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11 Ways to Format Book Reviews for Your Blog || A Guide for Book Bloggers

There are several ways to format book reviews and hence it can be hard to pick one. Especially when you're in a blogging slump or don't know how to begin the review.

At such times, seeing other reviews for inspiration or options helps . It can give you an idea of how you want your book review to look and inspire you to start writing it.

This guide will help you write great reviews by listing out ideas, providing examples and inspiration—all in one place. We book bloggers need some help from time to time.

I was actually looking for a guide with book review formats to help with my indecision. When I googled variations of this title, I did not find any posts! So here I am, writing this guide, instead of writing the review that I've been procrastinating on for months 🙂

how to write a book review for your blog

Basic book review layouts, 11. book reviews with annotations, additional elements to level up your reviews, book review checklist.

an illustration drawing of a girl using her laptop

Yes, this post is about formats but it is good to start with the basics.

The first rule of writing book reviews on your blog is to throw away all the rules that you were taught.

Reviewing books on blogs is very different from what we are taught in school. I definitely don't review the way I was taught. It is because that format is the standard for newspapers. Good formatting is very different for blogs.

Blogs are an entirely different domain with different features and requirements. You can do so much more with reviews on your blog.

Don't worry about going unconventional or trying a new review format. Those are fun . Don't think about sticking to the professional style as well. Shout in your reviews, if you want to! Use all caps, bold, GIFs, images—whatever you like.

It is YOUR blog. The only rules in place are the ones made by you. Instead of seeing how to write reviews that others will read, just write what you want to say. And choose a review format that fits what you want to say.

There are three basic parts in every review— introduction, basic information on the book, and your review.

The introduction is a few lines where you can say how you came across the book, why you picked it up, and a line on whether it surprised you or not. Or, it can be a short catchphrase to hook in readers. For example, "this book blew me away. I was not ready when I picked it up."

Basic information on the book can include title, author name, genre, category, blurb, publisher etc. You can also mention how you acquired it (bought/review copy).

The review part is where you explain your opinions and discuss the book. The 10 review formats that I'll mention soon is for this section.

There are three popular and basic layouts. Most people choose one and stick to it throughout their blog, but you can switch it up if you like.

  • The book's information first, introduction, then review body. This is an easy format that a ton of book bloggers go for. Example: Dedra's review of Float Plan .
  • Introduction, the book's information, and then review body. This is another fun way because you can give an introduction first without dealing with the blurb etc. Example: my review of The Right Swipe .
  • Introduction, review body, and information on the book at the last. Use this when you want your words to be the highlight and stick the basic info at the end, in case people want to see it. Example: Kat's review of Game Changer .

You can skip the basic book info if you want but you'll have to give a brief on the book's plot yourself.

drawing of an open book on a blanket. there's a small wooden place with a mug of coffee and candle nearby with small stars littered around.

book review format ideas

Now onto the main part of the post. All the suggestions in this post are standard formats that you can take and apply to your reviews easily if your thoughts fit the format.

These ideas are for book reviews as individual blog posts but you can modify them for mini-reviews and social media reviews.

Note : I am NOT mentioning reviews that are free-flowing thoughts because those reviews don't involve a standard format across and are more specific to books and thoughts.

1. divide your review into basic categories

This is the most popular and easy method of formatting reviews. Choose categories and explain your views below the subheadings.

Basic categories are ones that everyone recognizes. For example plot, characters, writing style, and representation. The categories can change based on the genre. Romance books can have "romance" and "chemistry". Fantasy books can have "world-building". Mystery or thriller books can have "suspense".

Example reviews: Erin's review of Fable duology , my review of Drag Me Up

2. CAWPILE rating + review system

This is a rating system devised by Book Roast which makes your decision process easier when rating books. It is a categorized system that is standard across genres so you always have set categories to consider.

It can also extend into a reviewing format as you can mention your individual rating and explain why you gave that rating.

The categories and more are explained by the creator in this video .

Example review: Ursa's review of The Starless Sea , Bianca's review of Dark and Shallow Lies

3. divide into "liked" and "disliked" sections

This format is good if you have clear opinions on what you liked and didn't like. It is not good when you have conflicting thoughts about something.

Additionally, you can also have "liked", "it was okay", and "didn't like" sections .

Another way to phrase this would be "enjoyed" and "didn't enjoy."

Note that this review format is highly subjective so it is good for book reviews where you don't want to talk from a neutral perspective and want to only share your experiences and opinions.

Example: Marie's review of Crier's War , Janhabi's review of You Truly Assumed

person holding an open book, cup of chai, and a closed notebook nearby. illustration art.

4. divide into pros and cons sections

This is similar to the above review format but it is suitable for more neutral reviews i.e. reviews where you're stating facts like "this exists" which is generally a pro or a con like diversity, plot tropes etc.

To give you an idea, a pro for me is friends-to-lovers romance and con would be a bad/unnecessary third act break up in romance books.

Example reviews: Shealea's review of The Bone Shard Daughter

5. review using book-specific subheadings

Instead of using the basic categories, you can use custom and specific categories for the book. The categories can be "a great character arc", "disappointing ending", "brilliant chemistry" etc.

How to go about writing this review : note down the biggest things you want to talk about like "well-rounded characters", "contradicting plotlines", "plot holes" etc. Make these your subheadings and expand upon each of the points under them.

This does require a little bit of planning before starting the review. But it is a great format if you can't go into a review without a plan.

Examples: Avalinah's review of Skyhunter

6. list reasons why others should read the book

This is a great review format for books that you loved and want people to read. The title is catchy as well, so people are more likely to read your review.

The reasons can act as subheadings and you can expand on the point below the heading.

This also requires planning beforehand about the reasons you want to list. Make some notes with what you liked about the book, see if they can fit into "reasons", make a list of the reasons, and then start writing the review.

Examples: my review of The Henna Wars

7. reviews with discussions

This format is good for book reviews where the book includes a topic that you're very passionate about or you have a lot to say about the topic which is tangentially related to the book . Sometimes the posts may be more discussion than a review of the book, but it's okay! Many times, discussion posts do better than reviews so this would be hitting both categories.

These posts are rarer (from what I've seen, probably because they involve a lot of effort and opinions) but are very interesting to read. They include discussions, rants, and raves along with thoughts on the book. It's a great way to convince people to read a book you love or completely mark off a book you didn't like.

Examples: Anukriti's review of Loveless with a discussion on representation and college life , my review of Fahrenheit 451 discussing books along with annotations

illustration art of a person sitting cross-legged on bed, with a book on their lap, holding a mug.

8. "thoughts while reading" reviews

These are almost like vlogs. You take the reader with you on your experience of reading the book. This is a fun way to review books if you want to showcase your feelings/thoughts, especially if the book has a lot of plot twists or invoked a ton of feelings in you. You can annotate when reading or make notes elsewhere and use it for this review.

This would be very fun with spoiler-filled reviews. Doing it spoiler-free would be a bit of a challenge.

Examples: Isabella's review of We Free The Stars , Riza's review of This is How You Lose The Time War

9. spoiler-free and spoiler-filled sections

This is for when you NEED to talk at length about parts in the book that are spoilers but also want to pitch the book to new readers.

Having spoiler-free and spoilers-aplenty sections is very fun. I almost always do it with my Kdrama reviews , and it can be done with book reviews too!

Example reviews: my review of This Is How You Lose the Time War , Mehek's review of Tiny Pretty Things

10. free-flowing thoughts that are loosely categorized

This is a very popular, and sometimes easy, reviewing style. It can make the reader feel like they are having a casual conversation with you as the entire review flows together.

At the same time, there are clearly sections in the review which makes it easier for you to write and for the reader to follow. This format is good whether you plan it beforehand or not. It allows both.

In order to subtly separate the sections of your review where you talk about different topics, you can use quotes as a divider . Quotes that match your points will fit in very well. Some bloggers use their custom post-dividers for this as well.

Note: try to highlight important parts of your review so that it is easier to skim. Yes, we'd love our readers to read every word but sometimes life is just too busy and highlights help.

Examples: my review of American Betiya , Minna's review of The Poppy War

If you annotate your books, you HAVE to try writing reviews with pictures of your annotations. This way, you can share what resonated with you the most as well. Annotating books is very fun and I assure you that people will want to know how you annotate and your annotation process for every book. It doesn't get boring.

Examples: my review of Fahrenheit 451 , Cosette's "annotate with me" post on Babel

illusttration art of a closed book with a bookmark, an open laptop, a cup of tea and sun

Book reviews can be much more than just talking about the book. You can spice it up by including elements that can help the reader know more about the book. These are some suggestions that come to my mind but there are innumerable ideas that you can implement.

content and/or trigger warnings

I'm putting this under additional elements that you can add, but you SHOULD add them . Content and trigger warnings are NOT interchangeable. They mean different things. But you can use "content warnings" as a blanket term for both of them.

Just mention warnings somewhere in your reviews (I generally put them along with basic info) so that readers can be aware of any topics they may want to avoid.

Read this post by Marie to understand more on why you should include warnings.

"let's chat" section at the end

It can be termed "let's chat", "talk to me", "shout your opinions", or whatever else. You can include a section at the end with some questions for the readers. Basically, a call to action.

Book reviews are hard to comment on unless the reader has either read the book or connected to a topic in the book. You can make it easier for them to comment by adding questions to prompt them.

They can be general or specific questions relating to the book. Do include at least one general question as that would be easier to reply to.

your own short version of the blurb

Many bloggers include a few lines on the plot themselves even after including the basic information in order to explain more about the book. This is a grey area because sometimes it is redundant.

If you include the book's blurb in your review, and it explains everything, don't add another version of your own. Only do it if the official blurb is inadequate* or if you are not including the official blurb at all.

*I've seen this happen a lot with romance books which was why I used to write my own blurb. Some books have blurbs like "he is bad for me, yet I wanted him. But I can't have him." It's SO ANNOYING. Many times the book is actually good but the blurbs suck!

how to write a book review for blog

diversity/representation overview

Like content and trigger warnings, you can have a small section to mention the various representations present in the book. By representation, I mean factors like disability, mental illness, Asian-American characters, sapphic love etc.

This can be a helpful section if readers are looking for books with specific factors for readathons or challenges . Other times it just signals how diverse the book is.

Example: Gargee's review of American Betiya

custom ratings and rating images

First of all, I believe ratings themselves are optional. I don't use ratings on my book reviews anymore because they are not sufficient to indicate all that I want to say.

If you do include ratings, you can level them up by using images that relate to your blog theme like Leelyn .

You can also use a modified rating system like Shealea or completely switch it up to a system of your own.

links to Own Voices reviews

There is a ton of discussion on using the term "Own Voices" because experiences and views can be wildly different. Not all Indians would relate to my story and vice-versa. The publishing industry has also started to misuse the term which has caused many to stop using the term at all.

Read this post by Camillea to know more about the term "Own Voices" and what "Own Voices review" means.

In the end, I still think the term has its merits when it comes to reviewing. Especially because only Own Voices reviewers can properly point out accurate and problematic representations.

If you're reviewing a book that represents a marginalized group for which you are NOT an Own Voice reviewer, consider linking to Own Voices reviews. They might bring up important points that you would not have noticed.

For example, I quoted and linked Own Voices reviews in my review of Children of Blood and Bone . I simply didn't like the book and noticed some concerns raised when going through other negative reviews so I linked them in my review.

open laptop on a desk with book and mug with coffee

recommended if/avoid if

This is a cool way to end reviews. Readers can quickly make decisions about whether to pick up the book or not based on general tropes and factors.

