- Perfect Paperback: 190 pages
- Publisher: Paladin Timeless Books; 1st edition (June 15, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1933353228
- ISBN-13: 978-1933353227
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 59 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #622,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing 1st Edition
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...an invaluable resource for anyone interested in book reviews - writers, reviewers, publishers, publicists, librarians, booksellers and readers. There are examples of good and bad reviews and ways to handle adverse reactions to your review by the author, publisher and/or publicist. Also covered are the absolute don'ts of a review, i.e., don't give away the ending. --Francine Silverman, editor/publisher of The Book Promotion Newsletter.
...So you think you want to review books. Then this should be the next book you read. Find out if you have the right attitude, and tools that it will take to be a reviewer. I've been reviewing novels for about a year. I wish I'd had this book when I started. ...This book has found a permanent place on my reference book shelf. --Wanda C. Keesey, author of Lost In The Mist.
About the Author
Mayra Calvani is the author of two books. Her stories, articles and reviews have appeared in many online and print publications in the States, England and Puerto Rico. In addition, she is assistant editor of Voice in the Dark newsletter, where she writes a monthly column. She has lived in America, Asia, the Middle East, and is now settled in Brussels, Belgium, where she lives with her husband, two children and a variety of pets. Her hobbies include playing the violin and astronomy/sky observing.
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Top customer reviews
Recently I decided it was time to start writing reviews of some of the books I read. I've started posting those reviews on my own blog as well as here on Amazon, on Goodreads.com and elsewhere. This book has given me a road map for how I should be writing those reviews. (We'll see whether I'm able to follow that road map...)
Calvani offers some of the obvious tips -- you need a good knowledge of grammar, syntax, spelling and punctuation, you must be able to express your thoughts clearly and you must be honest. Readers use book reviews to decide whether to read a book. "A reviewer’s honest judgment is his stock in trade." Together with that honesty comes objectivity. You don't have to agree with the author. That means "ideally, you shouldn’t let your values, beliefs, and way of life influence your review." Finally, if you don't agree with author, at least be tactful in your criticism.
She offers a structure for what to look for when you're reading, including the various aspects of plot, narrative and flow, pacing, characterization, dialogue, description, symbolism and allegories, point of view, theme, tone and atmosphere and spelling and grammar that you should be looking for. Likewise, she provides a similar structure for reviewing audio books, non-fiction, graphic novels, works in translation, etc.
The book also includes a number of sample reviews, annotated to show you what a review should accomplish.
Calvani offers suggestions on how to handle some typical problems you might encounter after reviewing a book. If you got a free copy to review, is it okay to sell or give away the free book? What if the author or publisher sends a nastygram expressing displeasure at your negative review? What do you do if an author or publisher says they are sending you a book to review and you never get it? How do you handle books you receive -- but didn't ask for? And how do you handle someone who calls you every few days to ask if you've read their book yet?
The forward establishes the bona fides of both the writer of the forward and the authors themselves. The information is presented in a useful and intuitive format which allows the reader to absorb the information quickly and with a high degree of comprehension. The chapter divisions are logical and the overall layout of the book allows the reader to use this resource as a reference in order to speed the review of the material. Every term used by the authors is defined by them. They manage to do this without being either offensive in their assumptions or pedantic in their presentation.
If you desire a solid reference work which also enables the reader a thorough education in the art of reviewing books, this is the only book you need to consult! The knowledge communicated in "The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing" will keep the reader on a solid foundation to build their craft!
The Calvary and Edwards also talk about writing overly positive reviews or overly negative reviews and how to write a negative review or positive review. There are several review examples based on the same story, long reviews, short reviews, positive and negative so that the reader gets a good idea how to structure their review. There is a section that talks about various writing pitfalls to avoid that make you look like a novice which was helpful to me.
In The slippery art of reviewing Clavari and Edwards also discuss various online sites that accept reviews like Amazon versus other online sites that you have to pay to post your reviews. There is a lot site included in this book with the urls.
Calvari and Edwards also cover setting up your own website for reviewing, best practices for getting it started, how to plan the for it, getting your web presence known and how to contact publishers for ARC's (Advance Reading Copy's).
Calvari and Edwards also cover the difference between writing pre release reviews for publishers versus post release reviews for the general public. They discuss what publishers are looking for in a pre release review and how to address issues if you feel that you can't write the review the way they would like it to be written.
I highly recommend this book for the novice to intermediate reviewer, especially if your trying to get your name known and you want to turn your reviewing hobby into a profession. At the back of the book there is an abundance of contact information regarding contacts for various publishers, online and print media. Amazon reviewers will find this book especially interesting because there are several references to Amazon and the impact that reviews on Amazon have on a books sales.
The Slippery art of reviewing is well thought out and very easy to read,understand and very helpful. Five stars for the beginning reviewer, 4 stars for the intermediate reviewer. This is the books intended audience but there is good information even for the experienced reviewer.