How to Review Books on a Book Blog

A Letter to Aspiring Book Reviewers A Blog Series

4: Choosing Your First Book To Review

In the last post we discussed getting your “leads,” by posting to one or more threads in the various Goodreads groups that relate to the genres that interest you. In this weeks post we’ll discuss the way to follow up those leads with a mind toward finding a good, great or mind-blowing book to review.

One of the first things you’ll notice while browsing the responses that your post has generated is that indie authors are typically quite bad at following directions. You’ll have messages in your Goodreads in-box, and responses within your post, even if you asked the authors to use your contact or submission form at your blog. Bear with them. Don’t by-pass a book because the author is a little clumsy like this. Chalk it up to the fact that like most people, Indie authors tend to be rushed and hurried and even a little awkward where self-promotion and marketing is concerned. They tend to miss the details. You might want to give those authors who did follow your directions a little edge (priority) but don’t skip the others, there might just be a gem waiting there for you.

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Young adult YA science fiction, post apocalyptic america, gripping, gritty, urban fantasy, religion and human rights, hero and anti-hero, telekinesis, talent, psychic powers, super hero tropes, hate crime, tragedy and healing, social violence, suicide, teen suicide, Identity, despair, protests, riots, rebellion, rage, revenge, vengeance, the fall of civilization, dystopian, dangerous fake news, lies, liars and power mongers, totalitarian, psychological novels, sociological novels, lgbt, gay rights, equal rights for all, social groups, special interest groups, unity and 4140, hope, NA, New Adult, modern old school social sci-fi

Review of How to Surround Yourself with Idiots and Bring About the Fall of a Vast Galactic Empire: A Memoir By Darth Vader

Hailed by many as evidence that Lord Vader, a man widely known as the enforcer and the right hand of the Emperor, was in fact an undercover agent of the Rebel Alliance, “How to Surround Yourself with Idiots and Bring About the Fall of a Vast Galactic Empire” speaks not in support of the publisher’s claims, so much as to undermine any such claims. It must be remembered that the working title of this piece was: “My Personal Empire.” The posthumous renaming of the work smacks of a purely profit-driven agenda. It is an insult to those brave sentients of the Rebel Alliance who fought for the lives and liberties of galactic citizens everywhere. Continue reading

J Scott Coatsworth and “The Great North”: Review

Anna Butler

You know, I always thought of Scott as a temperate zone kind of guy; a Californian sun lover, even. And yet here he is, talking about the icy desolation of the Great North. And shivering, likely. I know I am, but that’s the Great British summer for you: hot sun one day, November-like rain the next.

Anyhow, I’m delighted about Scott’s visit here today. Scroll down for a thinky post on the rewards of writing from Scott, and for a review of The Great North from me.

Dwyn is a young man in the small, isolated town of Manicouga, son of the Minstor, who is betrothed to marry Kessa in a few weeks’ time.

Mael is shepherding the remains of his own village from the north, chased out by a terrible storm that destroyed Land’s End.

Both are trying to find their way in a post-apocalyptic world. When the two…

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How to Review Books on a Book Blog

A Letter to Aspiring Book Reviewers A Blog Series


3: Finding Your First Book To Review

We all want to start off with a bang. It’s fun and a little exciting to launch a blog. It’s fun to start out in any new venture. Naturally, as a reviewer you’ll want to start, not with just a good book, but with a great book! You certainly won’t want to start with just any book. But how do you find the perfect book for your launch?


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How to Review Books on a Book Blog

A Letter to Aspiring Book Reviewers A Blog Series

2: The Role of the Book Review:

Authors and publishers want good reviews because good reviews promote sales. Readers want honest reviews because they are looking for the next book to buy. The reader is your audience. As a reviewer it is your job to serve them, not the author and not the publisher, and, in all fairness, not yourself. The reader seeks your guidance. They want to resolve the uncertainty that they feel with their mouse hovering over the “buy” button. They wonder: is this book worth my time and effort and attention? They ask: “Is this a book that is worth reading?” and “Is the experience of reading this book something I will enjoy?” The role of the review, and the task before the reviewer, is to answer those questions. Continue reading

Review of The Goat: Building the Perfect Victim by Bill Kieffer

Terrific! Insightful! You’ll come away… changed.

A world of magic and furries. A desperate gay boy, a straight sadist. Who is the victim? This is The Goat, by Bill Kieffer. Extraordinarily well written. A piece of insightful fantasy. I haven’t seen the heart and mind of a sadist portrayed this well in some time, and the twist ending? Just magnificent! The Goat is a walk at night through unfamiliar lands, a 3 AM stroll down a dark and silent alley. Prepare yourself to partake in something you never imagined. You’ll come away… changed. Continue reading

How to Review Books on a Book Blog

A Letter to Aspiring Book Reviewers: A Blog Series

1: Some Advice to Start:

Reviewing books is an art.

In a perfect world, every aspiring novelist would start their career as a reviewer. I wish I had. It would have been much easier to learn the craft that way. Reviewing books is much like writing because it is writing. It requires the same skills your favorite authors employ. You have many of these skills already, but those skills will grow. Your skills will develop and you’ll add more skills to your list because all writers develop. You will become a better writer with each review you write. You’ll learn to craft better sentences, you’ll learn to view a story as whole rather than as a series of events, and you’ll learn to recognize the difference between theme and plot. That’s something not everyone manages to do, but you will. It will take time. Don’t rush. Be patient. Give yourself a chance. Continue reading