For example, check out Julia's review of The Guinevere Deception .

mood boards/aesthetics

I've seen some bloggers do this and it is so fun to see! Mood boards and aesthetics can be images or collages that depict the book's setting or the characters.

For example, you can look at Cielo's review of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue and Lila's review of Raybearer .

a quotes section

If you don't like adding a few quotes in the middle of the review, or simply have too many that you want to share, you can add a quotes section at the end and share your highlights.

These quotes can sometimes be enough to convince readers to understand the writing style and get hooked on the book.

For example, my review of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone .

When writing book reviews, we can be very focused on putting down our thoughts and might forget to include all the required elements in the review. To help, I've created a handy checklist of elements you should have in every book review to refer to before hitting publish.

If you are already a part of the inner circle, you can directly access the checklist in the resource library . If you're not, you can get instant access by signing up below!

There is no right or wrong way to write a book review , especially on YOUR blog. The mentioned ways to format book reviews for your blog are just my opinions and suggestions. At the end of the day, you write your reviews and you should do it the way you like best.

You also don't have to stick to a format throughout your blog. Sure, it creates a brand, especially if it is a unique reviewing format (like what Kat @ Novels and Waffles uses with on-brand terms like "ingredients", "kitchen of the author", and "cooking directions"). But sometimes, you need the flexibility to choose formats based on the books. Allow yourself to experiment and try out new things.

This is also not an exhaustive list of ways to format book reviews. There are so many unique styles and many more generic formats. These are the ones that are easy to pick up and apply to your reviews if you're stuck.

Related post: How to Make Your Blog Posts More Readable

11 Ways to Format Book Reviews for Your Blog - A Guide for Book Bloggers pinterest image

chat with me!

Are you a book blogger? Do you use any of the review formats that I've mentioned in this post? Do you use any additional elements in your reviews?

What are your favourite kinds of reviews to read? Have I missed any easy review format? If so, do mention it in the comments and I'll mention your comment in the post!

Also, is there any blogger whose reviews you love to read because of their reviewing style or format? Give them a shoutout in the comments so the rest of us can admire them too!

stay wordy, Sumedha

Sumedha spends her days reading books, bingeing Kdramas, drawing illustrations, and blogging while listening to Lo-Fi music. Read more ➔

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97 comments

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Great post! This will be handy for me to start structuring my blog posts!

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glad to help!

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Thank you for this article. I have a book blog and am working on smoothing out my posts. This was very helpful to me.

Glad you found it helpful!

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Thanks for the article. It was great. I'm thinking of translating it into Persian and publishing it on my blog ( https://365book.ir/ ). Is it okay with you?

Hi. I'm glad you liked the post. I do not consent to my content being posted elsewhere, translated or not. Apologies.

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How to Write a Book Review: A Comprehensive Tutorial With Examples

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You don’t need to be a literary expert to craft captivating book reviews. With one in every three readers selecting books based on insightful reviews, your opinions can guide fellow bibliophiles toward their next literary adventure.

Learning how to write a book review will not only help you excel at your assigned tasks, but you’ll also contribute valuable insights to the book-loving community and turn your passion into a professional pursuit.

In this comprehensive guide,  PaperPerk  will walk you through a few simple steps to master the art of writing book reviews so you can confidently embark on this rewarding journey.

What is a Book Review?

A book review is a critical evaluation of a book, offering insights into its content, quality, and impact. It helps readers make informed decisions about whether to read the book.

Writing a book review as an assignment benefits students in multiple ways. Firstly, it teaches them how to write a book review by developing their analytical skills as they evaluate the content, themes, and writing style .

Secondly, it enhances their ability to express opinions and provide constructive criticism. Additionally, book review assignments expose students to various publications and genres, broadening their knowledge.

Furthermore, these tasks foster essential skills for academic success, like critical thinking and the ability to synthesize information. By now, we’re sure you want to learn how to write a book review, so let’s look at the book review template first.

Table of Contents

Book Review Template

How to write a book review- a step by step guide.

Check out these 5 straightforward steps for composing the best book review.

Step 1: Planning Your Book Review – The Art of Getting Started

You’ve decided to take the plunge and share your thoughts on a book that has captivated (or perhaps disappointed) you. Before you start book reviewing, let’s take a step back and plan your approach. Since knowing how to write a book review that’s both informative and engaging is an art in itself.

Choosing Your Literature

First things first, pick the book you want to review. This might seem like a no-brainer, but selecting a book that genuinely interests you will make the review process more enjoyable and your insights more authentic.

Crafting the Master Plan

Next, create an  outline  that covers all the essential points you want to discuss in your review. This will serve as the roadmap for your writing journey.

The Devil is in the Details

As you read, note any information that stands out, whether it overwhelms, underwhelms, or simply intrigues you. Pay attention to:

  • The characters and their development
  • The plot and its intricacies
  • Any themes, symbols, or motifs you find noteworthy

Remember to reserve a body paragraph for each point you want to discuss.

The Key Questions to Ponder

When planning your book review, consider the following questions:

  • What’s the plot (if any)? Understanding the driving force behind the book will help you craft a more effective review.
  • Is the plot interesting? Did the book hold your attention and keep you turning the pages?
  • Are the writing techniques effective? Does the author’s style captivate you, making you want to read (or reread) the text?
  • Are the characters or the information believable? Do the characters/plot/information feel real, and can you relate to them?
  • Would you recommend the book to anyone? Consider if the book is worthy of being recommended, whether to impress someone or to support a point in a literature class.
  • What could improve? Always keep an eye out for areas that could be improved. Providing constructive criticism can enhance the quality of literature.

Step 2 – Crafting the Perfect Introduction to Write a Book Review

In this second step of “how to write a book review,” we’re focusing on the art of creating a powerful opening that will hook your audience and set the stage for your analysis.

Identify Your Book and Author

Begin by mentioning the book you’ve chosen, including its  title  and the author’s name. This informs your readers and establishes the subject of your review.

Ponder the Title

Next, discuss the mental images or emotions the book’s title evokes in your mind . This helps your readers understand your initial feelings and expectations before diving into the book.

Judge the Book by Its Cover (Just a Little)

Take a moment to talk about the book’s cover. Did it intrigue you? Did it hint at what to expect from the story or the author’s writing style? Sharing your thoughts on the cover can offer a unique perspective on how the book presents itself to potential readers.

Present Your Thesis

Now it’s time to introduce your thesis. This statement should be a concise and insightful summary of your opinion of the book. For example:

“Normal People” by Sally Rooney is a captivating portrayal of the complexities of human relationships, exploring themes of love, class, and self-discovery with exceptional depth and authenticity.

Ensure that your thesis is relevant to the points or quotes you plan to discuss throughout your review.

Incorporating these elements into your introduction will create a strong foundation for your book review. Your readers will be eager to learn more about your thoughts and insights on the book, setting the stage for a compelling and thought-provoking analysis.

How to Write a Book Review: Step 3 – Building Brilliant Body Paragraphs

You’ve planned your review and written an attention-grabbing introduction. Now it’s time for the main event: crafting the body paragraphs of your book review. In this step of “how to write a book review,” we’ll explore the art of constructing engaging and insightful body paragraphs that will keep your readers hooked.

Summarize Without Spoilers

Begin by summarizing a specific section of the book, not revealing any major plot twists or spoilers. Your goal is to give your readers a taste of the story without ruining surprises.

Support Your Viewpoint with Quotes

Next, choose three quotes from the book that support your viewpoint or opinion. These quotes should be relevant to the section you’re summarizing and help illustrate your thoughts on the book.

Analyze the Quotes

Write a summary of each quote in your own words, explaining how it made you feel or what it led you to think about the book or the author’s writing. This analysis should provide insight into your perspective and demonstrate your understanding of the text.

Structure Your Body Paragraphs

Dedicate one body paragraph to each quote, ensuring your writing is well-connected, coherent, and easy to understand.

For example:

  • In  Jane Eyre , Charlotte Brontë writes, “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me.” This powerful statement highlights Jane’s fierce independence and refusal to be trapped by societal expectations.
  • In  Normal People , Sally Rooney explores the complexities of love and friendship when she writes, “It was culture as class performance, literature fetishized for its ability to take educated people on false emotional journeys.” This quote reveals the author’s astute observations on the role of culture and class in shaping personal relationships.
  • In  Wuthering Heights , Emily Brontë captures the tumultuous nature of love with the quote, “He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” This poignant line emphasizes the deep, unbreakable bond between the story’s central characters.

By following these guidelines, you’ll create body paragraphs that are both captivating and insightful, enhancing your book review and providing your readers with a deeper understanding of the literary work. 

How to Write a Book Review: Step 4 – Crafting a Captivating Conclusion

You’ve navigated through planning, introductions, and body paragraphs with finesse. Now it’s time to wrap up your book review with a  conclusion that leaves a lasting impression . In this final step of “how to write a book review,” we’ll explore the art of writing a memorable and persuasive conclusion.

Summarize Your Analysis

Begin by summarizing the key points you’ve presented in the body paragraphs. This helps to remind your readers of the insights and arguments you’ve shared throughout your review.

Offer Your Final Conclusion

Next, provide a conclusion that reflects your overall feelings about the book. This is your chance to leave a lasting impression and persuade your readers to consider your perspective.

Address the Book’s Appeal

Now, answer the question: Is this book worth reading? Be clear about who would enjoy the book and who might not. Discuss the taste preferences and circumstances that make the book more appealing to some readers than others.

For example:  The Alchemist is a book that can enchant a young teen, but those who are already well-versed in classic literature might find it less engaging.

Be Subtle and Balanced

Avoid simply stating whether you “liked” or “disliked” the book. Instead, use nuanced language to convey your message. Highlight the pros and cons of reading the type of literature you’ve reviewed, offering a balanced perspective.

Bringing It All Together

By following these guidelines, you’ll craft a conclusion that leaves your readers with a clear understanding of your thoughts and opinions on the book. Your review will be a valuable resource for those considering whether to pick up the book, and your witty and insightful analysis will make your review a pleasure to read. So conquer the world of book reviews, one captivating conclusion at a time!

How to Write a Book Review: Step 5 – Rating the Book (Optional)

You’ve masterfully crafted your book review, from the introduction to the conclusion. But wait, there’s one more step you might consider before calling it a day: rating the book. In this optional step of “how to write a book review,” we’ll explore the benefits and methods of assigning a rating to the book you’ve reviewed.

Why Rate the Book?

Sometimes, when writing a professional book review, it may not be appropriate to state whether you liked or disliked the book. In such cases, assigning a rating can be an effective way to get your message across without explicitly sharing your personal opinion.

How to Rate the Book

There are various rating systems you can use to evaluate the book, such as:

  • A star rating (e.g., 1 to 5 stars)
  • A numerical score (e.g., 1 to 10)
  • A letter grade (e.g., A+ to F)

Choose a rating system that best suits your style and the format of your review. Be consistent in your rating criteria, considering writing quality, character development, plot, and overall enjoyment.

Tips for Rating the Book

Here are some tips for rating the book effectively:

  • Be honest: Your rating should reflect your true feelings about the book. Don’t inflate or deflate your rating based on external factors, such as the book’s popularity or the author’s reputation.
  • Be fair:Consider the book’s merits and shortcomings when rating. Even if you didn’t enjoy the book, recognize its strengths and acknowledge them in your rating.
  • Be clear: Explain the rationale behind your rating so your readers understand the factors that influenced your evaluation.

Wrapping Up

By including a rating in your book review, you provide your readers with an additional insight into your thoughts on the book. While this step is optional, it can be a valuable tool for conveying your message subtly yet effectively. So, rate those books confidently, adding a touch of wit and wisdom to your book reviews.

