Let’s Talk About #Bookreviews Day 5 A Book Community

This August I’ve been helping support “Write a book review on Amazon” month. We’ve been encouraging readers to post a book review then, tweet the URL to the Amazon review on Twitter and use the Hashtag #AugustReviews Terry Tyler has been busy collating the review links and posting them in her Hall Of Fame  – catch up with them here  http://terrytyler59.blogspot.co.uk/

1

My Book Community

Book Reviewing and reading is a big part of my life, a full time hobby, I do it because I love reading and it’s completely non paid work.

Over the years I’ve set up a book review team, where we offer the opportunity for multiple reviews for a book from one place, we’ll post to Goodreads, Amazon, reviewer’s blogs and I get a copy of each review to post on my own blog. This way a book and its author get a wide exposure opportunity. Posts get shared by other reviewers and we use #RBRT (Rosie’s Book Review team) on Twitter. More details here http://wp.me/P2Eu3u-5qu

Rosie's Book Review team 1

If you’d like to join our team, do send me a note via the contact above, to prevent the muddy waters of review swaps, we no longer review team member’s own books, but have an extensive list of sites where a member can ask for a review of their own work.

We’ve also set up the #TuesdayBookBlog Hashtag on Twitter where we support book related blog posts for the book community on a Tuesday, we encourage people to use the Hashtag and more importantly to re-tweet and share posts. The power of Twitter is in the capacity to spread far and wide measured in impressions and engagements. It’s not just our Hashtag, we encourage anyone who blogs about books to use it on a Tuesday, it has been running since November 2015 and trends on Twitter at some point most Tuesdays. Guidelines for its use can be found here http://wp.me/P2Eu3u-86n

RBRT (1)

My next project.

Ever conscious of linking readers to authors I want to get working with book clubs, both online and off line. I feel I have access to a wide range of books and authors, many of them from the indie/ self-publishing platforms that need all the publicity they can get. I want to encourage book clubs to post book reviews either as individuals or as a club.

Some readers already belong to book clubs which meet in their communities and I’d like to get them reading more indies, trying a wider range of genres, posting more book reviews and perhaps helping set up Q&A’s with the authors about their book.

Other people might like to join an on-line book club again where there is some access to the actual book author and I’m looking at how I can make it work. If you have any comments about this project do leave a reply below or contact me via the form in the header above.

If you’ve enjoyed this series of posts, do feel free to have a rummage around the rest of the blog, we’ve also got easy to use book review templates here to help start you off on book reviewing http://wp.me/P2Eu3u-7Lq

Thanks for reading today,

Rosie

Catch up with posts from:
There’s still time to join the #AugustReviews campaign.
1) Write a review for a book you’ve read,
2) Post it on Amazon,
3) Tweet the URL of the Amazon review and add #AugustReviews and @TerryTyler4
4) Not on Twitter? No Problem, send me the link using the contact form above and I’ll send it on to Terry, she’ll get it up on her Halls of Fame.

THE HONEY TRAP by @MaryJayneBaker #ChickLit @HarperImpulse #Bookreview #fridayreads

The Honey TrapThe Honey Trap by Mary Jayne Baker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three Point Five Stars.

The Honey Trap is a chick lit story based around the gutter press. Angel Blackthorne is an intern reporter for “The Daily Investigator”. Sent on a job by her editor to entrap squeaky clean film editor Sebastian Wilchester and create a front page sensation, Angel must find a way to get Sebastian naked in front of a hidden camera.

Laidened with guilt over what she’s done, yet constantly thinking about the mutual attraction there was between the pair, Angel is next sent to the premier of his latest film so she can write up a review. The after party at the Lavish Luxe nightclub, turns into a nightmare for Seb and he finds it’s Angel who helps him out.

Never sure if he can fully trust her, Seb can’t keep away. They find a mutual love of vintage films, and it’s Angel that Seb offers an exclusive interview and studio tour to. Here she discovers the Reelkids charity which Seb and his wife have started up and gets an invite to the fundraiser. With a wife in tow, can they ever become more than just good friends?

