You Can Write a Book Review: 5 Tips To Show You How

Good day, friends…I hope you are all having a wonderful day.  Since I’m recuperating from a cold, I decided to share something old, but still pertinent. For those of you who love to read, but are shy about writing a review, this may be helpful. I wrote the following article for LinkedIn last January and thought to post it here on the blog.  I hope you enjoy it.

open book with script

 

You Can Write a Book Review: 5 Tips to Show You How

You just finished reading a book – now what? Book reviews are an essential form of word-of-mouth advertising for the author, especially if the review is a good one. They also help other readers to decide whether or not a book is worth the investment of their time and money. But the majority of readers will end up never leaving a review. Though the reasons may vary, I have discovered two major ones: the reader doesn’t know how to express his/her thoughts in writing and they’re afraid to try, or they don’t want to spend the time.

Writing a book review doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming, and doesn’t have to sound like it was written by the editor of Swank ‘n Stuff Publishers. It just has to be honest and brief. Here are 5 tips on how to write a book review, which will benefit both the author and readers.

1. HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY

It’s important to be honest when writing a review. Gushing over a book that you really didn’t care for isn’t helpful to the author or other readers. The whole purpose of a review is to express your true opinions about what you read. Whether you loved the book or not, state your opinion honesty and kindly, and give a reason or two to back up your viewpoint. For example: “I didn’t enjoy this book because there were too many misspelled words, which distracted me from the story. I hope the author will remedy this.”

2. BE BRIEF

Many readers won’t leave a review because they don’t consider themselves writers in the traditional sense, and they feel intimidated by publicly expressing their opinions. Or, and this is the worst reason, they don’t want to spend the time. Your review doesn’t have to be a dissertation. Keeping it brief and to the point, alleviates the anxiety associated with novice review writing, and it doesn’t take more than a minute or two of your time. It’s sufficient to simply state that you liked the book and give a few reasons why. For example: “I enjoyed reading this book because the humor with which it was written kept me wanting more,” or “I found this book to be funny and engaging. I especially related to the author’s frustration with a houseful of cats. I will definitely recommend this book to my pet-loving family and friends.” – Simple, honest, and brief.

3. SPOILER ALERT

When writing a review, it’s important not to give away too much of the story.
Keeping your review general, gives the next reader a chance to use their imagination. Using an excerpt or two from the book is fine in getting your point across, for example: “ ‘Josephine held her daughter in her arms. She pulled Mary as close to her as she could, as if she were holding her for the first time, but she knew in her heart it would be the last. She had to let her go.’ I loved the way the characters allowed me to feel their emotions.” The person reading a review wants to be intrigued by the information you give, but doesn’t want to hear too many details. Why would they want to read the story if they already know what happens? Don’t milk the cow dry – leave something for the next reader.

4. BE CONSTRUCTIVE – NOT DESTRUCTIVE

If for any reason you didn’t like the book you read, it’s imperative to be constructive and kind in your review. Raking the author over the coals is not only cruel, but doesn’t give the author a chance to improve. Be honest with the reasons you didn’t like the book, but also give ways in which you think the author could improve this particular book and his/her future ones. And if there is a saving grace about the book – something that you did like about it – don’t forget to mention it in your review.

5. IT’S NOW OR NEVER

As I said in the beginning, word-of-mouth is an essential form of advertising for an author. So the best time to write a review is immediately after finishing the book, when the characters and your emotive response are fresh on your mind and ready to be shared. The longer you postpone writing a review, there’s a greater chance you will never write it. While you’re still in the mood of what you’ve read, give it a go and let everyone know.

Don’t be shy. Writing a review is not as difficult as you might think, and you’ll feel good about being part of the wonderful literary experience. And who knows…one day you might even be inspired to write a book of your own.

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne

Note: This article originally appeared on LinkedIn, January 16, 2016

Elsie’s Rose Water Scones

“Elsie, what a nice surprise!” exclaimed Catherine.  “Please, come in.  I was just about to have some tea, and I’d love for you to join me.”  She hugged Elsie, who gingerly held a platter with some scones she had baked.

“Here you go, my dear,” Elsie said, handing her the platter.  “I thought you might like some of these, and they’d go perfectly with our tea.”  Her silvery voice and Mancunian accent seemed to sing the words.

