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How to Write a Book Review – Do’s and Don’ts

by Abouther

You don’t have to be an ivy league graduate to be a book reviewer. In today’s age of the internet, anyone can share their opinion about a book they read. Just as the way a book is written influences whether it will be well-received or not, the way you write a book review determines the effect it can have. A well-written book review can influence purchasing decisions. So, are you wondering how to write a book review? Here are a few do’s and don’ts that can help.

Do Consider the Audience

Is the book intended for adults or children? Was it written for children in a specific age group? Was it meant for everyone or a niche audience? When you’re reviewing a book, look at it from their perspective. You can’t criticize a book for simple language if it is aimed at people who are unfamiliar with the language. Your book review must also address what you hope the reader will take away from it.

Don’t Ramble Unnecessarily

Unless you’re writing a review for a literary newspaper or magazine, you’re book review shouldn’t be longer than a page. Use your words wisely and keep your review short and concise. You don’t need to summarize the book – you want people to still buy the book and read it for themselves if you think it is good. If not, why waste words on a poor story. Also, if you’re reviewing a fiction book, don’t give away the plot or the way the story ends.

Do Take a Stand

The point of a book review is to tell someone else who might be considering the book whether it is a good or a not-so-good book. That is the whole reason you need to understand how to write a book review, isn’t it. So, take a stand and reason it out. You don’t have to proclaim an absolute yes or no but do mention why you like or dislike the book. Rather than simply say the book was terrific, tell people why you thought it was terrific and what you liked about it. Make sure you aren’t overly critical of your opinion.

Be Fair

No matter how much you dislike a book. Don’t be nasty about it or insult it. Also remember to be honest with your opinion. It isn’t the author’s fault you bought the book on a friend’s recommendation and find that it doesn’t live up to what she said about it. Similarly, if you bought the book online and don’t like it because the delivery was delayed, don’t take it out on the author by leaving him a one-star review.

Do Give your Review a Unique Title

You can’t use the title of the book as the title of your review. The review title should make people want to read further and find out what you have to say about the book. If you’re writing a review online on a blog, you may want to consider looking into SEO keywords to make the review more visible.

Don’t Talk Badly About the Writer

A book review must be about the book – not so much the author. Of course, you can give your opinion about the writer’s style and whether you agree or disagree with it but you can’t call the writer names and unless you’re an expert on the subject, you cannot question his knowledge. A badly written review builds a bad name for you and lowers your credibility. Remember, it takes an immense amount of effort to write a book and this effort deserves to be respected. Writers can spend months if not years writing a book that you read and review in a few days.

Do be Careful About Grammar

Grammar is important for everything you write. Even if your review is just a paragraph long, it must be grammatically correct. It would be quite ironic to criticize a book in a poorly written review. There are a number of free tools you can use to check that your review is grammatically correct. Also, fact check – make sure you get the names of the characters and the spelling of the author’s name right.

When it comes to how to write a book review, everyone will have their own style and way of doing it. You can review any kind of book – you can review it even if you aren’t an expert. After all, reading is a hobby for everyone. Once you’re written a review, you can publish it online on a blog, on the platform where you bought the book or on a group of like-minded readers. So, are you ready to write a book review?

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