention spoiler-free or not. By default I also keep spoilers out of my reviews (with the occasional exception of sequels, where I’ll mention it if I happen to cover events from previous installments in the series – but generally I won’t go beyond what’s in the publisher description) and I always just assume everyone else does it this way, i.e. spoiler tags = spoilers, but no tag = no spoilers.

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  4. I never say it is spoiler free. I kind of consider it a given because people usually alert their readers to if there is a spoiler as when writing reviews we all understand that people don’t want to be spoiled. Plus, if it’s a book you’re reviewing with a long title, your post title is going to be extra long if you have to include that it’s a spoiler free review!

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  5. That’s a great idea to put “spoiler free” at the start of the review, just underscores that other reviews may have undisclosed spoilers! The worst.

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  6. I think it depends on what you want. For stand alone books I don’t think it’s necessary to add it in the title, because most book reviews are spoiler free (right?). However, for a sequel, it does really add something. I wouldn’t click on a review for a sequel I haven’t read yet if it didn’t say it’s spoiler free in the title. Even though your reviews of sequels are always spoiler free, new (or occasional) readers probably don’t know that! So it depends if you want to attract new readers that way, or not. 🙂

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    • Yeah, I thought so too, that new/occasional readers wouldn’t necessarily know! For stand alone books, I also expect reviews to be spoiler free (unless mentioned otherwise). If not, that’s just cruel. I might do it just for sequels, or make a note as the first sentence of the post mentioning it’s spoiler free.

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  7. You’re right, they should be assumed to be spoiler free unless stated. Should be, but isn’t. In fact, from what I’ve seen it seems to be the other way around. I’ve even read supposedly spoiler free reviews only for them to have spoilers! D:

    I think it’s worth putting spoiler free in there, I put mine at the top of the post rather than in the title. I think it’d make people less wary to check out the review because the risk of reading a post and discover a spoiler is a scary prospect.

    As a reader, I definitely appreciate being told a review is spoiler free. 😀

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