Welcome Avid Readers. Authors, and All-New visitors,
As a book marketer and promoting many fine authors, the biggest thing that eludes ALL AUTHORS, WRITERS, and Marketers … WHY DON’T A READER LEAVE A BOOK REVIEW?
Seriously. I really want to know what the reason is. If you are an AVID Reader, then you know how important a book review is for a writer who hards very hard on their craft and then to have the audacity to publish their work …
AND IS WHY a book review for us is so important. Be it a good, bad, or indifferent, book reviews are a way readers can let writers know how and why they loved a read or …not so much. It offers us, as writers, maybe some corrective advice if say a good mystery was missing elements or maybe the ending could have been better.
So, I came across a few book blogs that had some good advice and shared feelings of WHY books reviews are so important and thought I’d share them. As readers, I hope it will help all my readers who visit to understand the “WHY”… *CAT*
Remember, you don’t have to purchase my books from Amazon to leave a rating or review. If you were gifted any one book, downloaded them for free, bought them, found them in a Little Library, found them at a rest area, at a mall, some other random place, etc… You can still leave a rating. I encourage and ask that you do so, regardless of how you received any copies. If you really enjoyed my books, let me know. My main concern is how well you liked my stories, not how much I can make.
Ratings and reviews really help. It helps other readers know that they are getting a good read, and it also helps me, the Author. When I see how much someone enjoyed one of my books, it reminds me why I’m doing this in the first place. I want you to have a new literary universe that you can lose yourself in after you had a long, frustrating, or busy day.
So, go ahead and leave a rating or review at Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, etc. You don’t have to post much more than two or three words if you don’t want to. Even just a star rating will do. After that, you can follow me on my many social media platforms.
Thanks, and I as all authors appreciate the time you spent reading our books and reading this post!
A SAMPLE OF HOW TO WRITE A QUICK BOOK REVIEW:
Since most reviews are brief, many writers begin with a catchy quip or anecdote that succinctly delivers their argument. But you can introduce your review differently depending on the argument and audience. The Writing Center’s handout on introductions can help you find an approach that works.
In general, you should include:
- The name of the author and the book title and the main theme.
- Relevant details about who the author is and where he/she stands in the genre or field of inquiry. You could also link the title to the subject to show how the title explains the subject matter.
- The context of the book and/or your review. Placing your review in a framework that makes sense to your audience alerts readers to your “take” on the book. Perhaps you want to situate a book about the Cuban revolution in the context of Cold War rivalries between the United States and the Soviet Union. Another reviewer might want to consider the book in the framework of Latin American social movements. Your choice of context informs your argument.
- The thesis of the book. If you are reviewing fiction, this may be difficult since novels, plays, and short stories rarely have explicit arguments. But identifying the book’s particular novelty, angle, or originality allows you to show what specific contribution the piece is trying to make.
- Your thesis about the book.
Summary of content:
This should be brief, as analysis takes priority. In the course of making your assessment, you’ll hopefully be backing up your assertions with concrete evidence from the book so some summary will be dispersed throughout other parts of the review.
The necessary amount of summary also depends on your audience. Graduate students, beware! If you are writing book reviews for colleagues—to prepare for comprehensive exams, for example—you may want to devote more attention to summarizing the book’s contents. If, on the other hand, your audience has already read the book—such as a class assignment on the same work—you may have more liberty to explore more subtle points and to emphasize your own argument. See our handout on summary for more tips.
Analysis and evaluation of the book:
Your analysis and evaluation should be organized into paragraphs that deal with single aspects of your argument. This arrangement can be challenging when your purpose is to consider the book as a whole, but it can help you differentiate elements of your criticism and pair assertions with evidence more clearly. You do not necessarily need to work chronologically through the book as you discuss it.
Given the argument you want to make, you can organize your paragraphs more usefully by themes, methods, or other elements of the book. If you find it useful to include comparisons to other books, keep them brief so that the book under review remains in the spotlight. Avoid excessive quotation and give a specific page reference in parentheses when you do a quote. Remember that you can state many of the author’s points in your own words.
Sum up or restate your thesis or make the final judgment regarding the book. You should not introduce new evidence for your argument in the conclusion. You can, however, introduce new ideas that go beyond the book if they extend the logic of your own thesis.
This paragraph needs to balance the book’s strengths and weaknesses in order to unify your evaluation. Did the body of your review have three negative paragraphs and one favorable one? What do they all add up to? The Writing Center’s handout on conclusions can help you make a final assessment.
IN THE REVIEW:
Finally, a few general considerations:
- Review the book in front of you, not the book you wish the author had written. You can and should point out shortcomings or failures, but don’t criticize the book for not being something it was never intended to be.
- With any luck, the author of the book worked hard to find the right words to express her ideas. You should attempt to do the same. Precise language allows you to control the tone of your review.
- Never hesitate to challenge an assumption, approach, or argument. Be sure, however, to cite specific examples to back up your assertions carefully.
- Try to present a balanced argument about the value of the book for its audience. You’re entitled—and sometimes obligated—to voice strong agreement or disagreement.
But keep in mind that a bad book takes as long to write as a good one, and every author deserves fair treatment. Harsh judgments are difficult to prove and can give readers the sense that you were unfair in your assessment.
- A great place to learn about book reviews is to look at examples. The New York Times Sunday Book Review and The New York Review of Books can show you how professional writers review books.
IT REALLY IS SIMPLE!