Additional Tips on How to Write a Book Review: A Guide

In this segment, we’ll explore additional tips on how to write a book review. Get ready to captivate your readers and make your review a memorable one!

Hook ’em with an Intriguing Introduction

Keep your introduction precise and to the point. Readers have the attention span of a goldfish these days, so don’t let them swim away in boredom. Start with a bang and keep them hooked!

Embrace the World of Fiction

When learning how to write a book review, remember that reviewing fiction is often more engaging and effective. If your professor hasn’t assigned you a specific book, dive into the realm of fiction and select a novel that piques your interest.

Opinionated with Gusto

Don’t shy away from adding your own opinion to your review. A good book review always features the writer’s viewpoint and constructive criticism. After all, your readers want to know what  you  think!

Express Your Love (or Lack Thereof)

If you adored the book, let your readers know! Use phrases like “I’ll definitely return to this book again” to convey your enthusiasm. Conversely, be honest but respectful even if the book wasn’t your cup of tea.

Templates and Examples and Expert Help: Your Trusty Sidekicks

Feeling lost? You can always get help from formats, book review examples or online  college paper writing service  platforms. These trusty sidekicks will help you navigate the world of book reviews with ease. 

Be a Champion for New Writers and Literature

Remember to uplift new writers and pieces of literature. If you want to suggest improvements, do so kindly and constructively. There’s no need to be mean about anyone’s books – we’re all in this literary adventure together!

Criticize with Clarity, Not Cruelty

When adding criticism to your review, be clear but not mean. Remember, there’s a fine line between constructive criticism and cruelty. Tread lightly and keep your reader’s feelings in mind.

Avoid the Comparison Trap

Resist the urge to compare one writer’s book with another. Every book holds its worth, and comparing them will only confuse your reader. Stick to discussing the book at hand, and let it shine in its own light.

Top 7 Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Writing a book review can be a delightful and rewarding experience, especially when you balance analysis, wit, and personal insights. However, some common mistakes can kill the brilliance of your review. 

In this section of “how to write a book review,” we’ll explore the top 7 blunders writers commit and how to steer clear of them, with a dash of  modernist literature  examples and tips for students writing book reviews as assignments.

Succumbing to the Lure of Plot Summaries

Mistake: Diving headfirst into a plot summary instead of dissecting the book’s themes, characters, and writing style.

Example: “The Bell Jar chronicles the life of a young woman who experiences a mental breakdown.”

How to Avoid: Delve into the book’s deeper aspects, such as its portrayal of mental health, societal expectations, and the author’s distinctive narrative voice. Offer thoughtful insights and reflections, making your review a treasure trove of analysis.

Unleashing the Spoiler Kraken

Mistake: Spilling major plot twists or the ending without providing a spoiler warning, effectively ruining the reading experience for potential readers.

Example: “In Metamorphosis, the protagonist’s transformation into a monstrous insect leads to…”

How to Avoid: Tread carefully when discussing significant plot developments, and consider using spoiler warnings. Focus on the impact of these plot points on the overall narrative, character growth, or thematic resonance.

Riding the Personal Bias Express

Mistake: Allowing personal bias to hijack the review without providing sufficient evidence or reasoning to support opinions.

Example: “I detest books about existential crises, so The Sun Also Rises was a snoozefest.”

How to Avoid: While personal opinions are valid, it’s crucial to back them up with specific examples from the book. Discuss aspects like writing style, character development, or pacing to support your evaluation and provide a more balanced perspective.

Wielding the Vague Language Saber

Mistake: Resorting to generic, vague language that fails to capture the nuances of the book and can come across as clichéd.

Example: “This book was mind-blowing. It’s a must-read for everyone.”

How to Avoid: Use precise and descriptive language to express your thoughts. Employ specific examples and quotations to highlight memorable scenes, the author’s unique writing style, or the impact of the book’s themes on readers.

Ignoring the Contextualization Compass

Mistake: Neglecting to provide context about the author, genre, or cultural relevance of the book, leaving readers without a proper frame of reference.

Example: “This book is dull and unoriginal.”

How to Avoid: Offer readers a broader understanding by discussing the author’s background, the genre conventions the book adheres to or subverts, and any societal or historical contexts that inform the narrative. This helps readers appreciate the book’s uniqueness and relevance.

Overindulging in Personal Preferences

Mistake: Letting personal preferences overshadow an objective assessment of the book’s merits.

Example: “I don’t like stream-of-consciousness writing, so this book is automatically bad.”

How to Avoid: Acknowledge personal preferences but strive to evaluate the book objectively. Focus on the book’s strengths and weaknesses, considering how well it achieves its goals within its genre or intended audience.

Forgetting the Target Audience Telescope

Mistake: Failing to mention the book’s target audience or who might enjoy it, leading to confusion for potential readers.

Example: “This book is great for everyone.”

How to Avoid: Contemplate the book’s intended audience, genre, and themes. Mention who might particularly enjoy the book based on these factors, whether it’s fans of a specific genre, readers interested in character-driven stories, or those seeking thought-provoking narratives.

By dodging these common pitfalls, writers can craft insightful, balanced, and engaging book reviews that help readers make informed decisions about their reading choices.

These tips are particularly beneficial for students writing book reviews as assignments, as they ensure a well-rounded and thoughtful analysis.!

Many students requested us to cover how to write a book review. This thorough guide is sure to help you. At Paperperk, professionals are dedicated to helping students find their balance. We understand the importance of good grades, so we offer the finest writing service , ensuring students stay ahead of the curve. So seek expert help because only Paperperk is your perfect solution!

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How to Write a Great Book Review: 6 Templates and Ideas

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Whether you’ve loved or hated your recent reads, writing book reviews can be a fun and satisfying process. It’s a great way to unpack messages and information from a story, and it also helps you remember key elements of a book for much longer than you usually would. Plus, book reviews open up some interesting and exciting debates between readers with different opinions, and they also help others decide which books to read next .

Table of Contents

Where Can You Post Book Reviews?

Back in the old days, book reviews were reserved for leading publications and journals, but now, anyone can create their own book reviews, and they’re popping up almost everywhere.

Social Media

Bookworms have taken over social media, with hashtags like # bookstagram drawing in millions of readers from around the internet to share thoughts, ideas, inspiration, and of course, reviews.

Book blogs are also blowing up right now, and plenty of avid readers are making a solid income by writing and sharing their book reviews this way. You can either create your own from scratch or write guest posts and reviews for already established blogs.

Goodreads is the undisputed online home of books. It’s a great place to find inspiration for your next reads, browse other people’s book reviews, and of course, add your own reviews, too.

If you post a review of a popular book on Goodreads, it’s bound to be seen by a huge audience. Plus, it’s a great way to advertise your blog if you have one, as the Goodreads guidelines allow you to insert a link within the body of your review.

The world’s largest bookstore gets an incredible amount of traffic, so it’s one of the best places to get your reviews seen by the masses. But bear in mind that there are more rules and regulations for Amazon book reviews than on some of the other platforms listed here. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the guidelines first, or your submission could be rejected.

Booktube is a Youtube community dedicated to reviewing, discussing, and recommending books. If you’re comfortable in front of a camera, vlogging your book reviews on Booktube is an excellent alternative to the more traditional written book reviews above. It’s also a great way to get noticed by viewers around the world.

Some Booktube reviewers make their entire income from their channel, so if you’re passionate about reviewing and want to turn it into a living, this is a great avenue to explore.

Get Paid for Your Book Reviews

Some of the platforms I’ve listed above, like Booktube, Instagram, and blogging , allow you to get paid for your book reviews if you generate enough traffic, but getting to that level takes a lot of dedication, time, and patience.

Thankfully, there are plenty of websites that pay reviewers on a freelance basis. Here are three of the most popular:

Remember, each site has strict submission guidelines and requirements that you’ll need to check carefully before writing and submitting a review.

Kirkus Reviews

The Kirkus Reviews magazine, founded in 1933, is one of America’s oldest, most respected book reviewing companies.

They accept reviews around 350 words in length, and once you’re assigned the gig, you have a two-week submission deadline.

Kirkus is always on the lookout for new book reviewers, but you’ll need to prove you have experience and talent before they’ll accept your submissions. The best way to do this is to create a professional-looking portfolio that showcases your previous reviews, both paid and unpaid.

Booklist is a subgroup of the American Library Association. They feature all kinds of book reviews, both fiction and non-fiction, and publish them online and in print.

They pay their reviewers on a freelance, book-by-book basis. Their rates aren’t going to make you rich (around $12- $15 per review), but it’s a great way to gain some professional experience and build your book review portfolio without having to work for free.

Booklist has various publication outlets, such as their quarterly in-print magazine, a reader’s blog, and top book lists. Plus, they also accept pitches for book-related news and author interviews.

Online Book Club

This free-to-access community of bibliophiles has been going for over ten years, with a million active members and counting.

To join their professional freelance team, you’ll first have to submit an unpaid review to help them to determine if you’re worth hiring. If your review makes the cut, then your next submission is paid at a rate varying between $5 and $60, depending on the book’s length, the quality of the review, etc.

One of the major stipulations of Online Book Club is that your reviews are in-depth and honest. If you don’t like the book, never put a positive spin on it for the sake of it. ( The same goes for any book review platform you post on. )

It’s also worth noting that with Online Book Club, you’ll never pay for the books you review. So even if they reject your submission, you’ll still get a free book out of it.

How to Write a Book Review?

Book reviews can range from a simple tweet to a full-length essay or long-form blog post and anything in between.

As I mentioned above, some book review sites and platforms have strict guidelines and parameters to follow. But if you’re writing a book review for social media, your own blog, or any other purpose that lets you take the reins, then the following ideas will give you some help and inspiration to get started.

But before we dive in, let’s take a look at four key elements that a comprehensive book review should contain.

1. Information about the author and the name of the book

You might want to include any accolades that the author has received in the past and mention some of their previous notable works.

Also, consider the publication date; is the book a brand-new release, a few years old, or a classic from another century?

2. A summary of the plot

Writing about the plot takes skill and consideration; if your description is too thorough, you risk ruining the book for your audience with spoilers. But on the other hand, if you’re too vague on the details, your review can lack depth.

Consider your audience carefully, and if you feel like your book review contains even the slightest hint of spoilers, always add a warning at the beginning so people can decide for themselves whether to read on.

3. Your evaluation

This is the part where you get to describe what you feel about the book as a whole and give your opinion on the different elements within it. But, again, don’t be tempted to fall into the trap of positively evaluating books you didn’t actually like; no one wants to read a false review, so if you didn’t like it, explain why.

4. Your reader recommendation

Who might the book appeal to? Is it suitable for all audiences? In your opinion, is it a universal must-read, or should people avoid it?

Keep in mind that the purpose of most book reviews is to help the reader decide whether or not they would like to read it themselves. What works for you might not work for others, so consider this when writing your recommendations.

6 Book Review Templates and Ideas

1. the traditional approach.

Most traditional fiction reviews, like the ones found in newspapers and other popular publications, are based on the following format…

Introduction

The introduction is a paragraph or two which includes:

  • Key information that the reader needs to know. For example, the book’s title, the author’s name, the publication date, and any relevant background information about the author and their work.
  • A brief one-sentence summary of the plot. This sets the general scene of what the book is about.
  • Your overall opinion of the book. Again, keep it brief. (you can delve deeper into what you liked and disliked later in the review).

This is the main body of your book review, where you break down and analyze the work. Some of the key elements you might want to examine are listed below. Approach each element one at a time to help your analysis flow.

  • The characters
  • The setting
  • The structure of the story
  • The quality of the writing

What did you notice about each one, what did you enjoy, and what did you dislike? Why?

