2012 saw viral controversy over book reviews posted on Amazon. Some authors unethically posted fake reviews on their own books, and bad reviews on other authors’ books. While these topics took up the headlines – they were not the majority. Most reviews listed on Amazon and Goodreads today are legitimate and written by readers. Traditionally writing a review involves a few steps, and I have attached a few samples of traditional instructions. (Below)
Today however, with more people buying books online, a NEW BOOK REVIEW FORMAT is needed. The traditional format is no longer relevant to website reviews.
• The synopsis is no longer needed – Major Websites like Amazon already have a summary of the book for the potential customer, so that part of the review is no longer needed.
• Online reviews should be short -People who surf the web to buy books are usually in a hurry. In order to truly help the customer make a good decision quickly, online reviews should be short & sweet .
• Grab attention with words – An online review needs to have words that get the customer’s attention. There is a lot of information and side adds that compete for sales, so making the correct word choice critical.
• Make a recommendation – let the customer know if you liked reading the book. That is what they want to know from fellow readers.
There are many other places we can seek book reviews. Some places like the New York Times and NPR are respected and have been providing opinions for decades.
Other sources have popped up in this new blogging era. Many bloggers who love to read also post reviews on their sites. Just follow bloggers who share their insights, if you like their style and genre.
If you do buy books online and use the reviews to help make your decision, read the review with one question in the back of your mind. Did this person read the book? If they did and shared why it was great, and if it interests you – go ahead and buy it! Then after you have read the book, let the world know if you liked it. The author will be thankful and so will other readers.
Open the links below to see pdfs of traditional review steps