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.

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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

Does Your Time Spent Online Help Book Sales?

A recent Publishers Weekly article looked at the breakdown of bookselling and the influence an online campaign might have on sales.

Consider this:

Their research cites that online marketing is especially important to fiction titles. According to this study, 21% of book buyers said they learned of books they wanted to buy from online promotion. This vs. 13% who learned of these titles through other means (i.e. reviews, etc.).

Regarding the importance of an author’s platform: a whopping 28% of readers said they chose a book because of the author, while only 9% of readers bought because of subject. (Publishers Weekly, July 20, 2009)

Reprinted from “The Book Marketing Expert newsletter,” a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. http://www.amarketingexpert.com


 Does Your Time Spent Online Help Book Sales?

Are Anthologies Worth My Time? And a Writing Opportunity

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images Are Anthologies Worth My Time? And a Writing Opportunity
I recently received notification of an opportunity for Christian authors to submit their stories (see below) to what will eventually be a series of 12 books! It is a great chance to have your story on prayer heard.

If you are an author, you may wonder why you would want to spend the time submitting to anthologies where you are just a contributor? I’ve been in a few (I’ve posted a couple of the covers) and have found it fun to be a part of the books!

In my book 50 Creative Sales Tips So You Can Sell More Books I explain the perks.

41s8jmja64l sl500 aa240  Are Anthologies Worth My Time? And a Writing Opportunity
Some of them are:

  • You are able to put the anthology book on your web site and list yourself as a contributor.
  • Anthologies are a great way to see how a book is formed and how the compilers work with the contributors to gain media attention. They will likely supply you with promotional and media materials, and you are able to do book signings, radio interviews, and many things you would do as if the book was your own.
  • You become a part of a very large community of peers with amazing resumes. Many of these people have been published hundreds of times. They write for magazines, know publishers, editors, publicists, and reporters and have a large network available for you to learn from. Since the evolution of social media networks like Facebook and Linked In, there’s never been a better time to “make friends” with people in the business and gain contacts with ease.
  • Compilers of anthologies often need and want the contributors to be involved. You may have the opportunity to do a virtual blog tour, book signings, and even appearances at major book industry shows. They will help you organize your efforts in contacting local newspapers, and basically offer anything they can to assist you in helping them market the book. All of this can help you build a worthy set of relationships your network of friends in the business and make it easier for you to get past media gatekeepers. If you call a reporter or staff writer and introduce yourself as a contributor to the newest Chicken Soup for the Soul book, you will be more likely to gain their interest than with your basic credentials.

Here is the writing opportunity I mentioned above! Best of wishes!

Dear Writer, I’d like to invite you to be part of an exciting new series that Guideposts is sponsoring: The Incredible Power of Prayer. You may have contributed to one or more of my story volumes in A Cup of Comfort, Life Savors, or Love is a Verb. Great! I’d love to hear from you whether you’re a previous associate or have not yet submitted anything to my projects.

Prayer is the heartbeat of the Christian life and is an amazing gift from God to us. A prayer in faith can spur God’s heart to “move mountains” on our behalf. The incredible power of prayer can accomplish miracles that go far beyond anything we humans can accomplish on our own.

Guideposts reaches millions of Americans with their upbeat message of God empowering us. And now, Guideposts is launching a series of 12 books on various aspects of prayer and how people from every walk of life have been transformed through God’s responses. These books will be mailed monthly as part of a book club promotion, and will be exclusive to this readership. I am now collecting submissions for the first three books in the series and would welcome as many stories as you wish to submit.

The first volume is Praying from the Heart and covers God answering our deeply felt prayers of great passion, sincerity, and trust. These prayers may be repentant, express deep gratitude, or describe desperate cries that lay bare a person’s deepest needs.

The second volume, The Healing Touch, deals with stories about prayers that lead to physical, spiritual, relational, or emotional healing. They may involve relationships that don’t resolve perfectly, but bring a closer relationship with God and a new sense of purpose and greater ability.

The third volume, Expecting Miracles, includes personal experience stories about audacious prayers with powerful answers. This is where the need is great and God responds extraordinarily.

The answers don’t need to be purely supernatural; God can work in mysterious ways using all kinds of means. Submissions can be up to 2000 words. Each story should have a creative title, an attention-grabbing lead, main body explaining a conflict or challenge, and a resolution. These need to be descriptive and compelling personal experience stories—not simply testimonies.

We prefer original stories but you may also submit previously published stories. The payment is $25 for stories under 1000 words, and $50 for longer stories. You may retain the rights to publish the stories in magazines and books with smaller distribution sources. We are accepting manuscripts from now until at least June 15 for the first three volumes. We’ll announce the finalists for the first volume around October 15.

Please include on each manuscript—not in headers or simply in the e-mail—your name, contact information (address, phone, e-mail, rights offered) and a bio of up to 30 words. Please attach to the e-mail rather than pasting text in the body. Please direct all inquiries and manuscript submissions to my colleague, Jeanette Littleton at IncrediblePrayers@earthlink.net.

And please feel free to let others know about this project. If this e-mail has been forwarded to you, and you can’t submit to this call, but would like to be notified about other editorial needs as they arise, please send us your e-mail address and we’ll add you to our notification list (we do not sell or distribute these e-mail addresses).

