How to write a book review

Want to know how to write a book review for something you read? Well, it’s really easy.

Book reviews are NOT essays or book reports! Forget all about school. Other readers just want to know: what did a real person think or feel about the book?

Here’s what you do:

  1. Write a couple of sentences about what you thought the book was about. Just a couple sentences. Don’t tell the ending. Pretend you’re trying to get your friend to buy the book, and they’re in a hurry, but they ask “what’s it about?”
  2. What did you like about the book? Why? THIS IS IMPORTANT! Why is more important than what. Please do not only write “it was awesome” – write why! I want to hear what I did that you liked, so I can give you more of it!
  3. What did you not like about the book? Why? THIS IS IMPORTANT. Why is more important than what. Don’t worry about giving a professional author negative feedback. I want to hear what I should do better! Besides, what you hated might just be the thing another person may love.
  4. That being said, NEVER attack the author. It makes us sad. Not liking clouds in a book is one thing. Saying the author is a bad person for writing about clouds is not okay.
  5. Take out any spoilers! What are spoilers? If it's exciting, would ruin the book for others, or has ANYTHING to do with the ending, LEAVE IT OUT. Otherwise, your book review will likely get flagged and removed - not to mention you'll have a lot of people angry with you for spoiling the book for them.
  6. Did the author give you a free copy? YOU MUST DISCLOSE THIS for legal purposes. Just write ‘I received a free copy of this book from the author‘ if that’s the case.
  7. If you’re putting the review on your blog or website, how can the person reading it buy the book? Link to the book. If you’re putting the review on Amazon or some other place where you buy the book obviously you don’t need to do this.

You’re done! This is how to write a book review.

Some places want you to write a title for your review. Think about a few words which sum up what you feel about the book. Also you can give it stars if you want. Some places ask you to do that first. Rate it like you used to rate a movie on Netflix or something similar - the more stars, the more you liked it.

You can do this.

Go for it!

[Oct. 6, 2016 – updated in light of Amazon’s new rules]

See more help for reviewers.

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