The ABCs of . . . Reviewing Reviewed

Hurrah!  I’ve been wanting to do book reviews, but time serious constraints as you know, have made that nearly impossible.  I’ve agreed to do one, because I really like and respect this fellow blogger-writer, who shall remain nameless until the review post is published in two or three weeks.  (The intention [but net yet a bona-fide promise] going forward: do one review every four months, until such time that the ol’ schedule allows for more.)

Past posts have revolved around acquiring reviews, receiving reviews, doing reviews as an income, but not really touched upon the process of writing one.  So let’s look at it from the fiction standpoint (and leave non-fiction for another time).

A review is a critical evaluation and interpretation—yours.  It’s usually short, maybe 1000 words.  It provides followers/readers with a summation of a story and an analytical appraisal.  It generally advises whether said followers/readers will like it.

Make sure to include the following in your review:

  • title and author’s name, which goes without saying
  • genre / theme
  • publication date
  • number of pages
  • price

Just as you would (should) do with your blog posts, hook folks with a snappy/catchy opening sentence and/or heading.  Make them want to read that review from beginning to end.

Take into account the following:

  • title (is it effective, appropriate?)
  • genre (does it conform?)
  • point of view / author’s writing style
  • main character(s)
  • plot and setting / mood and tone
  • believability factors (do the characters seem real?  is the story-line plausible?)
  • connection component (is there something you can relate to?).

Ready to write that review?  Do this:

  • review the book honestly
  • write for your readers (consider your audience)
  • provide a small plot summary
  • include the author’s background (other books written, website/blog, reputation, qualifications)
  • advise/recommend who the book would appeal to and why.

If you loved the book, share why.  If you didn’t like the book, share why, but be fair (never rude or discourteous).  Maybe there’s something that didn’t ring true, or something that could be changed?  reveiwwriting1

To keep it simple, break your book review in these parts: introduction, evaluation, summary and recommendation.  You’ve no doubt seen point or grade systems on different blogs/sites: feel free to use one, but if you’re doing this regularly, stick with the same one.  Consistency and all that.

Happy reviewing.