Book reviews play a vital role in the world of publishing. Not only are they a tremendously powerful marketing tool (if the reviews are glowing, that is), but they provide authors with vital validation and confidence.
On this site, you can find a wealth of information on reviewing books from the perspective of both the reviewer and the writer. You can also find a stack of book reviews covering a wide range of genres.
What Is A Book Review?
A book review is simply an expression of your honest thoughts on a book that you’ve read or tried to read.
Your review of the book could range from a sentence or two to an essay. Different book reviews tend to focus on different things. Some may break down the characters, the plot, the worldbuilding and other features.
Nowadays, a book review could consist of a written piece, posted on blogs or online platforms, or it could come in the form of a vlog on platforms like YouTube, Instagram or TikTok. Let’s take a look at that side of it in more detail.
Where To Submit Book Reviews
Nowadays there are scores of places where you can share and submit your book reviews. Here’s a breakdown:
- Social media platforms – On Instagram, you can now become part of a book-loving community called Bookstagram. These bookworms share pictures of their books and videos of their reading experiences. The same is the case over on TikTok where the BookTok community is thriving.
- Goodreads – This is arguably the biggest website for books and reviews. You can find pretty much any book and leave a rating or couple that up with a written review.
- YouTube – video book reviews by Booktubers are becoming more and more popular. Humans are visual creatures and a video format for a review can make for a more entertaining experience.
- Amazon – this is the biggest marketplace for books by far. Leaving a book review here is massively important. It helps the authors out and helps other readers work out what to read next.
Why Write A Book Review?
When an author invests a significant period of their life to write a book, hearing from someone who’s read it is a huge deal.
Now don’t get me wrong, if you want to tell them how much you hated the book, then they’re probably not going to be too enthused.
But to hear how much you connected with it, how you loved the characters and enjoyed the twists and turns, that’s the magical fuel that keeps writers going. It’s one of the reasons they bravely share their work with the world in the first place, on the off chance that someone might like it.
So leaving a book review is important. It’s one of the most important things you can do as a reader. And it doesn’t have to be anything too deep. Just a few words or sentences are enough, something that tells the author what you enjoyed.
How To Write A Book Review
When you write a book review, it’s similar to having a conversation with someone about a book you’ve recently read. Your aim is to share your experience and help others make a decision as to whether or not they want to read it too.
To begin writing a book review, you should start by reading the book cover to cover, taking notes as you go along. Pay attention to the plot, characters and development, writing and prose style, and any themes or premises that the author tries to convey. Once you’ve finished reading, take some time to think about your overall impression of the book and what you want to say about it.
Then, sit down and start writing your review. You typically start with a brief summary of the plot so that readers can get a sense of what the book is about without any spoilers. Following that, delve into your thoughts and opinions about the book. You might discuss the characters and how well-developed they are, the writing style and whether it’s captivating or not, or any themes or messages that stood out to you. Aim to be specific and provide examples to support your opinions so that readers can understand your perspective.
When writing a book review, it’s crucial to keep in mind that your job isn’t to dictate how readers should feel or think. Each person’s experience is unique, and what you may love or dislike about a book may not be the same for someone else.
Instead, your role is to provide your honest opinion and insights and let readers decide for themselves.
Head Here To Learn How To Write A Book Review
How To Get A Review For Your Book
Let’s take a look at the other side of the coin—a writer seeking a book review.
Getting a book review isn’t straightforward. The obvious issue is that there are only so many book reviewers and millions of books—a figure which grows each year.
With more books than humans available to read and review, competition is understandably fierce. The task for the writer, then, is to attract the attention of potential book reviewers and bloggers.
Doing this isn’t easy. However, there are a few things you can work on. Firstly, nail your pitch. Most of us will only get one chance to woo a book reviewer, and usually, that takes place via an email or social media message.
In those few words, you need to explain why that person will enjoy your book. There are ways you can follow to increase the chance of success, which I share in another guide, the link to which you can find at the bottom of this section. But it remains very much a numbers game. You simply need to send out a lot of requests and hope for the best. Nailing your pitch will stand you in good stead.
Head Here To See A List Of Book Reviewers
Learn More About Book Reviews
Below, you can find some more useful resources on book reviews:
- This university guide offers support on writing a book review
- Learn all about academic book reviews here
- And here’s another college guide to writing reviews of books
- Learn more about being a fantasy writer
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