Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Who is a Book Review for according to #IWSG members

Shout-out to Alex and the awesome co-hosts for today: C. Lee McKenzie, JQ Rose, Jennifer Lane, and Jacqui Murray!

Dec 6 question -

When you leave a book review do you review for the Reader or the Author? Is it about what you liked and enjoyed about your reading experience, or do you critique the author?

I wrote "Writing Book Reviews As An Author: Inspiration To Make It Easier" because I feel book reviews are absolutely critical for an author.
In this reference book, I suggest starting reviews with the following:
  • Was the book good?
  • Include the fundamentals, such as the book title and name of the author (be sure gender terms 🚹🚺🚻🏳‍🌈 are correct).
  • How is the book interesting within its genre?
  • How did you get this book? You want to write an honest and unbiased review, so it's important to mention if you were given the book for free.
  • Would you recommend it, or not, and to who? The review might mention if you feel the book appeals to sci-fi fans, cancer survivors, sporty teens, etc.
  • Is this the sort of book you usually enjoy reading? If you don't like horror books, and you're reviewing one, how much you like or dislike the book has a different weight than someone who frequently reads that genre. People who read reviews will appreciate knowing this.
  • Including a short excerpt that was especially powerful, funny, moving, or meaningful to you is a great way to hook a reader and boost an author's confidence. Or the excerpt might be an example of why you hated the book, in which case the inclusion gives review readers a chance to see if their feelings would match yours.
  • Stimulating. What about the book held your interest? Or why didn't you finish reading it?
  • Author Supporter πŸ“£ Would you read something from this author again?

There are many more tips in the book. I've been using this method to write reviews for years and it really streamlines the process for me. I feel that my method creates reviews that help readers and authors alike.

Some authors shy away from writing reviews because they worry about hurting the feelings of fellow authors by giving less than 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐  Which might be why less than 10% of buyers tend to leave a review. There was a time when it was said that hitting a certain amount of reviews (10, 50, 200...) would result in more promotion from the Amazon algorithm. This has now been denied by the company. However, surveys suggest that book buyers are more inclined to buy a book if it has some reviews. 

Please visit author J Lenni Dorner on Smashwords Writing Book Reviews As An Author


Could you please give me your opinion -- based on the above summary of part of my book about writing reviews, does it seem like I review for readers, authors, or both?

A to Z Challenge Happening at the A to Z Challenge
John, on December 25, will present: A'phabet Day or No "L" Day, a day to skip the 'L' in all your correspondences and communications - written or otherwise. πŸ˜‰


  1. That's a great checklist! It would be very helpful while writing reviews. Thanks for sharing it here today.

  2. Follow that formula and you'll come up with a really solid review.

  3. I like your checklist! I am sus about the number of reviews not influencing Amazon algorithms.

  4. I'd say your reviews are informative to both readers and writers.

  5. Your book is a great resource! I don't think I believe Amazon when they say the number of reviews doesn't matter....

  6. Those are really helpful tips, thank you! :-) Deniz (google won't let me log in)


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