To help you write your book reviews, we’ve put together the following guide.
We know some of you love to read but find writing a review frustrating. We hope these simple tips give you the confidence to keep reading and keep writing:
TIP 1: Keep your book summary brief
A review is an analysis and we don’t want to give away the entire plot.
Focus on what you thought of the book. How did it make you feel?
Did you relate to the characters? Did it flow? Was it unique? Were you on the edge of your seat, or did it leave you in tears?
You don’t have to overthink it. Just say what you feel.
TIP 2: Be constructive with your criticism
We get it. Not every book is going to be your cup of tea.
We want you to be honest. But we also want you to be kind. Remember, someone spent hours, months, or even years working on the book.
There’s always something nice you can add to your review. Maybe you enjoyed the descriptions of the scenery, the opening chapter, or a quirky character. Or you may just like the cover art.
And if you don’t recommend it, tell us why.
Instead of saying “this is the worst book I’ve ever read. I hate everything about it”, try “I couldn’t connect with the characters. While this book wasn’t to my taste, there will be others who may enjoy it.”
TIP 3: Follow blog style rules
Blogs follow a few different style rules. Once you get the hang of it, it’ll come naturally.
One of the main rules is to keep your sentences short. People often skim blogs looking for the most important information.
Think about whether you need a comma, or if you can break a sentence into two parts for easier reading, because it can be really hard to read if you don’t take a breath, did you take a breath?
Let’s try that again:
Think about whether you need that comma. Or can you break the sentence into two parts?
It’s also easier to read if there’s spacing between paragraphs.
And we can start sentences with “and” or “but”. Blogs are casual so don’t be afraid to shorten your words with contractions.
For example, you can use don’t, won’t, can’t, shouldn’t, she’ll, or he’ll.
And don’t use a thousand words when ten will do.
TIP 4: Check your work
We don’t expect you to be a professional writer. But if you want to “up” your review game, check your work.
You can write your reviews in Microsoft Word and turn on the spellcheck feature. Or you may like to download a free version of Grammarly.
And you should always read your reviews out loud before you hit publish.
On the odd occasion reviews go missing. We recommend saving them just in case.
TIP 5: Leave a star rating
At the top of each review is a star rating. Please click on the number of stars you’d give for each title.
Star ratings help others decide whether or not to read the book. After all, the purpose of the club is to share our love of great reads.
The star rating looks like this:
TIP 6: Introduce the book and author
In the opening paragraph, introduce the book and author. It’s not essential but it can help the flow of your review.
For example, “I recently read Meet me in Bendigo by Eva Scott. I enjoyed this book because…”
Sometimes the hardest part of writing a review is the first sentence. Using this simple formula may help you get your groove on.
TIP 7: Share, share, share
Our authors and publishers love when you’re interactive. Once you’ve submitted your review please share the link. If it’s a book you loved you can share it with a friend. Or post it on your Facebook page.
You read and reflected on the book. Be proud of your work!
If you have Instagram, you can take a quick photo and tag us. And if you spot an author interview, leave them a comment.
Authors are often reading what you say on our website. Any love and support you can give them will help us secure more book clubs in the future.
TIP 8: Support our lead reviewers
We often get asked if you can review a book that you got somewhere else. Maybe you missed out on a copy but borrowed it from the library. Or maybe you have a copy on your TBR pile.
The answer is YES. Please do it. Leave reviews. If you haven’t read the book, you may like to leave a comment to tell the lead reviewer you enjoyed their review.
We want to make sure this is a welcoming, supportive environment for everyone.
TIP 9: Add a disclaimer
If there’s something in the book that you think potential readers should know, please include it.
For example, the book may contain offensive language or sexually explicit themes. You don’t need to go into detail but a simple warning will help others decide if it’s right for them.
For example, “this book contained a few f-bombs. If offensive language makes you feel uncomfortable this book may not be right for you.”
TIP 10: Talk to us
If you haven’t received your copy let us know. And if you’re struggling to finish it or can’t find the right words, we’re here to help.
We’re happy to talk you through it.
If you don’t leave your reviews you will miss out on future campaigns. So all we ask is that you’re honest and communicate with us.
If you’re not a member of the Beauty and Lace Book club, you can sign up here. Australia only.
Hi, I’m Anna the Editor of Beauty and Lace. This website was my first baby and since its launch, I’ve gained three kids, a husband, and a puppy! We want to keep this space positive, we are all about sharing the things we love – and avoiding the things we don’t. Happy reading x