Reviewing books is a wonderful way to share your reading experience with others, but if you’ve ever read reviews to help you buy a book you’ll know some are more helpful than others. Here’s Lauryn April's advice to writing an excellent book review.
Reviewers should understand what the point of writing a review is. Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Goodreads, ect… allow readers to write reviews to help other readers decide whether or not they will like that book. Above all else your review should provide helpful information to other readers about the content and feel of the book.
Here are ten tips to being a good reviewer…
1. Finish the book – Many people write reviews for books they don’t finish reading. Personally I have a problem with this. Book ratings and reviews should be based on the entire book. Reading only part of a book and writing a review would be like watching only part of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and telling all your friends that it’s a horribly depressing movie. If you’re going to comment on a book, comment on the entire book. (And if you absolutely cannot make it to the end, at very least make it clear in beginning of your review that you did not finish reading.)
2. Don’t just give a summary – Readers can read the back blurb to know roughly what a book is about. Give information about the storyline but make sure you’re also sharing your opinion. Did you like the plot, characters, setting, writing style? Overall how did the book make you feel?
4. Use proper English – Write in full sentences and use real words. This is a book review, not a text message. Remember, you’re writing this for other readers to use as a source of information in their purchasing decision. If it’s not worth your time to write something legible, it’s simply not worth your time to write it. Spell-check and re-read your review before you post it.
5. Double check names – I see reviews all the time where the reviewer spelled the author’s name wrong, or a character’s name wrong, or even misspelled the title of the book. Spelling mistakes like this stand out, and can even be confusing to those reading your review. This can also be embarrassing, so do yourself a favor and take a few seconds to make sure you spelled all names correctly.
7. Be professional – As I mentioned above a review is for the next potential reader. It’s not a way for you to send the author a note, or to bash a piece of work. Just because you have a certain opinion about a book doesn’t mean other readers will agree with you. For example don’t say a book is terrible because it has a love triangle and you hate love triangles, and you think all books with love triangles are cliché and not worth reading. Say that that was something you didn’t like about the book and that love triangles aren’t your cup of tea, but be respectful of the fact that some people love love triangles.
9. Don’t spoil the story – Sometimes it’s impossible not to comment on a part of the story that happens to spoil, or give away, part of the plot. Sharing spoiling information is fine so long as you put a warning. Maybe try and save spoilers for the end of your review and clearly mark them so those who want to be surprised when reading can be. Goodreads lets you hide your spoilers behind a clickable link simply by putting these html tags around the spoiling information
Read the full article at laurynapril.blogspot.com
Lauryn April is an indie writer in the young adult / adult paranormal romance genre. She's 24 and lives in Oshkosh, Wisconsin with her boyfriend and two dogs. Currently she's seeking a degree in Psychology. She likes learning about what makes people who they are and why they do the things they do. In her debut novel, Into the Deep, she wanted to look at the intricacies of the adolescent mind and explore how teenagers deal with feelings of loneliness and judgment.