Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Book Reviews: Their Importance and How to Write Them

Book Reviews: Their Importance and
How to Write Them
The Importance of  Book Reviews for Readers and Writers

Book Reviews. Oh the pressure of reading the required book and then writing the review brings back the picture of my sixth-grade teacher hovering over me. And don't even go there about her criticism about the grammar and spelling or even neat handwriting. Visions of all the red ink that covered the page come to mind when Miss Oldaker noted every error. And then, the command to "re-write" the entire review.

Okay, relax. You can breathe now. We are not talking about a sixth-grade book report. Far from it. I'm discussing online book reviews, a kinder, gentler exercise written because you want to share the great book you read with other readers so they can enjoy the experience as much as you did.

Word-of-mouth is the best advertising when one receives information about a product or service from a friend, neighbor, or family member. Online book reviews work in a similar fashion. Do you read product reviews online to help you decide whether to purchase? Click here for a study showing that 85 percent of people trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. Book reviews can make a difference in influencing readers to buy a book.

Book publishing has changed the way it does business. Authors and small presses are able to publish their books with easy access to readers instead of having to go through only the elite few of big city publishers. The advent of super booksellers online allows readers to share their opinion about the books they read to help readers find a book as well as authors to get noticed.

No longer is a book published, then off the shelves after a few months. Instead, the book is available for a long time on virtual shelves and its popularity can grow through time. Sales can occur throughout its lifetime rather than a flush of sales when first released. 

Readers and their reviews drive this new model and mindset in book publishing.

If you're a writer, be prepared to market your book forever! Just because your book is a year old or two years old or more, celebrate each birthday and in between with fresh new ideas on promoting it.
Tips on Writing a Book Review
Tips on Writing a Book Review
Consider these tips when writing a book review.
* Go to the page where you bought the book and near the book review comments area, you will find a place to click that says "Write a Review."
* Rate the book using the bookseller's ratings e.g. 1-5 stars. 5 Stars means you really really loved the book, 1 star is you didn't like the book. 
* Because you are on the book's sales page, you do not need to explain the whole plot of the book because it is on the sales page.
* Don't worry about a title for the review yet. Write the review first, then pick out a phrase you used in the review as the title.
* You need not write a long review. Three sentences or more are fine as long as the reader understands if you liked the book or not and why e.g. I liked the book because I really identified with the main character or I liked the way the author described the setting of the book.
*Write as if you are talking to a friend on the phone or at a coffee shop. Keep it casual and write how you talk. 
* Compare it to another book you liked and why this book reminded you of the other book.
* If you feel you'd like to read another book by the author, say so.
* Recommend it to readers of the genre such as cozy mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, etc.
* If you received the book as a gift from the author or publisher, amazon requires you to divulge this. But just say you are voluntarily leaving a book review. 
*You'll receive an email from the bookseller allowing you to read through the review and make changes if needed.
* You can leave your book review at goodreads, amazon, kobo, Barnes and Noble, Walmart and booksellers where you have an account.

The information in the diyMFA newsletter by Gabriella Pereira inspired this blog post. 

Articles on Book Reviews by Sandra Beckwith contributed to this post. 
Click here to visit Sandra's site at Build Book Buzz.
Thank you Gabriella and Sandra!

This article was originally published in February 2019. Because it was a popular one, I thought I'd re-cycle it this week so I can enjoy a lovely summer week!

Do you leave book reviews online? I hope so. When my publisher turned my mysteries into second editions, I lost all the reviews. Sad. If you have read my books, I would appreciate it if you could take the time to add a review to the book sales page. Thank you.

Meet authors and discover new books
at the Summer Readers Circle.
GOOD NEWS: Double the fun next week when two guest authors visit to explain why they wrote their book and to answer questions from readers in the Readers Circle. Stop in to meet my BWL Publishing pals, Reed Stirling and Connie Vines. 

Have a fantastic week full of summer fun!


Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

"If you're a writer, be prepared to market your book forever! Just because your book is a year old or two years old or more, celebrate each birthday and in between with fresh new ideas on promoting it." Love that! I'm going to start implementing your advice straight away!

Helena Fairfax said...

Thanks for the reminder of how important reviews are, JQ. I do read reviews before buying books. I always have the best intentions of leaving a review, but often I do forget. Your post has reminded me how important it is to take a few minutes' time on finishing a book.

J.Q. Rose said...

Yes, it's kind of scary knowing my books will be floating around cyberspace even after I'm dead!!!

J.Q. Rose said...

Good Helena. Glad it was a reminder. I really think reviews help readers. I depend on them whether it's a book, cell phone or a hand mixer I'm going to buy. Even just a few sentences is better than none.

Marsha said...

Hey, JQ. I don't remember this from before. So glad I saw it today. I never wrote reviews before I became a reader. I didn't understand the importance. I confess, I mostly read on my Kimble and when you finish a book there, the request for a review pops up and it's just really easy to leave. Sorry about the loss of your reviews. I thought that happened to mine when I republished under MRW Press LLC, but I just noticed Vermont Escape had 25, so maybe that got restored. Hope yours are, too. Enjoy your summer break.

Susan Bernhardt said...

Wonderful post J.Q. I do try to review the books that I read, but even more so now, that I'm an author. I know they are important for sales. It's fun to read mine.

J.Q. Rose said...

I'm sure readers have no idea about how valuable a review is to readers and authors. I hope this post brings awareness.

J.Q. Rose said...

Yes it is fun to read them especially the 4 and 5 star ones!!!

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