Book Reviews…Are They Worth It?

In a world with books, what difference does it make if someone gives you a review?

Well, have you ever wanted to read a book but didn’t want to waste your money if the book isn’t to your taste? A review would give you a pretty good idea, especially a good one.

Websites like Goodreads and the review sections in Amazon and Chapters, help to guide a purchaser on the type of book to purchase. A good, subjective review is informative enough for the reader, not one that slanders the book or author. In the end, it’s the book reviewer’s reputation that’s on the line.

I believe that a book review should be written with everyone in mind, which is why it should be subjective. What one person may like, the other could dislike so you want to give the book a fighting chance with all types of readers.

The author spent time and money writing and publishing a novel and if you can’t seem to write a subjective review, you should be honest with the author and let him or her know. It’s better than blasting the book and the writer as it only causes grief and it leaves you with bad feelings. Be polite, send the book back and refrain from writing a review.

To write a good review, something an author can use and something that will make you desirable as a reviewer, is one that is not strewn with personally opinion. The last line or paragraph can be your thoughts on the book, but remember that the writer is looking for a professional piece.

First, you should request or write about your favorite genres so you’re not struggling to read the book.

Second, you should write details such as author name, ISBN number, number of words of the review and your name with a site you would like referenced. This information is mostly for the writer’s or publisher’s sake.

You should start your review by describing who the book is best suited for, the overall storyline of the book, the setting and possibly who is narrating the story (first person, third, etc). This would give the reader first hand what to expect of the book.

Then your following paragraphs would be a breakdown of the book; describing plot, dialogue, conflict, characters and what stood out in the story. You could also mention quotes or favorite parts of the story.

The last paragraph should be your thoughts on the book, in a professional manner and not a rant or negative slander to either the story or author of the book.

When submitting the review to the author or publisher, be sure to give your permission for using the review. Sometimes there are legal technicalities that could get in the way for posting.

To find sites that accept book reviewers, Google it using phrases like “looking for book reviewers” or “reviewing books”.

Of course, you don’t have to professionally review at all. If you’ve read a book and you want to talk about it, Goodreads is good for that, as well as tweeting about it or posting it on facebook.

Good luck and happy reviewing!

Jenn Andrew, Writer & Book Reviewer

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