Book Review Basics

Every author needs book reviews. But do you leave them?

Call it reciprocity, reaping and sowing, or karma. As an author, leaving book reviews for other authors is just good form. Here are some basics for any good book review.

  1. Write a catchy headline. You want people to read your review. And you want to become a reviewer people respect and follow. Draw them in with a short, attention-grabbing headline.
  2. No spoilers. You loved this book. You were surprised and entertained, don’t ruin it for the person reading your review.
  3. Write a summary – not the book. You’ve read those reviews. The reviewer goes to great lengths to explain what they’ve just read, not summarizing but retelling. Readers want to read this book, not your book about this book.
  4. Did you love it? Did it change your life? Try to write your review as soon as possible after you’ve finished reading the book to capture that enthusiasm.
  5. Cite examples of what you thought was great. Again, without spoilers or a complete retelling. These points help authors to understand what works for the reader and will likely help a potential buyer make the decision to buy this book.
  6. Explain what you thought was missing from the book, respectfully. Writing about what might have been missing from a book is helpful to the author in understanding how they can improve their next work.
  7. Don’t critique based on how you would have written this book. It’s not your book and this isn’t helpful to the author.
  8. Finally, write the review you would want to receive. Make it thoughtful, helpful, and encouraging.

These are just a few points that I think every book review should include. Of course, there are special considerations for specialized genres that aren’t covered here.

I think it’s a good idea to write reviews for influencers and best-selling authors in your genre. These reviews help you stand out more as a reviewer. Remember, you can write reviews on multiple sites including, but not limited to: Amazon, GoodReads, and BookBub.

Do you write reviews? What would you add to improve a review? Reply in the comments below.

As always, we are
Blessed to be a blessing,

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