A Writer Reads and Reviews
by Lisa Lickel
Part of being a writer means reading. A Lot. Put all that reading to good use – get your name out in the cyberworld when you write book reviews. How do you go about the task, you ask? Here are my best tips.
A good book review can be a few sentences of what you thought, or it can be more professional and include the following.
♥ General information – title, author, copyright date, ISBN, publisher and price. If you are putting this review on a personal site, you may want to include purchase links. If the author or publisher has not supplied them, you can go to an online retail site, look up the product and copy the code at the top of the screen.
♥ The review is written in present tense throughout, except when referring to past events in the story. This is a reflection of your own writing, so make it clear, concise and use your best skills.
♥ Start with a killer hook – bottom line, what did the book do for you?
♥ Short summary of the story – often the back or inside sleeve contains a teaser, but this summary should reflect the fact that you have read the book and may have a few personal observations. If you like the book, you want to entice potential readers to buy it; if you didn’t like it, you can be neutral or matter of fact. The summary includes setting and plot and what happens without giving away the ending or major twists.
♥ Comments regarding the quality of writing, style, flow, characters, appropriate research or believability, what kind of emotions it evoked from you. If you like the book, you can say so here, or let a ratings system reflect this. If you did not care for the book, you should say why. Remember, the author has put time into this work and unless entirely self-published, and also has relied on a publisher or editor to stamp the final product. The author doesn’t always have final control of everything about the book, sometimes including editing, cover and design.
♥ Summary statement that may include a comment about who would like this book.
♥ General, reasonable lengths for reviews run 250-500 words, but that’s simply my suggestion.
So, write your review including the basic information, a summary, and comments that are meant to show the potential reader what kind of book you've read, and be honest in a helpful way.