At times, I’m hesitant to write a bad review, wondering if my judgment is flawed, especially if it’s not my preferred genre. Surely someone else has a better opinion. But being genuine is better than false praise. As a writer, I’ve learned one of the greatest efforts an author can make is supporting fellow writers. Many ponder why, reasoning they’re competition. It might appear counterintuitive, but valuable members of a writing community show authentic efforts through support. After all, authors lead parallel lives (reader, writer) and are the largest demographic of book readers. Who better to critique your masterpiece, provide a constructive assessment of weaknesses and strengths than writers themselves? Whether you’re a newbie or seasoned author, learning never ends. Graciously accept both good and bad reviews as a gift to improve your writing skills.
A critique should be neither a summary nor offensive attack to deflate an author’s work, but a considerate, personal view of an author’s hard-earned work.
- Take notes. Highlight details you love (characters, plot, setting, tone) or didn’t love (this is so easy to do today with digital technology such as kindle.
- Understand the genre (fantasy, mystery, thriller, non-fiction). Does it fit the genre specifications, does it suit the intended audience chosen by the author?
- Discuss the format of the book. Was the plot laid out well?
- Critique fine points with strong personal recommendations.
- Describe how the book did or didn’t achieve its goal:
- Did the author achieve the book’s purpose?
- Was the conclusion satisfactory?
- Would you recommend this book to others?
I’m still learning how to become a better reviewer, and with every book review, I’m improving. I’m bent on feeding my thirst for new reads. Over the last year, I’ve driven a hard, passionate mallet of discovery and support for new Indie authors. Below are new, delightful discoveries from prior months.
Bibiana Krall – Carolina Spirits
Kim Knight – Havana Heat
Angel Strong – Thandi’s Love
Jane Risdon – Only One Woman
Ann Jones – Trapping
Brittany Batiste- Witch Hunt on Crystal Lake
Leah Lozano – Immortalis: The Guardian
Sheena Irwin – Aftermath of a Madman
You can catch all my reviews on Goodreads and Amazon.com with more to follow in the coming months.