Whenever I buy anything, I want to know that I am getting value for money. That’s only natural. I’m a prolific reader and I buy a lot of books; so before parting with my cash, like many other people, I check out the reviews.
The problem is, many of the reviews that you see aren’t really reviews at all. They are personal opinions, based on the likes and dislikes of the individual ‘reviewer’; often, nothing more than either unsupported over-the-top praise or at the other end of the spectrum: insults, lacking any real foundation.
Look through any book reviews on Amazon you are likely to see at least a couple that are nothing more than scathing insults or personal attacks on the author. Reviews like these are disrespectful to the author and not at all helpful to any potential reader.
Alternatively, you are just as likely to see the 5 star review that gives the impression it was written by a friend, family member or admirer of the author. This type of review is also not helpful to the reader.
I always say: one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor. We all have different tastes, and those tastes include books. The things that I like are likely not the same things that other people may like.
Writing is hard work. I don’t take commenting on what could be someone’s life-work, lightly. I like to think that any critique I make or criticism I choose to impart will be honest, accurate, sympathetic and, above all, of some help to authors and their readership.
I came across this article written by Lauryn April on her blog ‘April Books’. The blog article entitled, ‘10 Tips to Writing an Excellent Book Review’ is a detailed account of the ideal way to present a book review. If you are a keen book reviewer it’s worth taking note.