There are some great characters, newspaper editor Steve Clifton is so sexist he’d have human resources managers reaching for the smelling salts. This is a dialogue lead read and the style lends itself to patches of “telling” rather than “showing” the reader the story-line, add in a good dose of cliques and name dropping and for me the book lost its ability to stand out from the crowd.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT OY YEW by @AnaSalote #KidsLit #Fantasy #fridayreads

Today’s team review is from Lilyn, she blogs here http://www.scifiandscary.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Lilyn has been reading Oy Yew by Ana Salote

25888743

Oy Yew has a slow, special magic to it. It’s not a book that immediately draws you in, but gently ushers you in the story’s direction. The world Ana Salote has created has a sense of richness to it, though not much is seen in this first book. The main character, Oy Yew, is a gorgeous soul. The type of soul that you never have to worry about going bad, or getting spoiled by the meanness in the world. Fiercely loyal, with an innate ability to make the best of everything, and bring out the best in every one, Oy worms himself into your heart.

This story felt, strongly, as if it could have been the story of the House Elves from Harry Potter. Take away the magic, and make the elves a bit more human looking, and you’ve got it. That subservient attitude with the occasional free-thinker bucking the trend. The ridiculous punishments and gets-on-with-its. Even Master Jeopardine brings to mind a slightly more insane acting Lucius Malfoy. It’s very much it’s own story, but if you’ve read Harry Potter and felt even the tiniest flicker of sympathy for Dobby, you’ll make the connection to this book. This is not a light and fluffy story. It’s dark, sometimes disturbing, and filled with sorrow but ultimately rewarding.

Oy Yew is aimed at 8 to 12 year olds, and I think hits that pretty well. However, it feels a bit long. It took me a good while to read through it on my own.  I think it could have been cut down by about 30 pages, and still been just as good. Easily distracted readers will probably have problems with it. I’d highly recommend making it bedtime read, where the kids can just relax and listen to the story. Oy Yew is the first book in the Waifs of Duldred series and is available on Amazon. It’s worth the money and the time to read it.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE MEMORY BOX by @EvaNatiello #Mystery #Thriller

Today’s second Team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Terry has been reading The Memory Box by Eva Lesko Natiello

22587180

The Memory Box by Eva Lesko Natiello

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by me as a member of Rosie Amber’s Review Team

This is one of the most unusual books I’ve read in a long time. I’d class it as a psychological family drama/thriller/mystery … it’s hard to classify and hard to review, too, as it’s imperative that I don’t give away the terrific twist. And it really IS terrific, not like some books hyped as having an unguessable twist that half the reviews say you can suss out in the first chapter.

Right, so we start off with suburban housewife and mother, Caroline Thompson, who doesn’t fit in with the image and doesn’t really want to; she detests her gossipy, nosy, trivia obsessed neighbours. Slowly, we begin to see exactly how much she doesn’t fit in; this is one disturbed woman. But is everything as it seems? Caroline’s whole psyche is affected by the mysteries and half-memories of her past. Why did her sister die? Is she really dead at all?

I grew more unsure as I read on, and had questions: why did none of her friends or family make Caroline seek help? How come her husband just accepted all her excuses for forgetting stuff, acting strangely, etc? She was clearly undergoing a severe emotional breakdown. But then, in part two, the last ten per cent of the novel, the whole story turns on its head; such an unexpected turn of events. Before, I was going to give this 4*, because I found some of Caroline’s muzzy-headed thoughts a little repetitive and I thought the premise wasn’t completely feasible, although I was certainly enjoying it.   Once I’d read the last ten per cent, I realised it deserved 5, without a doubt. Quite brilliant!

