Writing book reviews is a great option for people who are passionate about books in general or want to get their foot in the door of the book publishing industry.
Whether you choose to do it as a side hustle, or want to do it for work, there are a few things you should know about how to format and put together book reviews.
If you’ve been wondering how to write a book review, we are going to go over the basics of what you need to know including why you should write them in the first place and a general overview of what to include in yours.
Why You Should Write Book Reviews
Writing book reviews can be valuable for quite a few reasons. Let’s go over a few reasons you might want to commit to doing book reviews and taking the time to create some as you read new books.
Improve your own writing skills
You could use book reviews to improve your own writing and reading skills. When you are passively reading, you aren’t thinking deeply about formatting and things you could apply to your own writing.
If you want to be an author, it can help to analyze how other writers tell their stories and format their books. Writing reviews can give you deeper knowledge and perspective than just reading books can.
Get paid to review books
If you write high-quality reviews and are able to give perspective that most people don’t find in reviews, you can build up your career enough to get paid to review books.
Lots of people also can get books sent to them for free in exchange for a review, which might be a reason you want to start.
Become a book review influencer
If you have been on any of the social media platforms, you have probably come across book influencers. TikTok is rampant with BookTok influencers showcasing their favorite books and sharing what they love to read.
Many people are growing book review accounts and blogs through their hard work. If you ever wanted to become a professional book reviewer or work in the publishing industry, it can be a great way to build a portfolio to show to potential clients.
While not every author chooses to read reviews, especially the particularly mean ones, really helpful reviews can help authors.
You might one day even have the privilege of being able to review book copies before they’re published and helping catch any errors or plot holes.
Why Book Reviews Matter
While we covered why you might want to be interested in writing book reviews and what you get out of it, let’s talk about why they should be made in general.
Think about the last time you bought something new online. You most likely searched through some reviews and took a look at what other people thought about the item. If it was expensive, you probably even looked up some YouTube videos to see how other people liked the item.
That is why book reviews are important — you’re helping other people find things they love.
If you write book reviews, you can help people find their next favorite book. You probably found some books you read in the last year through reviews or recommendations.
Where To Write Book Reviews?
If you’re just starting out, you might want to publish your book reviews on your own social media profiles on Instagram or TikTok. You might even join Goodreads or Storygraph to publish your book reviews and share it with book communities.
If you want to go the extra step, you could start a blog and start to publish your own book reviews. That way, you could build a portfolio to send to publications if you want to start writing for sites.
Tips For Writing Book Reviews
There are a few things you will want to keep in mind as you write your reviews.
#1 – Always keep the reader in mind
Book reviews are not the same as your own personal journaling. You want to keep potential readers in mind and think about what they would want to know.
Every time you write a review, you need to ask yourself, “Why would the person reading this review care about what I have to say? What would stand out to them? What would get their attention?”
#2 – Keep it brief
Unless you have a specified word count to hit, just getting right to the point is the best thing to do.
“Here’s what the book is about, here’s who should read it, and my thoughts on it” is more than sufficient for a review.
How To Write A Book Review
Now that we have gone over all of the basics, it’s time to put pen to paper and start to write your book reviews.
#1 – Give the reader an overview of the book
You don’t want to give away the whole plot of the book, or anything that would spoil the book, but you do want the potential reader to know what they are getting into.
What genre is it in? It is similar to other types of books out there? Would certain readers love this book? Is it a thriller or more of a cozy read?
You can start to outline these points by thinking about how you would describe this book to a friend you want to read this book.
#2 – List reasons why you liked the book
Wsa something about the plot that was shocking? Did you love the character development? Was the writing top-notch?
All of these might be reasons you loved the book. You will want to list as many reasons as possible so you can fit all of your thoughts into your review and find the most compelling reasons someone might want to read (or not read) this book.
#3 – List reasons people might not want to read this book
Whether you liked or didn’t like this book, it’s important to think about who wouldn’t like this book.
Maybe there’s a lot of gore, cheesy romance, or a plot that is hard to follow.
If you didn’t like the book yourself, you might want to take the time to explain why. In a book review, you never just want to say, “I didn’t like it” and not be able to explain why you did or did not like something.
The point of a book review is not only to give your thoughts on the book, but your review will either help encourage or discourage people from reading the book.
#4 – Avoid looking at other reviews
If you look at other reviews, it might taint how you felt about this book. You want your thoughts to be only about your thoughts and feelings about the book.
Have you ever had that experience where you loved a movie and every time you bring it up someone’s like “Oh, I hated that movie!” Doesn’t that taint how you feel about it?
You don’t want anyone else’s opinion to color how you are going to write your view.
#5 – Give an overall review
Whether you rank books by points or stars, you’ll want to ultimately give books an overall ranking.
What To Do Next
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