sell back your book reviews

sell back your book reviews

The Art of Crafting Persuasive Book Reviews

1. Introduction to Book Reviews

Writing book reviews isn’t hard, but convincing people to buy and read books based on your evaluations poses a challenge. The stakes are high as it’s impossible for the average reader to scrutinize and critique an unworthy book. Consequently, reviewers play an important role. Those who regularly read reviews also tend to check out books based on the strength of a review. Front cover bylines subtly remind casual shoppers that they’re seeing the book through the reviewer’s eyes. Gushing reviews and endorsements in ads reveal the power of a well-placed review quote. Additionally, edifyingly negative reviews are blockbusters for the publishing world, creating authentic buzz and excitement. Writing authentic reviews is an art and responsibility. Critics should be truthful and fair. However, they must also remember that an unwarranted slam can have severe consequences for the author, publisher, and even the review itself.

2. The Importance of Book Reviews in the Publishing Industry

The first question that most bored and intrepid journalists are likely to ask is why anyone should bother to write book reviews and who, exactly, reads book reviews? To some, the answer may be obvious: surely everyone wants to know what other people think about books? Surely reading about books is one of life’s most relaxing functions. Unfortunately, in the western world at least, such sentiments are largely anathema to many young and even not so young people who cannot understand why they should bother to read or even write about constructors at all. There are so many better things to do. “Anyone can write a novel” is a common quote. What a boring and prima donna society we live in. The world is full of voices. However, by living in a puritanical environment and by being manipulated by brilliant and smeary advertising, the truth of the matter is that many people go through life feeling guilt and stricture because they cannot write a perfect novel or have never been inspired enough to venture out of the house to buy a book, let alone visit a library to read even a sensational bestseller from before the day before even time started.

The sound of good reviews from influential newspaper and journal critics can most definitely increase sales and reputations for titles, authors, and publishers. How on earth would publishing executives have the kind of confidence they need to green-light the publication of new books without the support and expertise of their promotional and advertising sales publicity teams? Marketing would be oh-so-dull. Yes, there’s the point of sale devised, too. However, the asking goal, the key blueprint, the power of a website with e-commerce must still be product driven because the selection and sales of books are guided by the power of image and tackling copy, and both are encapsulated in the book reviews and excerpts of a daring and informative critic.

3. Key Elements of an Effective Book Review

1. Always explain why you are discussing the book. The first line must signal your motivation for wanting to share this review. 2. What you think the audience’s reaction should be. Always provide the context surrounding the importance of this book, as well as a quick overview. 3. The title of the book and its author. It is crucial to point out this essential information very early on to avoid any confusion. 4. Give a quick overview of the book’s contents and its themes. A brief, accurate summary of the book’s content. 5. The stylistic and technical aspects of the book also need to be discussed. Provide details such as the standard of editing, the quality of the printing, whether the design or layout is hard on the eyes, etc. Also discuss if the cover is apt. 6. Always include your closing reminder. Always close your review with a summary of your main argument.

It is always helpful knowing which particular elements comprise an effective book review. Here are half a dozen key elements to always include:

• Start with a grand assertion: “Celine by Brock Cole may be the most beautifully written novel in years.” • Ask a loaded question: “Why do so many people sit alone, watching TV?” • Use humor or irreverence: “The occasional appearance of a news story detailing the latest weight loss formula on the Dr. Atkins Diet should, by all rational reasoning, be cause for increased determination to diet. But I have to confess that, in my case, they usually come a welcome opportunity to eat a pecan pie with a clear conscience.”

When crafting an effective, persuasive book review, look for ways to immediately capture your reader’s attention. Here are three different types of opening statements that won’t fail to be attention grabbing:

4. Techniques for Writing Compelling Book Reviews

Show, don’t tell. Take a point of view, make a case, and present specific examples that illustrate and thus authenticate your view. Business professors rant for hours about the concept of “in-depth analysis,” and yet it’s no more than the reviewer’s habit of showing, not just telling. Got the blues? Share the bad news, explain the source of your disquiet, and then, for Pete’s sake, show us some staggers. Concerned about whether an author’s mathematical analysis might work in real life? Present a real-life scenario or an alternate analysis to help readers comprehend just what your worries are. When your readers see what you’re getting at, when they share your disquiet, good persuasive writing has already begun its work. Your idea is already their idea. A work of criticism that’s persuasive should allow a reviewer’s judgment to emerge through his argument. As Robert Frost said, “You cannot find your own opinion. You must manufacture it. It must be original with you. It cannot be given you by anyone else.”

Write from the heart. Persuasion is an art, and that’s a cliché. But you also know that sincerity moves mountains, and that’s absolute truth. When you feel strongly about a book—praising or condemning it—your review packs all the more power. So if you wish to persuade, first let yourself be persuaded and write from the passion of your conviction. Sincerity, empathy, and a genuine concern to persuade your reader are the bedrock qualities of good writing in general, and they are essential in any essay form. The Knowledge and Passion Principles should be standard equipment in your toolkit, clanging against one another like a hammer and a chisel. But to transform your feelings and thoughts into persuasive prose—and here the metaphor fails, because in the art of writing, the process of implementation is vastly more complex and various than either the hammer or chisel metaphor suggests—you also require other tools of the trade. The special techniques of persuasion in a book review, the craft of it, are what I reveal in the remaining chapters of this section. Every essay is an argument, and a good essay is an argument—a mass of evidence marshaled to convince a reader of the justice of your claim.

5. Ethical Considerations in Book Reviewing

Motives We should discuss a reviewer’s motive before proceeding, however. Some may be more concerned with contributing to the field by recognizing solid works, suggesting ways that authors can improve existing contributions, and ensuring that substandard work does not go unnoticed; others may seem to work for self-interest. The longer account of the principles can be found in the guidelines and ethics in writing book reviews from flagship or healthy, robust news media and corporations.

Principles for Ethical Book Reviewing A book review should address the quality and scope of content and suggest the type of audience who might be interested. The book is what the author makes; the review is an aid to understanding, judgment, and decision. It is neither a means to strike back, to show off, to make personal points, nor to prove that one is more entertaining than the reviewed author. Reviewing books that one is passionate about, that one likes as well as that one dislikes, is consistent with the strengths and helps one earn recommendations for further review. Good reviews are critical without being caustic and are thorough yet selective.

Reviewers should try to remember that they are not simply wielding a clever editorial pen. Ethical considerations are highly relevant in writing book reviews. The article covers the concerns by addressing key premises in book reviewing, such as anonymity or revealing the identity of the reviewer, major principles of ethical book review, unwanted consequences, and even the expertise of the reviewer.

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