Analysis of a Book Reviewer

Did you ever wonder what it was like to write about other people’s writing? That is the job of a book reviewer. I always wanted to be a freelance writer, and for me reviewing books is a perfect example of what a freelance writer does. I write book reviews as a public service to readers and authors alike, sharing my opinions of what I read.

Book reviewers are a valuable asset to all writers. I believe all serious writers should write reviews on other author’s books. The lessons learned are invaluable and will benefit your own writing. This process works for me. I see a marked improvement in my own writing skills since I began reading and sharing other writer’s work.

I follow a format designed to bring out the best aspects of any author’s work. The idea is to express my thoughts about a book in as honest a way, as possible. This is not as easy as you think. I want to be fair to the author and the reader. Sometimes book reviewing is a real balancing act of words and emotions. Bottom line, I always follow my gut, and say what I think. The author needs to know how their writing affects readers. I accept that task.

There are certain things I look for in the review process when I first begin reading a book. First impressions are always something I take seriously. Typo’s, or misspelled words, sentences missing words, are the kinds of things that detract from a book’s meaning, which all cause confusion to the reader. I believe the more mistakes a reader spots, the less confidence a reader has in your ability as a writer.

How a book makes me feel is another aspect that is an integral part of the reading/reviewing experience. I like to employ the Ethos, Logos, and Pathos rules to my reviewing. Is the story believable? Do the series of events make sense to the reader? Can I understand the terminology the author uses? Does the story flow?

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So what is a good book? To me, a good book allows me to see a series of events and descriptions through the author’s eyes. Good books are those where I can feel the internal conflicts of the characters, which gives me an emotional connection. If you form that bond with me as a reader, I have a favorable memory of the story. I will remember the way you made me feel with your words.

One thing, I believe a book reviewer should never do is to impose their own personal belief system on an author. If you are reading a book that upsets your take on the world that much, keep your thoughts to yourself. Send an apology email to the author explaining why you have decided not to review their book. Do not destroy the author’s hard work because you do not hold the same values.

I prefer to be open minded to the possibilities of literature. I like the journey and the review process is part of it. Book reviewing can be one of the most daunting tasks you will ever undertake if you let it. Instead, I find it to be one of the most fulfilling writing tasks I have ever experienced because it lets me share in the joy of writing and reading.

Indie Authors depend on us to share their work. Read a book, and write a review! It’s the best way to thank an author for their hard work.

Colleen 12.22.15

 

 

 

 

 

@ColleenChesebro

www.SilverThreading.com

 

Author: Colleen M. Chesebro

Colleen M. Chesebro is a Michigan Poet who loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction. She sponsors a weekly poetry challenge, called #TankaTuesday, on wordcraftpoetry.com where participants learn how to write traditional and current forms of syllabic poetry. Along with JulesPaige, Colleen is also a co-editor of “Word Weaving, a Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse,” at wordweavingpoetryjournal.com. The debut issue of the journal published October 2021, with a kindle and print version of the journal. Colleen’s syllabic poetry has appeared in various other online publications. Recently, she created the Double Ennead, a 99-syllable poetry form for the Carrot Ranch literary community at carrotranch.com. She hosts a challenge as a guest of the Saloon, every third Monday of the month. Colleen’s poetry has poetry in various anthologies and journals including “Hedgerow-a journal of small poems,” and “Poetry Treasures,” a collection of poetry from the poet/author guests of Robbie Cheadle on the “Treasuring Poetry” blog series on “Writing to be Read” in 2020. Colleen published “Word Craft: Prose & Poetry, The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry,” which illustrates how to write various syllabic poetry forms used in her Tanka Tuesday challenges; and a collection of poetry, flash fiction, and short stories called, “Fairies, Myths & Magic: A Summer Celebration,” dedicated to the Summer Solstice. She contributed a short story called “The Changeling,” in the “Ghostly Rites Anthology 2020,” published by Plaisted Publishing House. Find Colleen at Word Craft: Prose & Poetry at wordcraftpoetry.com. Find Colleen’s author blog at colleenchesebro.com. Find Colleen’s pagan blog at awitchsbrew.wordpress.com.

