How to Write a Review

So many books. So many book reviews to write!
So you’ve read one of my books and you loved it. Fantastic! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Want to let other readers know about your reading experience but you’re not sure how to leave a review? Here’s a short lesson on the components that make up a good review.

Be Honest –
Write what you honestly feel. If you believe a book deserves 5 stars, then by all means, give it that rating. But if you think the book had problems, don’t be afraid to give it a lower rating, even a 1 or a 2. Whatever rating you give a book, make sure it reflects how you truly feel.

Be Brief (If you want to be) –
Some people are afraid of writing a review because they believe they have to write a long book report, sort of like we might have done in grade five. You can certainly write as much as you want (no spoilers please!) but a review doesn’t need to be more then a few lines.

Be Meaningful –
Saying you loved a book is wonderful, but it’s even more meaningful if you explain in your review what made the book so wonderful for you. Were the characters particularly realistic? Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? Did the ending surprise you? The opposite is also true; if you give the book a lower rating, can you say why? A bit of detail goes a long way to give meaning to your review, but please, no spoilers!

Be Fair –
Above all, be fair to the author and the book. If you’re frustrated or angry about something else, don’t take it out on an innocent book!

Be Quotable – 
It’s always great when a reviewer leaves a reviews with snippets an author can pull out and use in ad copy or on a website. A couple of my favorite quotable reviews: “Jana Richards writes with great wit and a sharp eye for detail, making her characters and story feel absolutely real.” And “So, in summary, put aside your book markers because you won't need them; turn off the phone because you won't want to be interrupted, lock the door, and ENJOY this one by Jana Richards.” But don’t be intimidated and don’t feel you have to come up with something witty. If you write honestly, the quotes will come naturally.

Before you Hit Send –
Reread your review to make sure it says what you want it to say. You might even want to read it aloud so you can hear what it sounds like.

Why Reviews Matter – 
Reviews are very important for authors. On sites like Amazon.com, after a certain number, the book will start to appear in “People who bought this also bought”, among other things. Some book newsletters won’t accept a book until it has more than 25, 50 or 100 reviews. Reviews matter.

I hope this short primer helps you write reviews fearlessly and with confidence. Go forth and review!

If you’d like to leave a review of any of my books, here’s where you can go:

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Jana-Richards/e/B002DEVWWG  Click on the cover of the book you’d like to review, then scroll down until you see “Leave a Review”.

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