How to Write a Book Review

Before I became an author, I had never realized how important book reviews were.  Leaving a review is akin to leaving a tip.  An author appreciates when a reader leaves an honest review.  You don’t have to write a long review; write only what comes to mind after reading the book. There is no right or wrong way to write a review.

This is what I hear most often when the topic of writing a review is brought up:

  • I wouldn’t know what to write
  • I’m afraid it will sound stupid
  • I don’t have any writing skills
  • I don’t have time
  • I don’t know how

Once you realize that writing a review is actually a “piece of cake” (without the calories!), it should ease your mind and you’ll be ready to dig in.

I wouldn’t know what to write

Often, the first response we have when we think about writing a review is: “I wouldn’t know what to write.”  This creates a delay in writing a review at all.  Before we know it, several weeks have gone by and we think it’s too late.  First, it’s never too late!  Second, just be honest and say what’s on your mind, which is the best policy. Here is an easy formula: 1) write what you liked about the book, and 2) pick out two things that you can focus on.  Here’s an example:

Review by Pattie for The Art of Losing: A Thinkerbeat Anthology
I was very impressed by the stories, written by such creative authors. Each one kept my attention from beginning to end. [S]ome made me wonder about the outcome. Others made me smile and some made me cry.  One favorite was Finding Brother. This author immediately lead me into the story. I could feel the pain and sorry as the search continued for brother. Well written.  The story Silver Lining reminds me we have no assurance how our future turns out. So, like Edna, we must keep those we love close to our heart.

Pattie writes what she liked about the book in general and then she focused on two stories she related to the most.  Perfect!

I’m afraid it will sound stupid

Believe me, nothing you write will sound stupid to an author who is waiting with bated breath for a review.  We cherish reviews.  They can be long or they can be short.  If in doubt, just keep it simple and short.  I think it’s natural that we feel intimated when we see long, detailed eloquent reviews on a book page.  Don’t let that stop you from writing what’s on your mind.  Be brave and write a review in your own unique style.  Again, nothing is right or wrong.

Review by Virginia for Deadly Dating Games
This book keeps you interested with twists and turns at every possible corner! Great read!

Virginia simply wrote what she thought when she finished the book.  It’s short and simple.  Perfect!

I don’t have any writing skills

Don’t let this stop you from writing a review (but I’m pretty sure you can write something!).  As I already mentioned, authors LOVE reviews.  I don’t read reviews to critique them for grammar.  The heartfelt reviews are the most precious to any author.  If the reader has a connection to a story, their review will show it and that is the most important thing about a review.  If you feel that you don’t have any writing skills, you can refer to funny phrases or even write a few favorite sentences from the book. You can also write a review with only a few words, like Bob did here:

Bob’s review for Lunchtime Eavesdropper
The ending is a total cop-out.

After I got over the shock of reading my first ever negative review, I still appreciated Bob’s time and effort.  Remember, we are asking for *honest* reviews, and Bob’s review was honest; it’s exactly how he felt.  *Smiling here while gulping nervously*  Per….Per….Perfect!  :o)

I don’t have time

Good news!  You don’t always have to write a full review.  If you are reading from a Kindle, you’ve probably noticed that at the end of every book there is a prompt that will ask you to rate it.  If you are in a wifi area, you can rate it right then and there.  Perfect!

I don’t know how

If you bought the book from Amazon, simply go to the book’s page and scroll down until you see the “Write a customer review” button.  Click on that and follow the prompts.  It’s probably the same at other venues too.  If you feel overly excited about the book, it would be fantastic if you also left a review at Goodreads.  So, before you exit out of Amazon, copy your review and paste it at Goodreads.  This is not a required step, but if you have the time, author’s LOVE seeing reviews for their books at different venues.  It helps spread the love.

The next time you finish reading a book, review from the heart.  Keep it simple.  Be honest.  Write what feels right.  Be yourself.

Happy Reviewing!

Check out my books:

Amazon Author Page: http://tinyurl.com/o4h8682
Website: http://www.joaniechevalier.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/JoanieC
Twitter: @JoanieChevalier

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