41 thoughts on “Analysis of a Book Reviewer”

  1. I love the idea of sharing my reading experience with the world. As a bit of a loner, it was always a bit of an anti climax whenever I finished a great book, having no one to tell about it. Now I am a writer too, problem solved…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Watch my blog at silver threading.com. I have a book review submission form on my menu. I am maxed out right now, but later in the year I can take on more books. ❤️

      Like

  2. Colleen, I confess. I meant to take just a quick look at this, but I sincerely enjoyed your take on this. It was quite a weekend, with a long-time reader suddenly telling me that because I write fantasy, that others “should not suffer (me) to live.” So I really appreciated your comments toward authors and reviewers (everyone) having different values.
    Huge Monday hugs my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What an odd comment from that reader of yours. Why do people try to make more of something than it is I will never know. You are one of the nicest authors I know and always respectful to everyone! Books are written to be enjoyed… By all people. Teagan, have a great week. You deserve it! ❤️❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on cicampbellblog and commented:
    Some things for writers to think about when looking for reviews. For instance:
    “There are certain things I look for in the review process when I first begin reading a book. First impressions are always something I take seriously. Typo’s, or misspelled words, sentences missing words, are the kinds of things that detract from a book’s meaning, which all cause confusion to the reader. I believe the more mistakes a reader spots, the less confidence a reader has in your ability as a writer.”
    Colleen M Cheesebro

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve written many reviews, including for some books which were a struggle to get through. I generally provide some idea of what the book is about, the genre and characters but I shy away from superlatives. We all have our own tastes in reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly. I had a friend recently say that a reader was really unkind to her because of the genre she wrote in. That is what I am saying… if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. I have turned down books to review after reading them because of those same reasons. If the book offends your value system, walk away. What you don’t like, someone else will. ❤ ❤ ❤

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  5. Hello Colleen! All book reviewers should be like you. I don’t believe that every writer should do book reviews though. Some writers just can’t separate the writer from the reader and that’s important when reviewing a book. I can count on one hand the book reviewers that can genuinely do that. You, Olga, Ronovan, and a few others that I can think of, are great book reviewers. But I’ve read book reviews that left me wondering if the reviewer and writer are enemies. I’ve read other reviews where clearly the reviewer could not separate her religious beliefs, and instead forced them onto the work of fiction she had read as if she was reviewing a religious doctrine. Being a book reviewer is not easy and you really have to be very diplomatic and professional. So I commend you and all those that do it well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have seen much of what you described too, Vashti. That is so sad. I have learned so much about writing and myself by being a reviewer. You must be kind and non-judgmental when you review other writer’s work. I feel like it is an opportunity to learn and grow for the author, the reader, and the reviewer. I hope I inspire others to try it. As long as they realize they should never destroy the author or their work. ❤️❤️❤️

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  6. One thing I would like to ask in regards to your reviewing: do you share your reviews on Goodreads, amazon etc.? The reason why I ask is, I don’t. I feel that if I get the book from a site that wants me to review the work (for free) it’s unfair for me to post a review anywhere but my blog. I struggle with this because I know the sites want me to put those other reviews up and I’m unsure if Goodreads, amazon will not boot me because I do receive it free for review. Any thoughts on this? Thanks, this has been such a stressor for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I add it to Goodreads and Amazon, my blog, and Lit World Interviews. I figure it only helps the author if the review is at the point of sale. The more you can share the better. Reviews sell books. I do know that. The author can’t post our reviews. Only we can. Does that help? I hate that it worries you. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just hear so much about reviews being pulled by Amazon because they think you “know” that author. I review books I like. If they happen to be by someone I “know” via online that shouldn’t be something that gets my reviews nixed. Well, thank you!! I am going to try and post reviews on those sites and see how the experience goes.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Tracie, I haven’t had any pulled that I know of. I think the problem is when we become authors ourselves. No one knows the real reasons the reviews get pulled. I think it has to do with the author’s followers on Amazon. Not sure though. Good luck to you! ❤️

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I try to write about the emotions the writer evokes in me. Everyone has their own way of reviewing. I hope I am as subjective as possible… And fair. Thanks for your comments. ❤️

      Like

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