I LOVE the way this lady writes, it’s sharp, acutely observed, slightly manic in a way that really works, with some clever, amusing metaphors. Highly recommended to anyone who likes something a bit different. Great ending, too; that’s another little about-turn, after the terrific twist, by the way!

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

 

Let’s Talk About #BookReviews Day 4

c5849-rosie-gardening-02-smaller

We are well over half way through “Write a book review on Amazon ” month and this week I’ve been supporting the campaign with some book reviewing themed posts.

Readers reviewers

At some point in book reviewing everyone will come across a book they really didn’t like, could you still write a review and how could you write it?

Negative and Bad Reviews

I can guarantee this is going to cause a scene.

So what do you do if you really didn’t like a book? People who slam a book and its author publically are often called Book Trolls. Like wise authors who have fans who bully anyone who dares to post a low star rated review, are also connected to the troll label. I suspect this is one of the top reasons why people fear to post a review and it damages the industry as a whole.

Firstly put yourself in the shoes of an author, someone who has toiled hard over their book, you don’t know the mountains they’ve climbed to get this far. Personal, physical, emotional mountains, how would you feel if this was your life’s work?

So you can still write a review, it will be challenging. Find points that you did like, perhaps the overall story, a strong character, a funny moment. You might have liked the first chapter, perhaps it was full of promise, even if it all went down hill from there, still say what you liked.

You can say things didn’t work for you like a fight scene or a love scene. Or you had trouble picturing the mystery building. Some fantasy and sci-fi books need to really make the reader understand new imaginary planets and realms. I once read a book which read like an arcade game with characters leaping from level to level in huge cavernous spaces, it felt 2-D and I longed for depth in the form of the descriptions and the senses, like smell and hearing.

My best advice for a book you don’t like, is LESS IS MORE. If I wrote my favourite character was the mother-in-law and she had a minor part in the book, then I’m hoping the author might pick up that the main characters hadn’t hit the mark. If I said I really like the first three chapters, then there is a hint that the rest of the book may not have lived up to my expectations. If you’ve struggled to write perhaps 10 lines then there probably wasn’t much that made you jump up and down, leave a shorter review.  However you still haven’t been rude about the book.

Ultimately the top LESS is MORE tip. If you can’t find anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. A no review speaks volumes. If you’ve been asked to write a review and really feel you can’t, be polite and say the book wasn’t for you. If you bought the book and didn’t like it, move on there are billions more books out there.

Reading Original

A little note to authors.

All authors who put there work out in the public eye, cannot reasonably expect every single person to like their work. We all read a book differently and a range of book reviews and their star ratings is a healthy thing on review sites. I do understand the hours spent on creating a book and often the author is so attached to their work that they cannot stand, that anyone might not love it as they do and see it as they wrote it.

I’ve come across authors who want to disagree with a book review and try to “heavily suggest” that the reader can’t possibly have read the entire book, if they didn’t enjoy, “the romance between the characters”, or they didn’t comment on the brilliant ending. You can’t tell someone how they should read your book.

I have an author who came back to me several times in the last year, to tell me how brilliant some other readers have thought his work, he doesn’t tell me about the other readers who gave it a 3* review as I did, instead he is insistent that I couldn’t have read the book as it was intended, that I “didn’t get it” and I feel he is trying to wear me down, either to withdraw my review or to reconsider. Nope, nada, not happening, don’t do this authors, it makes you look petty and word gets around the book community that you are to be avoided.

Minstrel Loveheart

Tomorrow I shall be looking at my book community.

Catch up with posts from:
There’s still time to join the #AugustReviews campaign.
1) Write a review for a book you’ve read,
2) Post it on Amazon,
3) Tweet the URL of the Amazon review and add #AugustReviews and @TerryTyler4
4) Not on Twitter? No Problem, send me the link using the contact form above and I’ll send it on to Terry, she’ll get it up on her Halls of Fame.

