Book Marketing: Writing Book Reviews

One way to get attention for your book is to review other authors’ books. The secret is not to treat them like competition, but to be honest and enthusiastic. Show your love of books and writing, and at the end, be sure to put a brief bio of yourself along with the names of your books. This last is not shameless promotion; it shows your authority, why you are the person best qualified to write the review. Once you’ve written the review, post it wherever and whenever you can — on your blog, on Amazon, on Gather, on book sites such as LibraryThing and GoodReads — and submitting them to ezines and review sites and publications.

Here is a checklist of topics to cover in the review (You do not need to cover all of them. They are meant simply as a guide.):

1. Give the basic book information. 

  • What is the title, the author’s name, where it can be purchased, ISBN number.

2. Write a few sentences about the plot. 

  • What is the story about?
  • Who are the main characters?
  • What do they want?
  • Who will stop these character from attaining their desires, and why?
  • Are the characters believable?

3. Evaluate the book. 

  • What is the writer’s style: formal, informal, witty, charming?
  • Was the writing clear, original, concise, forceful, fluid?
  • Who are the intended readers?

4. If you wish, discuss the author’s use of story elements. 

  • How is the story introduced? What is the hook?
  • How are conflict, climax, and conclusion handled?
  • Is there a tone or an atmosphere, and how is it evoked?
  • What is the setting, and does it affect the story and characters?
  • Are the characters flat or three dimensional?
  • Does character development occur?
  • How effective is the dialogue?
  • Is there a subplot and if so, how is it related to the main plot?
  • What are the major themes? How are they revealed?

5. Tell how the book affected you. 

  • Did you like the book?
  • Did it keep your interest?
  • Could you relate to the characters?
  • Who was your favorite character?
  • What was your favorite part of the book?
  • What was your least favorite part?
  • Would you recommend this book? 
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2 Responses to “Book Marketing: Writing Book Reviews”

  1. Anne Schroeder Says:

    Is anyone else slightly overwhelmed with the realities of present-day marketing? Those of us who started writing in our teens thought we had aced the course. Now–surprise–it’s the Electronic Age and none of the old rules fit anymore. What to do? I tried jumping up and down, stomping my feet and pretending it wasn’t happening, but the only fool on the field was me.

    That’s when it hit me: I was too young to feel so damn old and I decided to reinvent myself. Another surprise–I’m getting younger with every blog, Myspace and Google. My memoir, Ordinary Aphrodite, is all about the boomer journey through the Sexural and Cultural Revolutions. Feels good to know that those years were only one stage of the journey. All I have to do is to remember to stop, take a deep breath and keep moving!

    Thank you for bringing everything we need to know into this blog place. I’d love to visit more often, when I’m not helping out my ailing mother, visiting my mother-in-law in assisited living or spending time with my grandkids–or learning my new part-time teaching career.

  2. Pat Bertram Says:

    Anne, I like your attitude. We are all overwhelmed with the realities of present-day marketing, hence this blog to take out some of the mystery.

    So many authors say that they hate marketing, but I like it. It’s a way of reinventing myself as an author, becoming the person I was always meant to be.

    Stop by whenever you can, and best of luck with your family and with your books.


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