Book Review Basics

How to write honest and effective book reviews authors will promote and customers will find helpful

A proper book review is a critical analysis of story telling, writing technique, and adherence to genre. The title, rendered in capital letters for internet use and underlined for print use, should appear in either the first or second sentence.

Never give away critical plot points, especially the ending. A book review should relay what the reader liked, what story aspects were intriguing, how well a book was crafted, and how it fits the intended genre.

Never make negative comments in a book review, as that only appears crass and always results in the review being relegated to social media banter.

Do sprinkle in a short grabber sentence or two that the author or publisher can extract for promotional purposes.

Because of the abuse of reviewing and commenting on many popular retail and social media sites today, never offer a review unless you can give a book either 4 or 5 stars. If you want to say something nice about a book but are unsure of how to rate it, then do not give a rating. If the site in question requires a rating, then never give a book you feel good enough to recommend to others less than 4 stars.

Authors and publishers are hungry to find honest book reviewers, but you must first establish trust. The best way to do that is to build a reputation as an honest reviewer, one who posts only positive reviews and sends all negative comments in private back to the author or publisher in question.

Remember, trusted book reviewers get to read books for free, mostly in ebook these days but often in paperback. Don’t just cater to the whims of publishers and authors. Be honest about your reviews and always be kind. Adhere to the few basic rules of good book reviewing and you will have more free books coming your way to read than you can manage.