Last updated on March 27th, 2020 at 09:37 pm
Writing Book Reviews That Draw Readers to Take Action – Tools and Strategies
There are two hooks to think about when writing book reviews. First, how to make a reader stop scrolling and read your entire review. Second, in cases of positive reviews, how to convince them to pick up the book.
Do not wait until the middle of your review to try to catch the reader’s attention. Try to hook them from the very first sentence when writing that glowing book review.
What is a Review?
A review is a critical evaluation of a text, event, object, or phenomenon. Reviews can consider books, articles, entire genres or fields of literature, architecture, art, fashion, restaurants, policies, exhibitions, performances, and many other forms.
The kind of thinking you need to use in writing reviews is the kind of thinking you need to make intelligent choices in life.
Writing a book review is something that can be done with a book in every genre. Some genres may be harder than others. Notwithstanding, the book review format remains the same
Writing the Review
1. The hook
Hook the reader with your opening sentence. Set the tone of the review. Be familiar with the guidelines — some editors want plot summaries; others don’t. Some want you to say outright if you recommend a book, but not others.
Review the book you read — not the book you wish the author had written.
2. The Middle
As a general rule, try to avoid writing in detail about anything that happens from about the middle of the book onwards. If the book is part of a series, it can be useful to mention this, and whether you think you’d need to have read other books in the series to enjoy this one.
3. What the Book Means to You
A book review tells not only what a book is about, but also how successful it is at what it is trying to do.
Professors often assign book reviews as practice in careful analytical reading. As a reviewer, you bring together the two strands of accurate:
A. Analytical reading
B. Strong personal response
This is true when you indicate what the book is about and what it might mean to a reader (by explaining what it meant to you).
4. Book Review Flow
All exceptional pieces of writing should have an introduction, and book reviews are no exception. Open with a general description of the topic and/or problem addressed by the work in question. Think, if possible, of a hook to draw your readers in. Close with a summary of the argument. Your review should, as concisely as possible, summarize the book’s argument.
5. Book Review Structure
There are different book review structures. The key review tips to consider depend on the book and genre. Whichever the format used, these should be inclusive.
First, make a draft. The first step to writing a successful book review is always to make a review draft. It is a rough outline for a book review.
To write a book review, start with a heading that includes the book’s title, author, place of publication, publisher, date of publication, and the number of pages. Then, open your review with an introduction that includes the author’s background as well as the main points you’ll be making.
A Nonfiction Book Review
A nonfiction book review is a critical analysis of a work of nonfiction. This includes:
- Reading the book
- Determining the author’s thesis, or theme
- Deciding if the author successfully achieved his goals for the book and why
This can be determined by discussing the author’s research methods, source materials, theme, plot
Do not reveal plot twists or character players. Who was your favorite character? Why did that character stand out?
Observe the outline and how you feel about the book.
Did Amazon Remove Your Book Reviews?
As we have seen so far, writing reviews for Amazon and getting paid may sound unreal, but it is as real.
The reviews are so valuable that some Amazon sellers go out of their way and ignore Amazon’s review policy to get reviews on their products.
Amazon reviews are the key to success on Amazon, but sellers must get Amazon reviews the right way or risk account suspension or closure. This guide covers how to get reviews on Amazon the right way to help drive higher search rankings and sales.
Amazon Deletes and Rejects Book Reviews
Amazon banned reviews from not only family and friends but also from authors or social media contacts.
Recently, an extremely nasty and very quiet change took place on Amazon book review policies. An Amazon book review cannot be posted for free eBooks.
The Customer Review Creation Guidelines page has no date or date of the change. So it’s impossible to know when this change was made.
Are you still giving away free Kindle eBooks in the hope of gaining new reviews? If you demand a review in exchange or attempt to influence the review, you are in for a big surprise – no such book reviews are allowed in Amazon.
Who May Write a Review on Amazon?
To contribute to Customer Reviews or Customer Answers, Spark, or to follow other contributors, you must have spent at least $50 on Amazon.com using a valid credit or debit card.
If Amazon seemingly deems that you have a ‘personal’ connection, any book review is rejected.
It is proven that after exchanging a few messages on Twitter or LinkedIn, we have a personal relationship. Though Amazon prohibits reviews from close friends and family, you’re free to tell your social media followers about your book and hope that they will leave good reviews.
You may provide free or discounted copies of your books to readers. However, you may not demand a review in exchange or attempt to influence the review. Offering anything other than a free or discounted copy of the book—including gift cards—will invalidate a review, and we’ll have to remove it.
It obviously helps if you have a large following on Twitter or Instagram, even more so if some of those followers are fellow authors who appreciate the significance of reviews. As most authors will tell you, getting your book reviewed can be a powerful metric that should have a positive effect on your Kindle sales.
Amazon Vine Program
Now, the only reviews that can be incentivized must come through Amazon’s own Vine program and for products other than books.
- This might seem like a more credible option, but there is a catch: Amazon charges vendors an enrollment, unless they are facilitated through the Amazon Vine program.
- it’s not possible if you are under Seller Central to participate in the program.
Early Reviewer Program
Amazon has introduced another review program that sellers of products can take advantage of: the Early Reviewer Program.
- Registration is quite easy
- It is cheaper than Amazon Vine in price
- You are only charged when you receive an actual review through this program
- The number of reviews is limited to 5 though
Is Writing a Book Review Work?
Book review writing is not always easy.
There are many aspects of review writing which should be taken care of. In order to learn all about the book review writing task, you need to do research. Copy editing and proofreading are skilled positions that require specific skills, education, and training.
You need to have an in-depth knowledge of the appropriate style guide. Are you up to date on current trends in publishing and conventions for each specific genre you work in? Then you have some head start.
Many times authors will seek out book reviewers for future testimonials, which can lead to greater exposure for the book and future work for the book reviewers.
There are companies that publish book reviews of thousands of books in a variety of different genres. These companies regularly seek reviewers, bloggers, and publicists to write 250 to 300-word reviews of books for publication on their company’s site.
A. Work with review sites
One of the best ways to get paid to review Amazon products is to work with book review websites.
These websites connect reviewers who are looking to make money, with Amazon authors who need some positive reviews on their books. They post available books for review on their site.
You (the book blogger or reviewer) research to think about whether a partnership with one of these book reviewer companies is a good way for you to make some extra cash while doing something you love to do.
Some book review sites contact you with a book that they would like you to review. The book is usually in a genre that you are familiar with. You are provided with a short synopsis of it along with the invitation.
If you accept, you are asked to read the book and then honestly, fairly and objectively analyze your thoughts in accordance with their review standards (Not putting words in your mouth).
It is competitive to get hired by review sites. A small error could get your application eliminated.
Writing book reviews is not the kind of job you just pick up to make some money.
B. Set up your own blog and write reviews
This allows you to not only write reviews of books, but also a range of other products using affiliate programs like Amazon Associates of Amazon.
C. Rewards Sites
Do you want to get paid to give your opinion, as you do when you write Amazon reviews? This is a good option.
When you take short surveys, answer polls, and provide brands with valuable feedback, you are rewarded with points. These are redeemable in cash or gift cards for popular retailers and brands like Amazon.
Thanks for reading!
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