This post was inspired when Ashley @ Nosegraze explained the advantages of adding content upgrades to blog posts. I loved the idea of adding a little extra for my followers and racked my brain for what I would offer. I knew immediately that it would be organising focused as that is what I love to do. And a difficulty I have been having lately is freezing my thoughts on a book until I’m ready to write a review so I thought a cheatsheet would be a perfect solution to that and might be useful to others too.
In addition when I started thinking about writing book reviews, I felt totally out of my depth. I didn’t know where to start, how to structure my review or even how to organise my thoughts into something coherent. Nowadays writing a review feels like second nature to me and I don’t feel like I’ve properly finished with a book until I’ve written my thoughts down.
So today I’m sharing my tips on how to write a review and giving you a chance to check out my freebie pdf – Note to Book. It’s a single page pdf where you gather and document your thoughts and then this will form the shell of your review when you get to writing it. Or even just as a way to preserve your thoughts on that book if you’re not a reviewer.
Review writing tips:
- Don’t force it! You don’t need to write like an English Professor to write a review, it’s not a book report and you don’t need to go all formal. Just spew those thoughts out.
- Believe in yourself. There is no right or wrong here. The review is just your opinion on the book.
- Think as though you were talking to a friend. Do they need to read this book or avoid it like the plague? Then just explain why.
- Vomit out all the random things that you want to say on the screen/page. I like to get everything out and then I edit it ruthlessly to produce something that makes a bit more sense.
- Think about what matters to you in a book and talk about that in your review (example: the characters, the pace, the plot, the romance, the writing style).
- Explain your thoughts fully. Give an opinion and then back it up.
- Get personal! Did the theme resonate for you personally, if so write about that.
- I find the first line in my review hardest to write. So I write it last! I write my review and then try to think of an opening line that pops.
- Keeping notes helps me. As does highlighting quotes.
- Experiment with your review formats so they don’t get boring to write. For example I do twitteresque reviews, balancing the books reviews, emotions felt while reading reviews, pros and cons as well as my standard review format.
How the Note to Book PDF helps:
- It gives you a structure
- It is a reminder of your thoughts and preserves them in ink forever more!
- It’s a single page so it’s not a chore to fill it out
- You can fill it out, then tuck it away until you are ready to write the review. And no need to panic about forgetting everything about the book.
- It has a checklist of other things you might want to do after you’ve written your review. Such as post review to Goodreads.
So how do I get my hands on Note To Book?
Simple! You just sign up to follow Between My Lines by email and I will email it to you. Of course you are free to unsubscribe at any time. You will find the sign up box at the end of this blog post.
Talk to Trish: Do you have any review writing tips to add? Do you document any thoughts prior to writing your review? If you download and use my Note to Book pdf, I’d love to hear how it works for you!