How to Write a Good Book Review – Andy Peloquin

Andy Peloquin

I am an artist – words are my palette


How to Write a Good Book Review

Book reviews are an author’s lifeblood! They tell people what to expect when reading your book, and gives them an idea of just how much/little other readers enjoyed the story. They may not “make or break” your success, but they certainly play a vital role in it.

Which means people who write reviews have a lot more “power” than they’d expect. Your feedback could enhance the author’s sales, warn potential readers to stay away from a bad product, or share something in the book that spoke to you. If you’re going to write a review, write it right!

I sat down with a couple of my fellow authors and book reviewers to discuss the art of writing a good book review. I asked questions like:

  • What do you include in a good book review?
  • How much detail is too much?
  • How can you give enough detail while avoiding spoilers?
  • Can you review as JUST a reader, or does your author side come out?

Here is what we discovered:

The Panelists

Arial Burnz – Arial Burnz is the USA Today bestselling author of HOT Scottish Vampires. She has been both traditionally and self-published, a cover designer and an editor, so she’s a real geek about the publishing industry! As an avid reader herself, she has left many reviews of the books she’s read over the last 40 years.

To join Arial VIP Club and get weekly book-related freebies, visit

Wendy Van Camp — Wendy Van Camp is the author and poet behind No Wasted Ink (, a blog about the craft of writing that features author interviews, sci-fi and fantasy book reviews and scifaiku poetry. Wendy’s short stories and poems have appeared in literary and science fiction magazines such as “Shadows Express”, “Luna Station Quarterly”, “Altered Reality Magazine”, and “Far Horizons”. Her first Amazon ebook is a regency romance entitled, “The Curate’s Brother: A Jane Austen Variation of Persuasion”. (

Amazon Author Page:



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  1. Thanks for this! Writing fiction is easy compared to staring at the blank page and wondering how do I be polite, but honest?

    I say keep the books with the mistakes up, (outside of egregious errors) and just fold in the critiques for the next book.

    • I totally agree! The harshest critique I got on Blade of the Destroyer helped me to change the way I approached writing the rest of the books–and every book since. Sometimes a critique can be just what we authors need!

  2. My reviews aren’t in-depth like many do theirs. I prefer to mention if it has certain elements such as humor, action, TSTL characters, plot holes, fully developed world, etc, etc. I am not an editor, but I do mention if there are a lot of editorial mistakes or content errors. For some reason my mind zeroes in on content more than proper grammar. lol I also try very hard to avoid spoilers.

    This started out as a good video about writing reviews but when it became a discussion about Amazon’s review policy I quit watching. Amazon’s fucked up system should be a different video showcasing the problems and ways to handle them. It has nothing to do with actual writing of reviews.

    • I know, they got a bit off track. That’s actually a pretty good idea! I’ll have to do a future panel about how to write reviews that Amazon won’t delete.

      • I hate posting to Amazon. Some days I give up completely. I never have a problem posting a review on Goodreads. Though I wonder how long before Amazon starts censoring reviews there since they’re technically GRAmazon.

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