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?