Striking the balance between what everyone looks for in a book review has always been a difficult one for me. There’s so many tastes to cater to whilst still keeping the review readable and respectful towards the author. I’ve always wondered what others look for in the perfect book review. I’m only a small book blog, but what I lack for in followers I make up for in opinions. Here’s what I look for in a book review.
The foundation of any review is usually made up of the following:
But a lot of reviewers have taken to including publication dates, genres and author information in their reviews. And if you’re writing a sponsored (lucky you!) review – links to places where you can buy the book. But how much of this information is actually useful to the review-reader?
Personally, I don’t mind how much of this statistical information is included, as long as it’s presented in an easy to read format. Also did you know that review plugins exist? Plugins to make writing reviews easier? It didn’t even occur to me that this was a thing until I saw someone using a widget as part of their WordPress review.
How Long Should Your Review Be?
I think this is all dependent on where you’re posting the review. Personally, I think the Bookstagram review should be no more than a couple of paragraphs, whilst the blog review can get up to 1000 words! Goodreads reviews tend to be a mixture of the two.
Ultimately, as long as your review is more review than summary then that’s ideal.
Layout & Readability
I love seeing the different layouts people use in their reviews! I’ve taken to dividing my reviews into four sections to keep things nice and simple. I’m also a huge fan of using:
in reviews, just to spice it up a lil ya know. If it’s available to you, I really recommend using an SEO tool – this one is really good for letting you know when your writing is getting a little paragraph heavy.
The Fancy Insta Photo vs the Standard Book Cover
The question on everyone’s mind – do I have to be a pro photographer to review my books?
The answer? Of course not. If you’re not a huge fan of photography, taking the perfect Instagram image can be draining. This might be a controversial – but I don’t think your review has to have the ~perfect~ featured image, even if you’re reviewing on Instagram. I’m far more interested in the actual book than the props you use in your photos.