Writing a Book Review: Why and How
You see a book that triggers your attention, but you don’t know the author. You might take a chance if the book’s on sale or free.
Why Reviews Are Important to Both Authors and Readers
Another influence is a review or taking note of the number of stars a book has. In the exponentially growing world of online book sales, reviews are important to both authors and readers. As a reader, I don’t need to tell you how useful it is when you look for a new book!
But for an author, it’s just as important. Think of it as helping an author as well as sharing your good experience with other readers. Authors rely on reader feedback to get the word out about them and their books. People love giving their opinion, so why not do it to help authors and other readers?
Common Objections to Writing a Book Review
“I don’t know what to write!”
Friends tell me they liked my book but feel bashful about writing a review. “I don’t know what to say,” they tell me. So, I ask, “What did you like about it?”
They may say, “Well, I liked the characters. They seemed like real people to me.” Or, “I loved the setting. I felt like I was in Provence/Florence/Paris.” Or “I couldn’t put the book down because I had to find out what happened.”
That, my reading friends, is a review! A review is NOT a summary of the book. It’s not a book report. It’s your opinion about what you liked. That’s it!
“I don’t have time to write a review!”
Writing a review takes about 5 minutes. Once you locate where to write the review (usually at the bottom of the book page) it may even take seconds, especially if you just leave stars. Some tips on quick review-writing follow.
“My review doesn’t matter.”
Yes, it does! Even if you don’t write a thing but leave 4 or 5 stars, you’re giving an opinion about the book.
Tips on Writing a Review
- Write what you liked about the book on a piece of paper. Keep it to 2 sentences, if you want to be brief, get to the point, or don’t have much time. Not much more is needed. (Most people only look at the number of stars anyway!)
- If you didn’t like the book, it won’t help anyone to leave a negative review, unless you are truly offended and want to warn others. (Hopefully not!) Add a few stars. Four or five are the most helpful to authors. And if you’re short on time, just put up a few stars, so there’s no need to comment.
- You don’t need to leave your real name. Just initials, or first name last initial, or a name you like to use when you’re going incognito! That’s just fine!
- Don’t forget reviews on places like Goodreads or Bookbub. And you can post the same review on various platforms if you want. It’s a great way to get the word out, helping authors and readers alike.
- This is especially helpful for a new release, which doesn’t have much traction yet, and also for lesser-known authors.
- On Amazon, just scroll all the way down the book page until you see where you can leave a review. (If you’re not an Amazon customer at all with no account, they likely won’t post it.) Most other platforms make it clear where you can leave your review.
A.R.C. Readers (Hint: Get Free Books!)
Most authors like to have a few A.R.C. readers as they release a new book. What’s an A.R.C. reader? It means Advance Reader Copy. It means you get a free eBook in advance with the idea that during release week, you’ll post your review so the book gets a great start in life. I’m gathering some A.R.C. readers myself if you’d like to join that team. Just let me know at contact@Kyle-Hunter.com. It gets you free books, and you can help me to spread the word! Sometimes I will give away books that aren’t new, to boost their reviews.
Think of it this way. You’re giving your opinion, helping authors, and helping readers. And all that takes about five minutes!
Authors, including this one, will THANK you for your effort!
Happy Reviewing AND Reading!