Now does everyone know what a book review is??
Because before I teach you how to write the most PERFECT book review that will actually shoot you to stardom and success guaranteed to work 1 time in 190,000 — we need to make sure we’re all on the same page * about what a book review actually is. I mean I assume you’ve either (a) read one, (b) written one, or (c) are thinking about apple strudels. But just in case here’s the definition:
Yes I made this cute little graphic to summarise all of book blogging in 3 simple points, SO YOU’RE WELCOME FOR THAT.
* HAR HAR. DID YOU GET THAT PUN? DID YOU????
Now, as a book blogger or bookworm or useless piece of lettuce in society, * you want to write the best book reviews you possibly can.
That’s why I’m here to help. Yes! I know! I actually do occasionally lose my mind and actually write HELPFUL POSTS! So today I’m going to break down HOW to write that tricky book review for you and cut out all the confusion and basically be a pure gift to society. My family always calls me a gift to society, usually when they’re trying to…you know…give me away somehow. They’re so fun!
Let’s get into it, shall we?
* Oh wow, huge burn @ me.
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- This step is actually a LOT more complicated than it seems. I mean, there are millions of books out there???? What do you choose???
- So helpful hints —> choose a new book, preferably one that just hit the shelves!
- Your audience will be SUPER KEEN to see what you think of that brand new shiny release because it is The Topic Of The Moment which is exciting. Everyone is going to love this.
- Just be aware, though, that probably everyone is reviewing it.
- Pls don’t be just another “boring voice in the grey mists of Mt. Doom.”
- Try reviewing some underrated books. Or old ones. They say “back list” so you can BRING IT BACK.
- Preferably never review those new ones. It’s just too annoying reading the same review over and over.
- If you review the backlist books NO ONE will have heard of them!! Great right?!?
- Also no one will read the review because no one’s heard of them.
- And just make sure you have a good RIGHT and REASON to review that book. Or else, like, is it really your place to review a book on topics you know nothing about?
- Everyone has a voice and opinion though.
- Share yours. Always.
- Other things that can factor into your decision to pick a book are:
- Is it due back at the library and you’re ABOUT TO GET MASSIVE FINES???????
- Did the publisher send it to you? Review it!
- And don’t worry they like their reviews a little late…so 2021 is totally ok.
- Did you buy it?? Review it!
- Is it pretty?! Share the pretty!
- Just don’t be like shallow about book aesthetics though. Be Vegemite in a world full of marmite.
- Still have literally no clue which book to review?
- OKAY GOOD LET’S MOVE FORWARD!
- This is the crucial part so pay close attention.
- When writing a review, it’s important to logically and methodically talk about what you LIKED vs DISLIKED in a book.
- It’s really rather better if you approach this really professionally. Imagine you’re working for a newspaper (IDK do we still have those) and wearing a suit and drinking coffee out of a company cup. This book deserves your literary analysis.
- Do NOT let emotions run rampant in the streets.
- I can’t even stress that enough.
- This !! is !! not !! a !! game !!
- OK now that we’ve cleared that up —> make sure you’re having fun.
- You aren’t getting paid to do this! I mean WHO EVEN CARES how you review this book. This is your 1% space of the internet and all you’re here to do is (a) entertain yourself, and (b) entertain others. Hopefully without murdering anyone with centuries old Celtic knives you took from the tombs of your ancestors.
- So please make sure you talk to your followers like people.
- You ain’t writing a speech. You’re writing emotions and feelings.
- Make sure to break up your review with lots of visuals! This helps the reader stay focused.
- Long blocks of text = super boring.
- They say “a picture is worth a thousand words”…so delete half your review and just put a gif in. IT’LL BE AWESOME.
- Speaking of gifs = have at ’em.
- It’s a great way to express what you’re FEELING by using random celebrity faces or that melting cake or that diver doing a belly-flop in the Olympics and is now ever immortalised as a gif and do you think this keeps them up at night??
- ok ok moving on
- DON’T FORGET YOUR BOOKISH PHOTOGRAPHY. It is the rage these days and 10/10 want to see you on bookstagram too because you don’t have enough to do running a blog as is.
- Now that we’ve discussed the need for lots and lots of visuals please remember to go easy on the visuals.
- It’s like stabbing your eyeballs 98 times when you see GIFS FLASHING !! ON !! EVERY !! CORNER !!
- You can’t focus on the text like that, mate. I can barely focus on word as is. I have no attention span.
- Keep me focused on the WORDS.
- Less is more. For like literally everything.
- Unless you’re eating cheese, then dude, ignore that saying.
- So basically remember —> no gifs, few photos, be the minimalist you’ve never been or wanted to be inside.
- Another important thing to remember when writing your review is: remember everyone has feelings!
- Ergo, don’t hurt the authors feelings. Lie if you gotta. Like what is honesty anyway.
- I mean, authors should 100000% not ever be reading your review. EVER. But protect their feelings anyway.
- Obviously if you want to be true to yourself, you should say how you feel!
- Honesty. Is. Key.
- But probably do that and then don’t.
- And just remember that no opinion is “wrong” because we are all allowed to think how we like! Freedom of thought and speech and all that.
- Except 87 people on Goodreads will remind you that your opinion is not as good as their opinion. Not all opinions are created equal, obviously.
- We are conducting vague research using stale donuts and horcruxes to try and figure it out.
- Basically when writing a review (1) be honest and be YOU, and (2) make sure you cater to everyone else’s opinions too because IDK man why not.
- This is like a SUPER hard part of reviewing!
- It’s like you have to summarise your 400-word review with a couple of galaxies?!? Who invented this. Who hates us.
- And it’s worse since Goodreads doesn’t do half stars.
- Although are half stars really necessary? Pfft. You’re being pedantic. It’s just a star rating.
- It’s no big deal!!
- Now since it is such a big deal, take a lot of time/thought/care with your decision here.
- Think: what would the author do —> even though I SWEAR THEY SHOULD NEVER BE READING THEIR REVIEWS.
- Never never never give 1-stars out. Like why are you so cruel? Where did your humanity go? If you’re giving 1-star reviews you’re probably the kind of person who steals cupcakes from babies.
- You beast.
- Of course 1-stars exist for a reason so do use them. It’s your opinion after all. EXPRESS YOURSELF.
- (But just not like that, jeez, wow.)
- No one trusts a reviewer who’s throwing around all 4 and 5 stars!! We wanna see your rants and we wanna see the realistic lower ratings!
- But if possible, just rate everything THREE stars. That’s middle ground!
- Except 3-stars means you HATED it.
- Even though 3 is literally higher than being in the middle of a 5-star rating. So technically 3 stars means the book was better than average.
- But also 3-stars means you HATED it. Apparently.
- If you give out more than a few 5-star ratings a year, you’ve obviously got no standards.
- Life is too short not to give out 5-stars thought, so like, if you feel lead??? Go for it. Make someone’s day! Show your love for a book!!
- Or else just rate everything 4-STARS. And then leave a gif.
- Ok ok we’re good now.
- OK so this is the part where you get to SHARE your great review with the world!
- Obviously only get to this step if you hate yourself.
- Because hopefully by this time you’ve written quite a cool review and you’re proud of it.
- Maybe it’s a little rant! Maybe it’s a little flail!
- Either way you put effort into this so let’s post it.
- Also have like an small rucksack full of tangerines and spare socks because you will leave the country directly after this.
- A good place to post it is on Goodreads. This is where everyone goes to make sure you remember they hate the world. I mean, the world is murky so why not!
- Try finding a random reviewer you DO NOT KNOW and then contradicting everything in their review. When it literally doesn’t matter. Because who the heck cares, hmm??
- But do it.
- Also rate a few books you haven’t read that are coming out in 2020.
- Do it.
- Also Goodreads is a really lovely place to organise and catalogue books and make lists. 10/10 recommend.
- Also post it on Amazon or a retailer outlet. If you read ARCs they won’t let you review until the book is out. This gives you a 500% chance of FORGETTING TO POST THE REVIEW EVER. So pleased about this.
- This also helps authors because everyone trusts Amazon reviewers with ALL their hearts.
- I literally lie awake at night and think “How Does Amazon Feel” because that’s what humanity cares about.
- And lastly post it on your blog! If you have a blog. Some of us don’t because we tried to align our text and accidentally deleted the whole freaking thing, started a fire in the Southern Isles, exploded Mars, and set of sirens to begin WWIII.
- That happens to me a lot too.
- Anyway reviews on blogs are GREAT because it’s a foundation of being a book blogger!! Publishers love this and it’s usually a requirement.
- Probably two people will read your review and that’s awesome.
- You can also tweet or instagram your review. Most people will see your post and say “wow what did you think!” which is a great question that you didn’t just answer in the caption of your instagram post that they didn’t read.
- And if you’re tweeting, make sure to tag the author!
- EVEN THOUGH THEY SHOULD NEVER FREAKING READ REVIEWS.
- If it’s a low-starred review, pls don’t though.
- It’s like literally walking up to a stranger and tossing a bucket of rocks in their face and saying: “That’s my opinion of you, mate.” Even though they did not ask for it.
- Only tweet high-starred reviews to help them with the crippling anxiety of high expectations.
- Better yet: DON’T TWEET @ AUTHORS. Reviews are for readers to discover if they want to read the book.
- But authors do love their fans.
- Probably from a distance.
- If the authors get to wear like a beekeeper outfit that hides their panic.
WELL DONE AND CONGRATS YOU!
You know all the Dos and Donts of review writing now and you’re ready to be released into the wild!!
Unless…did this…post…confuse you at all?
Ok GOOD. Because I wanted to stand atop a woodpile and shout at the uproariously hilarious “rules” for book reviewing that we all have to try to fit in with! It’s ok to just be yourself and write your review how you want! There isn’t one way to write a review or run a blog. Same as there isn’t one way to love cake.
Full disclaimer: I LOVE writing reviews. It’s about as easy, sometimes, as baking a gingerbread house and not eating it — but I will never stop!!
Just love what you do. Make it fun. Be yourself. And don’t let anyone sneeze on you with their silly opinions for “how you should be doing things”. Reviewing is not supposed to be akin to eating a brick wall.
Be the shiny dragon you were always meant to be inside. I believe in you. (Mostly.) *
* HAHA JUST KIDDING. YOU’RE GREAT….mostly.
alright I’M DONE WITH MY NONSENSE. your turn!! have you ever been told your review was wrong? how did you handle it? do you think there are WAY too many “rules” (especially contradictory ones!!) for reviewing? add to my list if you have them! and do you like vs dislike reviewing???