Book reviews are common across blogs. They’re a way for bloggers to connect to their readers by sharing or recommending favorites. I do a lot of book reviews on this blog, mainly because I love books and I love sharing my thoughts on books, both critiques and praise.
Book reviews are great for the beginning blogger, and are quite simple to write, so I figured I would share my own process of writing a book review.
- Read the book. This one’s obvious, but how can you review a book you haven’t finished? Some people like to rate books even if they didn’t finish them, but how can an opinion of a book be complete if the reading was not complete? The book might have an enjoyable plot twist at the end.
- Rate the book both objectively and subjectively. When I rate a book on Goodreads, I think of my own personal opinion on it as well as what I think of the structure and grammar. My English degree springs into action and I focus on not only how the book made me feel, but how the punctuation, spelling, and grammar worked together to make me feel the way I did.
- Write a short summary that tells your audience what the book is without giving away major plot points. I have seen book reviews that tell me nothing regarding what the book is about. What’s the genre? What is the main plot point? Who is the main character? In just explaining who the main character is and what their major problem is, you are spoiling nothing for your audience, and the readers can use this information to determine whether or not they want to read the book. Simply reading your opinion about the book is not enough if there is no mention of the plot.
- Explain the objectivity and subjectivity of your ratings. What did you like about the content? What did you dislike about the content? Did spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors distract you or keep you from enjoying the book? Whenever I’m interested in a book, the first thing I do is research it on Goodreads and read one-star reviews, to see if I would agree with the negative aspects. If I agree with too many, I keep away from the book. Your audience may do the same, and may look to your blog to see if they want to take the time to read a specific book or not.
- In your blog post, include a picture and your rating of the book. This is more for blog aesthetic, so the readers have an image of the book to remember after they leave your blog. Include the rating at the beginning of your post so readers can immediately know how you feel about the book. For example, at the beginning of my book reviews, I include the picture of my version of the book, followed by “Rating: (Number) out of five stars.”
- Link to where you audience can easily search for the book themselves. One option is to link to Amazon, but that may imply that your blog post is an advertisement. I personally prefer to link to Goodreads. The book listing on Goodreads generally has a link to Amazon already, so your readers can use Goodreads as a hub for diverse reviews and the opportunity to seek to purchase it if they so wish.
There are a plethora of book review blogs already floating through the internet, but each is different in the books they choose to review, why they review books, and how. Some bloggers may choose to read and review new books to gain traffic and potential followers. Other bloggers choose to write book reviews to share their opinions. I choose to write book reviews to show readers my thought process while reading, which is what I prioritize while writing my own pieces.
To see a list of my book reviews, scroll down until you see the dropdown menu that says Categories. All of my book reviews can be found in the Book Review category.