How to write a thoughtful book review
If you see a book with a lot of reviews, does that make you want to buy it? If a “review” just says “it’s awesome” or “buy this book”, is that enough to make you want to spend the money to read the book?
A good book review will give the reader something to think about before deciding if this is for them or not. Reviews are important to authors because certain algorithms show that the more reviews a book has, the more sales it generates. Great books inspire readers so much they want to talk about them and what better place to spread the word than to write a review and post it in a prominent place. Likewise, if you think the author could have improved the book in some way and you have helpful comments to make, leave constructive criticism. If you feel like writing a review for a book you’ve just read and aren’t sure how to do it, here’s a simple guide.
Read the book. It seems obvious, but I’ve seen “reviews” where people said “I didn’t finish the book” and gave it a very low rating. I’ve started novels that are so poorly written that I can’t waste another minute of my time on them, but I’m moving on to the next book in my reading pile. If you haven’t read the book, don’t leave a comment.
Don’t feel obligated to give a glowing review. You can always tell the reviews that were written by friends of the author. They usually have five stars and speak more of the author’s talent than giving the reader an insight into the contents of the book. Were you unhappy with the ending or didn’t the blurb describe the story accurately? For you to be able to leave a review, the book must have had some impact on you, so state the facts simply and omit gushing adjectives.
Be constructive in your criticism. Whether or not you like reading the book, there will be people, places, or events that will stand out. If you think there’s too much dialogue or not enough description, say so in your review, but also point out anything you may have learned from reading the book or any characters you might relate to in some way. or another. Did the book make you laugh or cry? Was it an engrossing read that you couldn’t put down? Did you like the author’s writing style? Everything you say will impact other readers and the author, so give your opinion but be kind.
Don’t leave a one-sentence statement such as “this is awesome” or “buy this book”. It doesn’t help anyone.
As a reader, I have written reviews for many excellent, good, and potential books. As an author, I have received a lot of great feedback in the form of reviews from people who have enjoyed my books. You get people who take issue with a particular topic because it offends their particular tastes, and that’s okay as long as they say so in their reviews. When looking to buy new books, I look at five stars and two stars to get a good look at readers’ thoughts.
Keep writing book reviews, but be nice, and if you can’t be nice, just move on to the next book. A well-written book review will always be appreciated by an author.