There’s a funny meme on social media that says Feed an Author – Write a Book Review. It’s not only amusing, but it’s also true. Authors need book reviews for several reasons. Reviews help us gain visibility among readers, they can introduce us to new readers, they can help readers decide if the book is right for them. The bottom line, reviews can help with sales, which makes our publishers very happy.
In today’s world, we are time-crunched and over-scheduled, which means sometimes we barely have enough time in our days to read, let alone write a review. It can seem daunting. For many of us, we haven’t written about a book since back we were kids writing book reports. BTW, I loved those! There was a competition in the fourth grade of who read the most books and wrote the most reports. I beat out Elvis and won. Sorry, I digressed. Back to the topic at hand. Actually, maybe it wasn’t a total digression. The more reports I wrote, the better I got, and that can be the case with writing book reviews. The more you do, the better you’ll get, and the easier it’ll be for you.
Now, I’m sure you’ve seen reviews on Amazon that rival the length of the book that’s being discussed. You don’t have to do that. So, if that’s what has been holding you back from writing a review, there’s no need to worry any longer. Then you’ve seen a review that’s barely one full sentence, and that review wasn’t beneficial to you as a reader. Well, there’s a nice medium where you can help support your favorite author and let other readers know what you enjoyed most about the book. And, yes, what you may have liked least about the book. I’m not going to lie; I love it when readers praise my books, but it’s essential to be honest with your review. Honesty is the best book review policy.
So, are you thinking writing reviews is something you could do? If so, continue on reading, and I’ll work you through step-by-step, and there’s also a printable you can download so you can write your reviews.
We’re going to use a fictional book titled Cozy Mystery at Breakfast. It’s the third book in the Main Street Diner series featuring an unemployed chef who has returned to her hometown and is now cooking at her aunt’s diner. In this book, Eva is working with a town resident who is organizing a pancake breakfast, and she’s murdered, her body found during the event.
What is the title of the book? The author’s name? The genre? You got this!
Next, the headline. Now, this isn’t necessary, but you can use this section if it’s offered to you to write something catchy and succinct about the book. Examples:
Great installment in this series.
A good read.
Another incredible story from Jane Doe.
You get the idea.
Now you’ll write a summary of the book. This can be a few sentences or a few paragraphs. It’s up to you. Just be sure not to include spoilers when writing the summary.
Reviews should include something about the story. Time period, location, theme are examples. Then you’ll want to add your personal thoughts about the story. How did the book make you feel? Uplifted, happy – why? Disappointed – why? Is it your top pick read for the year – why? Was it a page-turner -why? Or, (horrors) you couldn’t finish reading it – why? Whatever you share, give some specific examples. Where were the areas that shone, or you found lacking? Examples are in the plot, character development, pacing, dialogue (too much or too little), etc.
What were the two or three aspects of the book that stood out to you? This would be nice to include with your review, but not necessary.
Conclusion. Keep it short and sweet.
For Cozy Mystery at Breakfast, it can be something like this: It’s a great series with a fun main character set in a warm-hearted small Midwest town.
See, nothing too complicated.
Rating the book. You’ll decide how many stars to give. I would just suggest being kind with the rating and the entire review.
Okay, we’re done! Are you ready to tackle your first review? Great! I have a worksheet for you to help you organize your review before you publish it online.
Go forth and review! 🙂
Here’s the worksheet link: