How to Write a Book Review

How to Write a Book Review

Do you ever wonder what the best way is to support your each other as authors? Of course, purchasing books, reading each other’s books, and telling your friends about them is the best way of getting the word out. Guest hosting an author and posting about their book is helpful, too.


One of the best ways of showing your support is reviewing the books you read. When you purchase a book from Amazon or Barnes & Nobel online there is a place for you to write a short review. also provides a place for reviews. Most readers don’t leave one because it intimidates them. People think that there are certain requirements you must have to be a book reviewer. Not true any more. Even if you didn’t purchase the book online, you can still go on the website, log on, and enter a review.


Amazon has changed some of the rules and you need to be careful about saying things like “buy this book” or “if you liked James Patterson, then you’ll love this.” However, there are still many things that can be put in your comments that don’t cross the lines and you can really help your fellow authors. Reviews help in sales and in rankings.

I’d like to give you some tips on how to write a simple, short review that is easy and only takes a few minutes of your time. You can read the book in print form or e-book it doesn’t matter. Fear keeps us from doing a lot of things. Don’t be scared of writing a review.


Some suggestions:

  • The theme represents …
  • I enjoyed the story because …
  • The relationships between characters demonstrated …
  • It is well written …
  • My favorite character …
  • The story is well researched …
  • Read some of the reviews posted for examples and write one in your own words.
  • A review does not have to be only positive statements, but can include points that you feel are negative. Just be sure that you stick to the subject and the writing, do not get personal about the author.
  • If the writing is not professional, then it is alright to say that.
  • If the research in a historical novel is obviously well done, then mention it.
  • It can be a great story that isn’t told very well.
  • Tell whether you like the book or not.
  • Would you recommend it to others?
  • Don’t just give the book five stars because you liked the story. Not every good story deserves five stars.
  • Be honest.
  • If you read a book and don’t feel like you can give the book three stars or more and are not comfortable doing a review, then tell the author that you’d rather not do a review. Be tactful, but don’t lie. You’re not doing us a favor when you give us a review we don’t deserve and the reader feels cheated and won’t read our next book. Personally, I’d rather you tell me it needs more work and isn’t as professional as it could be. Believe me, it wouldn’t be the first time I heard a rejection that said I needed to work on my book to prepare it better for public consumption. Hopefully, my book is still in a place where I can pull it and make corrections before the general public sees it.

I hope this helps take some of the anxiety out of writing a review. Offer to read other published author’s books and review them and they may be willing to do the same for you.


Dianne G. Sagan

Hybrid Author/Facilitator/Speaker

January 2014


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