The conclusion is usually the shortest part of a traditional book review, which usually contains:

  • A summary of your thoughts about the book as a whole
  • Your reader recommendation

Remember that unless you’re writing a book review for a pre-existing publication, there are no rules that you need to follow. This traditional format can be adapted to suit your own style, the book you are reviewing, and your audience.

Also Read : BEST FICTION BOOK REVIEWS

2. Social Media Book Reviews

Book reviews posted on social media tend to have a more relaxed tone than a traditional book review. Again, there are no set rules, but here are a few guidelines and suggestions for posting reviews on platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

  • Include an eye-catching image

This is essential on Instagram, but whatever social media platform you’re posting on, including a great photo will draw people in to read your review.

In the Instagram world, photos of books taken directly from above are called ‘flat lays.’ You can keep it simple and just snap the front cover, or you can get creative and shoot your book flat lay against an interesting backdrop or include items related to the story.

  • Break up your review into short, bite-sized paragraphs

This rule applies to most web content, but it’s even more important on social media, where everyone competes for your reader’s attention.

Big blocks of text are much harder to follow and a sure-fire way to lose your reader’s attention before they even get started. Instead, stick to short paragraphs of one, two, or three sentences, and include spaces between each one.

  • Know your character limit

At just 280 characters, Twitter is by far the stingiest of the major social media platforms when it comes to the length of posts. That’s why most people choose platforms like Instagram or Facebook for book reviews. That being said, you can still use Twitter as a way of linking to them once they go live.

Instagram is considerably more generous with its 2,200-character limit, but if you have a lot to say about the book you’re reviewing, it can still be limiting.

If you want to post a more comprehensive review on social media, Facebook is your best bet; they have an upper limit of 63,206 characters.

Whichever platform you post on, remember to factor any hashtags into your character limit too.

  • Keep it succinct

Book reviews on social media perform better when sentences are concise. This helps to combat the character limit issue I mentioned above and gets your point across quickly, without the fluff.

Readers on platforms like Instagram and Facebook flit from post to post, so if you don’t say what you mean in as few words as possible, you’ll risk losing your audience altogether.

  • Don’t be afraid of emojis.

Love them or hate them, emojis convey mood and emotion where words can sometimes fail us. They also add an extra visual element to a post, help to break up blocks of text and keep the tone informal.

Of course, there’s no rule that you have to include emojis in your social media book reviews, but if you’re already comfortable using them elsewhere, consider incorporating them here too.

  • Add a star rating

Star ratings instantly tell your audience whether you loved the book or not before they read a single word of your post. It’s also another visual element to help draw your audience in to find out more.

  • Avoid spoilers

I’ve already touched on spoilers above, but it’s essential to avoid them on social media book reviews. That’s because unsuspecting users are scrolling from post to post on these platforms with no way of knowing what’s coming next. As a result, it’s very easy to read something you can’t unread.

  • Consider tagging the author and publisher.

But ONLY do this if you enjoyed the book and your review is favorable. It’s not good online etiquette to tag in the creators if you’re posting a scathing critique; it’s mean-spirited, and it could lead to a social media squabble, which the internet has enough of already.

3. Goodreads and Amazon Book Reviews

Both Goodreads and Amazon allow anyone to upload a review of any book, so they’re great places to get started if you’re new to the reviewing world. Plus, you can post more in-depth and lengthy reviews than you can on social media platforms.

There are endless ways to write reviews for sites like these, but if you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, here’s a good template that will help you to flesh out your ideas.

  • Star Rating

Sites like Goodreads and Amazon usually ask for a 1-5 star rating before writing your review. 3 is your baseline which translates to “pretty good.” It can be tempting to rush straight in for a 5 star if you loved a book, but where possible, try to reserve this rating for books that really blow you away.

  • A Brief Synopsis

Reviews on these sites appear directly under the book listing, so generally, there’s no need to mention the author, title, or publishing details. Instead, you can dive straight into a quick overview of the plot, using the official publisher’s summary to help you if needed.

Avoid revealing any significant details or spoilers, but include enough to outline the story and give context to the rest of your review.

Talking about how the book made you feel is a good place to start. Did you learn something you didn’t know before? Was it a page-turner or a hard slog? Were there any twists you did or didn’t see coming? Mentioning the existence of a plot twist is usually deemed ok, as long as you don’t reveal what it is.

Next, examine the book’s various elements, including the characters, setting, and plot, using examples. You might even want to include some direct quotes from the book, as long as they don’t give too much away.

Just like the traditional book review format, conclude it with a summary. Are you glad you read it? Who might enjoy this book, and who should avoid it?

4. Listicle Book Reviews

Listicles are articles and blog posts structured like a numbered list. An example from the book review world is “10 reasons why you need to read X by X”.

These types of reviews are particularly well suited to blog posts, as they’re an excellent way to encourage people to click on your link compared with a less attention-grabbing traditional format.

That being said, listicle book reviews tend only to work if your feedback is positive. Using this format to review a book you hated risks alienating your audience and coming across as harsh and judgemental. Less favorable reviews are better presented in a more traditional format that explores a book’s different aspects one by one.

5. An Essay Style Analysis

An essay-style review isn’t technically a review, as it delves much deeper into the work and examines it from multiple angles.

If you’re not limited to a word count and want to dissect an author’s work, then an in-depth essay-style analysis can be a great addition to your blog. Plus, they’re generally written for people who have already read the book, so there’s no need to worry about spoilers.

But when you’re writing more than 500 words about a book, it can be easy to ramble or go off on a tangent. Here’s an example format to keep you on track:

  • Include the author’s name, the title of the book, and the date of publication.
  • Is the book a standalone novel or part of a series?
  • What made you choose this book in the first place? Have you read any of the author’s previous work?
  • Describe the cover. Does it draw you in? Is it an appropriate representation of the book as a whole?

Set the Scene

  • Include an overview of the plot.
  • Did you have any expectations or preconceived ideas about the book before you read it?

Your Review

Discuss the following elements one at a time. Use quotes or direct examples when talking about each one.

  • Describe the geographical location, the period in time, and the environment.
  • Is the setting based on reality or imagination?
  • How does the setting help to add mood and tone to the story?
  • Give an overview of the main characters and their backgrounds.
  • Discuss the significant plot points in the story in chronological order.
  • What are the conflicts, the climaxes, and the resolutions?
  • How does the author use literary devices to bring meaning and life to book?
  • For example, discuss any elements of foreshadowing, metaphors, symbolism, irony, or imagery.
  • What are the overall themes and big ideas in the story? For example, love, death, friendship , war, and coming of age.
  • What, if any, are the morals within the story?
  • Are there any underlying or less prominent themes that the author is trying to portray?

Your Opinion

  • Which elements were successful, and which weren’t?
  • Were the characters believable? Did you want them to succeed?
  • In the case of plot twists, did you see them coming?
  • Are there any memorable scenes or quotes that particularly stood out to you? If so, why?
  • How did the book make you feel? Did it evoke any strong emotions?
  • Did the book meet your preconceived expectations?
  • Were you satisfied by the ending, or did you find it frustrating?
  • Summarise the plot and theme in a couple of sentences.
  • Give your overall opinion. Was the book a success, a failure, or something in between?
  • Include a reader recommendation, for example, “this book is a must-read for anyone with a love of dystopian science fiction.”
  • Include a star rating if you wish.

6. Create Your Own Book Review Template

If you plan on becoming a regular book reviewer, it’s a good idea to create your own unique template that you can use for every book you review, whether you’re posting on a blog, website, or social media account.

You can mix and match the various elements of the review styles above to suit your preferences and the types of books you’ll be reviewing.

Creating a template unique to you helps build your authority as an independent reviewer and makes writing future reviews a lot easier.

Writing book reviews is a great way to get even more out of your reading journey. Whether you loved or hated a title, reviewing it will help you remember and process the story, and you’ll also be helping others to decide whether or not it’s worth their time, too.

And who knows, you might fall in love with writing book reviews and decide to pursue it as an additional source of income or even a new career!

Whatever your book reviewing plans and goals are, I hope the templates, tips, and ideas above will help you get started.

Do you have any advice for writing a great book review? Let me know in the comments below!

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Rafal Reyzer

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10 Steps To Start Your Book Review Blog (in 2024)

Author: Rafal Reyzer

Reading is a magical, enriching hobby. If you’re an avid reader, and you also like to write, blogging about books may be a relaxing yet lucrative way to express your thoughts.

Starting a book blog takes a lot of work, but it’s ultimately worth it. Reviewing books is fun as a hobby, but it will also feel much more meaningful when you share your insights and experiences with the world. But how do you even approach creating a book review blog? Here are ten actionable steps that will help you set it up quickly and effortlessly!

10 Steps To Start a Book Review Blog:

1. get inspiration from other bookish bloggers.

Before you make your first attempt, look at successful book review blogs. Try to analyze what and figure out the features that these book blogs have in common. What makes them juicy and irresistible? Then, find a couple that you like the most. What are the features that stand out and make their blogs interesting? What draws you to their content? And what would you change to make them even better? Write your findings down so you can refer to them once you’re building your blog.

woman taking notes at a table with a laptop

2. Define Your Goals and Prepare for the Long Haul

Before you begin your book blogging journey, set specific, measurable goals. Think about the reasons you want to start a blog: do you want to do it for fun, as a creative escape, or do you want to monetize your blog and turn it into a side hustle? Maybe you want both? Figuring out your goals before you get started will help keep you on track as you build your blog and publish your first articles. It’ll help guide you through the process and bring decisions that are in tune with your goals and purpose. Finally, your pre-defined goals will help you determine where you are on your journey and help you adjust along the way.

Here are a few questions to consider:

  • How does blogging success look to you?
  • How many blog readers would you like to attract in a given of time?
  • How many reviews and other types of posts would you like to publish every month?
  • How much money (if any) would you like to earn with your blog?

Answers to these questions will help you stay on track and don’t give up when the going gets tough.

3. Establish Your Favorite Content Format

Most successful blogs (in any writing-related niche ) out there have fairly strict rules regarding the tone of voice and formatting of their posts. Your style guide doesn’t have to be super intricate. However establishing basic formatting rules will help make your blog seem polished and unified, which is very important in building your brand .

  • Think about the general formatting you want your blog to have – basic guidelines regarding headings, numbering, bullet points, bold text, and so on.
  • Consider SEO – you don’t have to be a techie to understand the significance of SEO , or its basic principles.
  • Don’t forget to establish your tone of voice, which is strongly felt in the way you address the reader, the vocabulary you use , and the attitude you want to express.
  • Last but not least, consider your particular book-reviewing format – do you want to have a star rating system, and are there any repeating parameters you’ll want to use to review books?

reviewing a book on a laptop

4. Read, Write, Sleep, Repeat

Creating content for a book review blog takes more time and effort than most other blogging niches do. There’s a simple reason for that – you need to spend a long time reading the book first. Sure, bloggers of all niches do research before writing too, but it’s not typically several hundred pages long. The point is – preparing and writing each book review article takes a long time and a lot of effort, so it’s a good idea to have some content prepared in advance when you launch your blog. As a book blogger, your content will probably contain book reviews, but also discussions, book tags, interviews with authors, and much more. Figure out what you want your schedule to be like, how often you want to publish, and if you want to make a repeating post-type rotation. Try to prepare at least three weeks’ worth of content to avoid feeling burnt out once you launch your blog. Chances are you’ll have a lot of work setting up your website , so you might not have enough time to create content when your blog goes live.