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT THE BLUE RIDGE PROJECT by @NeilRochford #Thriller

Today’s team review is from Suzanne, she blogs at https://suzannerogersonfantasyauthor.wordpress.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Suzanne has been reading The Blue Ridge Project by Neil Rochford

30112294

Blurb
Detective Andrea Nox is investigating a bizarre and violent murder-suicide with far-reaching consequences, both for Beacon City and the people who run it. But all she has to show for her efforts so far are nonsensical clues and dead ends.
Then, there’s another murder.
Journalist Robert Duncan is visiting home after a personal crisis when the unthinkable happens and he unearths long-kept secrets about his family and his place within it. Before long, he is going back over an old story that implicates powerful people in horrible crimes, drawing him deeper into a dangerous and widespread conspiracy he wishes he had no part in.
Frank Mortimer, disturbed son of a wealthy and influential family, has no interest in conspiracies. He only wants to take part in an experimental program that promises to make him ‘better.’ However, with the shadowy and powerful group known only as The Project pulling the strings behind the program, what he is getting better at could prove disastrous for everyone else, as a dangerous power is being unlocked inside him…
Their paths will converge in murder, intrigue and a clandestine experiment that threatens to change the world itself. Discover the secrets behind The Blue Ridge Project
My review
First thoughts – I was intrigued by the blurb and as I started reading the book immediately felt different to the usual detective stories.
Characters – In the beginning there are too many characters to keep track of. It keeps you on your toes because you never know which character will play a part or is the next victim. That kept things interesting, but also made it hard to form an attachment to any of the characters.
Style – Part one is present day and then part two switches back to events that happened in the past. This second part is where the story came together for me and where I got a better understanding for the characters.
Final thoughts – Towards the end a lot of things that I had been wondering about were explained (I won’t say too much in case of spoilers). I thought it was cleverly written and I am definitely intrigued enough to continue with the series.
Recommend to – Those who like crime thrillers with a touch of something different.
Rating – 4 / 5 stars
Check out the book for yourself on Amazon UK   Amazon US  or   Goodreads

Let’s Talk About #BookReviews Day 3 #wwwblogs

August is “Write a book review on Amazon” month and I’m helping support this with a series of book reviewing themed posts.

Make an Author's Day

Most author’s understand the value of  book reviews, our real challenge is reaching the average book reader, for whom writing a book review is not a high priority.

Writing that book review – Rosie’s own Point of View. **WARNING – we’re going in deep**  Don’t feel shocked, below are lots of points to consider, but only use a selection in a book review. Otherwise you’ll feel out of your depth.
rosie gardening
So when I wrote my very first book reviews they were only about a couple of lines long. (Good news: Amazon now accepts really short reviews) I would finish a book, think about what I’d read but I only remembered bits especially if I’d read the book over a week or two. I might write something like this “I really liked the American court room drama. There were lots of twists and turns and the ending really surprised me.”
Looking back, all I can say is that it’s a starting place. My reviews slowly got longer and more detailed. However it wasn’t until I grabbed a piece of paper and a pen and wrote down small notes whilst I read the book that things really took off and I began feeling proud of the pieces I was writing.
Now when I’ve finished a book, there are lots of details for me to fall back on when I go to write a review. You could look at it as writing practise. Or your own form of Flash Fiction. Ask yourself how can I make someone want to pick up this book to read without giving away too much of the plot? You are in fact creating a unique selling point. You have the potential to make or break a sale. Ever thought about yourself being a salesman? I Haven’t until now.
Here’s something else too. If you are a writer yourself or want to be, reading other people’s work is like taking a free writing course. Make a note of styles you like, how did the dialogue work? Too much?  Too little? Did it sound genuine? What voices did you hear in your head as you read the book? Did they have accents because of the way the author wrote the piece? For me ” ‘eh up young Charlie, me lad, how’s tha’ doin’?”  can only be a strong Yorkshire dialect.
 
