Friday, May 29, 2015

Reviews 101

Welcome to Armchair BEA Day Numero Three! Today as my topic I am sharing some very basic tips on how to draft a review. New to book blogging or just want to keep better notes for yourself? This list is a great place to start!

*Shall we start with Rule Number One?? NEVER give away a major plot point without very LARGE and OBVIOUS warning!! Don't be that dude.

*Include an image of the book's cover. Consider leaving a link to buying pages or Goodreads.

*Some basic questions to think through while reviewing could include:
-Did the characters feel 'alive'? What made them fall flat? What made them great?
-Was the premise of the book what you expected? Why or why not?
-Did the plot lag or were there plenty of twists and turns?
-Could you relate to the characters/story? Did the story make you stop and think about anything?
-Who would you recommend this book to?

*Try to end on a positive note. Many bloggers have devoted a post or two on whether or not they should write a negative review and if so, the best way to do so. I believe you have to be honest, but that doesn't mean being a jerk about it either.

*Didn't finish a book (aka DNF)? Don't just slash it to pieces in your review but openly, and politely, share what you didn't like. Try to find a nugget or two that you DID like. You may not have enjoyed the title, but perhaps someone else will.

*Cross post your review, especially if you gave a sparkling review. Consider posting a snippet to Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Netgalley, Shelfari, or Books a Million. Spread the love!

*Lastly, if you obtained your book from somewhere without paying for it, it is very important to disclose where it came from. For example if you received a copy from the publisher or author, simply state that at the beginning or end of your review. Give proper credit where credit is due!

There are plenty of other items you could include in your review. A fair amount of bloggers star rate their books and some even break down their rating and share it in the post. Some bloggers share a lot of graphics, some bloggers make YouTube videos. Just try something. Read what you wrote and change it up next time. Follow bloggers who have reviews that you admire, emulate but don't copy! At the least, give the blogger credit or send them a tweet to ask if you can do something similiar.

What tips would you share for newbie reviewers? What questions did you or do you have when you started?


  1. I try doing that too....posting a negative review in a nice way :) Great post!

    Cierra @ Books Ahoy

  2. You've got some great suggestions here, Alyssa. Always fun to read about what other bloggers advise and their process in reviewing. :)

  3. I love your advice to end a review on a positive note - I really try to do it too, because I feel like too much negativity in a book review is a turn off. For me at least. These are all great tips too - I can't really think of anything to add!

  4. I only recently decided to add reviewing to the books I read and though I do it on Goodreads, doing it on my blog feels... different, somehow. Great post, and it was super helpful!

  5. Thanks! And thanks for stopping by :D

  6. I figured this covered some good very beginner basics. What would you add??

  7. Thanks Charlene! I am trying to think up some good reviewing tips for 201. Any thoughts?

  8. It is pretty different. Blog posts always feel more ... 'official'. You have so much space to expand and explain all your thoughts and really put some personality into it!