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How to Write a Book Review

How to Write a Book Review

How to Write a Book Review
How to Write a Book Review

How to Write a Book Review

Most people are frightened at the thought of writing a book review for public display, however, along with the cover and the title, reviews are most influential in selling books. There is nothing more helpful you can do for your fellow-readers than write a review, and it will almost certainly help the author too! It is also a misconception that only good reviews help authors.

Sometimes, too many excellent reviews make prospective purchasers suspicious, so mostly all good, is better than all good. However, that should not be your concern, your review should always be honest, and any author who tries to suggest that you write praise for his or her book doesn’t deserve your review.

There are many opinions of what a review should look like, look with a search engine and you will see, but I have written a basic model, from which you can develop your own style.

Remember: reviews are only people’s opinions, so give yours according to these guidelines, but without the headings.

Steps to Writing a Book Review

1) Appearance: people do judge books by their covers, so is it intriguing or exciting? Does it match the storyline? Is the book’s title appreciate? And are the chapter headings in the table of contents interesting? Is the book well laid out? Is the overall effect pleasing to the eye?

2) Plot: Is the story riveting, interesting, intriguing? Does it flow well? How well is the underlying concept of the book presented? Are the characters and descriptions believable?

3) Development: Is the story told well? Does it flow? Is there continuity – does it hold together – is it consistent?

4) Format: is the storyline intelligible to its target readership or does it go over their heads – or is it too simplistic?

5) Marketability: Is the story too simple, too lewd, too raunchy or too anything for the people who will probably read it? Is it likely to do well? Did you like it and will others? What genre do you think it fits into and is it a good fit?

Overall Opinion: mark each of the above five sections out of five (or ten), add the figures up and divide by five, and you have your rating – round it up or down, depending on how you feel.

You don’t have to keep these ‘chapters’ in the same order as above. Juggle them about until you find your own style, but above all, don’t be frightened of giving your own opinion, and never worry about conflicting judgments. Some people don’t like Shakespeare or Chaucer – so what?!

Giving a review usually increases a reader’s pleasure in reading, so try it and see what you think.

If you want to get started, write one for me. Go to:


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