Personal Book Reviews…


If you are traditionally published, indie published, or self published, good book reviews can propel your work into the reading stratosphere, garner you bestseller status, and make you a favorite choice of Reese’s Book Club. The opposite, unfortunately, holds true. Bad reviews can tank your sales, destroy your book launch, and generally give you credence to believe that imposter syndrome is alive and well and living within you.

As an author, I know what a good book review can do for my career and my sales numbers. As a reader who writes reviews, I’m familiar with this as well, and am always hyperaware of the information I put in my reviews.

There are certain key elements every reader should consider when penning an evaluation on a book they’ve read. After speaking with several other authors, and professional book reviewers, I’ve compiled a list of what’s best to include and what’s imperative to leave out when you write a review, especially if you are going to post it someplace where other readers can find it.

“Book reviews are, first and foremost, for other readers,” bestselling author of Historical Romance, Clair Brett says. A review “is a place for one reader to give information to another.” And while the author may read the review – okay, let’s be honest here: us authors read our reviews! – it isn’t primarily meant for hers/his/their eyes.

So what goes into a good personal book review (as opposed to an editorial review like publications such as InD’tale Magazine, Kirkus or Publisher’s Weekly)? What information is necessary and can help another reader decide if the book is for them, or make them realize it is a pass on adding to their TBR list?

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