I've been on blogger a long time now and during this time I've written many book reviews. Many were short and sweet, some a bit long and convoluted. Now that I've joined the excellent Cephalopod Coffeehouse Book Review Club, ably hosted by Armchair Squid, I've been aiming to write better book reviews.
My first book review shouted loud and long about my favourite read of the month, The Bookseller, by Mark Pryor, an excellent thriller set in Paris, the first in a series. I took my time writing this, and it paid off. Mark saw it and emailed me. The upshot is both he and his publicist were thrilled, and a result of this is I'm being sent the second book in the series and an ARC of the third, yet unpublished. As if this wasn't enough of a thrill, Mark has also agreed to be interviewed on my blog, in between crafting his next Hugo Marston novel which entails a trip to Barcelona. Tough life.
I read recently that the best reviewers are often practising writers, so most of us fit the bill. If you love reading as much as I do (I aim for 100+books a year - I don't need much sleep), it's nice to write about the best.
HOW TO REVIEW - my 10 tips
- Make notes as you read.
- Be on the lookout for quotable quotes. These give readers an idea of the writer's style.
- Get your introduction right; be worthy of the book you're reviewing. Hook the reader.
- If you have any criticism, give a concrete example; don't generalise.
- Write about the book, not yourself. Don't show off at someone else's party by trying to prove your own writing prowess.
- Try to avoid: 'I think/In my opinion'. Readers know the whole review is your opinion.
- Compare when appropriate -- perhaps make connections between the book and current issues. Or measure against similar stories in the genre.
- Don't retell the story blow by blow.
- Never give away the ending.
- Reviewing requires respect.
- It's Halloween month. Please sign up in my right hand sidebar to join those submitting creepy stories, photos or artwork etc for the Write...Edit...Publish bloghop.
- Do you have some book review tips to add to my list?