Both readers and writers love reviews! Even if the opinions expressed are not always positive, reviews are important. Since it’s not wise to judge a book by its cover, readers sometimes need to hear opinions of others before they decide to invest time and money into a book. Writers are always looking for the parts of their books readers enjoy. Even negative reviews are helpful to writers. It helps them know what worked and what didn’t work in their writing.
Here are some tips on how to review books on Amazon or Goodreads (or any other review site).
- Give the book a star rating! Five stars are the best, of course, but it’s also okay to give a book three stars, or even one star. Be honest.
- The hook: You want the reader to be interested in what you have to say. The best way to do this is with a hook. Just like a fisherman baits and hooks a fish, you need to latch on to your reader from the start. Your hook can be a question (Do you like to curl up with a cozy mystery?), a statistic (85% of people who read novels read to escape), a quote (“The more you read, the more you’ll know”), or a dramatic statement (I just read the best book of my entire life!).
- A brief outline of the plot (no spoilers!). Does the story conflict keep you guessing? Look at the summary at the back of the book for pointers. You want the reader to know excitement abounds, but don’t give away the story.
- Mention your favorite character(s) and why you like him/her/them. Again, no spoilers, please!
- Take a minute to research the author(s) and include an interesting fact about the writer. (“Liza Doolittle has written fourteen cozy mysteries.”)
- Finally, end with your recommendation. Is this book for mystery lovers? Would crafters enjoy it? What about tea and coffee connoisseurs? Or maybe it’s just a good story that most people would enjoy.