“Oh my, thank you!”  She took the scones and led Elsie into the kitchen.  “Have a seat, Elsie.” A rose scent wafted up to Catherine, as she removed the plastic wrapping from the scones.  “Elsie, they smell heavenly!”

“Rose water scones,” Elsie acknowledged.  “I made them this morning and thought you and Alan might like to try them.”   Excerpt from Chapter three, River Runs Deep

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Good day, friends!  Welcome to Leisure Lane.  I hope you enjoyed a lovely weekend and are ready for a lovely recipe.  In all the business of the holidays, I forgot to post it for you.  It’s one of two recipes that can be found at the end of my kindle romance ebook, River Runs Deep.  These scones are pretty and delicious, and they’re perfect for tea with friends or anytime.  If you try them, let me know.  Have a wonderful week, and until next time, may happy days abound!

Elsie’s Rose Water Scones

Makes 8

Ingredients:
1 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
½ Tblsp baking powder
¼ cup granulated sugar
4 Tblsp cold butter, cut in chunks
1/3 cup milk
1 ½ – 2 tsp. of rose water
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 F

*In a medium size bowl add flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar and mix well.
*Add butter and blend with a pastry cutter until mixture is crumbly.
*Add rose water and extract to milk and pour liquid into dry mixture. Stir gently with a spoon until blended and dough forms. The fewer strokes the better.
*Knead gently 2 or 3 times to form a solid ball.  Use a little flour if dough seems sticky.
*Place dough on greased cookie sheet and use fingers to pat into a circular shape 1- inch thick.  Cut circle into 8 wedges and slightly separate leaving some space between the wedges.
*Bake for 12-15 minutes until they begin to lightly brown.
*Ice or drizzle with rose water glaze.

Recipe may be doubled, if desired.

Rose Water Glaze

Ingredients:

1/8 cup of confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. rose water (food grade)
¼ tsp. vanilla extract

Less than a drop of red dye for pink glaze – if desired.

Directions:

Place sugar into a small bowl.  Add rose water, extract and red dye.  Stir until glaze is a loose consistency.  You may add more rose water to get the proper consistency.  May be drizzled onto scones or spread on top of scones to thinly cover tops.

Enjoy with hot tea or coffee and a friend!

 

River Runs Deep – Romantic Comedy Book Promotion

Hello everyone. I hope you’re enjoying the day. Dreary and very cool here today, which I know doesn’t sound so great, but it’s actually beautiful…cozy and a perfect day to be home visiting with you. I hope your week is progressing nicely and lots of good surprises come your way.

Just a note to let you know that beginning November 14, 2017, Amazon is running a Kindle Countdown Deal promotion on River Runs Deep. I will send out another reminder just before it begins. This is for all of my U.S. friends.  For my U.K. friends, the countdown will begin on November 15, 2017.  Again, I will send out reminders.  The book has been doing very well and I’m very grateful.

Thank you for stopping by Leisure Lane, and…

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne ♥

River Runs Deep Book Launch

Good day, and I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying a delightful autumn.  I am very excited to announce that my new novella, River Runs Deep is now available on Amazon Kindle!  If you like Hallmark style love stories, you are going to love this.

Added note 10/18/2017:  I forgot to mention that there are two recipes from the story at the end of the book – Elsie’s Rose Water Scones and Catherine’s Peppermint Water.  A little something extra for you to enjoy!

Though it’s a fiction, the foundation of the story is based on an experience I had many, many years ago.  One that I will cherish forever.  I promised to tell you how I came to write this book, so here is the story.

A few days before Mother’s day 2016, I had a dream of an Native American chief.  The dream is mentioned in the book, so I won’t go into detail here.  When I asked him who he was he said, “I am Faith.”  That Mother’s Day, I was working at the store, and stopped by to visit my sweet friend, who worked in another department there before going home.  I wasn’t thinking about the dream, but we were talking and having fun and something reminded me of the sweet encounter I had when I was 20 years old. I hadn’t related the story to anyone in decades, but I told her about it, and without hesitation, she excited announced, “Oh, my gosh, that’s so romantic – that’s your next Hallmark romance story!!”  And a little over a year later, here it is.

For book link, please click here.

Well, I hope you enjoyed that little behind the scenes story.  I gave you the Reader’s Digest version 😉   Be of good cheer, and…

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne

 

%d bloggers like this: