Folks often post their thoughts and reasons why they choose to read, but it is with less frequency they attempt to explain why they want to write a book review. Let’s see if I can do some justice in that respect…
Google tells me there are currently 130 million published books in the world. Let’s say an average reader can get through 25 books per year (one every 2 weeks) and let’s say on average, people spend 40 years of their life actively choosing and reading books. Putting those numbers together (isn’t basic math fun?), we’re working with about 1,000 books per reader per lifetime on an average across the board of typical readers. With 1,000 to choose out of 130,000,000 options (not even counting what will be published in the future), the % has so many decimal places, I’d be lost just thinking about how to choose which book to read without having some up front data… hence the value of a good book review.
As a reader, when I choose a book, it’s usually based on genre, setting, author, marketing/advertising, and feedback from others. Who goes to a book store, library or digital collection and just grabs the first book “off the shelf” without having done some type of research or had a conversation about it with another human? Not this reader…
As a writer, I only have so many opportunities to grab a potential reader’s attention. I may get lucky if someone shows up at a book store, library or digital collection and selects my book because the cover looks good or (s)he saw an ad about it or it’s in the genre that most appeals to him/her. Ultimately, more readers come from good feedback, word-of-mouth and familiar connections — not just by happenstance.
As both a reader and a writer, I believe a book review can capture everything all at once — if it’s done properly. A book review opens the door for anyone to potentially come across the book and increase the chance it will be purchased or borrowed. Authors need to create a digital and online presence so their name pops up in search engines and in as many social media sites as possible. Readers are more savvy with technology these days and innately search the Internet to find out as much as they can before they actually make a purchase.
When I write a book review, I’m passionate about it because it’s likely I chose that book, I wanted to read it and I have something to say whether it’s good or bad. I want to share what I’ve learned and help others avoid a pitfall, find a treasure or just be amused with me — especially since my style tends to be 75% factual & direct with a fun 25% reserved for sarcastic humor. (I can’t help my personality shining through).
And so for me — as a reader and a writer — a book review serves the single most important connection between those two worlds. When I write a book review, I ensure I can provide all of the following to the person reading my review either in the review or with a link to the appropriate site:
- Author’s biography and list of additional works
- Summary of the book
- What was good in it
- What could have been better
- Images of the book
- Rating of 1 to 5
- Would I read it again or recommend it
- Biography on me as the person writing the review. Readers want to know if they would like you or agree with you in real life. Facts such as:
- What else have you read — maybe you’ll lead me to more good books
- What are your favorites — what did I not read that I should have
- What are your credentials — informally of course since we’re usually not editors and publishers in addition to readers and writers
- What is your style — sarcastic, overly positive, humorous, dry, witty, harsh…
When I write a book review, I want to accomplish all of the above (and more) and post it on as many websites as I reasonably can (it takes time!) for others to find; however, it’s also a valuable tool to help me as a reader when people comment on my review, follow me or like what I’ve said. In turn, I can then check out people I find interesting and maybe discover a new friend, a new book or possibly a new site I didn’t know about.
It’s all connected. And it can be overwhelming to keep up. But if you have a core of places to look, people to trust and options to consider, you as a reader are lucky to be able to choose the best 1,000 books of your lifetime. And that’s what I hope for when I am reading a new book and as a writer looking for new fans of my work: A BOOK REVIEW!
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures.
Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.