The Art of Writing a Review …

So, you’ve read a great book lately have you? Maybe even found yourself a new “keeper” author. Can’t wait for that next great read?

Like any other entertainment professional, authors need encouragement. Validation over and above the initial sale. Where do we get that much-needed encouragement? Through an honest review.

'The end. Well, time for bed. What are you writing?'
Tips for leaving a review

  • Most importantly, a review can be short. Don’t feel like you have to recap the entire book. That’s the sole purpose of the posted blurb. Two to three sentences outlining your reaction is more than enough. And, of course, set the ‘star’ ranking.
    • Example: “I usually don’t care for secret baby stories, but this one was different. Cody was the smartest, cutest thing ever. Sometimes adults are so stupidly blind, but that’s what makes love grand! Great story.”~ 5-star Amazon Review for Home is Where the Hunk is
  • If you do choose to write a longer review, please don’t post spoilers. This is especially true when reviewing romantic suspense or cozy mysteries.
  • Place your review on bookstore sites, e.g., Amazon, Barnes & Noble, as well as on Goodreads (if you are a member). You can copy and paste the same review everywhere.
    • Note: Amazon used to require a verified purchase in order to post a review. That is no longer the case. As long as you have an Amazon account, you can review any book. However, the author would appreciate the ‘buy’.
  • Attribute and disclaim. If you received the book from either the author or the publisher, say so using a simple statement: “This book was a gift in exchange for an honest review.” If you use NetGalley or another review service, please also attribute the site: “ARC received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.”
  • Bloggers get your name and site out there. If you are a book blogger, please post your review everywhere and remember to link your blog review. It’s a great way to bring new people to your work.
  • If you are friends/follow the author on social media, please post a link to your review and tag the author. It not only shows your commitment to support authors, but it also gives the author a chance to share and celebrate.

Exactly how important are reviews?

  • In addition to giving the author an often much needed morale boost, posting on influential sites such as Amazon also affect the author’s placement among the site’s metrics. Just remember: they’re not spying on you or your reviews, they’re just counting the author’s promotional marbles!
  • Reviews are also important when an author is shopping for a new publisher or an agent. Having few or no reviews is even worse than having bad ones. At least the bad ones show that someone was reading the author’s work.
  • For the reader, it’s a win-win in terms of being offered the opportunity to review ARCs. Most authors gladly share a limited number of books with those readers who take the time to read and post a review.

44081258_sThe majority of authors don’t get rich with their writing. They give up hours of their precious time with family, they forego sleep, in order to produce the best book they can write. All they ask in return (whether you’ve purchased the book or received it for free) is a review.

Please consider writing one today.

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About Nancy Fraser

Like most authors, Nancy began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet, which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it. When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five beautiful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.
This entry was posted in Nanobytes From Nancy!, Soul Mate Publishing. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The Art of Writing a Review …

  1. Reblogged this on lcrwblog and commented:

    Great tips on reviewing a book for a fellow author. (Yes, I’m still happy to gift you my mystery, Planted, in exchange for an honest review!)

    • Nancy Fraser says:

      Thanks for sharing the tips. I know we authors have little time to read. However, if we don’t review, how can we expect others to do so.

  2. Beth Carter says:

    What a thoughtful, important post. I’m glad you mentioned reviews can be short and to not post spoilers. I hate it when that happens.

    • Nancy Fraser says:

      Thanks, Beth. I agree, nothing is worse than someone spilling the beans in a review. I did it once … totally by accident. However, I was happy to remove the one sentence at the author’s request.

  3. Reblogged this on and commented:

    Great tips on helping out your favorite authors with an honest review.

  4. As an author I know how precious those reviews are (good or bad). They are the blood in the body of our work. I always review books I read, I wish I could say the same for everyone else.
    Thanks for getting this important message out.
    Tema Merback
    Writing as Belle Ami

  5. I review most of the books I read. Appreciate the tips cause I need to review one today.

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