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[ #WisdomWednesday ] Decoding a Book Review

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Welcome to a brand new edition of #WisdomWednesday where we are looking into the nitty gritties of how to do a Book review. I was fortunate enough to rope in Inderpreet Uppal who is a published author and a keen blogger/writer and indulges in doing book reviews often. She has shared her tips and views on doing the perfect Book Review and also has a surprise for the readers of this blog (you need to stay tuned right till the end). Without much ado lets read what she has to say about a Book Review.

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  1. What is a Book Review?

I treat a book review as sharing of my personal thoughts and viewpoint about the book. It is an analysis of the pros and cons of a book, what I liked, what was the reason I kept turning the pages and what could have been better. I generally avoid being too negative or over critical and try to be kind while dishing out any negative points or errors.

Officially, a book review is a form of literary criticism in which a book is analyzed based on content, style, and merit. A good book review describes what is on the page, analyzes how the book tried to achieve its purpose and expresses any reactions and arguments from a unique perspective. A book review may be a primary source, opinion piece, summary review or scholarly review. A review may evaluate the book on the basis of personal taste. As a reviewer, you should combine an accurate, analytical reading with a strong, personal touch.

  1. What kind of info is important to include in the review – what format do you follow?

My book reviews don’t have a point system or a specific format but usually keep the review within 4 or 5 small, easy to read paragraphs. It reads more like a conversation I would have with you if we were discussing the book. I ensure to layer anything negative with some praise. I firmly believe that everything has something good in them. I make notes of things that move me in a good or bad way. I ask a few questions while I think of what to write. How accurate is it of its genre? Does it deliver what it promised in the blurb? Is it honest? The pattern I follow usually includes –

  • Introduce the book and main characters.
  • Talk about what I loved about the book.
  • The story, scenes, characters or incidents that stood out in the book and would make the reader buy the book.
  • Anything that could be better or different for me to give a better rating to the book.
  • Conclude the review with what was memorable or noteworthy in the book.

Of course, sometimes I chuck all this away and just wax eloquent about a book I really love J

  1. How to select a book to review – do you review any and every book or stick to the genres you like?

The most important aspect is if I like the blurb or the story since I read a lot of new or ‘first time authors’ the language and story of the blurb matters a lot. I usually avoid crime thrillers, horrors or hardcore murder mysteries. I read almost all other genres.

  1. How to get paid for this work – any websites where one can register?

A lot of blog tour hosts and review sites offer minimal payments nowadays. The most crucial aspect is your reliability, credibility and integrity as a reviewer that ensures that your reviews are read and you get paid. Word of mouth is the fastest and most reliable way to get authors to notice you and your book blog and the authors will ask you to review their books. Most publishing houses offer free review copies as well for reviews. Be active on Twitter and Goodreads.

  1. Do authors approach you or you approach authors?

My first review on the blog was because an author had asked me to review her book. She knew that I am a bookworm and I never stopped reviewing books after that.

I have been blessed and have been requested by authors and their agents for reviews so much so that I really have to choose the books I wish to review. I usually request a book from NetGalley if I really wish to read a new release.

  1. What points to keep in mind while pitching for a book review campaign?

The book is the most important factor in a review campaign. Its details, the blurb – without errors and author details matter the most. Have your book links handy as well as the Amazon author page links.

  1. Share a book review link done by you of a book that you really didn’t like – how did you make the review sound positive yet honest?

This was one book that I had a tough time with mainly because of the content and storyline more than the language. This had a decent concept but the execution was disconnected and faulty. I have not read anything more from this author.

  1. Who is your favourite book reviewer and why – share their web link/SM?

My favourite reviewer is Arti Metroreader. She is a voracious reader and a kind, insightful and prompt reviewer. She does wonderful, concise reviews and reads diverse books. She can be found on her blog –

An offer for Shalzmojo readers:

Thank you for hosting me Shalz, I would be happy to select 3 people from the linky who are to read and review a copy of my book. They need to tell me in their comments why they wish to read the book? Three winners will receive a copy of the book in exchange for a book review.


About Inderpreet

book-review-author-reviewer-genre-books-reading-writer-bloggerInderpreet edits manuscripts; writes for her love of writing and reads endlessly. She is a Masters in Human Resources Management and worked as a management lecturer. An Army brat, she now joins her adorable Army hubby across the country. Books, editing, reviews, freelance writing, sponsored posts, and blogging keep her busy whenever she gets a breather from mothering her ‘too tricky to handle son’. A sprinkling of fiction, a dash of books, and a bit of opinion add to the eclectic mix. She has recently published her first book on Amazon, GENEROUSLY YOURS.

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Linky Name: #WisdomWednesday
Linky Open from – 12:00 A.M. on Wednesday 21ST March to Midnight on Tuesday 27th March 2018
Topic – Book Review
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You can catch last month’s #WisdomWednesday Decoding AtoZ challenge

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20 thoughts on “[ #WisdomWednesday ] Decoding a Book Review

  1. That’s such a sensible post. I love the points Indy made. I know already what a prolific reader/reviewer she is. I so agree with that bit on when you love a book a lot it is okay to chuck the rules and just rave about it. I do that too.

    1. Thanks Tulika – yeah Indy has detailed this out like a pro that she is! Fabulous stuff for anyone looking to pick up reviewing books. 🙂

  2. Lots of good book review advice. I’d like to think I’m not too overtly critical of a book when I review, but I know how I can sometimes be whenever I write. Definitely have to check out Indy’s site myself and the book blogger she recommended.

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