How to Write a Blog Book Review

Whether you run a blog about books or simply love to read, writing a book review is essential for authors, publishers, and fellow readers. Here are some tips to write a compelling and informative book review for your blog.

Include the Basics

When writing a book review make sure to give your reader the fundamentals. Give them the information that identifies the piece of literature and tells them product details. Characteristics that should be covered include:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Genre
  • Publisher
  • Date published
  • Pages
  • Paperback or hardcover?
  • Price
  • Series

If you want to get very specific show the product dimensions, language, ISBN, and weight.

Summarize

Tell your readers the main theme or idea of the book in one sentence (if possible). Provide the professional synopsis which accompanies all books online or on the cover. Then give a quick and personal overview that outlines the plot, main characters, and some slightly more specific details. 

Give Your Own Honest Opinion

The book review should describe your reactions and ideas about the book in question. Give your thoughts on the characters, who you loved and who you hated. Recap the basic story line. If possible, compare the book to previous novels you have read or give suggestions of other reads. Explain the sentiments of joy, sadness, frustration, and hope that you felt when reading. {One way to remember these feeling is to keep a notepad nearby when you read. Scribe your questions, guesses, emotions, and thoughts; this will give you a good start to writing your opinion.} Tie it all together and formulate a “thesis.” In general, be truthful. Your review is a recommendation to those who view your post. Authors appreciate your honesty, but critique the book, not the person who wrote it. There is no reason to personally attack the author or publisher (it’s just bad form and downright mean).

Quote the Material

There is usually at least one sentence or phrase in every book that speaks to us. If you have marked paragraphs, cite them in your post. Try to include the page or chapter number, though various volumes and editions are set up differently. Clarify the significance of the quote and wrap it into the rest of your review. 

Spoilers

This may be common sense, but please don’t spoil the book for others. If you include material that is revealing then give your reader a very clear, very fair warning. If you want your review to be seen on a broader spectrum, give the basics that will show your audience if they will enjoy the novel. There are reviews for pre-readers and post-readers, so make sure you determine your type and make it known to the public beforehand. 

Special Case: If you are reviewing an ARC (advanced reader’s copy) DO NOT disclose private book information. Most ARCs are given in exchange for an honest review. These copies are limited and not widely available to the public. The review should be to determine the book’s future success and give proper recommendations, not spoil the novel for future/hopeful readers.  

Make it Look Good

A picture is worth a thousand words. Photos and graphics can spice up your blog post and draw people in.

WARNING: Beware of copyrighted images and graphics plagiarism violations. Please don’t steal any property from another person. Give credit where credit is due. 
http://thevisualcommunicationguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Infographic_CanIUseThatPicture4.jpg
If you are unsure if the image is availbale for use, check out the demonstrative poster in the link up above from http://thevisualcommunicationguy.com.

Insert Links

Provide other Websites that give your audience access to further information. Incorporate aspects such as the author’s Website, the goodreads page, and the places where a prospective reader could purchase the book (i.e. Barnes and Noble, a local indie store, Amazon, etc.). Again, give credit where credit is due if you mention another online source. On various social media, most authors are okay with being tagged. Some prefer not to be flagged if the review is less than a certain amount of stars (3, 4, 5).

Conclusion

Conclude the book review for your blog with your final thoughts. Generalize your first and final impressions of the literature. Finish up with the consistency of reading, whether it was a slow read or a thrilling page-turner, and leave off with an ending that will either have the public up and off the couch on the way to the store or still searching for the next best read. 

 Make sure to read your writing a few times to check for fluency, grammar, and spelling mistakes. Click publish and voilà, you will have posted your book review.

Here is another blog post about writing a book blog review. 

Happy blogging/reading/reviewing!

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