Quite often on my blog, I give tips for writing book reviews. I’ve also talked about the importance of the star rating. I’ve covered the how’s when it comes to reviewing, so today I’m going to cover the WHYs.
Readers who find How To posts valuable are likely ones who are already writing reviews. Today, I’m talking to those of you who haven’t started yet. My question is: why not?
I’m sure your answer goes along the lines of one of these:
- I don’t have time.
- I’m not a writer.
- I don’t know what to say.
- I’m not qualified.
- I’m afraid of writing a bad review.
- No one cares what I have to say.
I’m going to nip all those myths in the bud right now! All readers should understand the importance of book reviews and why your contribution matters.
Why Should You Write Book Reviews?
Authors appreciate honest reviews.
Honest is the key word there. Make your opinion clear without being mean, and you’re done (kind of!) Authors vary on whether they read their reviews, and how they react to them. Regardless, reviews are important not only as feedback to the author. They also provide information to publishing and marketing teams as well. A lot of reviews (particularly good ones) may open up new opportunities for an author.
Reviews help others make decisions.
Including your personal experiences and opinions will help others who are coming from a similar place make a decision about the book. I always include my thoughts if the violence is too much for me, or if the sex is super graphic, because those things can be deciding factors for readers.
Every opinion is valid.
No two readers are going to have the exact same experience with a book. This is the beauty of reading-there’s something out there for everyone. Our life experience shapes our reading experience. If a book didn’t resonate with me and the main character is a mother, I’ll mention in my review that I don’t have kids. That doesn’t mean my opinion isn’t valid because I’m not a mother.
No “qualification” is required.
If you read the book, you’re qualified to write about it. Check your spelling and grammar before posting.
*Side note: Even if you didn’t finish the book, you’re qualified to write about why. I always review books I quit. I start them with “DNF at X%” so the reader understands I didn’t finish. Then I explain why. I try to point out any positive things I noticed and say what types of readers may like this book, even if I didn’t.
Have I convinced you to write reviews? I’d love to hear your thoughts!