This week I’m taking a leap of faith and offering free reviews for authors. It’s not only a bubble of creative connections that I want to achieve but I also get to read a wide range of different genres to expand my horizons.
Reviews are a great way to improve your own writing, even when you’re writing about someone else’s work, as when you critique you can then see what works and what doesn’t work. For instance, a piece I read last Sunday was incredibly fast paced and although the story was intriguing, it needed fleshing out and developing. From reviewing this piece I actually discovered similarities between my own work and this piece and from then achieved a greater understanding of what I could improve in my Beautiful Broken World Series.
So how do I go about writing a review? It’s obvious but I start with reading the entire piece of work from start to finish as you cannot review what you haven’t read fully. Too many people asked to complete a review will leave a short statement like “was a great read, would recommend.” It’s not helpful to those looking to purchase the book as we want to know why you recommend it. Is it because you enjoyed the story? It’s characters? Or, and this is the cynical part of me, are you a friend or family of the author and you’ve not actually read the novel but want to be supportive?
Either way, when I read a review I want to know a brief overview of the gritty details. Give me your summary of events (without giving any spoilers away) and talk to me about what you liked and disliked. It’s a common misconception that in order for a book to be attractive to potential readers the reviews have to be only positive. This does the opposite for me personally. If a book doesn’t have any flaws then it’s going to come across as robotic. Equally, you don’t want a review that’s all negative as you’ll drive your customers away. It’s about finding that balance.
When I break down what I liked about the book and what I thought could use work I categorize my thoughts into a few distinguishing piles: plot, characters, and technical writing skills. I address each point and have created a concise methodology to create a well-rounded review that will not only attract potential sales but also offer some insight into the book from an outsiders point of view.
If you have a book that’s been released recently then why not get in touch? Currently, the reviews are free so you haven’t got anything to lose and you get a shiny new honest review for your book page. You can contact me @kirstyawriter on Twitter or Instagram for more details.