Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How to be a Reviewer Series

How to Review Books
By Debbie Roome

A book reviewer reads books and writes an evaluation of the content, often including a personal opinion.

Where do the Books Come from
New books are released on a regular basis and publishing houses and authors are always looking for reviewers. In some cases the book will be sent as a pdf or a physical copy may be posted out to the reviewer or the magazine, newspaper or website they work for.

How do I Write a Book Review
An important part of a review is summarizing the book in one or two paragraphs. This needs to be done in a way that will entice the reader in, but does not give away the ending or other important information. The reviewer will often weave their own personal opinion of the book into the summary.

What Points do I need to Include
The following are some of the areas that can be discussed or mentioned in a book review:
· Story line
· Underlying message or theme
· Main characters
· Point of view
· Style and genre
· Physical setting
· Time period

Where can I find a Market for Book Reviews
Most community newspapers and certain magazines publish book reviews. Some have their own staff reviewers but it is worth contacting them to find out. There are also websites that publish book reviews and some will supply the books. If all else fails, practise by leaving reviews of books you have read on Amazon.com or blogs. These can be used as published clips when applying for paid work so do them as professionally as you can.

The Downside of Book Reviewing
As a reviewer, you often have to read books that are not to your taste. While this may be uncomfortable or even boring, persevere as it increases your writing abilities as well as expanding your knowledge.

Book reviewing can be a lot of fun and for avid readers, it is a wonderful way to make some cash and/or have a ready supply of free books. Even if it’s not your passion, it’s good to write a few reviews just so you know how to do it.

Next week we look at how to write movie and theater reviews.


Debbie Roome works as a freelance writer from her home in New Zealand. Visit her at Debbie Roome or read some of her work at Suite 101 , Take Root and Write and Faithwriters.


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1 comment:

Karen Lange said...

Thanks for sharing these tips. I started reviewing books in the last year and it is a great way to get your writing out there. Blessings to you and your readers:)