I feel you. I really do. When I finish reading a good book and I’m full of enthusiasm and the need to share, I want to do the right thing. I want to write a smashing review. But when I start to write it, something happens.
I realize that writing a review is work. And I don’t have time or I’m worried it won’t be good or maybe I don’t even know where to post it. I fumble around looking at other people’s reviews and they’re all so different.
You may even ask, “What good is a review anyway?”
Let me tell you. Book reviews are very helpful to readers who want to get a sense whether this is their kind of book. Of course, reviews are very helpful to authors because they provide social proof that the authors are established, with a reader base and enough skills to please some readers.
Now you ask, “Where do I even begin?”
Maybe you’re a prolific reviewer and you have no problem at all, but I would call you the exception to the rule. For the rest of us who stumble, or don’t seem to have the time or wherewithal for writing that review stuck in our head, here’s an answer for you!
Simple Guide to Writing Book Reviews with 5 Easy Guidelines:
- You do NOT need to summarize the story. In fact, I would suggest that this should be avoided so that you won’t inadvertently divulge any spoilers for potential readers.
- You can start with what struck you most about the story–was it a character you loved? The setting? The premise that drew you? The first line that got you hooked? Just say so! I started my last review with the line “I loved the character Lily!”.
- Include your overall impression about the book. Was it exciting? A nail biter? A page-turner? Fun? A romp? Very emotional? Humorous? Tense? Or a combination of a few of these kinds of words will work. For example, “This book was a tense page-turner of a mystery!”
- Include what emotional response the book elicited from you. Did it make you laugh? Make you cry? Make your heart warm? Scare you? Thrill you? Turn you on? Most books we enjoy because they get us involved emotionally. A recent review I wrote said, “I rooted for Joe and Emma to get together, I wanted to see them happy and I truly felt they belonged together.” This described the emotional impact the book had on me. Or maybe you’d say, “The sexual tension between Joe and Emma was sizzling hot! I needed a shower!” You get the picture.
- Make a Recommendation. Say something like, “If you love romantic suspense, you’ll love this book!” or “If you love bad boy heroes, this is the story for you!” or “If you love snarky heroines then you should read this cozy mystery!”.
My Bonus Hint: Keeping It Short & Simple is Fine!
Where to post a book review?
SQ’s Challenge for you:
Go forth and post a book review for the last book you enjoyed at any one of these places and post the link below for a chance to WIN a PRIZE! Hurry! The deadline is April 30th! (Must be NEW Review to qualify, posted on or after April 10th. Book purchase may be required.)
A Sees Candy Gift for ONE LUCKY sweet reviewer!
I can’t wait to see your reviews!