What is a Book Review Service?

A book review service will help you get the word out about your book and hopefully make others want to read it. If you look at top novels, you will notice that there are usually quotes from reviews from publications from the New York Times or other papers. This often happens with noted authors that have books published in large publishing houses. But how does the new author who has perhaps self published or is published with a very small publishing house get noticed? Very often, they use a book review service.

As you know, an increasing number of books are now sold online. This goes for movies and music as well. And most of the online websites that offer books also encourage book reviews. There are several places online where you can review books.

A book review service will read the book and then give an honest review of the book in various places online. These will be posted and may help you promote your book. While it is a nice idea to rely on those who read the book to actually post a review, people do not always do this. As a matter of fact, it is rare for the average person, even when prompted, to write a book review. Most of the book reviews that you see online are the result of a book review service.

A book review service will not just say that the book is good, but why. This is done in a way without giving away the ending of the book. The purpose of the book review service is to get others to want to buy the book. If you are trying to promote a book using the internet, the use of a book review service really makes sense. It may end up costing you a few dollars to promote your book in this manner, but it will work out for you in the end. A book review service is one of the best routes you can take if you are a new author trying to get others to read your book.

Using a book review service is similar to any other type of marketing. The marketing technique of the bandwagon effect is in force when it comes to book reviews. This is the concept that others will want something if they know that other people like it. It is a very old and very effective form of marketing and is used in all forms of advertising. Using a book review service is a way that you can market your book to the general public without it seeming like an ad.

Kids’ Book Reviews By Kids: How to Write a Children’s Book Review You Think Other Kids Will Like

You probably have to write book reviews in school. When I was a kid, I used to hate to write them. But now I use book reviews that other people have written all the time. They help me to decide which books I want to read next. So if you’re a kid and you have to write a book review, here is how to write one about a book you think other kids will like.

Actually, it doesn’t have to be about a book you really like. Negative reviews are helpful too. Sometimes a book you don’t like is still a great book, just not for you. Another kid with other interests might find that book perfect for them. So write your book review anyway.

Here are some things you must include in your book review:

Title

Be sure to get the correct and complete title for the book you are reviewing. Sometimes series of books have parts of the titles that are the same, and parts that are different. If you don’t include the whole title, another kid might read your review and get the wrong book to read.

For example, you probably know about Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney. But if you are reviewing one of the later books in the series, you must be sure to include the whole title, like this: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth (Book 5.)

Author

You probably hate it when people say or spell your name wrong. I bet the authors of the books you are reading feel exactly the same way!

Be sure to spell the author’s name correctly. Check and double check it in your report.

Recommended ages or grades

You might read a funny book but know it is too hard for your younger sister to read. So include the ages you think would be able to enjoy the book.

You can say something like, “Recommended for 4th and 5th graders.” Or something like, “I’m 10, but I usually read books that are much harder than what we are supposed to be reading in school. So I think this would be better for sixth or seventh graders.”

Summary of the story

Give a brief description of the main things that happen in the beginning of the story, or the beginning and middle. But be sure not to give away the ending, especially if there is something really surprising that happens.

Here are other things you might want to include in your book review:

Something you really enjoyed

If you thought the book was funny, say so. If you thought it was exciting or scary, and you love adventure, mention that.

Something you didn’t like about the book

Maybe the beginning is really good, but the ending is boring. Perhaps the book seemed too scary for kids, or it gave you nightmares. You can warn others about that.

Other similar books

Compare the book you are reviewing to other similar books. That way, kids can get a better idea if it might be something they would like to read.

Others who might enjoy the book

Say what kind of kids you think might like the book. For example, “If you love to read books about spies or adventure, you will enjoy the Alex Rider book series.” Or, “If you like books about witches that are not too scary, you might enjoy “Which Witch?” by Eva Ibbotson.

Recommend other books or authors

It’s a lot of fun to find a whole bunch of books by another author that you didn’t even know about. So you can mention other authors with books like the one you are reviewing. Or you can suggest other books that are similar to this one, that other kids might also enjoy reading.

Think about the kids who will be reading your book review. Use some of these tips I’ve given you when you write. If you do, you will be able to write kids’ book reviews and help other children by sharing your love of reading and great books.

10 Tips for Writing a Book Review

When writing a book review, you are evaluating the text. You are making a judgment about it. Here are 10 tips for writing an effective and compelling book review.

1. Don’t be afraid to give your opinion.

Reviewing a book requires you to make a value judgment. Is this book good, bad, or somewhere in between? Think about why a person would want to read a book review. They want to know if it is worth their time and money.

This doesn’t mean your review should be as simple as giving it thumbs up or thumbs down. As described in How to Write Anything, “Even movie critics…don’t offer those verdicts until after they first talk about their subjects in detail.”

It is also important to note that even a positive review can acknowledge weaknesses and still be positive. The reader will likely find it helpful if you point out any weaknesses in the book you’re reviewing. Try to sandwich these weaknesses in between praise so that you don’t begin or end on a bad note.

2. Develop criteria for judgment

Criteria means the rules or standards by which you judge that object. A good pizza, for example, might be measured by how greasy it is, the kind of toppings it has, the quality of the crust, etc. That’s your criteria.

If you were reviewing a restaurant, your standards to judge that restaurant would likely include the service, taste of the food, and the atmosphere. If you were reviewing a movie, you might look at the costumes, the acting, the special effects, and so on.

It all depends on what is important to you as a reviewer.

As you read books, think about what makes a book stand out for you. Do you like books with action packed plot lines? Or maybe the writer’s use of language is important to you. Whatever it is, decide on your criteria to help develop your review. It will give you specific points to make within the body of the review.
And it will help readers understand why you rated the book as “good” or “bad.”

