Monday, December 6, 2010

Which book reviewers do you trust?

I enjoy reviewing books to help promote fellow authors, but I must admit that at times I've erred on the side of being nice to the author and maybe haven't been as forthright as my readers would hope. It's probably obvious when I'm enthusiastic about a book or when I'm lukewarm. I always try to focus on my favorite parts of the book and find something positive to say about it, if that isn't possible I will opt out of reviewing the book. But is that fair to those reading the review? How as an author do you submit a completely honest review, especially when you know how it feels to receive a less than favorable review? Jon Skeet had some good advice on how to know if a book review is trustworthy or not. "Look for reviews which give specific praise/criticism. In particular if they give examples of teaching techniques, you will have more of an idea as to whether it'll suit you. Reviews which basically say "I loved it!" or "That's rubbish!" aren't terribly informative. " (i) I've decided I need to make my reviews more specific to be fair to the authors I'm reviewing for and you as readers. I will now include in each review: 1 - My favorite parts of the book (may include quotes) 2 - My least favorite part of the book (or maybe what I would have done differently) 3 - Which audience I would recommend this book to (or likewise which audience it may not be appropriate for). 4 - Information about the book - a short review, price, where to buy, etc. Are there any other areas you as readers would like me to focus on? (i) Jon Skeet: Coding Blog - "The trouble with book reviews."


  1. Great thoughts! That would be hard to review books when you're an author, too. You'd want to support your fellow writers!

    When I read a book, one of my main concerns is its "rating". But since you only review clean books, it's not an issue (which is great!). So, what you've suggested sounds really good.

  2. I agree with the rating Heidi. I picked up a couple of books that I knew my 12yo would love but then I had to read them first because I wasn't sure of content. I keep hoping the publishers will start rating books soon!
    Thanks for stopping by.


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