Good morning, everyone! Well, I've tried my hand at writing book reviews before, but it's definitely something that could use improvement. They say that one of the best ways to learn something is to teach, so I thought I'd try this method. Also, book reviews are one of those things that seem deceptively simple - after all, a review is just your opinion of a book, right?
Well, it turns out that there's a little more to it than that. I've noticed that with most of the reviews I've received, the reviewer starts out by first summarizing the plot. This is a technique that shows that you've been paying attention. It's one of those tips that they give you in counseling sessions as well - if you can repeat back to the other person what they've just said (the gist of it, you don't have to repeat verbatim) - it shows that you've been paying attention.
One of the things you have to decide is your own policy when it comes to whether to give "negative" reviews or not. Many sites do not give negative reviews, and if they receive a book that they do not like, they will pass it off to someone who will give a good review of it. Personally, I think a good way to address the parts of a book that you don't like, is to give constructive criticism. It all ties in to your job as a book reviewer. What are you trying to accomplish by being a reviewer? Ultimately, I think a reviewer's job is to point out the places that an author can work on, in order for them to improve with time and with the writing of later books.
You have to decide on a format policy. Will you only review physical copies of books, or will you also accept electronic copies? Or both?
Many sites have rating systems. Stars seem to be the most commonly used objects in a system, and rating systems seem to typically go up to 4 or 5 stars. I've also seen some fantasy review sites that use swords and such.
Not sure if I've forgotten anything or not. But suffice to say that book reviewing is not as easy as it might seem at first.