If you haven’t written a web review before, don’t worry—there really is no wrong way to do it. Potential readers use your review to decide if a title is going to be their next favorite book, and to do that they need to know what you really think.

It would be great if every review was five stars, but the goal isn’t to try and convince someone to read something they won’t like. The best reviews communicate what worked for you (and what didn’t) in a way that give people the clues they need to decide whether the book is something they want to read.

It is important to remember that according to sites like Amazon it’s the four and five star ratings that truly express that you like a book. So, if you’re on the fence, and you’re looking to support an author, it makes sense to land on the side of the fence with more stars on it …

The 5 Steps

  1. State your general opinion and level of enthusiasm.

    Did you like this book? How much? Did you dislike it? A little or a lot? Your opinion and enthusiasm go a long way in helping other people decide whether this is something they’d appreciate and enjoy.
    Example: I truly couldn’t put this book down once I started it. It usually takes me a week or more to read a novel, and I ended up reading the entire thing in one evening!


  2. Describe what it is you liked (or disliked) most about the book.

    Was there something unique about this book that caused you to feel the way you did? Was it the characters, the descriptions, the plot twists?
    Example: The author really made me feel like I was traveling to another world, and the relationship between the hero and her partner was very different than what I was expecting.


  3. Give a specific example (without spoilers if possible) of something in the book that you liked.

    Was there a particular part of the story that you vividly remember? Go ahead and describe it. You can avoid spoilers by talking about your reactions without getting into specifics.
    Example: When the characters got into trouble, they did something totally different than I expected!


  4. Describe who you think the book is for.

    Comparison is one of the best ways for people to quickly know whether something is for them. If you can think of another book, movie, or TV show this reminded you of, go ahead and mention it!
    Examples: This book is the perfect thing to read after the Hunger Games.I think this book would be great for grown-ups who loved Harry Potter when they were kids.


  5. Make a personal statement.

    Good reviews should be a little bit personal. This is your opinion after all … Go ahead and make a statement about your relationship with the book, the author, or the series!
    Examples: I can’t wait to read whatever the author does next!I’m really looking forward to the next book in the series!I’m definitely going to be reading this book again!

Hopefully, this will give you the guidelines you need to more easily write something that will let other people know how you really feel. If you have any thoughts or questions about these tips, don’t hesitate to contact me at andrew@andrewpmayer.com.

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