Take a look at the start of a book. Look at the Title, when you’ve finished the book, ask yourself how the title fitted the book, what expectations about the book does it give you? Book covers sell books. If you are in a bookstore, library or looking at an on-line bookstore, book covers sell books! Think about how you make a choice about a book you know nothing about.
Book genres: You might want to make a note of the book genre and see if you agree after you’ve read it. Many books will cross genres, you might have a romantic mystery, a paranormal thriller, a historical crime, there are very few set genre lines. However when you read books for younger readers these are often more defined, children, teens, young adult, new adult. Even then books will depend on the maturity of the reader.
Let’s begin reading. Did the book begin with a Prologue? Or were you plunged straight into a dramatic opening scene? Which works for you? Your answer might vary depending on the storyline of the book.
Now have a look at the chapters. How does one chapter end and another start? Does it leave you with a “hook” which has you rushing to find out what happened in the next chapter? Or does it have a natural end, one where you feel you can take a break now, get up and make a cup of tea or switch off the bedside light? Every book is different. It will also depend on what mood you, as the reader, are in.  I’ve read books that I can’t put down and have ended up reading long into the night, getting to the end exhausted but on a high from the storyline.
What about a back story? These are used to explain people, places and reasons for the current situations. They can be very useful to flesh out the story and the characters. A Back story can make you have more empathy for a person or a situation. If the book you’re reading has a back story how useful was it? Too much? Too Little? Did it disrupt the main storyline or did it add to the value of the book? Perhaps there wasn’t a back story and you would have liked to know more about the characters.
Reading Soft edge
Descriptive words. There’s a lot of talk about over use of descriptive passages. Should you put them in? Are they just filling space? A lot depends on how the book has caught the imagination of the reader. An author writes a book and all the pictures are in their head as they write down the words, but have they successful transformed those images to the head of the reader? Think about this; “Chloe walked down the stairs” what image did you get in your head? “Chloe descended the stairs” Did your image change? ” Chloe took a breath before descending the formidable spiral staircase”, now what picture do you have? Sometimes an author might over-kill a description. “Chloe walked down the twenty-four evenly spaced steps of the stairway, one step at a time”, do you get my drift? – Descriptive words can make or break a picture in you head and your enjoyment of a book.
Book pace. I love Dan Brown books, but sometimes they frustrate me. All the action is in a very short period, often forty-eight hours. His characters hardly ever eat, sleep or rest for a second. The books leave me exhausted. However the style works, Dan is extremely popular. On the other hand I don’t want to be bored reading about every meal break, cup of coffee and bathroom visit, I want to get on with the story. In real life we do all the boring things like eat and sleep, but in books we often want to escape to a more exciting life. Think about the pace of the book, did it work with the story-line?
The Ending. The all important ending. Was the book a happy ever after (HEA)? Did you guess the ending way before you got there? Was there an unexpected twist which left you gasping? Did the book make you sad? Emotional? Did you need a box of tissues? Did you feel you’d learnt a life-lesson from the book? Was the ending a cliff-hanger which leads you on to the next book in the series? Is there an epilogue? The first three Harry Potter Books all have a neat ending at the end of the school term, yet because there are more in the series a reader might look forward to the next book. Towards the end of the series the books certainly enticed me onwards I wanted to know more and when the last one finished I still wanted more.
298567
That moves me on to my last point. Would you ever be able to read this book again? Ask yourself that question. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve read all the Harry Potter series. There is so much in each book that every time I read them I feel like I discover more. The same goes for the Twilight series. In between book reviews I’m re-reading the Wardstone Chronicles by Joseph Delaney. These are actually aimed at children (mature readers who can cope with Harry Potter) but I really enjoy them. – So what were your very last impressions of the book? Would you read it again? Or perhaps you could recommend it? Often I’ll end a review with, “This book would suit someone who enjoys….”
Tomorrow I’m talking about bad book reviews.
Catch up with posts from Day 1 here http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-9iV
There’s still time to join the #AugustReviews campaign.
1) Write a review for a book you’ve read,
2) Post it on Amazon,
3) Tweet the URL of the Amazon review and add #AugustReviews and @TerryTyler4
4) Not on Twitter? No Problem, send me the link using the contact form above and I’ll send it on to Terry, she’ll get it up on her Halls of Fame.

