What You Should and Shouldn’t Do When Leaving a Book Review

What You Should and Shouldn’t Do When Leaving a Book Review

As with anything, there is etiquette involved in leaving a review of an author’s book. Too often, when typing a review behind a computer screen, people say things in a way that they would not say if they were face to face with the author. Any positive or negative review should be constructive and not destructive. Below we have laid out what to do and what not to do when leaving a book review.

Do: Post An Honest Review 

You have every right as a book reviewer to leave your honest opinion. A negative review is designed to warn readers about something you didn’t like in a book. Your review might save a like-minded reader from suffering through a book that wouldn’t be to their taste. You always have to keep in mind your reviews are for the readers, not the author.

Don’t: Tag the Author in a Negative Review 

Yet, Even though you may not have liked a book, there is no reason to tag an author on social media in a negative book review. Since the book review is for the reader, making the author directly aware of it is unnecessary and hurtful. All of your reviews should be left on review sites that the author can choose to read or not to read, but when you tag them personally, it will flag them to read it and that is the part that is unnecessary. If you are leaving a positive review, then feel free to tag the author as who doesn’t like to be complimented?

Do: Post a Review of Any Length 

You don’t have to be a professional writer to leave a great review. It can be as simple as “I loved everything about this book.” However, if you do leave a critical review you need to thoroughly explain why. This is because as a courtesy to the readers they need to understand what you didn’t like about the book to see if they too would be disinterested in the story for those reasons.

Don’t: Give Away the Plot

There is no need to include a thorough plot outline in your book review. People who want to read the book will be upset with you for spoiling the ending or any kind of plot twists you are revealing. If there is something you want to discuss within the plot, then be vague about exactly what that is, so you don’t give anything away for the readers.

Do: Feel Free to Repost the Same Review 

Don’t feel the need to write different reviews for the sites you plan to post on. Copying and pasting the same review from Amazon over to Facebook is completely acceptable. In fact, the more places you can post the review the more it will help the author and the readers.

Don’t: Write Something You Wouldn’t Say to the Author’s Face

Sometimes people go too far when leaving a review. They either are critical of every little element of a book, or they gush all about the author and how beautifully the book was written. A good point of reference on if your review is appropriate or not is to ask yourself if you would be able to say it to the author’s face. If the answer is yes, then post it, and if the answer is no, then modify it.



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