Blogger: Michelle Ule
Sitting in for the traveling Rachelle Gardner.
Why do writers always want readers to write a book review?
What difference does it make?
Here are four reasons why you’ll do a writer a favor if you’ll write a book review.
Not the score you give, but the fact a book gets them.
The booksellers and publishers pay attention when a book garners reviews.
Amazon, in particular, has some ever-changing alchemy that determines whether the book should be publicized based on numbers of reviews.
(Who knows what that number of reviews is?)
It also indicates people are reading it.
It’s very exciting for a writer if people the writer is not related to, read their book.
We’re amazed, often, by what people discover in a book we wrote.
From the reaction of readers, a writer and their publishing house know what to emphasize in marketing the book.
Liberal gifts of five stars feel like pats on the back, especially if you don’t get any one-stars.
But even negative reviews are important.
As a reader examining reviews (Amazon, Goodreads, Publisher’s website, Barnes and Noble, Christianbooks and so forth), I pay more attention to three-and-under stars than three-and-over.
If readers go to the trouble to write a review, they must feel strongly about the book.
As noted above, reviews can drive sales.
A review demonstrates someone purchased a book.
Reviews that show up the week of a book’s launch can add momentum to sales.
Reviews also encourage readers who are just browsing to consider purchasing a book.
The more reviews, the more reactions people have had to a book.
I read reviews online rather than back-cover-copy before I purchase a book.
Better Books in the Public Eye
How does a publisher determine what should be published?
You don’t think they pay attention to reviews–particularly the numbers garnered? (See above)
If more people wrote reviews on the books they liked, they might influence the quality of books published.
Questions about Writing a Book Review
How do you write a book review?
Talk about what you liked or didn’t like about the book. If you have a problem with something the writer wrote, mention that.
If you think readers of a specific book might also enjoy this one, mention it.
Give a rating if you like.
It can be any length; shorter might be better. I don’t usually write much myself.
(For examples of terse book reviews, you’re welcome to look at my Goodreads page. Generally speaking, I don’t often review books written by Books & Such authors).
Is this the same thing as writing a book report?
No, you’re just giving your opinion about a book you read.
Can I only write a good review?
Of course not, but be fair.
Do I need to relate the entire plot?
Of course not, and we’d prefer you don’t.
If you want to talk about the plot give a vague outline–or see the back of the book copy.
Will I hurt my friend’s feelings if I give it a poor review?
Only you can answer that question. If it’s an honest review, they will swallow hard and move on.
If they even read them . . . writers are often advised not to read their reviews.
What if I don’t finish reading the book or if it’s a genre I don’t like?
Don’t bother with a review unless you can say something constructive.
What if I was given the book or I got it through the author?
You probably should note that in your review.
You can use words like, “I was given this book by the publisher and was not limited in what I could say in a review.”
Where to write reviews
Bookseller sites, Goodreads, your own blog.
Just write one for the sake of the writers, please.
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