I can see your cringe and your wrinkled brow on the other side of the computer screen when you read today’s blog title. I hear the muttered protest, “I’ll read, but please don’t ask me to write a book review.” I guessing you have one or more of the concerns I read in a recent post by Joan Reeves about why readers don’t write reviews. • Readers may not know exactly what to say or how to say it • Readers are wary of attacks from other readers with different opinions • Readers don’t want to hurt the author’s feelings or invoke the wrath of a popular author’s loyal readers • Readers are concerned that they don’t have the writing skills necessary to write a review. All are legitimate reasons, but also reasons easily overcome if you truly want to support your favorite authors. You can write a book review. Really. A book review is simply a conversation about a book you’ve read. A good book review talks about the story and tells others why you did or didn’t like the book. There are only two no-no’s when you write and post a review: • Never include “spoilers” (elements of the book that should surprise) • Don’t allow personal prejudices or attitudes about the author or anything not related to the writing to intrude into your review. Now, consider the benefits of writing a book review. • A good book review helps readers decide if a book is for them. • A good book review helps authors improve their writing. Authors recognize not all readers will love their “baby” as much as they do. Even bad reviews are valuable, if they are constructive. Most important, when you write (and post) a book review to sites like Amazon and GoodReads, you help increase an author’s visibility. The more reviews a book has, the more likely the author and their book will be noticed in the great sea of available books. Now, go finish reading your book and then write a review. You can do it. I know you can.
I loved writing book reports when I was in school. Still do after a fashion.
Voracious reader that I am, I love to tell others about great books I read. So I’m constantly giving oral book reports in the form of “Have you read such and such?”
I also post reviews for the books I really, really love on review sites and at e-retailers.
That’s so important. All reviews help author sales. It doesn’t matter whether the review is good or bad.
People often say they don’t know how to write a review. It really isn’t difficult. A review doesn’t have to be long or detailed like those book reports for school. Even a sentence or two can convey whether you liked a book or didn’t.
Here are some suggestions:
“This story was well-told. I fell in love with the hero on page 2.”
“Always pleased with stories by this author.”
“Predictable, but still a good read.”
“So disappointed. Not up to her/his usual standard.”
If you’re still nervous about the actually posting a review on Amazon. Check out this video I found by Douglas Goldstein. It demonstrates exactly how to post a review for a book.