Why Write Book Reviews?

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Book reviews are within the scope of any reader, as long as their intent is to be of help to others. Reviews are really nothing more than sharing one’s opinion about a book with others…like sitting at a table with friends chatting about the latest book you read.

For Readers:

Each volume has a life, brought to being by the creative mind of an author who birthed it, coddled it and raised it from infancy to an age of majority where it can stand on its own. Like people, these stories have many facets, not all of which shine like diamonds.

Each story is wonderful to read in that a person has taken their time and talent to put their ideas into a form they can share. Some are more fun, or more entertaining, to read than others. However, even the best have areas where some readers may find the pace slow or the plot confusing. Nothing is perfect.

Different genres attract dissimilar readers to the fold. If the reviewer doesn’t enjoy, or understand the genre, they are best to not review the manuscript. Reviewing is not a license to kill.

I like to see reviews that introduce the author and the title and then go on to give a bit of an idea of what the story is about. Certainly, nothing ought to be included that gives away the highlights of the story, but a bit to show that the reviewer actually read the book…all the way through.

Then a bit about how the reviewer found the book as far as reading it was concerned. Did he/she enjoy it? Were there problems with the text? Was the prose excellent, entertaining and exciting?

Lastly, reviewers can let the readers of the review know if they would recommend the book to others.

For Authors:

Reviews of literature may also be of benefit to the authors. They assist the writer in recognizing where they went wrong, what the problems were…and as importantly, if not more importantly, what went right and what the highlights of the prose are.

The quintessential writer is often self-centred and introverted. They don’t always have a strong sense of their talent; they just have a need to write. An honest book review that shows how readers may respond to their work may well be the impetus they need to continue sharing.

This thought is evidenced by the following response from K.L. Jordaan to my review of her book, The Dark Side of Night.

Your review made me cry because I finally realized that it is ok for people to read my work which, until this very day is regarded by me as very personal. I thank you for opening that door for me.

Getting readers to provide reviews of books on websites like Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads.com, Smashwords.com and others is difficult. Even fellow authors seem reticent about putting their thoughts to words. It helps the author of a book if you take the time to write a few thoughts and publish them on these sites.

EBookJPEG_blogIf you have read, or would like to purchase and read, my book, The Digital Eye, a compilation of articles on photography, I’d appreciate reading your reviews. It is available in paperback and ebook.

PaperbackAmazon.com, CreateSpace.com
EbookAmazon.com, Amazon.ca

To read my musings on a number of books by independent authors see my Book Reviews.

Norm

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