FINDING HUNTER by @MarciaMeara #Mystery #Romance #Bookreview #wwwblogs

Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2 by Marcia Meara
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Four point Five Stars.

Finding Hunter is book #2 of The Riverbend series and is also a stand alone book, I would class it as a romantic mystery, whereas book #1 was definitely a romantic suspense.

In this book shy Hunter Painter plucks up the courage to phone Willow Greene, the only love in his life and a secret love he has been harbouring for many years. Willow too has been keeping secret her feelings for Hunter and when they agree to lunch their feelings for each other ignite. But Hunter is so afraid he rushes home.

Determined not to lose Hunter, Willow confronts him and they allow their love to flow. But Hunter is a complex man, with many deep layers of concerns. One of those is his parents, Hunter’s stayed at home while his brothers left, to help look after Lizzie, who suffers out-bursts and probably a form of dementia, but she’s never been diagnosed. Big Jack Hunter has always vowed he’d take care of Lizzie and denies there is anything seriously wrong with her.

When a serious family tragedy occurs, Hunter breaks down, then goes missing and Willow is left fighting her own heart-break. She never gives up her belief that Hunter will come back.

This is an emotional read, dealing with anxiety disorder, PTSD, separation disorder and more, I think it will touch a nerve with many readers who will know someone who has suffered even the mildest of panic attacks, that they may sympathise with Hunter. Maricia’s love of animals and the Florida riverways and plant life shines through this book, with “Biscuit” being a particular favourite of mine.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

I reviewed this book on Amazon as part of #AugustReviews month

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Rosie’s #Bookreview team #RBRT SILENCED JUSTICE by @JBroadmeadow #Crime #Thriller

Today’s team review is from Alison, she blogs here, http://alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Alison has been reading Silenced Justice by Joe Broadmeadow

25713769

I reviewed ‘Silenced Justice’ for Rosie’s Book Review Team.

First of all, I have to say that I do admire the knowledge that the author has bought to this book. It is well-researched and the complicated plot is well-developed. It’s fast-paced, and exciting, and the idea behind the story is sound, with real potential to be a fantastically compelling read. The plot surrounding Darnell Grey, in particular, could really be made into something special; and the flashbacks to a previous time, and the language used here, while unsettling at times, was a somewhat timely reminder of the racism often inherent in the system – a racism that clouds judgement and can result in some pretty horrific things.

That said, there are too many issues with the writing itself. Most of these issues are around dialogue. It seems extremely contrived at times, often used exclusively for dumping information. It’s also often stilted and too formal– simple devices like using contractions when writing the dialogue could have made things sound more natural and made the manuscript more polished. There are also a smattering of complicated dialogue tags that detract from the narrative and, again, seem forced and contrived. The dialogue seems to be trying far too hard to fit into some idea of how the characters should speak to each other – it overplays the banter and becomes something of a parody of itself.

The author also uses quite an odd structure when writing dialogue, as in these examples:

“Can you drop my car off for an oil change?” putting on her suit jacket and picking up her briefcase.

“Glad you know that. I gotta run, call you later,” kissing him on the cheek.

“I am getting better,” arms folded across her chest.

I found this completely irritating, if I’m honest. I don’t know why the author has chosen to write in this way, but it doesn’t work.

Another issue for me was that I hadn’t read the previous novel and I was very unsure for a long time exactly who everyone was and what their relationship was to each other. It is difficult to get this right when you’re writing a series, but it’s important that writers do get it right, not only for new readers but for readers of the first book who might have forgotten what happened previously.

So, unfortunately this book didn’t work for me. I can see that the author, and his stories, have potential. But the writing needs a really good polish.

