Applause!

A review is to a writer as applause is to an actor.

And after you’ve spent a week or so of your free time reading a book, you deserve to have your say—in the form of a review.

If you’re reading on a Kindle or any other tablet, there’s an opportunity at the end for you to do just that. The review space is short and limited to a certain number of words.

I recommend using the standard critique method likened to a sandwich. You’ve heard it before: say something positive (akin to an applause), then use a sentence or two to explain any negatives, ending with another positive comment.

Now, reward the author with the appropriate number of gold stars and you’re done.

It’s easy—and super-convenient if you’re reading an ebook. But if you have just finished reading a physical copy, the simplest and quickest way to write a review is to go on Amazon or Goodreads, type in the author’s name, scroll through their listing of books, and click on the one you just finished reading. At the bottom of the screen for that book, there is a place to write a review and also read those others have already written.

Rankings on Amazon and the internet depend on reviews. They are coveted and appreciated by authors. If you have received a free e-book from Book Bub or one of the others, I like to think of a review as a thank you to the author for the free copy.

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Great Expectations

The book started out pretty well. It met all of my expectations. It was a page turner.

However, about the middle of the book things started getting bogged down. Plot problems, character problems, difficulties with point of view. There were even errors in grammar and spelling.

I considered giving up on the book because the author just wasn’t delivering the goods. I was disappointed. I had spent about twelve hours reading the book so far, and was at the point where I would either have to cut my losses or keep reading in hopes that the author would be able to pull it all together in the end. 

Readers ask that authors deliver on our promises. 

Before buying a book, the back cover, reviews, advertising and friends’ recommendations help make for a somewhat informed decision on the part of the consumer. 

After the purchase, readers settle into that comfortable chair and expect to be wowed.

Whether you are a well-known writer with a huge following, or you have yet to publish your first book, we must all write something that is worthy of being read.

Critiques, Endorsements, and Reviews

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A beginning writer asked me what the difference is between critiques, reviews, and endorsements. 

Let’s review what each means in relation to the craft of writing:

Critiques: These are critical evaluations of a person’s literary work. If you are writing, you are likely to be in a critique group where you share your work in progress with other writers. You point out errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation. You also talk about sentence structure, characters, conversation, and many other aspects of the writing craft. The idea behind sharing critiques is to help your fellow writer. Think of these as peers helping each other.

Reviews:  a critical consideration of something. We are familiar with writing reviews of restaurants, businesses, and products. Movies, plays, and events are often reviewed. In regard to books, one writes a short analysis, stating positive and negative aspects of a person’s work. Sometimes the reviewer is also asked to rate the book in terms of “stars” or “happy faces.”

Endorsements: an act of giving one’s public approval or support to someone or something. Endorsements are often written on one of the first pages of a book or on the cover. These are often read by consumers prior to purchase to help them decided whether to buy a particular book—or not.