How to Write an Effective Book Review

Have you ever asked someone to write a review for you and then you read it and realized they didn’t know exactly what you had in mind? There are various kinds of book reviews: those from a professional, those from an average reader, the short “snippet” that gives it a thumbs up or down with a brief explanation, or the review that goes into great depth of the book content and why it was liked or not liked. just spend a few minutes at Amazon to see all the varieties. And it’s interesting to look at the button that says, “x number of people found this review HELPFUL” because not all reviews are actually helpful.

Here is an article that reminds us of some of the key elements to book reviews.


By Redmond Kaniel

The Internet has changed publishing, making it possible for more people to write published book reviews for the large audience of web surfers looking for perspective before they purchase a book. With more visibility for book reviewers comes the opportunity for them to make money doing what they love to do. Even seasoned book reviewers can always improve their skills. Here are some basic tips for writing a good book review, whether for print or for the Internet. There is no perfect format for writing book reviews, but there are some tried and true methods you can use to structure your work with quality. You want people to read your review and you want to make money at your craft, so whether you review romances, self-help books or classic literature, here are some guidelines.

Before you even start reading the book you are reviewing, ask yourself some basic questions. Consider the type of audience you are appealing to. What will the potential reader think of the book title and what does the title suggest? Be sure to scan the preface or introduction to get a general feel for the book. Sometimes the introduction and the book might not seem to connect or maybe the introduction illuminates the meaning of the book. Use the Table of Contents as an overall map of the book, to help you focus on key developments.

While you read the book, consider certain things. What is the genre of the book? How do you experience the author’s point of view? Is the style and language formal or informal? What concepts or ideas are either developed or left out. Is the book stronger for leaving out or including certain points? Consider footnotes and accuracy of information. What did the book accomplish? Does it compare to other books like it?

Don’t forget, people reading your book review are not curled up with the Sunday Times. They are on the internet. Grab the reader’s attention from the start. Provide information which you might appreciate reading. You do not have to necessarily summarize the plot. Sometimes that ruins it for the reader. You also do not have to state whether you recommend the book or not. Think about what is most useful for the reader. When ending your review, summarize rather than introduce more new topics.

The more you work to refine your book reviewing skills, the more money you can make. The Internet provides a viable venue for people who love books and love writing about them. Book reviewing is an art, which takes time to refine, but the most basic tips will have you writing reviews worth raving about.

About the Author:
Redmond Kaniel is an authority on writing book summaries, working with Shvoong Summaries and Short Reviews. To make money online review information is at Shvoong.

 How to Write an Effective Book Review

Free Review… If You Have an Illness or Disability

Do you have a business? How about an illness or disability? Blogger of “My Chronic Life” says, “I am always happy to help promote businesses that are run by people who have any type of chronic illness or disABILITY. If you would like your business promoted on my blog please contact me.”

How refreshing! Your book doesn’t have to be on your illness or disability. But you should have some kind of “business” thing going — meaning you are actually promoting your book!


Lisa and Joel Copen have a variety of experience in founding a nonprofit that receieves over 80,000 visitors per month, music and sound editing, web design, and book marketing and publishing. They look forward to your ideas to make the series of ebooks on book promotion a practical tool to help you sell more books!

 Free Review... If You Have an Illness or Disability

Book Marketing with Bloggers

A great way to get some exposure and “talk” about your book is to identify bloggers who would be passionate about it. I have done this quite a bit for Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage Your Chronically Ill Friends. This is pocket-size, 94-page book, so the expense of giving them the actual book wasn’t a significant investment. If you’re limited in how many books you can afford to give away, you can send it to them as a document.

Note: As a blogger and editor, however, I can tell you I get about a dozen books a week to review. Those that are actual books that I can take with me to McDonald’s playground or to a waiting room always receive priority. I know I can print out the others, but how many people are going to use up their ink on printing out 250 pages? If you do send an electronic copy, be sure to add some kind of incentive to read it, such as a free gift or mention of the review and the link to their web site to your entire newsletter list of subscribers.

  1. I found bloggers who would be most interested by reviewing the topics that come through from bloggers in my Google Alerts each day.
  2. I searched and the individual blogging directories
  3. I did a search on my name and organization to see who had already blogged about us or one of our events.
  4. I posted on  my “bulletin board” at MySpace for people who were interested in a free copy to contact me.
  5. I invited everyone to let anyone else know who may be interested in blogging about it or reviewing it, such as columnists, or especially editors of newsletters and magazines.

Lastly, I did this big pitch to bloggers right before National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week, which we sponsor. The fact that there was an event gave the blogger some motivation to finish the review early or at least mention the book while posting about the event.

Remember not to do a strong “pitch” asking for a book review. Rather tell the blogger, based on their topics and style, you thought they may be interested in your book. You can also offer to email them 10-20 pages so they can see if they want to request the book.

For more Book Marketing Tips SIGN Up to receive our RSS feed and you’ll be entered to win a copy of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books Book Marketing with Bloggers by John Kremer.

Lisa and Joel Copen have a variety of experience in founding a nonprofit that receieves over 80,000 visitors per month, music and sound editing, web design, and book marketing and publishing. They look forward to your ideas to make the series of ebooks on book promotion a practical tool to help you sell more books!

 Book Marketing with Bloggers

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