This is an author's blog written by Pico Triano. 'Pico's Profile' will tell you a little about me. 'Pico's Stuff' will lead you to links and information on how you can access all my publicly available writing. 'Friends and Family' advertises websites on behalf of family and friends. The 'Friend Book Reviews' page is where I review materials written by the many friends I have made as a writer. Finally I recently added a review page for general reviews.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Anyone Can Write a Book Review

Why bother writing a review at all? Why not just leave it to professionals, who get paid to write reviews? Writing reviews about books you have read that you like will help promote the writer. Believe me they appreciate it. Not only that your review may encourage someone to read a book that they will enjoy or on the other hand help them avoid a book that would be a waste of time and money for them. Professional reviewers have opinions and so do you. Your opinion is just as valid as theirs. As an author, I try to write my books for people who enjoy the stories I write NOT professional reviewers. If my readers buy and enjoy my stories I’m happy. I care what they think. Don’t get me wrong. I want the pros to be impressed but they aren’t my primary audience.

There is only one prerequisite required for writing a book review. You have to read the entire book. Sounds like a no brainer, but the fact is that there are a significant number of reviews written where the reviewer not only didn’t read the whole book, some of them didn’t read any of it at all. As a reviewer that is not fair to the author, your audience or yourself.

So how do you go about writing that review? Here are the basic steps I go through when writing mine.

1)      Read the entire book.
2)      Think about what you liked and what you didn’t like for a couple of days. You’ll write a better review if you give it that time. On the other hand if you drag it out longer you’ll be procrastinating instead of just letting your thoughts organize themselves.
3)      Start writing. Some reviewers will write a thorough synopsis of the book. I don’t. I only write enough to make my observations clear. Why take the magic of discovering the story from your audience? 
4)      Cover the things you liked about the book first. Be honest.
5)      If you have criticisms to offer make sure you are honest and fair. I try to temper mine knowing that my opinion is just an opinion and I might be wrong.
6)      Finish with your recommendations.

It is as simple as that. I’ve never publicly trashed someone’s writing online because of step number one. If the book was that bad, I would not have finished reading it. I have better things to do with my time. If I read the whole book, there was enough good there, in my opinion, for it to receive a positive review. Besides that I don’t see myself as some kind of literary executioner looking for authors to shoot down.

If you’ve read a book lately, go for it. Write a review. Tell everybody what you think. You might lead people to enjoy a good book. You might also make an author’s day.

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