I’ve put some serious thought into posting book reviews in the future as I do a lot of reading anyway. Might as well get some blog posts out of it. Today’s blog is going to be more of a thinking aloud project for myself on how to structure a book review. This is not just for my own reference, but a way to encourage other readers to review their favorite authors and books. Small fries authors like myself greatly depend on the reviews of our readers and sometimes I think reviews aren’t left because people are unsure of where to start and how to structure them. This is of course set up for a blog post, but you can apply most of these to leaving a review on Amazon and others as well.
#1 Start With a Simple Rating System
Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Goodreads, Netflix, and several other sites use the five star review system. You don’t have to go with a star rating, but it certainly is the most popular. Another review system could be a simple number. You could say it was an 8/10 read. Or lettering such as primary school grading. This book gets an A+! Whatever the system, we need to make sure it’s easy to understand at a glance, but in the event that it isn’t always include some kind of reference for what those ratings mean. Sometimes it’s fun for a blogger to make up their own system entirely based off of something not related to books in the slightest. Such as, “This is the taco’s delight of all fantasy novels!”
#2 Summary & Cover
It’s always helpful to have a brief summary of the book for those who aren’t familiar with it accompanied by the most popular cover. I usually use the one provided for the book and link the source. Also, including the cover makes it easier to find if someone decides to give it a try. It would also be helpful to link the edition you’re reviewing for sale in case someone wants to buy it.
#3 List The Pros & Cons
Don’t say spoilers! You should be able to convey your message of whether or not you liked a particular thing about the story without giving anything away. People read reviews in hopes of finding something new to read, so don’t ruin the surprises for them! No matter how much you enjoyed or loathed the novel, I think it’s good to add both things you liked and didn’t like about it. Sometimes you can’t find anything wrong with that perfect book, and sometimes you can’t find anything right with that awful one you couldn’t finish, but try. At times you can’t force anything that isn’t there, but try to keep it interesting and don’t always say “I just like it!” Well, why did you like it? Why didn’t you like it? It’s not much of a review if you simply state whether or not you liked it.
#4 To Recommend Or Not To Recommend
That is the question! In the concluding paragraph I would declare whether or not I would recommend the book to others and the reasons why.
See? Pretty simple! A basic structure is the best in my opinion. And that’s just what this is, my opinion. As always I think you should do your own thing and what works for you. Maybe try this structure and then tweak it to your preferences, but do those reviews! I would suggest keeping it simple, however, because I don’t know about you but I’m not usually interested in a ten page essay about something I haven’t read yet. Don’t spend a lot of time trying to analyze it either, a review is different from an analysis. That’s more for people who have already read the book and want to discuss more. Which you could totally do in another post and link to it from your review.
Until Next Time…
I hope this is helpful and will encourage you to go out there and leave those reviews! And as always I have to plug Dragon Bloode: Covet, which is out now everywhere ebooks are sold! Until next time, keep on keeping on.