A reading table with a laptop and a print magazine

5. Set Up Your Blog

It’s finally the time to get down to work and get your hands dirty creating your blog. I went through all the steps here , so I’ll only outline your options in this article. I believe anybody can make their website from scratch because it’s not that complicated with a good guide to help you through. However, if you’re a tech wizard, or you simply don’t want to spend your time mastering website-building skills, you may seek professionals on job boards like Upwork or networks like Linkedin.

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Platform (CMS):

First things first, figure out which platform, otherwise known as the CMS (content management system) you want to use for your blog. The platform will keep your blog running, provide you with statistics, and give you control over your content. Two of the most common platforms that freelance writers and bloggers use today are WordPress and Blogger . I use WordPress because it’s a free, open-source system that powers as much as 30% of the web. Your blog will require a bit of hands-on work to set up the CMS. Luckily, most web hosting services also provide a simple way to import CMS.

Web Design:

Unless you have experience writing CSS code or working in a program like Adobe Dreamweaver, you have two options at your disposal when it comes to the design of your website. Those are using a preset theme or hiring a professional to make your blog look super outstanding. WordPress, Blogger, Wix, and many other website platforms offer you a plethora of choices when it comes to design themes. You simply need to pick one that you feel looks nice and doesn’t affect text readability, make small tweaks, and you’re good to go.

Web Hosting:

When you start setting up your blog, you’ll realize that WordPress and Blogger give you the option to host your blog for free. If you’re a hobby writer or a product or services reviewer , this is not a big issue. But if you want to earn from your blog , the free options are very limiting. Luckily, you only need to pay a few dollars per month for your own, unrestricted blog hosting. There’s a wide variety of hosting companies that sell web space. I opted for Siteground , because it’s affordable, very easy to use, and installing WordPress is a breeze.

6. Find Your (Domain) Name

Picking a name for your blog is a huge step, which can also be surprisingly hard. Your blog’s name should also appear in its domain name (the address of your site). So, your next step is to register a domain name. The internet is huge, and a huge number of websites already exist. That means that you may come across a problem – your desired domain name may already be taken. That’s why you should come prepared, and try out a couple of options. If it doesn’t work out, you may get in touch with the current owner of your preferred domain name and buy it from them. You may get a domain name directly from Siteground , or use a specialized service like GoDaddy or Google Domains .

A smart phone with hello sign on the screen

7. Introduce Yourself

Hurray – if you got this far, you’re a proud owner of a brand-new website! It’s time to say hi to the world! That’s right, now you need to create your About and Contact pages. Almost every reader enjoys knowing who the person behind the blog is. You don’t have to reveal your private information, but it’s nice to introduce yourself and share your motivation for blogging with your audience. This way, you can start on the right foot with your readers, and let them know what to expect from your blog in the future.

8. Set Up Your Review Policy

At one point, as your blog grows, you’re likely to get requests. Your audience, publishers, and even book authors themselves may get in touch with you requesting books to discuss next. To help your future self out, decide what is and what isn’t worth your time and effort. It’s worthwhile to set up a review policy in advance. Your review policy can include anything you feel is relevant. For example, think about what kinds of posts you will consider, what genres you want to cover, and whether you want to post negative reviews too. Then, figure out if you only want to post on your blog , or other websites too like Goodreads or Amazon. If publishers offer you the book in exchange for a review, which formats do you accept – print only, or PDFs too?

9. Organize Your Archives

When I find an interesting book review blog, I always want to browse through the books they reviewed, interested to see what the author says about my favorite titles. That’s why I, and other book review readers, always appreciate an easy-to-access blog post archive.

10. Be Social and Get in Touch With Other Bloggers

Once you’re all set up and start publishing content on your new book review website, it’s time to help spread the word. The particular way you choose to advertise your blog doesn’t matter much – the goal is simply to help your blog reach the people who would love to read content like yours. You can market your blog by interacting with other book bloggers (leaving meaningful comments on their content or following each other on social media). Another way to advertise your blog is through social media, and I especially recommend posting your reviews on Goodreads with a link leading to your site.

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Closing words

This is a basic overview of the process, but it should get you started on the right path. Please never give up on your dream of becoming a successful blogger. It takes persistence and determination, but I’m sure that you can do it. Just prepare for a few months of silence before you get some feedback from your readers. This is the most difficult point, but once you cross that line, everything becomes more exciting. Next up, you may want to check the list of the top traditional book publishers who may be interested in your manuscript.

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Rafal Reyzer

Rafal Reyzer

Hey there, welcome to my blog! I'm a full-time blogger, educator, digital marketer, freelance writer, editor, and content manager with 10+ years of experience. I started RafalReyzer.com to provide you with great tools and strategies you can use to become a proficient writer and achieve freedom through online creativity. My site is a one-stop shop for writers, digital marketers, and content enthusiasts who want to be independent, earn more money, and create beautiful things. Dive into my journey here , and don't miss out on my free PDF guide 80+ AI marketing tools .

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Rachelle Rea Cobb

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10 Steps to Writing a Book Review Guaranteed to Turn Readers into Fans

Do you love spreading the word about your  favorite authors ?  Here are some simple  steps to writing a book review  that is sure to communicate to others how much you love your latest read (or don’t!).

1. Include an Image of the Cover

The image draws in your fellow reader. Yes, they are judging the book by the cover, so choose a good image, rather than one that’s blurry or fuzzy. Directly beneath the cover, provide the short summary of the story (otherwise known as back cover copy) provided by the publisher.

2. Link to a Purchase Page

Highlight the cover and link the cover  to a purchase page. Don’t just paste the link in the body of your post.  Additionally, any time you say  the book or the title, link those words to a purchase page.

(Are you an Amazon affiliate who plans on using your affiliate links as purchase links? Keep reading to learn how to properly disclose.)

3. Share What You Loved

Hint: There is no correct way to structure your book review.

You don’t even have to have a consistent structure! Some book review bloggers prefer to just write about the book. I applaud them, but I’m a list-maker, so I like  to use the “sandwich” method and start with something positive that I liked about the book. Sometimes it’s the vivid writing, the well-developed plot, or the fact that I couldn’t put it down.  I praise the author for writing done right.  It is my pleasure to say thank-you to authors who wrote a book I enjoyed reading.

Few things are too silly to put in this section of your review. If you stayed up until 2 a.m., your readers want to know! If you have peanut butter on a page because you couldn’t put the book down even to make your lunch, they’ll laugh with you. If you were so into the book that you tripped walking up the stairs, they just might start to wonder where they can get the book for themselves.

Yes, I’ve done that!

Tech Tip: Each time you mention the author’s name, link to their website.

4. Share What You Didn’t Like as Much

This is the part book review bloggers never like to write. Especially if I know the author. It’s hard to write something less-than-praiseworthy about a book. If I am reviewing it, I probably liked it, but I don’t fall head-over-heels in love with every story.

Still, our goal as book bloggers is to write honest reviews.  Include whether or not the hero annoyed you, the heroine seemed  too  perfect, or if the ending sagged.  Read an example of a critical comment here.

I have it on good authority that authors would prefer you kindly pointing out what you didn’t love about their book. Rather than choosing not to write a review because you would rather not say anything negative.

5. Explain Why You Recommend this Book

I sometimes leave out this section, but more often than not I make sure to point out who  I recommend the book to (historical fiction fans, YA lovers, etc.).  I want my friends to laugh at the heroine’s antics, sob when that beloved secondary character dies. I want them to enjoy that happy sigh when they read The End. This is one last opportunity for you to exclaim over the excellent writing or sigh over the sweet romance.

Book review bloggers have the privilege of influencing. Readers want to know who might enjoy the book you’re promoting!

how to support your favorite books

6. Tell Us About the Author

I always include a snippet of who the author is.  Readers usually want to know about the person behind the story.  I copy and paste the short biography included on the author’s website. I always make sure to include a link to the author’s blog.

7. Include Fun Extras and Links

  • Does the book have  a book trailer ? Link to it!
  • Does the author have  a Facebook page, a Twitter profile, or  a Pinterest board  devoted to the book you’re reviewing? Link to them!
  • Have you written  reviews of the author’s other books ? Link to them!
  • Does the book remind you of  a song  you heard on the radio? Link to it!

Tech Tip:   The more links scattered throughout your post, the more search engines will love it (SEO).  View an example of my typical Extras section here.

8. Post your Review

In addition to my blog and  book review page , I always post my review in as many of these places as I can:

  • Goodreads  
  • Christian Book Distributors  
  • Books A Million  

The more places your review is posted, the more support for the author and publisher!

Tech Tip:  Consider starting a pinboard with covers of your favorite books (or books that you know you want to read). Pin the covers of the books you review directly from your blog, so they link to your review. 

10 essential steps to writing a book review

9. Join a Book Review Bloggers Program

Request or receive free  books from these networks and write up reviews on your blog & retail sites.

  • HarperCollins: BookLook Bloggers
  • Zondervan Teens: Z Street Team
  • Revell Reads Blog Tour Program
  • Tyndale Blog Network
  • Bethany House Blogger Review Program
  • Moody Publishers Blogger Review Program
  • B&H Blogger Network

I also adore the Hoopla app, which allows me to borrow five e-books for free each month. It’s easy! Just sign up with your library card.

10. Always Include a Disclosure

If you receive a book from a publisher or author to review, you must mention that in your review. This is required by law, not so that readers will think you’ve been bribed, but so that they will know you have been given the book. If you are an affiliate with Amazon or another source, you also must mention that the review contains affiliate links ( before the link).

Example:   Click here to read my full disclosure.

Download the checklist

Never forget any of these key components to writing quality book reviews again! (Plus when you enter your email address below to download the checklist, you’ll receive access to my library of resources for writers + bloggers!)

More Resources

  • 20 Ways to Support Your Favorite Books
  • How to Write Creative Book Reviews, Jessica Telian
  • 7 Ways to Write Good Book Reviews, The Savvy Book Marketer
  • Can’t judge a book by its…review? Kindred Grace
  • Creating Buzz About Your Favorite Books, Kindred Grace

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Rachelle Rea Cobb

The Write Practice

How to Write a Book Review: The Complete Guide

by Sue Weems | 23 comments

If you've ever loved (or hated) a book, you may have been tempted to review it. Here's a complete guide to how to write a book review, so you can share your literary adventures with other readers more often! 

How to Write a Book Review: The Complete Guide

You finally reach the last page of a book that kept you up all night and close it with the afterglow of satisfaction and a tinge of regret that it’s over. If you enjoyed the book enough to stay up reading it way past your bedtime, consider writing a review. It is one of the best gifts you can give an author.

Regardless of how much you know about how to write a book review, the author will appreciate hearing how their words touched you.

But as you face the five shaded stars and empty box, a blank mind strikes. What do I say? I mean, is this a book really deserving of five stars? How did it compare to Dostoevsky or Angelou or Dickens?

Maybe there’s an easier way to write a book review.

Want to learn how to write a book from start to finish? Check out How to Write a Book: The Complete Guide .

The Fallacy of Book Reviews

Once you’ve decided to give a review, you are faced with the task of deciding how many stars to give a book.

When I first started writing book reviews, I made the mistake of trying to compare a book to ALL BOOKS OF ALL TIME. (Sorry for the all caps, but that’s how it felt, like a James Earl Jones voice was asking me where to put this book in the queue of all books.)

Other readers find themselves comparing new titles to their favorite books. It's a natural comparison. But is it fair?

This is honestly why I didn’t give reviews of books for a long time. How can I compare a modern romance or historical fiction war novel with Dostoevsky? I can’t, and I shouldn’t.

I realized my mistake one day as I was watching (of all things) a dog show. In the final round, they trotted out dogs of all shapes, colors, and sizes. I thought, “How can a Yorkshire Terrier compete with a Basset Hound?” As if he'd read my mind, the announcer explained that each is judged by the standards for its breed.

