Book Blogging 101: Tips On Writing a Book Review

This post was imported from my old website xbelleofthebooks.com (no longer a clickable website).
Welcome to Book Blogging 101! In this series of posts, I explore the different aspects of being a book blogger, and how to improve performance as one. In my last post, I talked about ARCs, and how to get them. This week, I’m going to give you three tips on how to write a good review.

So, although tags and memes are fun to do, the thing that publishers and authors love the most is when we write reviews on books that they have sold. The reason they send us books, is so that we give them reviews, and help spread the word about the book.

In order to write a review though, you have to know what is and isn’t ok to address. Do we mention every single thing in the review? Do we do a line-by-line breakdown, or by chapter, or even just by scene? Do we talk about positives and negatives, or just the positives? When is it ok to give a negative review? Is it ok to admit that you DNFed a book? These are all questions that ran through my head when I first started blogging.

So let’s get started. This is a list style guide to writing reviews.

  • Positive reviews are better, but honesty is always the best policy, and sometimes we just don’t like books.
  • When you’re writing an ARC review, make sure to post the review within 1-2 weeks of the release date. Most bloggers post their reviews 1-4 weeks BEFORE the release.
  • If you have bad opinions of a book, toss them in at the end of your review. Go over the things you enjoyed first, and then mention what you didn’t like. This keeps the review in a positive light.
  • Stay organized. Nobody wants to read a review that jumps all over the book. Start from the beginning and work your way to the end.
  • Work in sections. I tend to focus on the significant events that make or break the story, but also toss in little things that some people may not notice.
  • Always include spoiler alerts! I normally give a brief overview, and then post a spoiler alert before diving into the details.
  • Pictures are GREAT. Always include the cover of the book. A photo of the author is also helpful.
  • Be honest if you DNFed a book. You can still review the parts you did get through.
  • Toss in some jokes. I like to add humor to my posts somehow, even if they’re dumb jokes.
  • Write them often. The more you review books, the better you get at it. My first review was TERRIBLE. But after 5 years of blogging, my reviews are getting way better. My favorite is my Lady Midnight review.
  • As always, I’m going to tell you to ASK QUESTIONS. Don’t be afraid to ask other bloggers, publishers, authors, and readers. Figure out what people like, and give it to them.

Thanks for reading!

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