3. Back up your opinion

Having an opinion is great. Having an opinion with nothing to back it up, however, is not very convincing. Readers want evidence and reasons for why you are evaluating a certain book as “fabulous” or “boring.” Even if readers don’t realize they want this, support for your ideas certainly couldn’t hurt.

For example, if you decide to review a Dr. Seuss book and you say it is an amazing book for children (opinion) because of his expert use of language and rhyme (criteria), you’d want to point out a particular example as support for that opinion. Let’s see that rhyme in action.

Quote the book directly. Refer to specific chapters or sections. Supporting your ideas will ultimately help to convince your reader.

4. Consider your audience

Who are you writing for? What do they already know about the subject matter? What do they need to know? How you write depends so much on who you are writing for. You speak differently to children than you speak to adults. You interact with your boss in a different way than you interact with your best friend from childhood who knew you when you had braces and bangs.

Your choice of language changes depending on who you are speaking to or writing for. Your tone of voice changes, too.

As you write your book review, consider what your audience wants to know and what will interest them. Choose words that they familiar with rather than jargon that requires a glossary.

This is really a case of thinking about how you want to deliver your message so that the audience can appreciate it. It takes work, but it can pay off in major ways once you’ve mastered it.

5. Write with authority

Whenever possible, avoid the following words: probably and maybe. Avoid the following phrases: It seems, I think, In my opinion.

These words and phrases make your review sound less authoritative and less confident than you’re aiming for. Even if you aren’t feeling confident, fake it.

Look at the following example:

In my opinion, Dr. Seuss is probably one of the most interesting writers out there, though, maybe others might not agree.

Instead, say this:

Dr. Seuss is one of the most interesting writers out there.

We know it is your opinion; that is implied. No need to qualify your opinions with words like probably. Do not be afraid that others might disagree or get offended by your opinion on a book. Disagreement actually creates some of the most interesting discussion.

6. Avoid writing too much summary

A little bit of summary in a book review is helpful. The reader had not already read the book (most likely) and since you are trying to consider your audience, you want to make them feel like they understand the rest of your review. Summary is a great place to start by making your reader feel at home.

Too much summary, however, is not what the reader needs.

Here’s what you need to know about writing summary:

· When summarizing a book, stick to just the main points. Answer the question: What is this book about?
· Try it limit your summary to no more than one paragraph or two unless it is essential or required to include more.
· Avoid writing about every single thing that happens in the book (And then this happened, and then…, and then…).
· Use summary early in your review to get the reader acquainted. It wouldn’t make sense to suddenly give a summary at the end, after you’ve made your point.
· Use your own words. If the reader wanted to know what the publisher has to say, they’ll visit the publisher’s website or read the back of the book. Give us your unique interpretation.

7. Compare and contrast

Another way to help back up your ideas, as stated above, is to use a very familiar tool: compare and contrast. It may have been a while since you were in school, but you know how to do this. You do this every day.

For example, you compare your hamburger to every other hamburger you’ve ever had (even if only in your head, even if it happens so fast you barely register it). When someone asks you how Robert Downey Jr. preformed in Due Date, you might compare his acting to other films like Iron Man.

Comparing and contrasting helps the reader to understand. It gives you and the reader a common ground. Look at the book you are currently reviewing. Can you compare it to other books by that author? Or maybe you could compare it other books in that genre.

Or maybe this new book is incomparable. That would be worth telling your readers, too.

8. Organize your review

Organizing your review in even the slightest way can help your reader make sense of your ideas by giving them a structure. Even the best written story will be less remarkable if the chapters are out of order.
The basics of organization include a beginning, middle, and end. It’s that simple.

Start with an intro that gets the reader warmed up and maybe even summarizes the book. Then, use the middle of your review to give your opinion and support it with quotes and examples. Use this chance to elaborate on your ideas. Then, wrap up your review with a brief conclusion rather than ending abruptly in the middle of your ideas.

It might not come naturally to you, but that is what revision is for. As you revise, consider moving information around and making it sound as effective and clear as possible.

9. Provide helpful information

This one doesn’t apply to everyone, but is worth mentioning. If I read a book review, I want to know where I can buy the book. Where can I find it? Who is the publisher?

A link could be even more helpful. In fact, Amazon can work as an affiliate program for many blogs by linking directly to the texts you mention so that the reader can buy them. And you get a commission. Learn more about making money with Amazon here.

And this should go without saying, but don’t forget to mention the author and title early in your review. Never give the reader a chance to feel confused about what you are talking about. The title of your review isn’t enough. Mention the title and author in the review, as well.

10. Set yourself apart

Depending on the amount of freedom you are allowed in writing your review, consider trying something new to set yourself apart from others.

So many book reviews follow a similar format, which seems to work well, but why not try a different approach? To inspire you, here are a few ideas for reviews:

· The Top 10 Reasons You Must Read __________
· 5 Ways ______ Will Blow Your Mind (In a Good Way)
· The Similarities Between ______ and Harry Potter (or some other well-known piece of literature)
· Why ______(author) is the Next Stephen King (or another famous author)

In all of these examples, it is the title that is attention grabbing. Also, the title implies a certain organization (such as a top ten list). Mostly, though, the above examples don’t look exactly like every other book review.

If you can find a new angle, explore it and see how it works.

Overall, writing a book review doesn’t have to be complicated. And it can be fun! If you are willing to put in the time to make it compelling and convincing and helpful to your readers, the results could be worth it.