This was my “Aha!” moment. I have to take a book on its own terms. The question is not, “How does this book compare to all books I’ve read?” but “How well did this book deliver what it promised for the intended audience?”

A review is going to reflect my personal experience with the book, but I can help potential readers by taking a minute to consider what the author intended. Let me explain what I mean. 

How to Write a Book Review: Consider a Book’s Promise

A book makes a promise with its cover, blurb, and first pages. It begins to set expectations the minute a reader views the thumbnail or cover. Those things indicate the genre, tone, and likely the major themes.

If a book cover includes a lip-locked couple in flowing linen on a beach, and I open to the first page to read about a pimpled vampire in a trench coat speaking like Mr. Knightly about his plan for revenge on the entire human race, there’s been a breach of contract before I even get to page two. These are the books we put down immediately (unless a mixed-message beachy cover combined with an Austen vampire story is your thing).

But what if the cover, blurb, and first pages are cohesive and perk our interest enough to keep reading? Then we have to think about what the book has promised us, which revolves around one key idea: What is the core story question and how well is it resolved?

Sometimes genre expectations help us answer this question: a romance will end with a couple who finds their way, a murder mystery ends with a solved case, a thriller’s protagonist beats the clock and saves the country or planet.

The stories we love most do those expected things in a fresh or surprising way with characters we root for from the first page. Even (and especially!) when a book doesn’t fit neatly in a genre category, we need to consider what the book promises on those first pages and decide how well it succeeds on the terms it sets for itself.

When I Don’t Know What to Write

About a month ago, I realized I was overthinking how to write a book review. Here at the Write Practice we have a longstanding tradition of giving critiques using the Oreo method : point out something that was a strength, then something we wondered about or that confused us, followed by another positive.

We can use this same structure to write a simple review when we finish books. Consider this book review format: 

[Book Title] by [book author] is about ___[plot summary in a sentence—no spoilers!]___. I chose this book based on ________. I really enjoyed ________. I wondered how ___________. Anyone who likes ____ will love this book.

Following this basic template can help you write an honest review about most any book, and it will give the author or publisher good information about what worked (and possibly what didn’t). You might write about the characters, the conflict, the setting, or anything else that captured you and kept you reading.

As an added bonus, you will be a stronger reader when you are able to express why you enjoyed parts of a book (just like when you critique!). After you complete a few, you’ll find it gets easier, and you won’t need the template anymore.

What if I Didn’t Like It?

Like professional book reviewers, you will have to make the call about when to leave a negative review. If I can’t give a book at least three stars, I usually don’t review it. Why? If I don’t like a book after a couple chapters, I put it down. I don’t review anything that I haven’t read the entire book.

Also, it may be that I’m not the target audience. The book might be well-written and well-reviewed with a great cover, and it just doesn’t capture me. Or maybe it's a book that just isn't hitting me right now for reasons that have nothing to do with the book and everything to do with my own reading life and needs. Every book is not meant for every reader.

If a book kept me reading all the way to the end and I didn’t like the ending? I would probably still review it, since there had to be enough good things going on to keep me reading to the end. I might mention in my review that the ending was less satisfying than I hoped, but I would still end with a positive.

How to Write a Book Review: Your Turn

As writers, we know how difficult it is to put down the words day after day. We are typically voracious readers. Let’s send some love back out to our fellow writers this week and review the most recent title we enjoyed.

What was the last book you read or reviewed? Do you ever find it hard to review a book? Share in the comments .

Now it's your turn. Think of the last book you read. Then, take fifteen minutes to write a review of it based on the template above. When you're done, share your review in the Pro Practice Workshop . For bonus points, post it on the book's page on Amazon and Goodreads, too!

Don't forget to leave feedback for your fellow writers! What new reads will you discover in the comments?

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Sue Weems is a writer, teacher, and traveler with an advanced degree in (mostly fictional) revenge. When she’s not rationalizing her love for parentheses (and dramatic asides), she follows a sailor around the globe with their four children, two dogs, and an impossibly tall stack of books to read. You can read more of her writing tips on her website .

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How to write a good book review.

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Have you ever stumbled upon a book review that just blew your mind? A review that made you itch to grab that book and flip through its pages? If you have, you know the power of a well-written book review. A good book review not only piques the interest of the reader but also provides valuable insights into the story and the author’s intentions. By learning how to write a book review, you can help fellow readers make informed decisions while exploring your passion for literature. With the right tools, you can craft a compelling review that might just inspire someone else to pick up that book and experience the magic themselves.

What is a Book Review?

People rely on book reviews to help them decide which books to invest their time and money in. Reviews provide potential readers with a glimpse into the content, style, and themes of a book, helping them make informed decisions. Moreover, book reviews are essential for authors, as they serve as a form of feedback, allowing them to grow and improve in their craft. They also play a crucial role in increasing the visibility of new books and supporting the literary ecosystem.

How to Write a Book Review Like a Pro (Ideal Book Review Format)

Ready to pen out a banger book review? Here’s a step-by-step guide on  how to write a good book  review:

Start with a Banging Hook

A powerful hook is essential to grab the reader’s attention and compel them to read on. A great way to start your review is by sharing a thought-provoking quote, a bold statement, or an intriguing question related to the book. This sets the tone for your review and entices the reader to learn more about the book.

Provide the Basic Book Information

While writing a book review should primarily focus on your thoughts and opinions, it’s important to include essential information about the book. Be sure to mention the title, author,  publisher , publication date, and genre. This helps your reader understand the context of your review and evaluate whether the book aligns with their interests.

Keep It Brief & Concise

A concise plot summary is an important part of a book review. It provides readers with a general understanding of the story without giving away any spoilers. Aim to give an overview of the main characters, setting, and central conflict, while keeping the summary brief and intriguing.

Discuss What You Liked About the Book

Now it’s time to dive into the heart of your review. Share what you loved about the book, whether it’s the author’s writing style, the character development, the pacing, or the themes. Be specific and provide examples from the text to illustrate your points. This helps your reader understand why you enjoyed the book and why they might enjoy it too.

Read More : How To Start a Book Blog

Mention Anything You Disliked About the Book

It’s important to maintain a balanced perspective in your review. If there were aspects of the book that didn’t resonate with you, share them. However, be constructive in your criticism and explain why you felt that way. This offers the reader a more rounded view of the book and allows them to evaluate whether the issues you raised might be deal-breakers for them.

Wrap Up Your Review in Style

As you approach the end of your review, summarize your thoughts and impressions of the book. Recap your main points and consider any lingering questions or thoughts you might have. This gives your review a sense of closure and leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

Read More : Should You Publish Your Book Through Amazon KDP? Pros And Cons

Seal the Deal with Your Recommendation

Your recommendation is a crucial part of the review, as it directly informs the reader whether the book is worth their time. Be clear and honest about your opinion, stating if you would recommend the book and to whom. Consider the target audience and suggest the type of reader who would most appreciate the book.

Give a Personal Book Rating

Including a personal rating is a great way to wrap up your review. Ratings can be numerical (e.g., out of 5 stars) or qualitative (e.g., “must-read” or “average”). This provides a quick summary of your thoughts and helps readers gauge your overall impression of the book.

Review Writing Tips: Learn from the Pros (with Examples)

Be honest, but respectful:.

Offer your genuine opinion, but avoid using harsh language or making personal attacks on the author. For example, instead of saying “The author has no talent for storytelling,” you could say, “The story felt disjointed and lacked a clear narrative flow.”

Use specific examples:

Support your opinions with quotes or examples from the book to make your points more convincing. For instance, “The dialogue between the characters felt natural and engaging, like when John and Jane discussed their childhood memories.”

Read More : Publishing Your Book Through Amazon For Free In 10 Easy Steps

Compare and contrast:

If you have read other books by the same author or in the same genre, draw comparisons to provide context. For example, “While this book shared some themes with the author’s previous work, it explored them in a more nuanced and thought-provoking manner.”

Be mindful of spoilers:

Avoid giving away key plot points or twists that could ruin the reading experience for others. Instead, use vague language or focus on your feelings and reactions to those moments.

Provide context for your opinions:

Explain why you felt a certain way, considering your personal experiences and preferences. For example, “As someone who loves historical fiction, I appreciated the author’s attention to detail and extensive research on the period.”

Read More: How Many Pages Should You Write for a Book?

Edit and proofread:

A well-written review demonstrates your credibility as a reviewer. Take the time to revise your work, checking for grammatical errors, typos, and unclear sentences.

Conclusion: A Well-Written Book Review

In summary, learning how to write a good book review involves mastering the format, providing essential information, sharing your likes and dislikes, and offering a recommendation. By following these guidelines and incorporating the tips provided, you can craft an engaging and insightful review that not only informs your fellow readers but also supports the literary community.

FAQs About Book Review Writing

How long should a book review be.

The length of a book review can vary depending on your audience and the platform on which it’s published. Typically, reviews can range from 300 to 1000 words. However, it’s essential to prioritize clarity and conciseness over word count.

Can I write a book review if I haven’t finished the book?

Ideally, you should finish the book before writing a review to provide a comprehensive and well-informed perspective. However, if you feel strongly about sharing your thoughts on an unfinished book, make sure to disclose this in your review.

Read More : How Much Does It Cost To Publish A Book?

Should I include spoilers in my book review?

It’s best to avoid spoilers in your book review, as they can ruin the reading experience for others. Instead, focus on sharing your thoughts and opinions without revealing key plot points or twists.

How can I improve my book review writing skills?

Practice makes perfect! Reading and analyzing other book reviews, experimenting with different writing styles, and seeking feedback from friends or writing groups can help you refine your skills and develop your unique voice as a review

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The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Book Reviews

What this handout is about.

This handout will help you write a book review, a report or essay that offers a critical perspective on a text. It offers a process and suggests some strategies for writing book reviews.

What is a review?

A review is a critical evaluation of a text, event, object, or phenomenon. Reviews can consider books, articles, entire genres or fields of literature, architecture, art, fashion, restaurants, policies, exhibitions, performances, and many other forms. This handout will focus on book reviews. For a similar assignment, see our handout on literature reviews .

Above all, a review makes an argument. The most important element of a review is that it is a commentary, not merely a summary. It allows you to enter into dialogue and discussion with the work’s creator and with other audiences. You can offer agreement or disagreement and identify where you find the work exemplary or deficient in its knowledge, judgments, or organization. You should clearly state your opinion of the work in question, and that statement will probably resemble other types of academic writing, with a thesis statement, supporting body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Typically, reviews are brief. In newspapers and academic journals, they rarely exceed 1000 words, although you may encounter lengthier assignments and extended commentaries. In either case, reviews need to be succinct. While they vary in tone, subject, and style, they share some common features:

  • First, a review gives the reader a concise summary of the content. This includes a relevant description of the topic as well as its overall perspective, argument, or purpose.
  • Second, and more importantly, a review offers a critical assessment of the content. This involves your reactions to the work under review: what strikes you as noteworthy, whether or not it was effective or persuasive, and how it enhanced your understanding of the issues at hand.
  • Finally, in addition to analyzing the work, a review often suggests whether or not the audience would appreciate it.

Becoming an expert reviewer: three short examples

Reviewing can be a daunting task. Someone has asked for your opinion about something that you may feel unqualified to evaluate. Who are you to criticize Toni Morrison’s new book if you’ve never written a novel yourself, much less won a Nobel Prize? The point is that someone—a professor, a journal editor, peers in a study group—wants to know what you think about a particular work. You may not be (or feel like) an expert, but you need to pretend to be one for your particular audience. Nobody expects you to be the intellectual equal of the work’s creator, but your careful observations can provide you with the raw material to make reasoned judgments. Tactfully voicing agreement and disagreement, praise and criticism, is a valuable, challenging skill, and like many forms of writing, reviews require you to provide concrete evidence for your assertions.

