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.