I spent quite a long time on a tirade about how to handle a bad review if you are an author. Now I am giving readers a fair shake. We all are asked to review a book sooner or later. Might as well give some consideration to the content of said review. Make it a good one!
Elements of a good review
1. Tell us the title of the work and who wrote it.
Everyone should know who you are reviewing but in case they missed that part, be sure to tell us. Nothing spoils a review quite like not knowing the important stuff.
2. Tell us the gist.
It never hurts to remind us of the book blurb, the overview, what it is all about. We want to know what we are getting ourselves into. You-as the reviewer-can help us out and we don’t have to look back at Amazon or the retailer selling the work to find out what it is about. Just put it in the review!
3. Tell us if it hit the mark.
It’s okay to go into details about who you think the book is targeting and if it hit its mark. If it is a YA book, people looking for adult contemporary fiction will know that this is not one for them. On the other hand, YA readers will learn from your review if the book will be something they will enjoy. Win win!
4. What did you like/dislike?
Here is where the meat of the review comes in. This is the part that everyone is reading to get to. We want to know if you liked or disliked the book and why. Don’t be shy, but please keep it about the work and not the author! No one wants to read a bashing.
5. Where can it be found?
Tell us where you found it and if it was given to you or purchased. Don’t assume that folks know where it can be found. Some people don’t even know how to search for it via Amazon.
And that is about it, folks. If you give us the info we need, we will be fully armed to go out and make an informed purchase of the work that has been reviewed. We will also know if it is even something that we want and need.
Kim Smith is the author of An Unexpected Performance, available on Amazon in print and for Kindle. And be sure to pick up her first two episodes of the mini-series, The Case of the Missing Body.