Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Tips For Writing a Helpful Book Review

Hook the reader

Why did you pick up this book? Why do you think another reader should or shouldn’t? What was your takeaway? Explain what caught your attention.


Don’t write a synopsis of the book
Focus on elements that you feel particularly strongly about or you think that your readers will want to be aware of. If you liked a character, explain why. If you didn’t like a character, make it clear why you felt that way. Did you appreciate the author’s writing style?


Avoid spoilers
Writers take special care to reveal plot points and secrets at appropriate times in a story. Authors don’t appreciate reviews giving away the big moments, and readers don’t appreciate knowing what’s going to happen ahead of time. If you’ve done this in the past, be kind and revise.


What matters is how you felt about the characters and their story
What worked or didn’t work? Was the story satisfying? Did you appreciate character development? Did the story end the way you hoped or was the conclusion better or worse than expected?


Read reviews on other books

What sort of reviews help you select a book to buy? Do you like quotes pulled from the book? Do you like fair warning about emotional triggers? What do others say that you can appreciate about their review style?


Always proofread
Did you use correct character names? Do you have typos? Did you give away a spoiler?


You love books, so have fun
Readers read reviews to make buying choices. Everyone appreciates a well thought out commentary on a book. Be creative with your remarks and write as though you’re speaking to the next reader trying to decide what to buy. You are!