Blessings to you and yours,
Jim James Stuart Bell
Compiler, Guideposts Prayer series

 Are Anthologies Worth My Time? And a Writing Opportunity

Snaz Up Your Book Display

Whether you are having a table at the back of the room while speaking, doing a book signing, or trying to get stores to carry your book up on their counter, good display items can make the difference between a “yes” and a “no.” Both the store owner’s response and also the buyer.

We’ve all been to the typical office supply stores and have seen the acrylic stands where you stick a brochure in. But did you know there are hundreds of possibilities for snazzier displays? One of my favorite companies I use is Beemak Plastics, Inc. at www.bemake.com  .I don’t make any money from telling you their name, I just like them. As you look through their web site or flip through the paper catalog, it wil start the brainstorming process.

What would you like to announce to anyone who is glancing at your book?

  • Maybe a favorite quote?
  • A special on the sale price?
  • You are a local author?
  • A percentage of the sales goes to support a charity?
  • A suggestion of people who your book would be a great gift idea?
  • What about a flyer with a tips sheet on the topic of your book?
  • Maybe your book on CD?
  • Or even a box where people can drop their business cards to win a free prize?

Appearance can make all the difference, so don’t forget to take the time to think beyond the book itself so you can present it in the best way possible. And nothing against your local supply store, but a plastic stand really doesn’t have to cost $8. With the money you will save ordering from a specialty store, you can buy book holders for all the shops in town who want to promote your book on their countertop!

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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!

 Snaz Up Your Book Display

National e-Book Conference In Portland, OR, March 6-9, 2008

Portland, OR (PRWEB) January 8, 2008 — Grab your umbrella and favorite electronic reading device (a laptop or PDA will do) and head to the great Pacific Northwest for the 8th annual EPIC conference, “It’s Not Easy Being E,” in Portland, Oregon, March 6-9, 2008, at the Lloyd Center Doubletree Inn. This national conference addresses the emerging electronic publishing industry, and attracts publishers, writers and readers of this new medium.

Headlining the conference is luncheon keynote speaker is Michael Powell, owner of Powell’s Books, which lays claim to being the largest independent bookstore in the world. Powell’s is a noted retailer of e-books, as well as new and hard-to-find used books. The Portland conference will feature e-publisher panel discussions and workshops pertaining to publishing and promoting electronic books, new technologies, and genre and publisher-specific topics. There will be an EPPIE book awards ceremony, honoring excellence in electronic publishing, and opportunities for social and professional networking.

Fees for the three-day conference are $155 for EPIC members and $185 for non-members. A single day rate of $75 is also available. Registration will be open through February 10, 2008.

EPIC, the Electronically Published Internet Connection, is a professional organization for published and contracted e-book and print authors. Established in 1997, EPIC was one of the first advocates of electronic publishing, and has been a strong voice for the industry ever since. Its members write and publish in all literary and non-fiction genres.

For more information on the conference and how to register go to the EPIC website, www.epicauthors.com.

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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 National e Book Conference In Portland, OR, March 6 9, 2008 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!

 National e Book Conference In Portland, OR, March 6 9, 2008

Update Your Author Profile at Good Reads

2677v1 max 450x450 Update Your Author Profile at Good Reads

Visit www.goodreads.com and update your author information. Do a search for your name and you will likely see a “blank” photo where your photo should be. Below it is a link to “email us if you are the author” and then they quickly set up an account for you to log in to. (They responded to my request in less than a couple of hours.) This web site seems to get their “feed” from Amazon. Good Reads describes itself as “A place where you can see what your friends are reading and vice versa. You can create ‘bookshelves’ to organize what you’ve read (or want to read). You can comment on each other’s reviews. And on this journey with your friends you can explore new territory, gather information, and expand your mind.”

This web site reminds me of a very small Amazon book site, with the ability to add reviews, see other people’s reviews, etc. An author can add articles, news, comments, book excerpts, reviews, etc. so it’s worth taking twenty minutes to set up all of the information on your book. I found this web site while doing a search on my own name and a topic I’d been writing articles on. Though their Alexa traffic ranking is just 12,803, if I found my own author profile on this web site without even looking for it, others will too and it’s important to always have your photo, contact information and additional reviews about your book wherever it can be found. See http://www.goodreads.com .

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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 Update Your Author Profile at Good Reads 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!

 Update Your Author Profile at Good Reads

"Swap" Your Book

Sign up for a book swap web site and give your books away in return for book credits. Many of these web sites have a listing of “most recently added” so even if you are not a well-known author, you may just find some extra readers. I use www.paperbackswap.comOther authors have said that they purchase books at a low cost that are a similar style to their own. When someone “buys” it, the author also includes a copy of her book for free. When people receive the books they have the option to write you a note. You may want to mention that you’d appreciate any review they can offer, especially on Amazon.com.
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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 "Swap" Your Book 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!

 "Swap" Your Book

Autograph Those Books for Unique Web Site

Give away an autographed book for great publicity! For $29.95 you can sign up with Autographed by Author www.autographedbyauthor.com and they will send readers to your web site to buy the autographed book directly from you.

They have great search engine rankings so the price for publicity seems like a good investment. Recently, Autographed By Author was #1 (and #4 for Great Gifts) at Google for autographed gifts, #1 at AOL for “autographed books”, and #1 at Google for author signed books.

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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 Autograph Those Books for Unique Web Site 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!

 Autograph Those Books for Unique Web Site

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