Read any good books lately? As writers we should all be bookworms too and what better way to practise concise writing than with a book review?
A book review requires the ability to:
- Summarise a plot (without giving away the ending!)
- Pass an opinion on various aspects of the book – it’s construction, characterisation, use of language etc.
- Share any emotional impact that it had on you – did it make you laugh, cry etc.
Writing book reviews won’t make you rich but it might earn you a free copy of a book and get your name out there.
Book reviewing opportunities:
- Waterstones – if you’ve got a Waterstones card (i.e. a free loyalty card – no need to buy anything) then you can enter regular draws for pre-publication copies of new books to review. There are usually 25 copies of each title to give away and I’ve been successful in the draws several times. If you receive a book then you just post a short review on the Waterstones website (and it doesn’t have to be good). Details of the books currently on offer are here.
- Take A Break’s Fiction Feast – each issue carries a 70 word ‘My Favourite Book’ from a reader. £20 is paid for each one used.
- The Saturday Guardian are asking ‘What have you enjoyed reading in the past 12 months?’ Email them no more than 150 words to firstname.lastname@example.org to arrive no later than Sunday 11 December and preferably write about a recent title. A selection of the reviews received will be published – no payment but the kudos of appearing in a broadsheet newspaper.
- Your own blog/Facebook/Twitter etc. – in these days of zero publicity budgets, authors need all the help they can get so if you’ve enjoyed a book, pass the word on! (and someone might do the same for you one day)