We are avid readers here at Aconite Cafe and strive to read 100 plus books a year. As readers/authors we understand how important book reviews are and try to leave a review on every book we read. Most readers don’t leave book reviews, perhaps because they don’t know what to say, or how to leave a relevant review.
It’s important to leave a review ─ regardless if it’s 1 star or 5, one sentence or several paragraphs ─ because people depend on your feedback.
For most selling platforms, the number of reviews directly correlates to where the product shows up in searches. Indie authors depend on this to help place their books in front of the right readers. Readers depend on search engines to help find their new favorite series.
Questions to Answer in your Review
- Don’t be afraid to be honest. Every book deserves an honest review. It’s ok to not like a book, just let people know why.
- Would you recommend it to another person?
- Is it a book you could read again?
- Did you have a “book hangover” when it was finished?
- Did the book keep your attention?
- Did it have a slow start or build up?
- Did it drag out the plot?
- How did the book make you feel?
- Where you emotionally invested?
- Did parts of the story cause you to skim or feel bored?
- How was the writing?
- Did the author have detailed descriptions of people, places and things?
- Could you imagine their world?
- Were the characters complex/relatable/real?
- Did the plot/storyline make sense, could you follow it?
- Were there grammar mistakes?
Book Review Don’ts
- Don’t write an entire recap of what the book was about. The author put time and effort into writing the blurb and the book. The reviewer doesn’t need to rewrite it. Anyone reading reviews aren’t looking for a synopsis, they want to know your opinion. The only time this is acceptable is if you are writing a standalone review on a blog where there isn’t a synopsis already provided.
- If you didn’t read the book, don’t leave a review. This is especially important if the review you’re about to write has nothing to do with the book itself, but is about having technical problems with files or personal problems with authors. The review section is not the place to air these grievances. If you couldn’t finish the book due to the writing/storyline/book related problems, then please leave a review!
- Don’t abuse the star rating system. Amazon has done polls and studies on this, and they’ve concluded that people trust star rating as much as they trust personal recommendations from their friends or family. If the book was well written, and well edited it shouldn’t get a one star rating because you personally couldn’t get into it, or dislike the author. Likewise, not every book deserves five stars. Give stars with intent and care. We discussed how we base our ratings and here is our personal breakdown:
- 5 Stars – You would actively reread the book/ It emotionally affected you, left an impression, book hangover.
- 4 Stars – You loved it, and would probably recommend it.
- 3 Stars – You liked it, left your review, and moved on. Well written but nothing to write home about.
- 2 Stars – You didn’t like it, and won’t recommend it to friends but it wasn’t complete garbage.
- 1 Star – This book was bad. You want your time and money back for having to read & review it.
- No Spoilers! It’s ok to discuss the plot in vague terms, but don’t leave major spoilers inside the review it’s just mean to the future readers. Readers & Authors want to know that the climax came as a surprise, or didn’t, but they don’t want you to name the killer in your review. If there’s a point that you want to make in your review, and can’t do so without spoilers, check the spoilers box, or put SPOILERS in caps at the top of your review. Anything to give readers a warning in case they haven’t read the book yet.