How to Help Authors: Book Reviews

how to help authors book reviewIn today’s post I wanted to talk about how to help authors by writing book reviews. There are so many books out there now and especially with the introduction of eBooks. How do you choose what to read? If I go into a bookstore it’s the cover that will attract my attention first. After that I read the back cover to see what the book is about, and if I’m still interested, I will open the book on a random page and start reading. Why do I do this? I like to see if a random page will draw me in enough to buy the book. I also like to see the writing style of the author.

With eBooks it’s different. Yes the cover is still very important and the book description, but so are the reviews. The reviews for a book can make or break them and that is why it is so important that you write a review, good or bad, for every book you read. Now here’s where a lot of people make a mistake. As a reader I don’t want to read a review that spoils the book for me. I don’t want to know exactly what happens before I decide whether or not to read it, all I really want to know is whether or not you enjoyed it. I absolutely hate reviews that give away every single details of what the book is about, and I’m sure authors do too. I want to buy the book. I want the author to take me on a journey. I want to become part of the story, fall in love with the characters, and so much more. The last thing I want a review to tell me is what happens. Why would I bother buying the book. So here are my tips for writing reviews on Amazon.

Top 5 Tips For Writing Book Reviews

  1. Keep it short: You don’t need to write a two page essay on the book. All you really need to say is whether you liked it or not.
  2. Don’t add Spoilers: I’ve seen it time and time again. Reviewers giving away vital details in their reviews. Just don’t do it, let the reader find out for themselves.
  3. Describe the writing not the storyline: When writing your reviews you can by all means describe the writing. Was it well written? Did the story flow? Were the characters developed? These are all valid points in a review.  If the writing was terrible and the characters underdeveloped you can say this. That is what a review is all about.
  4. Cliffhanger/HEA: If the book is part of a series you can by all means mention if there is a cliffhanger at the end. A lot of people want to know this, after all, they are investing their time and money and a lot of people want a full story. Be careful when mentioning whether or not a book has a Happy Ever After (HEA). Some people like it, others don’t.  You can use phrases like, “it has the perfect ending,” or “it ended just the way I wanted.” It’s up to you but be careful and don’t give too much away.
  5. Standalone/Serial: It is quite the norm now to see books series and the even newer serial. It is well worth mentioning in your review if a book can be read as a standalone. There are lots of book series that have a different character’s story for each book, so essentially these can be read as standalone books or together as a series if you enjoy them. Serials are another thing, and something I am not very keen on. Serials are, to me, part of a story. They are short and perhaps only a couple of chapters of the novel. You have to keep buying each part separately to read the whole story, so yes I would mention this in a review.

My tips for writing book reviews are really quite simple. You don’t have to write a 500 word review on Amazon just give your rating and whether or not you enjoyed the book. If you want to do an in depth review providing a lot more detail you should do this on your blog. You need to remember that people who visit Amazon are looking to buy a book, they don’t want to have it spoiled because they read your review. That certainly isn’t helping the author either. So my last piece of advice, Keep it short and simple, and don’t ever spoil it for others.

Be sure to let me know your tips for writing reviews and how you feel about spoilers? Do you like to read long reviews? Do you avoid them? If you’re an author, be sure to let me know what you prefer in reviews? Remember your advice and comments can help others and when it comes to helping an author, you really do matter.

Until next time,

Amanda

Amanda J Evans is an Irish author. Amanda lives in Co. Meath, Ireland, with her husband and two children. She writes paranormal, fantasy, and romantic fiction. She has published works available on Amazon including her bestselling non-fiction title “Surviving Suicide: A Memoir From Those Death Left Behind”, a book that promotes suicide awareness. Amanda has also received a publishing contract for a number children’s story book with the first title coming in fall 2017.

She can be found on all social media platforms including

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