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♦GoodReads Handbook ♦ > ○ Review Writing Q & A

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message 1: by ~Jennifer~ (last edited Feb 24, 2012 02:56PM) (new)

~Jennifer~ (book_addiction) | 929 comments Have a question for one of our Reviewing guru's? Here's your chance....


message 2: by ~Jennifer~ (new)

~Jennifer~ (book_addiction) | 929 comments Alrighty, I'm going to start it off.

How much info is too much when writing the summary?


message 3: by Irene (new)

Irene (raenne) ~Jennifer~ wrote: "Alrighty, I'm going to start it off.

How much info is too much when writing the summary?"


I'd like to ask almost the same: How much info do I need to write? I mean, my reviews are very short :/


Alana ~ The Book Pimp (loonyalana) | 83 comments If you mean the summary of the plot, I've heard two opposing ideas.

One: Write a short (1-2 short paragraphs) summary without giving away any major spoilers... but the 'opposition' to this says don't necessarily do this for every book unless you are writing reviews for a blog, or some other place that does not offer the blurb/description already (or readily available.) If you are writing reviews only for GoodReads or Amazon, then they post the blurb before the reviews so people don't need to see it again


Alana ~ The Book Pimp (loonyalana) | 83 comments Option 2: skip the summary all together unless you need to address issues or problems with the plot. People who read alot most likely already have an idea about what the book is about. They care about your thoughts on the characters, world building, emotional connection, believability... that kind of thing.


Alana ~ The Book Pimp (loonyalana) | 83 comments Don't just say I love/hate this book, and leave it at that. Say why you love/hate this book. There must be some sort of list-able/discussable reasons. If your problem revolves around a major spoiler, try to talk 'around' the spoiler without outright saying what it is.


Alana ~ The Book Pimp (loonyalana) | 83 comments There are great reviews out there that are only a paragraph long, and there are great reviews that are a page long. Don't force a longer review just because you think it's too short. If you covered your thoughts, it's sufficient.


message 8: by joanne (new)

joanne (cabeswaters) On my blog, I always include a copy of the blurb as it was printed on my edition of the book. If the blurb does not sufficiently summarise the book, then I will add my own summary.


message 9: by R (new)

R (rpjumawan) I'm having problem with my reviews I don't know how to write a good review and don't know where to start...please can someone suggest on how to write a good review and how to start...without diminishing the quality of the book.


message 10: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 2348 comments Ronaliza wrote: "I'm having problem with my reviews I don't know how to write a good review and don't know where to start...please can someone suggest on how to write a good review and how to start...without dimini..."

I write a review of every book I read ... or have for the last 5 years or so. I usually start with a couple of sentences about the book WITHOUT any spoilers. You could even just copy some of the dust jacket info (of course, giving credit)

Then I write about what I liked and didn't like about the book. If it's an audiobook I make sure to also comment about the performance of the audio.

You can see an example of a shorter review here:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

One of my longer reviews:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Hope that helps.


message 11: by R (new)

R (rpjumawan) thank you Book Concierge for your kind suggestion, it will defenitely help.


message 12: by Barb (new)

Barb McKinley (36021416-barbmckinley) How do you know if your reviews are considered good or bad? How do you know what you need to do to correct the problem or leave it alone?


message 13: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 2348 comments Barbara McKinley wrote: "How do you know if your reviews are considered good or bad? How do you know what you need to do to correct the problem or leave it alone?"

This depends so much on the purpose of the review. Are you reviewing for a publication, website, or blog? Are you writing for a school project? Are you just recording your thoughts as a reminder for yourself, and perhaps a help to friends?


message 14: by Ezinwanyi, Factory Superintendent (new)

Ezinwanyi Chinyere | 16239 comments Mod
My reviews are how I felt about the book. It's like a note to myself so that I remember the big picture when the sequel drops a year later (Since every book has a sequel these days, LOL)


message 15: by Katherine (new)

Katherine | 256 comments I'm ok with writing reviews but the one thing I find difficult reviewing are short books.

So my question is how do you write a review for a book that's between 60 - 170 pages long?


message 16: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 2348 comments Katherine wrote: "I'm ok with writing reviews but the one thing I find difficult reviewing are short books.

So my question is how do you write a review for a book that's between 60 - 170 pages long?"


Same way I write a review of a book that is 900 pages long. I give a brief plot summary (2 or 3 sentences, MAX), then comment about the characters, the themes, the writing, the style, my reactions, etc....


message 17: by Katherine (new)

Katherine | 256 comments Thank you for the advise. :)


That Asocial Nerd {Semi hiatus} I just want to start writing reviews and the 1st book i want to do is the 4th book in a series and i haven't done the last three books, is it okay to write the review if i haven't done the last three books?


message 19: by ⚜️Trea, Operations Manager (new)

⚜️Trea (duskrider3740) | 4390 comments Mod
JoyBooks_3000 wrote: "I just want to start writing reviews and the 1st book i want to do is the 4th book in a series and i haven't done the last three books, is it okay to write the review if i haven't done the last thr..."

Reviewing is pretty subjective. You do it how you feel most comfortable doing it. If you're ok with reviewing mid-series, go for it! No one here is going to say you're wrong for doing so, though there are some that might disagree with your desire to do so. (I'm one of them, but it's my OCD telling me to read the other three books first and just make notes for reviewing the 4th until I get the prior three read.) It's totally a "you do you, boo" situation!


That Asocial Nerd {Semi hiatus} I already read the last the 3 books but I didnt review them just rated them. Like the book I want to review is The Trails of Apollo: The Tryant Tomb (Book 4) and I dont know how to review it. Like should I do a brief summary of the prophecies and the chapter 1 and the ending of book 3???.


message 21: by ⚜️Trea, Operations Manager (new)

⚜️Trea (duskrider3740) | 4390 comments Mod
JoyBooks_3000 wrote: "I already read the last the 3 books but I didnt review them just rated them. Like the book I want to review is The Trails of Apollo: The Tryant Tomb (Book 4) and I dont know how to review it. Like ..."

No, you should avoid summaries and things that could spoil the book for others! How I review is by saying what I liked about the characters, the plot, that kind of thing. If I didn't like things, I mention that as well, but don't trash the author while you do it!


That Asocial Nerd {Semi hiatus} Oh, okay. Thank you so much for the advice


message 23: by Loriidae (new)

Loriidae | 392 comments JoyBooks_3000 wrote: "I just want to start writing reviews and the 1st book i want to do is the 4th book in a series and i haven't done the last three books, is it okay to write the review if i haven't done the last thr..."

Perhaps a preface note saying that #4 is dependent on key plot lines from books 1 - 3 and cannot be read as a stand alone.

Reviews are definitely subjective, I would only add that I get annoyed by reviewers that cannot separate the author from their characters. That is, just because an author creates a character that is racist, sexist, misogynistic etc, it doesn't mean the author personally is, which links into Trea's comment about not trashing an author.


That Asocial Nerd {Semi hiatus} Okay, I Will keep that in mind. Thank you so much for the advice


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