Monday, 27 May 2013

CELESTIAL BOOKS: "How To Write a Book Review" by Rebecca Graf

Author: Rebecca Graf
Publisher: Silver Tongue Press Publication Date: February 2013
Genre: How-To/NonFiction

Have you wondered what makes a good book review? Have you wondered what you might be missing in writing a book review? You can find out how to write a quality book review in these pages.

A book review is a recommendation from you. 

Your review is telling your readers whether or not you recommend the book or suggest that they run very fast from it. Look at it like this. You are having coffee with a friend. Your conversation steers in a direction similar to this: “Hey, I just a read a book that you have got to read. I couldn’t put it down. Though the language could be a little foul, the plot was outstanding.”     

Or the conversation could have gone this route: “I don’t understand the fascination with that book all over the news. I tried reading it and I couldn’t get past the first few chapters. It was horrible. There was no plot and everything was so confusing.” Both conversations are the beginnings of a book review and are a recommendation from you.

Yes, a book review is a critique, but in the end your review has to also give a recommendation regarding the book. You are suggesting your readers read it or not waste their money. If you are one that is honest with your reviews, people will listen. That is why you have to be very careful about what you say in a review. Don’t be personal. Don’t be biased. Let your friends know where you stand with the book, but give them good reasons. That is where the critique comes from. You can say you like the book or don’t like it, but tell your friends why. Your reasons might not be what turn your friends off of the book. I read one book that I just didn’t like. In critiquing it, the book wasn’t that bad. My readers could see that, but when I got to my recommendation I had to say the truth: “I really did not like the book. It was well written. The characters were entertaining, but the plot was not for me. For others, this might be an excellent book. If you like this genre, I highly recommend you give it a try and give your own review. For me, I’ll pass on the next one in the series.”

When you give a review, don’t forget to tell your recommendation to your readers. They want to know. You can critique it, but do you recommend it?

Rebecca Graf was born in Russellville, Kentucky but grew up in Dothan, Alabama. She graduated from the University of Montevallo with an accounting degree. Given the chance to try her hand at writing, she began writing online articles leading to her first published book, A Gift for a Mouse. From there she ventured into romance, mystery, comedy and drama. The passion of writing was discovered. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her husband and three children.

You can connect with Rebecca here:

Inspiration for How to Write a Book Review

There is always something that prompts the writing of a book. For fiction, it is usually that darn muse that won’t leave you alone. For non-fiction, it is either passion or the need to address an issue. It could even be a combination of the two. For me, it came out of frustration at reading so many horrible reviews. Too many people just didn’t know how to write a book review. They needed to be taught.

There is no one correct way to write a book review, but there are things that most reviewers are looking for in a review. They want to know if you liked the book or not. Then they want to know why. Just to say that you hated book is not enough. That’s not a review. That’s a one sentence opinion. If I’m looking to buy the book, then tell me why you didn’t like it. Maybe I would agree with you and be thankful for you helping me save money. Then again, what you didn’t like might not bother me.

An author friend of mine received a one star review. Okay, a one star is fine if it is justified. This reviewer just said, “Horrible book. Waste of money.” Actually that was a horrible review. What is wrong with the book? Tell me. Even those that aren’t reviewing books for fun or for a living need to give more than that in a review.

Another friend got one that went on and on about how horrible she was a writer and that a third grader could write better. I began to notice many reviewers getting a little too personal in their reviews and attacking the writers. There is no call for that.

In the reviews on my own book, I’d get people who would say I was copying other authors or that no one should read my book because it repeated itself. Then another reviewer pointed out mistakes found in the ARC she received. That was a big no-no.

Over and over reviewers are getting lazy and too personal. They spend more time picking out the negatives of a book instead of finding something positive. They don’t know how to give constructive criticism.

The inspiration? All the book reviewers who don’t know how to give a quality book review.


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