If you like to read, then there are probably at least a few books and a few authors out there who have helped you, inspired you, and entertained you. Perhaps you read that stand-out book a few years ago, or maybe it was more recently. Either way, why not support an author that you appreciate today?
One of the best ways to lend your support to an author—besides buying their book, of course—is by writing and sharing a book review about one of their book titles. Doing so might brighten their day. In addition, it could help other potential readers to find that stand-out book, learn more about it, see if it is right for them and then enjoy that book too. Here’s how you can go about doing that.
1. Decide Which Book You Want to Review
There are books, books, everywhere! If you don’t immediately know which book you want to review, that’s okay, especially if we’re talking about a prolific author. Start by brainstorming and drawing up a list.
Consider: Which books have you read most recently? Which books have you enjoyed the most, or which books have helped you the most? Which books do you think you have the most to say about? Then start narrowing down your list until you find a winner—a book that you want to tell others all about.
2. Decide Where You Want to Share Your Book Review
There are many places where you could share a book review online. The most popular include reading communities and book-buying communities like Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, but there are others out there too.
If you already participate in one of these communities, that’s great. You might decide to share the review that you write on there, or you might consider joining another site’s community to take it for a test drive.
If you’re new to these types of sites, however, you might just find yourself a new online book-loving hangout this way. Spend some time exploring the book reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Then think about where you’d feel most comfortable sharing your review. That’s the one to start with!
3. Read Some Other Book Reviews
Look at some of the other book reviews on the site you’ve selected in order to get a sense of how they’re put together. What do the book reviews that you like or most appreciate here have in common? For example: What types of books do they review? Are the reviews long or short? What tone do these reviews take, are they more personal or more impersonal? Do they draw parallels with other books? And so on. Once you see what other book reviews do well and don’t do well, it can be easier to write your own book review.
4. Read the Book
If you haven’t read the entire book, or if you haven’t read it in a while, now is the time to do so. Sit back, read it, and enjoy it. And don’t be shy about taking some notes: about specific lines or chapters that resonated with you, about particular characters or themes that worked for you, about techniques that solved your problems, etc. This isn’t a book report, but I guarantee those notes will come in handy.
5. Write the Book Review
Think about what you really want to say about the book you’re reviewing. What are the main points you want to make? Refer back to your notes. Then add some details to your main points and flesh out your book review a little more. It’s always helpful to include comments about how the book affected you personally, or what you took away from reading the book. Other readers want to know what your experience was!
At this point, it should be looking pretty good, but there’s always room for improvement.
Reread your book review. Will it answer some of the key questions potential readers have? Fine-tune your review if it needs it. Now set it aside for a while so you can come back for the next step with fresh eyes.
6. Proofread the Book Review
Edit and proofread your book review, or ask an eagle-eyed friend or colleague to do so. That way you’ll know that you’ve eliminated any typos or unclear language, and put your best foot forward.
7. Post Your Book Review
It’s time to share your book review with the world and post it online. Follow the instructions that each website provides to post a book review there. If you run into problems, make sure that your review follows the site’s rules about permitted length, formatting, and language before re-submitting it.
Voila! Your book review should be online now. Be sure to save the link where your review appears so that you can easily find it and refer back to it.
8. Tell Others About Your Book Review
The world should know about your book review. When your review is online, people will inevitably find it, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t help things along and tell people who would be interested in your book review where they could find it. That way you’ll drum up even more support for that author you appreciate. And chances are, they’ll really appreciate that.
Dudley Court Press
Dudley Court Press works with writers like you every day. As a full-service, hybrid publishing house, we help thoughtful people write their books and become successful published authors.