In talking about reviews, we talked about good reviews and what they do. Here’s the notes from that.
- Provide a sense of the reviewer, their styles and biases.
- Explain what makes the reviewer say something is very good or very bad.
- Provide a sense of the book’s context and comparable books.
- Make you want to read the book but without creating unreasonable expectations.
- Alert the reader to problematic things without providing preconceptions.
- Be diplomatic but honest.
- Provide an educated impression of the book that tells the reader whether or not they should invest time/money in the book.
- Delve into what about the book created a particular impression.
Other topics we touched on: how you get started doing book reviews, what limits to have regarding spoilers, how to write a negative review well, promoting yourself and your reviews, networking, how to evaluate reviews, and the best way(s) to get better at reviewing. I thought it went really well and had plenty of interesting conversation and questions.
The next Art of the Book Review online class will happen Tuesday, February 3, 8-10 PM PST. Nisi will be appearing as a speaker for the class in this session as well.