Tuesday Feedback: A Little Conversation about Book Reviews Starring YOU
Book reviews are VERY important to us authors.
We count on word of mouth in all forms, from the readers who love us, to help spread the word. New reviews going up on Amazon keep our books in the limelight. They actually play in to some mathematical algorithm that helps keep a book in the public eye. Blog post after article has been written on how to help the authors you love by writing reviews. The point of this: WE NEED YOU! Your reviews MATTER!!! So, in addition to reading Kate, Jo, and me, and as many as our guest authors as possible, please do take the time to review the books you love even if it's simply a line or two. Also, when authors come in to your classrooms or Skype with your students, please ask the students to put up reviews. Better yet, have them Tumblr, Snapchat or Instagram a photo of the book with a line about why they liked it, or post whichever new place our tweens and teens can be found. So, yes, book reviews are super important, but what makes a good review? What information sways you to search out and read a book versus pass it by? During last week's Friday Feedback, I got this question about book reviews -- together with the below lovely review of THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO -- from one of our campers, and I decided I was not qualified to really answer it well, especially blinded by ego as I was after reading it [grin], and that it was best to shine the question back on you. Tanja Galetti•6 hours ago
Hi Gae and Martha,
Thanks for the inspiring post, for all the wonderful insights into the writing process, and for sharing something from one of your WIP .
Since I don't have any stories to share, I was wondering whether it's okay for me to post a book review to get feedback on. A well written review gives me emotional chills, either in anticipation of a great story to read or in reliving the experience of reading the book.
"I read a lot and share reviews online, always feeling I don't give justice to the wonderful stories I read. My reviews lack this emotional chill, they don't capture what I really want to say."
I read a lot and share reviews online, always feeling I don't give justice to the wonderful stories I read. My reviews lack this emotional chill, they don't capture what I really want to say. I would like to get better at writing reviews and would love your feedback and ideas on where to start, how to go about it. Many thanks!
Here's the review of one of Gae's books I read just a couple of days ago.
If you are like me and find comfort in reading, in that beautiful feeling of not being alone, that some books defuse, you will love and treasure the experience of reading The Summer of Letting Go.
Sometimes, life deals us a tough hand of cards, and we find ourselves stuck in situations, seemingly so hopeless, that we see no way out. And if on top of all, we feel entirely responsible for it, the guilt might push us into isolation, paralyze us with fear that if we confide in whoever is still near us, we would loose that person as well.
This is the situation Francesca, "Frankie", finds herself in after the tragic loss of her little brother, the crush on her best friend's boyfriend she desperately fights against, the fear of her dad planning to leave the family... So much to deal with and no one to confide in. I felt so close to Frankie throughout the book; she felt so real, her fears so tangible, her actions so understandable. Of course, I wished she would confide in her best friend Lizzette, I was convinced that her friend wouldn't let her down - but I also knew that if in the same situation I most probably, just like Frankie, wouldn't have had the courage.
What a beautiful book, that even though it deals with tragedy, with grief, with pain and fear, it is full of hope: "You keep on trying the best you can. And you know what? Sometimes life surprises you and rewards you for it more than you know. You never actually know what life will bring.” P. 256
First of all, Tanja, thank you for that lovely review. I hope you will put it up on Amazon and Goodreads, Barnes & Noble.com and Library Thing and anywhere else where you might see shared book reviews.
Second of all, I disqualify myself because quite frankly, I just felt like this after I read it:
Though I will say this one thing about me and reviews: I really love it when a reviewer quotes bits of writing or excerpts they love from the story, as it gives me a tiny taste of the writing, and ultimately, for me, it is writing that will almost always pull me in. So what say YOU? What makes a good review for you? When you're reviewing, what are you trying to do? How do you capture and share the essence of a story without giving the storyline away? And most importantly, what sways you as the reader to run out and buy the subject book being reviewed? If you are an avid reviewer, do you have a favorite review that you've written? A favorite review site that you go to? Feel free to share either your feedback or a review that you love in the comments. You do not have to be a #teacherswrite camper to participate, and if you're a book blogger/reviewer you are welcome to share a link to your blog in the comments. xox and thanks! gae