15 Jun 2012

The best way to write a review.

 Since I've started using Kindle, I'm reading more. Amazon.com makes this easy by offering free books and suggesting that each reader write a review for the novel. I'm more than happy to do this, finding the process makes me think about the basic story premise, the style of writing and the characters.

There are many ways to write a review. Most advice is to develop your own style and stick with the same format, which makes your approach easier. Let's face it, writing a review is a hard slog. You want to show future readers why you liked, or the reverse, the book. You don't want to criticize the writing flaws although you can point them out.

Every book I've read so far has editing glitches, which seem to come with the process, although why publishing editors don't spot them, I'm not certain.

As a writer, I know why the author doesn't see their own mistakes. I read the words so often I know what I meant to say without concentrating on what I actually said. I've discovered the use of read-out-loud to counteract that.

How do you balance the way you write a review?                                               picture bythinkstock


  1. I have written several reviews and I do a relatively decent job, but it's not my favorite. I do it because other authors have been kind enough to do it for me. But I find it hard to be really really really honest if I know the author.

  2. Hi Francene .. I had to really concentrate so I took the book in - thankfully it was fairly short and I knew the country - South Africa - and I read it here - not on a kindle or device. So I was able to type notes as I read .. not the ideal way - but made my life easier .. especially as I'm not geared up to that sort of thing.

    I do hate seeing obvious errors - and I've emailed bloggin authors sometimes to let them know ... they seem grateful thankfully!! Cheers Hilary

  3. I have written a few reviews on Amazon, my blog, and elsewhere. I try to be as constructive in my criticism as I can. I've gotten rather harsh on a few of my film reviews, but I tend to give books better reviews since I know how labor intensive and personal a written work can be. I rarely say much about the technical side of the writing such as grammar and such and usually focus more on story, style, and character development. Actually I'd probably make a pretty poor editor since once I start getting into what I'm reading, I tend to focus on the content and overlook mistakes.

    Wrote By Rote

  4. My biggest challenge is to not give away the plot line within my comment. But the grammatical errors I can completely relate to. I just finished reading a fantastic book, and she used random capitols for certain words. I just couldn't figure out if she was using "The People" to mean that they were a type of people, just using emphasis, or if it was a total error. Made me a bit crazy... which is really not hard to do. :)

  5. If the author is a friend of mine, I can't review the book if I didn't like it. Established authors with name recognition are not a problem, btw :)

  6. I only write reviews for books I like, but that's mostly because I'm sensitive to how I'll be reviewed one day. Then I just gush and gush and gush...

  7. Me too, for the most part. I try to balance anything negative with something positive.


Please tell me what YOU think.