Hey guys! So as I said on Saturday, I am online-attending the Book, Business, and Brand Building Summit , so no posts from me this week. Bu...

Guest Post: Ten Tips for Terrific Book Reviews by Ryebrynn

Hey guys! So as I said on Saturday, I am online-attending the Book, Business, and Brand Building Summit, so no posts from me this week. But I’ve got some great guests lined up, and for the first, we have the lovely Ryebrynn from Ryebrynn’s Random Ramblings (say that five times fast, I dare you) to give us ten tips on how to write book reviews.

Hi, everyone! I'm Ryebrynn, and I've been a book blogger for two years. And let me just say, it is no easy thing. I struggled with writing reviews for a long time. So I think it's important to remember:

1. Publishers are asking for your honest opinion.
They don't expect everyone to love their books. Don't feel guilty for not liking a book—it happens. BE HONEST.

2. You can be negative.
Seriously, even if you love a book, don't just say what's great. Readers want to know what they are getting into.

3. Include a disclaimer.
Yes, you can't like everything. But PLEASE don't turn people away just by disliking something. Include a disclaimer saying this is your honest opinion, but it shouldn’t stop others from trying the book if it sounds like something they'd like.

4. Seriously, have a content guide.
If there's cussing, kissing, violence, drinking, anything, TELL PEOPLE. Some people prefer not to be completely blind before going into a book. Content guides are useful, especially if you're reviewing secular books. I always have a content guide at the end of my reviews. It usually looks something like this (but honestly, if it's a secular book, this would be a little longer):
INTIMACY - mild kissing
DRUGS/DRINKING - it's mentioned
VIOLENCE - mild amounts.
CUSSING - none

5. Find your groove.
The most important thing about reviewing is to be original. Just because your friend includes tons of GIFs in her reviews, doesn't mean you have to. Just because your other friend reviews with lists and bullet points DOESN'T MEAN YOU HAVE TO. Find your own style. It might take some time, but keep with it. I used to review list-style (which I hated).

6. Don't expect to love reviewing.
It can be brutal. I reviewed for about a year before I wrote the first review I actually enjoyed writing.

7. Review often.
Have you read books lately? Liked them? Hated them? Even if you don't have to review the book, try. This will get you used to the routine of reviewing often and bring you closer to actually liking it!

8. Don't sleep on it.
Finish a book at 3am? Well, if you're anything like me, letting those thoughts sit will let them fade. I usually try and write my reviews AS SOON AS I finish the book. Or I just make notes detailing my thoughts (usually by the next morning I'll remember the whole plot but forgotten every important character name).

9. Limit yourself.
I used to struggle with my reviews being freakishly short. While they are still short, they have improved. So limit yourself. Set a minimum word count for the review and write thoughts until you reach that. If you reach it and you still have stuff to say? KEEP WRITING.

10. Be honest.
I know I already said this, but it's important. Be completely honest.

THANK YOU for letting me post today.

Ryebrynn is a Kansas born and raised American who lives in Liberia, West Africa. She is a book reviewer for Netgalley, Edelweiss, BloggingForBooks, and Liftuse Publicity Group. She fangirls periodically on her blog, Ryebrynn's Random Ramblings and is probably insane.

Stalk her on social media!
Instagram: @life_books_cats
Facebook: @lucygracedoesalot (also message me there for free book covers!)
Twitter: @LucyBuller
Pinterest: Ryebrynn Crossblade

Thanks so much for coming, Ryebrynn, and thanks for the tips! I know I need to work on remembering content guides in my reviews, and it really does makes the review so much more fun to read when you can tell the reviewer is being completely genuine and completely honest about their opinion. :)

So everyone, any questions for Ryebrynn? What’s your reviewing style like, or what do you like to see when reading reviews? Do you remember writing your first book review? Was it love at first type or did it take you a little longer to enjoy the process? Can’t wait to hear from all of you, and thanks again for coming, Ryebrynn!

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  1. This is so rare! I've never met any Americans who live in West Africa! As a West African living in Europe, this seems pretty cool ^^

    As for book blogging, I assumed my reviews were muy perfecto so I wouldn't need any advice. *snorts* As if! Ignore me and my weird ways (hey, alliteration). Now I think about it, I should now put disclaimers and a content guide on my reviews.

    When I wrote my first review, I enjoyed it a lot. However, I haven't published it publicly. I write all my posts on paper before typing them up. Hm.. I should check out your blog!

    1. Haha, I know right! I've been reviewing for a few years now, and there are still things in this post that I realized I needed to start doing. :)

      I don't specifically remember writing my first review, but I'm pretty sure I've always liked reviewing in general, too. Different people, different processes. :)

      Oh, that's cool! I've never tried that. And haha, you totally should. :)

  2. I've been reviewing books on my blog. My format is to rate them on certain things, like worlbuilding, character depth, and content, then also have an overall rating. This forces me to write reviews that are long enough, and it gives a reader a good idea of the weak or strong spots.

    1. Nice! And yeah, mid-length, organized reviews do give the reader a good idea of what they're getting into, lol

  3. Great tips! I struggle with reviews.

    1. Glad you liked them! And yeah, they can be hard; I remember a few that were particularly difficult. :p

  4. I love reviewing books... But can always use more tips!!!! :)

  5. in order to write a cool book review you have to notice a lot of tiny secrets that divide ordinary review from unique

    1. A unique perspective definitely can make a book review more enjoyable. :) Thanks for commenting!


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