Consider the following brief book review written for a history course on medieval Europe by a student who is fascinated with beer:

Judith Bennett’s Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England: Women’s Work in a Changing World, 1300-1600, investigates how women used to brew and sell the majority of ale drunk in England. Historically, ale and beer (not milk, wine, or water) were important elements of the English diet. Ale brewing was low-skill and low status labor that was complimentary to women’s domestic responsibilities. In the early fifteenth century, brewers began to make ale with hops, and they called this new drink “beer.” This technique allowed brewers to produce their beverages at a lower cost and to sell it more easily, although women generally stopped brewing once the business became more profitable.

The student describes the subject of the book and provides an accurate summary of its contents. But the reader does not learn some key information expected from a review: the author’s argument, the student’s appraisal of the book and its argument, and whether or not the student would recommend the book. As a critical assessment, a book review should focus on opinions, not facts and details. Summary should be kept to a minimum, and specific details should serve to illustrate arguments.

Now consider a review of the same book written by a slightly more opinionated student:

Judith Bennett’s Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England: Women’s Work in a Changing World, 1300-1600 was a colossal disappointment. I wanted to know about the rituals surrounding drinking in medieval England: the songs, the games, the parties. Bennett provided none of that information. I liked how the book showed ale and beer brewing as an economic activity, but the reader gets lost in the details of prices and wages. I was more interested in the private lives of the women brewsters. The book was divided into eight long chapters, and I can’t imagine why anyone would ever want to read it.

There’s no shortage of judgments in this review! But the student does not display a working knowledge of the book’s argument. The reader has a sense of what the student expected of the book, but no sense of what the author herself set out to prove. Although the student gives several reasons for the negative review, those examples do not clearly relate to each other as part of an overall evaluation—in other words, in support of a specific thesis. This review is indeed an assessment, but not a critical one.

Here is one final review of the same book:

One of feminism’s paradoxes—one that challenges many of its optimistic histories—is how patriarchy remains persistent over time. While Judith Bennett’s Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England: Women’s Work in a Changing World, 1300-1600 recognizes medieval women as historical actors through their ale brewing, it also shows that female agency had its limits with the advent of beer. I had assumed that those limits were religious and political, but Bennett shows how a “patriarchal equilibrium” shut women out of economic life as well. Her analysis of women’s wages in ale and beer production proves that a change in women’s work does not equate to a change in working women’s status. Contemporary feminists and historians alike should read Bennett’s book and think twice when they crack open their next brewsky.

This student’s review avoids the problems of the previous two examples. It combines balanced opinion and concrete example, a critical assessment based on an explicitly stated rationale, and a recommendation to a potential audience. The reader gets a sense of what the book’s author intended to demonstrate. Moreover, the student refers to an argument about feminist history in general that places the book in a specific genre and that reaches out to a general audience. The example of analyzing wages illustrates an argument, the analysis engages significant intellectual debates, and the reasons for the overall positive review are plainly visible. The review offers criteria, opinions, and support with which the reader can agree or disagree.

Developing an assessment: before you write

There is no definitive method to writing a review, although some critical thinking about the work at hand is necessary before you actually begin writing. Thus, writing a review is a two-step process: developing an argument about the work under consideration, and making that argument as you write an organized and well-supported draft. See our handout on argument .

What follows is a series of questions to focus your thinking as you dig into the work at hand. While the questions specifically consider book reviews, you can easily transpose them to an analysis of performances, exhibitions, and other review subjects. Don’t feel obligated to address each of the questions; some will be more relevant than others to the book in question.

  • What is the thesis—or main argument—of the book? If the author wanted you to get one idea from the book, what would it be? How does it compare or contrast to the world you know? What has the book accomplished?
  • What exactly is the subject or topic of the book? Does the author cover the subject adequately? Does the author cover all aspects of the subject in a balanced fashion? What is the approach to the subject (topical, analytical, chronological, descriptive)?
  • How does the author support their argument? What evidence do they use to prove their point? Do you find that evidence convincing? Why or why not? Does any of the author’s information (or conclusions) conflict with other books you’ve read, courses you’ve taken or just previous assumptions you had of the subject?
  • How does the author structure their argument? What are the parts that make up the whole? Does the argument make sense? Does it persuade you? Why or why not?
  • How has this book helped you understand the subject? Would you recommend the book to your reader?

Beyond the internal workings of the book, you may also consider some information about the author and the circumstances of the text’s production:

  • Who is the author? Nationality, political persuasion, training, intellectual interests, personal history, and historical context may provide crucial details about how a work takes shape. Does it matter, for example, that the biographer was the subject’s best friend? What difference would it make if the author participated in the events they write about?
  • What is the book’s genre? Out of what field does it emerge? Does it conform to or depart from the conventions of its genre? These questions can provide a historical or literary standard on which to base your evaluations. If you are reviewing the first book ever written on the subject, it will be important for your readers to know. Keep in mind, though, that naming “firsts”—alongside naming “bests” and “onlys”—can be a risky business unless you’re absolutely certain.

Writing the review

Once you have made your observations and assessments of the work under review, carefully survey your notes and attempt to unify your impressions into a statement that will describe the purpose or thesis of your review. Check out our handout on thesis statements . Then, outline the arguments that support your thesis.

Your arguments should develop the thesis in a logical manner. That logic, unlike more standard academic writing, may initially emphasize the author’s argument while you develop your own in the course of the review. The relative emphasis depends on the nature of the review: if readers may be more interested in the work itself, you may want to make the work and the author more prominent; if you want the review to be about your perspective and opinions, then you may structure the review to privilege your observations over (but never separate from) those of the work under review. What follows is just one of many ways to organize a review.

Introduction

Since most reviews are brief, many writers begin with a catchy quip or anecdote that succinctly delivers their argument. But you can introduce your review differently depending on the argument and audience. The Writing Center’s handout on introductions can help you find an approach that works. In general, you should include:

  • The name of the author and the book title and the main theme.
  • Relevant details about who the author is and where they stand in the genre or field of inquiry. You could also link the title to the subject to show how the title explains the subject matter.
  • The context of the book and/or your review. Placing your review in a framework that makes sense to your audience alerts readers to your “take” on the book. Perhaps you want to situate a book about the Cuban revolution in the context of Cold War rivalries between the United States and the Soviet Union. Another reviewer might want to consider the book in the framework of Latin American social movements. Your choice of context informs your argument.
  • The thesis of the book. If you are reviewing fiction, this may be difficult since novels, plays, and short stories rarely have explicit arguments. But identifying the book’s particular novelty, angle, or originality allows you to show what specific contribution the piece is trying to make.
  • Your thesis about the book.

Summary of content

This should be brief, as analysis takes priority. In the course of making your assessment, you’ll hopefully be backing up your assertions with concrete evidence from the book, so some summary will be dispersed throughout other parts of the review.

The necessary amount of summary also depends on your audience. Graduate students, beware! If you are writing book reviews for colleagues—to prepare for comprehensive exams, for example—you may want to devote more attention to summarizing the book’s contents. If, on the other hand, your audience has already read the book—such as a class assignment on the same work—you may have more liberty to explore more subtle points and to emphasize your own argument. See our handout on summary for more tips.

Analysis and evaluation of the book

Your analysis and evaluation should be organized into paragraphs that deal with single aspects of your argument. This arrangement can be challenging when your purpose is to consider the book as a whole, but it can help you differentiate elements of your criticism and pair assertions with evidence more clearly. You do not necessarily need to work chronologically through the book as you discuss it. Given the argument you want to make, you can organize your paragraphs more usefully by themes, methods, or other elements of the book. If you find it useful to include comparisons to other books, keep them brief so that the book under review remains in the spotlight. Avoid excessive quotation and give a specific page reference in parentheses when you do quote. Remember that you can state many of the author’s points in your own words.

Sum up or restate your thesis or make the final judgment regarding the book. You should not introduce new evidence for your argument in the conclusion. You can, however, introduce new ideas that go beyond the book if they extend the logic of your own thesis. This paragraph needs to balance the book’s strengths and weaknesses in order to unify your evaluation. Did the body of your review have three negative paragraphs and one favorable one? What do they all add up to? The Writing Center’s handout on conclusions can help you make a final assessment.

Finally, a few general considerations:

  • Review the book in front of you, not the book you wish the author had written. You can and should point out shortcomings or failures, but don’t criticize the book for not being something it was never intended to be.
  • With any luck, the author of the book worked hard to find the right words to express her ideas. You should attempt to do the same. Precise language allows you to control the tone of your review.
  • Never hesitate to challenge an assumption, approach, or argument. Be sure, however, to cite specific examples to back up your assertions carefully.
  • Try to present a balanced argument about the value of the book for its audience. You’re entitled—and sometimes obligated—to voice strong agreement or disagreement. But keep in mind that a bad book takes as long to write as a good one, and every author deserves fair treatment. Harsh judgments are difficult to prove and can give readers the sense that you were unfair in your assessment.
  • A great place to learn about book reviews is to look at examples. The New York Times Sunday Book Review and The New York Review of Books can show you how professional writers review books.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Drewry, John. 1974. Writing Book Reviews. Boston: Greenwood Press.

Hoge, James. 1987. Literary Reviewing. Charlottesville: University Virginia of Press.

Sova, Dawn, and Harry Teitelbaum. 2002. How to Write Book Reports , 4th ed. Lawrenceville, NY: Thomson/Arco.

Walford, A.J. 1986. Reviews and Reviewing: A Guide. Phoenix: Oryx Press.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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The Only Book Review Templates You'll Ever Need

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The only book review templates you'll ever need.

The Only Book Review Templates You'll Ever Need

Whether you’re trying to become a book reviewer , writing a book report for school, or analyzing a book, it’s nice to follow a book review template to make sure that your thoughts are clearly presented. 

A quality template provides guidance to keep your mind sharp and your thoughts organized so that you can write the best book review possible. On Reedsy Discovery , we read and share a lot of book reviews, which helps us develop quite a clear idea what makes up a good one. With that in mind, we’ve put together some trustworthy book review templates that you can download, along with a quick run-through of all the parts that make up an outstanding review — all in this post! 

Pro-tip : But wait! How are you sure if you should become a book reviewer in the first place? If you're on the fence, or curious about your match with a book reviewing career, take our quick quiz:

Should you become a book reviewer?

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Book review templates for every type of review

With the rapid growth of the book community on Instagram, Youtube, and even TikTok, the world of book commentary has evolved far beyond your classic review. There are now many ways you can structure a book review. Some popular formats include:

  • Book reports — often done for school assignments; 
  • Commentary articles — think in-depth reviews in magazines and newspapers; 
  • Book blog reviews — short personal essays about the book; and
  • Instagram reviews — one or two-paragraph reviews captioned under a nice photo. 

But while the text in all these review styles can be organized in different ways, there are certain boxes that all good book reviews tick. So, instead of giving you various templates to use for different occasions, we’ve condensed it down to just two book review templates (one for fiction and one for nonfiction) that can guide your thoughts and help you nail just about any review. 

how to write a book review for blog

⭐ Download our free fiction book review template  

⭐ Download our free nonfiction book review template  

All you need to do is answer the questions in the template regarding the book you’re reading and you’ve got the content of your review covered. Once that’s done, you can easily put this content into its appropriate format. 

Now, if you’re curious about what constitutes a good book review template, we’ll explain it in the following section! 

Elements of a book review template

Say you want to build your own book review template, or you want to customize our templates — here are the elements you’ll want to consider. 

