Here are seven tips for writing book reviews that will have readers anxious to learn more.
- Always mention the name of the author and the book title in the first paragraph — there's nothing more frustrating than reading a review of a great book but not knowing who wrote it and what the title is! I like to post a picture of the book cover at the beginning of the review. I hope the cover will make the reader curious about what is inside the book and read the entire review. (Yes, you can judge a book by it's cover.)
- If possible, use one paragraph for each point you want to make about the book. It's a good way to emphasize the importance of the point. It will also make the review easier on the eyes. I like to use bullet points and bold type to emphasize important points in the review.
- Try to get the main theme of the book across in the beginning of your review. Your reader should know right away what he or she is getting into should they choose to read the book.
- Is the book fiction or non-fiction? Is it a memoir or biography? Does the book fit into a genre like mystery, adventure, or romance? Many book reviewers specialize in specific types of books. My expertise is non-fiction and children's books so I seldom review books outside of these areas. I do not feel qualified to review fantasy and science fiction because I have very little experience with these genres. A book reviewer can fill a need for information in many different niches.
- What do you like or dislike about the author's writing style? Are there grammatical errors and typos? Is the book appropriate for the intended audience? Is the writing style casual or formal? Are there illustrations? How do the illustrations enhance the story?
- Try using a few short quotes from the book to illustrate your points. This is not absolutely necessary, but it's a good way to give your reader a sense of the author's writing style.
- Make sure your review explains how you feel about the book and why, not just what the book is about. A good review should express the reviewer's opinion and persuade the reader to share it, to read the book, or to avoid reading it.