A writer will write a book. They will be called authors, and that thenceforth will be a title that they will swank about because they deserve it. They will not fail to mention the title of their books at any conference that they’ve been invited to. Their social media platforms will have their books as cover pages. They will add the author title in their LinkedIn profiles. All that is a marketing strategy that makes their sleepless nights of laboring creative juices known to the world. Once the book is out there, one person will find interest in it, sit down, read it and review it.
By reviewing, it means that the reviewer is making a commentary that seeks to evaluate the content of the book critically. They only do this after they have read the book and examined its content looking at different aspects of the book.
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Elements of a Book Review
- They should be brief
As a reviewer, you don’t have to rewrite the whole book to suit your thoughts. You have to come up with a brief representation of the book, making opinions that you think will help other prospective readers to yearn to read the book or disguise it because it may not be worth their time. Long reviews cannot be read because people want to know what the story is about in a nutshell and decide whether they will read it or not.
- Should provide a critical analysis of the book
This could be in the form of a commentary. People mistake reviewing books for writing the summary of a book that they have read. There is more flesh to that. It has to be deeper than just a standard overview of the whole story.
The reviewer has the freedom to point out that bit of the story that struck them most and they should tell their audience why. They should be able to describe the style used to write the story and give their stand if they think that it suits the storyline or not. A reviewer should put forward the tone that should have worked better in the story, and they should elucidate on the same so that it can make sense to the writer and any other author who’d love to benefit from the reviewer’s point of view.
- Make suggestions
In as much as the content may be good to some people, a reviewer may not like it. It is unfortunate that this will be a biased decision based on the reviewer’s experience after reading the book. They would suggest whether it is a good idea to have the book and read it or not. People might be lured to read or not to, depending on the reviewers say at the end of it all.
Aspects to Look Into as a Book Reviewer
- Let your audience know who the author is;
Be as descriptive as possible to let the readers into the author’s world. Let them know what they like or dislike. Let them know if the author has written other books before or the book you are reviewing is their first shot. Does the author resonate with the content that is in their book? That you will find out if you do a background check of who the author is outside writing. What’s their stand on issues that they might have raised in the book?
- The genre of the book
A review will be incomplete if you fail to categorize it in the various genres that are at our disposal. People read their preferences. Other people prefer adventure stories, but there are those that only read Science Fiction. It would be unfair for not outrightly stating what genre the book falls into which will save the readers from buying books that do not make them happy readers in any way.
Generally, a review shouldn’t hurt the author of the book. It never is easy to pen down thoughts and have them accepted for publication. For the negative reviews, it is prudent to watch the words that you use when you are doing the review. Try not to punch the author on their face. Let it sound like a lesson but not an act of pointing fingers that they did not do their work as expected.
The positive reviews should not over praise an author. In as much as they deserve all the accolades, it shouldn’t be too much. Balance your arguments and take a stand by giving reasons why you think more has to be done or something was too much. All in all, appreciate the author for the effort they put in writing a book that has seen the light.