Reviews: Fun and Easy!

Book reviews are critical to the success of an author or book/book series, yet some people are intimidated by the thought of putting their thoughts “out there.” That is a shame, because reviews are critical for two reasons:

1) They tell the prospective reader what the book is all about. For example, a fellow author shared a 2-Star review that bemoaned her young adult book’s lack of adult content. The author was delighted, because the book is aimed at an audience that does not want adult content! So…a potential reader looking over the reviews can make a decision for herself on whether the book is for her.

2) Reviews sell books. First of all, a potential reader who sees a book with a lot of positive reviews is likely to think, “I might like it too,” and invest his hard-earned money in a new literary adventure. Amazon also promotes books with sufficient reviews, and having Amazon promote your books really helps!

“But,” you might say, “I’m not a writer. I wouldn’t know what to say.” That’s OK! Most reviewers are not writers. In fact, people typically do not expect a book reviewer on Amazon to be a Gene Siskel or Roger Ebert; they just expect the reviewer to have an opinion. Even a single honest line (such as, “I really liked this book!”) makes a difference.

So, here is my challenge to you: pick a book you have read recently and leave a review for it. If you need something to get your “opinion juices” flowing, simply write a review that finishes one or more of these statements:

  • I was drawn to read this book because…
  • My favorite character was…
  • I liked this character because…
  • The character I disliked the most was…
  • I disliked this character because…
  • My favorite part of the story was…
  • The part of the story that affected me the most was…
  • My least favorite thing about this book was…
  • I would / would not recommend this book to a friend;
  • Because…

Now…if you are trying to think of a book to review, I happen to know of a few books that could use some more reviews:

This Glorious Cause:

Times That Try Men’s Souls:

Happy reading…and reviewing!


For the past several days I have been traveling with my family.  I got about half a chapter written on our flight out of KC.  I used the methodology from “2k to 10k,” which I reviewed recently, first outlining the chapter, then writing with focus and vigor!

I have not gotten much written during the trip, but I have gotten a lot of inspiration.  I have a new character I am going to try out, one who will help explore the complexities of the American Revolution.  More importantly, a great Independence Day Weekend, spent with my family, reminded my why I love this country, and why I love writing.

I’m really looking forward to the flight back, because I am going to get some serious writing done!

My GoodReads Review of “2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love”

2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There is nothing really new in this book, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t with a read.

2k to 10k gives the reader common sense tips to make the process of writing and editing more efficient and fun.

When I wrote my first novel I dove into the woods. Sure, I had sort of made an outline, and I eventually built a timeline, but I spent literally months wandering around.

After getting halfway through 2k to 10k I stopped work on my current novel and started scene mapping it. I immediately changed the order of two of the chapters, linked scenes far more effectively, and found ways to squeeze more “juice” out of many scenes. Now, when I actually write those scenes, I will know where I am going and how I will get there.

2k to 10k is not the last word on writing fiction, but I wish I’d read it before I started wandering through the woods. It is a short, easy read, written by an author who earns a living by her writing. I strongly recommend it to anyone who writes fiction, or is thinking about doing so.

View all my reviews