Saturday, December 16, 2017


Most of us remember book report writing in grammar school. In addition to the obvious writing exercise, I thought that the real reason for the book report was to prove to our teacher that we had read the assigned book. Perhaps it was only a writing exercise.

Some people read book reviews before deciding to read a book. For them, the information on the cover or the retail website isn't enough. They want to know what others thought of the book.

Often books are sent out for review. That can be a complicated process of who knows who on whether the book is reviewed.

Friends of authors want to write reviews as a sign of support. Some publishers ask their writers to review each other's books.

First it goes without saying that the book should be read. It isn't always true that a reviewer read the book. I have firsthand knowledge of a review company that doesn't always read the reviews, because they made assumptions about the character's profession and dared to put it into print. After that, I have assigned no value to their reviews.

The novice reviewer should have a basic understanding of the difference between a book report and a book review. Namely, do not tell the story/plot in the review. Don't tell that there is a murder. Obviously, if the book genre is a murder mystery, the potential reader will figure that out. Certainly, don't tell who committed the murder.

Tell what was well done in the book. Did the author capture the era or location so well that the reviewer found it palatable? Were the characters appropriately developed to make the potential reader dispense with reality and become submerged in the life of the story.

If you hate the book, maybe it wasn't your cup of tea. Just because YOU didn't like it doesn't mean that it isn't a good book. Even industry professionals disagree on books; that doesn't mean they are right -- it is only their opinion.

Reviews drive Amazon [and other's] ranking. That's a good thing. However, the true value of a review is the quality of the content.

Check out this: Book Review UK


  1. Some really useful points for all those writing book reviews at the moment.

  2. Some interesting points for all those writing book reviews at the moment.