Three out of five stars.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

 

 

Let’s Talk About #BookReviews Day 2 #TuesdayBookBlog

This month I’m supporting write a book review on Amazon and I’m helping encourage more reading to post reviews. So this week I’m writing a series of book review themed posts.

1

With Amazon being a very important online book seller, it is probably the top author hang out and often the first go to place for book buyers. The number of book reviews a book gets are often more important than their star rating in improving a book’s visibility.

Reading Soft edge

So could you write a review for a non-fiction book? Answer yes you can. Ok, Hands up who’s ever read a non-fiction book cover to cover? Hmm not so many of you.

I feel non-fiction needs a slightly different approach.

1) You still need to be armed with a paper and pen to jot down the book title, author, notes, characters and observations.

2) What’s really important is that you get the gist or the substance of the book. Many non-fiction books start out by telling you that you might want to dip in and out of chapters. Good News for a reviewer they give you permission to skip bits that are of no interest.

3) To help me explain, I’ve just grabbed a copy of “Farm Office Handbook” from my shelves it’s written by The Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators. (I’m a part-time farm secretary here in the UK in case you’re wondering) So I’d jot down book title and who created/ wrote the book.

4 Next look for a  forward or dedication and read it, it often gives you good clues about the book and may sum the whole book up in a few good words which you might be able to use to guide you when you write your own review. But never just copy passages from the forward, write your review and never open the book again, that would be plain rude and disrespectful.

5) Next check out the contents page. Here you’ll find out more about the book. The one I’m using today has a list of 15 chapters ranging from The Farm office, accounting, balance sheets, statutory farm record keeping, staffing and payroll and the Professional Farm administrator (That’s a posh name for my job) At the end of the book are a list of appendix with more details. Many non-fiction books have appendix covering books they’ve quoted from, relevant scientific data, studies, further reading etc. It’s always good to add to your book review that these appendix exist saying a bit about what they are.

6) So back to the non-fiction review. If the subject of the book really interests you, you will most likely read a good 80/100%. make notes on each chapter about what they contain and perhaps write no more than a sentence or two on 5-6 chapters from the book. If you get bogged down in academic details or the subject is written about very deeply and you get lost don’t panic. If you can read at least 50% of a non-fiction book, I believe you can still write a review.  Most chapters will either start with an overview of the subject to be discussed or end with a summary. Use these to find positive points to write about. You can also say; “This book dealt with “X” really deeply” or “There was a great in-depth discussion about….”

7) For a non-fiction review the challenge is to learn something new, discover new people, places and information. You might find a useful website that was mentioned, or a holiday destination, or a museum that would interest you. For instance you might be able to say in your review, “I didn’t know that…” It’s those moments of discovery that you are looking for and can add to your review. Or did the book inspire you do something? When I read  In Praise Of Lilith, Eve And The Serpent In The Garden Of Eden And Other Stories by Susan Scott,  after the first essay I was inspired to go and clean my house and tidy up my garden. I shall say that in my review. I felt so proud of my house after I’d given it some loving attention and it lifted my spirits. It’s little personal details like this that will make a review really genuine.

7302163

8) So don’t be frightened of writing a non-fiction review. Approach it slightly differently, with a very open mind. Don’t panic about having to read every single word. Authors of non-fiction may well have an even harder time selling their books that fiction authors. Often their potential customers may come from a very narrow niche, so your review will be valued just as much as a review for a fiction book.

Tomorrow I’m looking at more of an in-depth book review. Missed Day 1? There were some great comments and discussions catch up here http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-9iV

There’s still time to join the #AugustReviews campaign.
1) Write a review for a book you’ve read,
2) Post it on Amazon,
3) Tweet the URL of the Amazon review and add #AugustReviews and @TerryTyler4
4) Not on Twitter? No Problem, send me the link using the contact form above and I’ll send it on to Terry, she’ll get it up on her Halls of Fame.