Reviewing a book for authors and reviewers

 

There are so many sites writers can use for their social platforms. Goodreads is a book lovers and author’s dream. There you can share reviews of books you have read.

Leaving a review however should not be taken lightly. A number of people will base whether they will read a book on the reviews they read. We all know that some of the good reviews will come from family and friends. That is to be expected. But a good book should have various reviews whether the member thinks it is a three star worthy or a five. A good combination across the board will help not only the author but those interested in purchasing the book

I have been reviewing for close to a decade now and I take it very seriously. This is not just for the author that I am reviewing but for potential readers. It is my job to honestly state what I feel about the book whether it is good or bad. This is not always easy for we don’t want to hurt one’s feelings but to tell an author empty compliments does them no favors especially when you personally know them. One does not have to be cruel but instead use tact when the review is one that they might not like.

One thing I have learned from my writers group thankfully is how to review and critique the various books that come across my desk. I look for flow and pace. Are there any loopholes? Is it believable? For even if it is fiction it has to make sense to a point. Does it have a hook? Are the characters well-developed? Does it keep my attention or am I bored by the end of chapter one? There is so much to take into account.

You have to have thick skin to be a writer and equally so as a reviewer. People will not always like what you have to say even if it is in their best interest. The questions I ask myself is what I want people to ask when they are reading anything of mine. It may not always be easy to hear the negatives but it is one of the best tools for us to grow as writers. So while I may not always like what people tell me I am grateful for them First for taking the time to read my writings and second for telling me where it can be improved. One of these ways is from reviewers.

This is a tool that should not be ignored by anyone who wants to make it as an author.

 

 

Amazon Best Selling Author: Sharon C. Williams

I came across something by complete accident. I found out that my children’s series in audible made the Amazon Best Sellers list last week. I am not sure how high up the chart they went since again I found out by accident. But they did make the top 75, as of last week that is, and for that I say WOOHOO!!!

I been on this list before years ago with an anthology I collaborated with but this time this is my own individual works.

I had not even announced that my books had been made into audibles yet. That will be for a different post however.

Making a splash for our books is not only wonderful but not easy to do. So to see something like this really made me pause, not believing I was seeing what I was seeing at first, but after the happy, giggling and good feeling inside quickly filled in.

But even if does not maintain that number or improve at least I can say it has occurred with the screen shots for prosperity.

Developing your story: Characters and so much more

After taking a character development class the instructor passed out a form on how to critique the members of the group. That made me wonder. It would be awesome, in my opinion, if we could pass this on to our writing group members after they read what we presented to them. It would be also interesting to hand it out to reviewers prior to them submitting their reviews of our books. Granted that could get interesting but also informative.

 

What would you add or change if you did this yourself?

 

So if I could pass on a form this is what I would include. Each section is worth five points.

Plot

-Attention needs to be paid to plot development

-The story lacks credibility in places

-Good start/good ideas but loses direction and force

-The story holds interest throughout but the ending is disappointing

-Flows smoothly,well researched, almost there

-This is a well-crafted story and it is clear that the author has considered all the aspects of the plot

Characterization

-The characters do not always come over as real people

-Told from the viewpoint of too many characters, so that the readers learns little about them

-In general, the characters are believable , although there is room for improvement

-The characters are well drawn and true to life/does the character have an inner life

-Strong characterization means that the reader’s sympathies are instantly engaged.

Pace

-The story starts slowly

-The story needs a more varied pace

-Side-issues slow the story down

-In general, the story moves well, although there are times when interest wavers

-A good pace is maintained throughout

-This story’s page-turning quality is excellent

Dialogue

-The characters all tend to speak with the same voice

-Some attention should be given to the dialogue, which does not always ring true

-Although the dialogue is believable, there are places where it serves no obvious purpose

-In general, the dialogue sounds authentic

-the sharply written dialogue reveals much about the characters

-The dialogue is excellent, adding a sparking dimension to the story