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How to Write a Better Book Review by Brian Konradt

If you admit to being a very opinionated person, you'll have no trouble at all writing a book review. No mean feat, it's a job for people who wish to express their own opinion about the contents of a book. There are no right or wrong reviews; only good and bad ones.

Now if you're a self-confessed bookworm, writing a book review wouldn't be a chore! You'd consider it a pleasure, even an honor. You get to read a book for free and share your thoughts about it. If you're passionate about reading books and just as enthusiastic about writing reviews, then you could probably earn a living from it!

Whether you review as a career or as a hobby, there's a professional way to go about it. Though you'd like to go straight to the pages of your opinion, there's a format to follow.

Don't worry because format won't take up a volume of your time and effort. Actually, the basic guidelines can be as simple as the following:

Step 1: Read the book.

Of course, you'll have to read the book! Who says you can do a shortcut straight to the review?

Remember the bad ones we talked about? Skipping Step 1 could be the main culprit behind book reviews which get out without the writer going into the pages from cover to cover.

Step 2: Study its structure.

Here's a fact you ought to know. Most pros go beyond reading the book from cover to cover. Even before that, they meticulously examine certain details such as the book's cover, title, pages, font size, font style, and related stuff. You could do the same thing, too.

Why is this necessary? In addition to quality and content, the book's also being evaluated as to readability and saleability. Of course, only a few can read or finish a book with letters too tiny or fancy to see. And despite a book not being judged by its cover, it often is. Nowadays, the visual appeal of a book's cover would also affect its readership and sales.

Step 3: Review the content.

Once you've read the book, draft your initial impressions into notes. Write down which parts of the book you enjoyed and which ones you didn't. Surely, if the writing style was good, you'd have found certain passages or excerpts you particularly like! These are part and parcel of what you write about: the parts you liked most and those you liked least.

Since you've warmed up to the idea of writing, begin your opening paragraph with a sentence or two of your own choice. This introduction will necessarily have to flow with the way you conclude your review, so you may leave it for last.

Moving on, you're ready to contextualize the book based on what you think the author meant. Point for point, examine any inconsistency and discrepancy which you noticed in the plot. Say why they mattered to you.

Ask questions like: What makes this book different or unique? Why has it become a classic or a bestseller? Which characters interested you the most and why? Was the plot exciting? When did you start getting bored? Will other people like it? What audience does it cater to?

This being an individual endeavor, you can come up with as many questions as you want. The gist, however, is that you write an honest review and balance it off with a rating or recommendation.