I have written reviews of the books I read in rather a hodge-podge way. If I really liked it or really disliked it I might take the time to write a review. I usually did this on Goodreads. That is the place that since 2008 I have used to keep a list of what I have read, want to read, and currently reading. Over the years I’ve added bookshelves for my favorite authors and genres. Using Goodreads this way is great when you are standing in the library and can’t remember that great book you just finished. Pull out your phone, pull up Goodreads and voile, you have the name.
Recently, I’ve gotten serious about writing reviews. This came my love of reading, my understanding of how important reviews are to authors and the idea that hey maybe I can score a free book or possibly get paid. Those last two were just pie-in-the -sky thinking.
So I began writing reviews. I read other people’s reviews of the books that catch my interest and I compared my reviews with others. But was I writing a good review?
I’m so glad I found How To Write a Simple Book Review: It’s easier than you think. Not only did it give me great information on how to improve my reviews, but it validated many of the things I’m already doing. The sections on the various ways to review were easy to understand. Most of us that are reviewing won’t be doing a “literary review”, but will instead be telling others that they should miss this one or stay far away from that one (but in a nice way).
One of the best examples in Ms. Abbott’s book was how to take a one to two-word review and build it into an eighty-word review. She made it almost seem like a game to add words after words until it is formed into a good, concise and informative review.
The sources given were quite helpful and I’ll be bookmarking many of them. I’m going to try and use her Star Graded Template and see how that goes.
It was interesting to read just how much authors want reviews and how they are used.
Ms. Abbott, thank you for writing an excellent book on how to write a review.