Book Reviews – Types and Why They Matter

If you’ve been working on a book for months, even years, getting it reviewed can be scary! The world of book reviews can seem very daunting. However, there are ways that you can face that world with a little bit more confidence! The best way is to educate yourself about how the world of book reviewing works. This will equip you to tackle this aspect of being an author with conviction, setting you up for success.

Firstly, let’s take a look at the different types of book reviews out there:

1. Reviews from your Readers!

These are the reviews authors are often most nervous and excited to read. However, once your book is out there, reviews from your readers often come in quick and fast, which can be overwhelming. Something to remember is that it can be difficult to separate the genuine reviews from the not-so-genuine ones, so bear this in mind.

2. Trade Reviews

These are the reviews that people within the industry pay the most attention to. Unfortunately, you usually have to pay for these reviews, with no guarantee that they will write favorably about your work. However, this might be a risk worth taking because trade reviews often dictate which books make it onto retail shelves.

3. Endorsement Reviews

These are especially useful if your book is non-fiction, as the clout of a good review from a well-known person in that industry can be very influential in making other people buy your book. An endorsement review essentially entails contacting someone who you would like to write a review of your book so that their words can be incorporated into the cover design, for example, to help sell the book.

4. Editorial Reviews

Similar to endorsement reviews, editorial reviews can be great for encouraging people to read your book. But, again, a positive review is not guaranteed. Something to consider with editorial reviews is the readership of the site or newspaper where the review will be published; you want to ensure the people reading the review are likely to be interested in the genre you write for.

A professional book review has a basic structure: it is usually around 1,500 words long, containing a summary of the plot, the reviewer’s opinions on the book, and their recommendation to the audience (whether they should or should not read the book themselves). There is a lot of room for creativity within this structure, meaning that book reviews can vary a lot depending on the author. Some reviewers have a unique style, making it important to carefully select who you ask to review your work for an endorsement or editorial review.

Finally, it is important to remember that reviews are, in their very nature, subjective. When reading reviews for your own work, it can be easy to ignore many complimentary ones and focus on more critical reviews. The reviewing process can be a very stressful part of the book-writing experience, but try to learn from every criticism and enjoy the good reviews!

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The Five Top Book Review Blogs That You Need to Check Out

There are so many blogs out there now about writing that it can be hard to know where to start; the amount of information out there can be a little overwhelming to say the least! But don’t worry, here I’ve done the hard work for you and picked out a few that you will love. These cover a range of books, from Kindle eBooks to traditionally published works, so there really is something out there for everyone.

1. Guilty Pleasure Book Review

A stalwart of the romance book blog sphere, GPBR is the go-to place for romance novel reviews, whatever your favourite takes on this genre may be, from contemporary mainstream to paranormal and suspense. As well as book reviews, you can also find author interviews here.

2. She Reads Romance Books

Leslie writes this blog, and her writing is so accessible that reading her reviews feels like having a chat with an old friend! She collates book lists to get your teeth stuck into and reviews genre classics as well as the latest releases, so staying up to date with the latest books is easy.

3. Romance Junkies

Whether you’re looking for a new book to read from your favourite sub-genre of romance novels, or you’re looking to branch out of your comfort zone, this is the place to go. Whether you like your romance novels historical or contemporary, paranormal or inspirational, you’ll find something here for you!

4.  Sweet Romance Reads

This blog is run by a group of authors who have joined forces to promote their own books, but do a fantastic job of reviewing and recommending other books you may enjoy too! They are dialled into their readership so can make great recommendations.

5. Angieville

Finally, we have Angieville, written by Angie who describes herself as a “lifelong bibliophile with a soft spot for YA, fantasy, romance, and historical novels”. Working as an editor, Angie is able to provide fantastic insight into the industry and her reviews are second to none. She also posts blog tour reviews, so is a great way to broaden your blog-reading world!

I hope these recommendations make penetrating the seemingly colossal world of book blogs seem a little easier – rest assured there is a blog out there for everybody!

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