We’ve divided our breakdown of the elements into two categories: the essentials and the fun additions that’ll add some color to your book reviews.

What are the three main parts of a book review?

We covered this in detail (with the help of some stellar examples) in our post on how to write a book review , but basically, these are the three crucial elements you should know: 

The summary covers the premise of the book and its main theme, so readers are able to understand what you’re referring to in the rest of your review. This means that, if a person hasn’t read the book, they can go through the summary to get a quick idea of what it’s about. (As such, there should be no spoilers!) 

The analysis is where, if it’s a fiction book, you talk more about the book, its plot, theme, and characters. If it’s nonfiction, you have to consider whether the book effectively achieves what it set out to do. 

The recommendation is where your personal opinion comes in the strongest, and you give a verdict as to who you think might enjoy this book. 

You can choose to be brief or detailed, depending on the kind of review you’re writing, but you should always aim to cover these three points. If you’re needing some inspiration, check out these 17 book review examples as seen in magazines, blogs, and review communities like Reedsy Discovery for a little variation. 

Which review community should you join?

Find out which review community is best for your style. Takes 30 seconds!

Which additional details can you include?

Once you’ve nailed down the basics, you can jazz things up a little and add some personal flavor to your book review by considering some of these elements:

  • A star-rating (the default is five stars but you can create your own scales); 
  • A bullet-point pros and cons list; 
  • Your favorite quotation from the book; 
  • Commentary on the format you read (i.e., ebook, print, or audiobook);
  • Fun facts about the book or author; 
  • Other titles you think are similar.

This is where you can really be creative and tailor your review to suit your purpose and audience. A formal review written for a magazine, for instance, will likely benefit from contextual information about the author and the book, along with some comment on how that might have affected the reading (or even writing) process.

Meanwhile, if you’re reviewing a book on social media, you might find bullet points more effective at capturing the fleeting attention of Internet users. You can also make videos, take creative pictures, or even add your own illustrations for more personal touches. The floor is yours at this point, so go ahead and take the spotlight! 

That said, we hope that our templates can provide you with a strong foundation for even your most adventurous reviews. And if you’re interested in writing editorial reviews for up-and-coming indie titles, register as a reviewer on Reedsy Discovery !

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Writing a book review?

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How to Write a Book Review: Awesome Guide

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A book review allows students to illustrate the author's intentions of writing the piece, as well as create a criticism of the book — as a whole. In other words, form an opinion of the author's presented ideas. Check out this guide from EssayPro — book review writing service to learn how to write a book review successfully.

What Is a Book Review?

You may prosper, “what is a book review?”. Book reviews are commonly assigned students to allow them to show a clear understanding of the novel. And to check if the students have actually read the book. The essay format is highly important for your consideration, take a look at the book review format below.

Book reviews are assigned to allow students to present their own opinion regarding the author’s ideas included in the book or passage. They are a form of literary criticism that analyzes the author’s ideas, writing techniques, and quality. A book analysis is entirely opinion-based, in relevance to the book. They are good practice for those who wish to become editors, due to the fact, editing requires a lot of criticism.

Book Review Template

The book review format includes an introduction, body, and conclusion.

  • Introduction
  • Describe the book cover and title.
  • Include any subtitles at this stage.
  • Include the Author’s Name.
  • Write a brief description of the novel.
  • Briefly introduce the main points of the body in your book review.
  • Avoid mentioning any opinions at this time.
  • Use about 3 quotations from the author’s novel.
  • Summarize the quotations in your own words.
  • Mention your own point-of-view of the quotation.
  • Remember to keep every point included in its own paragraph.
  • In brief, summarize the quotations.
  • In brief, summarize the explanations.
  • Finish with a concluding sentence.
  • This can include your final opinion of the book.
  • Star-Rating (Optional).

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How to Write a Book Review: Step-By-Step

Writing a book review is something that can be done with every novel. Book reviews can apply to all novels, no matter the genre. Some genres may be harder than others. On the other hand, the book review format remains the same. Take a look at these step-by-step instructions from our professional writers to learn how to write a book review in-depth.

how to write a book review

Step 1: Planning

Create an essay outline which includes all of the main points you wish to summarise in your book analysis. Include information about the characters, details of the plot, and some other important parts of your chosen novel. Reserve a body paragraph for each point you wish to talk about.

Consider these points before writing:

  • What is the plot of the book? Understanding the plot enables you to write an effective review.
  • Is the plot gripping? Does the plot make you want to continue reading the novel? Did you enjoy the plot? Does it manage to grab a reader’s attention?
  • Are the writing techniques used by the author effective? Does the writer imply factors in-between the lines? What are they?
  • Are the characters believable? Are the characters logical? Does the book make the characters are real while reading?
  • Would you recommend the book to anyone? The most important thing: would you tell others to read this book? Is it good enough? Is it bad?
  • What could be better? Keep in mind the quotes that could have been presented better. Criticize the writer.

Step 2: Introduction

Presumably, you have chosen your book. To begin, mention the book title and author’s name. Talk about the cover of the book. Write a thesis statement regarding the fictitious story or non-fictional novel. Which briefly describes the quoted material in the book review.

Step 3: Body

Choose a specific chapter or scenario to summarise. Include about 3 quotes in the body. Create summaries of each quote in your own words. It is also encouraged to include your own point-of-view and the way you interpret the quote. It is highly important to have one quote per paragraph.

Step 4: Conclusion

Write a summary of the summarised quotations and explanations, included in the body paragraphs. After doing so, finish book analysis with a concluding sentence to show the bigger picture of the book. Think to yourself, “Is it worth reading?”, and answer the question in black and white. However, write in-between the lines. Avoid stating “I like/dislike this book.”

Step 5: Rate the Book (Optional)

After writing a book review, you may want to include a rating. Including a star-rating provides further insight into the quality of the book, to your readers. Book reviews with star-ratings can be more effective, compared to those which don’t. Though, this is entirely optional.

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book review order

Writing Tips

Here is the list of tips for the book review:

tips for book review

  • A long introduction can certainly lower one’s grade: keep the beginning short. Readers don’t like to read the long introduction for any essay style.
  • It is advisable to write book reviews about fiction: it is not a must. Though, reviewing fiction can be far more effective than writing about a piece of nonfiction
  • Avoid Comparing: avoid comparing your chosen novel with other books you have previously read. Doing so can be confusing for the reader.
  • Opinion Matters: including your own point-of-view is something that is often encouraged when writing book reviews.
  • Refer to Templates: a book review template can help a student get a clearer understanding of the required writing style.
  • Don’t be Afraid to Criticize: usually, your own opinion isn’t required for academic papers below Ph.D. level. On the other hand, for book reviews, there’s an exception.
  • Use Positivity: include a fair amount of positive comments and criticism.
  • Review The Chosen Novel: avoid making things up. Review only what is presented in the chosen book.
  • Enjoyed the book? If you loved reading the book, state it. Doing so makes your book analysis more personalized.

Writing a book review is something worth thinking about. Professors commonly assign this form of an assignment to students to enable them to express a grasp of a novel. Following the book review format is highly useful for beginners, as well as reading step-by-step instructions. Writing tips is also useful for people who are new to this essay type. If you need a book review or essay, ask our book report writing services ' write paper for me ' and we'll give you a hand asap!

We also recommend that everyone read the article about essay topics . It will help broaden your horizons in writing a book review as well as other papers.

Book Review Examples

Referring to a book review example is highly useful to those who wish to get a clearer understanding of how to review a book. Take a look at our examples written by our professional writers. Click on the button to open the book review examples and feel free to use them as a reference.

Book review

Kenneth Grahame’s ‘The Wind in the Willows’

Kenneth Grahame’s ‘The Wind in the Willows’ is a novel aimed at youngsters. The plot, itself, is not American humor, but that of Great Britain. In terms of sarcasm, and British-related jokes. The novel illustrates a fair mix of the relationships between the human-like animals, and wildlife. The narrative acts as an important milestone in post-Victorian children’s literature.

Book Review

Dr. John’s ‘Pollution’

Dr. John’s ‘Pollution’ consists of 3 major parts. The first part is all about the polluted ocean. The second being about the pollution of the sky. The third part is an in-depth study of how humans can resolve these issues. The book is a piece of non-fiction that focuses on modern-day pollution ordeals faced by both animals and humans on Planet Earth. It also focuses on climate change, being the result of the global pollution ordeal.

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Book Review Writing

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How to Write a Book Review - A Step By Step Guide

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Published on: May 21, 2019

Last updated on: Nov 16, 2023

How to Write a Book Review

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Book Review Examples to Help You Get Started

A Complete Book Review Format Guide For Students

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Ever stare at a blank page, wondering how to spill your thoughts about a book onto it? You're not alone!

Crafting a compelling book review can be as daunting as facing a dragon in a fantasy novel. The struggle is real. How do you structure your thoughts? And most importantly, how do you make it enjoyable, both for you and your readers?

Fear not, because we've got you covered.

In this guide, we'll take you step by step through the process. We'll share some useful tips and show you real examples. From organizing your review to nailing the writing part, we've got everything covered. 

So let's dive in!

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What is a Book Review?

A book review is a critical evaluation of a literary work that provides a reader's perspective on its strengths and weaknesses. It goes beyond summarizing the plot, diving into aspects like character development, writing style, and thematic elements. 

Through insightful analysis, a book review offers potential readers a nuanced understanding, guiding them in making informed choices. It serves as a valuable tool for both readers and authors, offering constructive feedback for continuous improvement.

How to Write a Book Review?

Let's break down the steps of writing a book review:

Step 1: Read the Book Thoroughly

Read the book attentively, taking note of major plot points, character developments, and any recurring themes. Ensure a clear understanding of the author's narrative choices.

Example: 

Step 2: Understand the Author's Intent

Research the author's background, previous works, and writing style. Consider the book's genre and its place in the author's overall body of work to understand their intent.

Step 3: Identify the Target Audience

Determine the ideal reader for the book. Assess how well the author caters to this audience and whether the content is appropriate for the intended readership.

Step 4: Compose an Engaging Introduction

Start with a captivating hook, such as an interesting fact or a thought-provoking question. Provide essential information about the book, including the title, author, and genre.

Step 5: Summarize the Plot Concisely

Provide a brief overview of the plot without revealing spoilers. Focus on the key events that drive the narrative forward.

Step 6: Evaluate Character Development

Discuss the characters' depth and growth throughout the story. Analyze their relevance to the overall plot and note any notable character traits.

Step 7: Assess Writing Style and Language

Evaluate the author's writing style and language choices. Comment on how these elements contribute to or hinder the overall reading experience.

Step 8: Explore Themes and Symbolism

Identify central themes and discuss their significance in the book. Look for symbolism or motifs that enhance the overall meaning of the narrative.

Step 9: Critique the Ending 

Evaluate how well the conclusion wraps up the story. Discuss whether it is satisfying or if it leaves room for interpretation. Avoid giving away crucial plot details.

Step 10: Share Personal Insights

Express your personal reactions and emotions toward the book. Support your opinions with specific examples or passages from the text that resonated with you.

Step 11: Maintain Objectivity 

Balance criticism with praise. Provide constructive feedback without solely focusing on negative aspects. Base your arguments on evidence from the book.

Step 12: Consider the Book's Impact

Reflect on the lasting impression the book leaves. Discuss its significance in a broader literary context and consider its potential influence on readers.

Step 13: Craft a Conclusion

Summarize the key points discussed in your review. Provide a final assessment of the book and recommend it to specific audiences based on its strengths.

Step 14: Revise and Proofread 

Polish your review for clarity and coherence. Check for grammatical errors, and typos, and ensure a professional presentation. Consider seeking feedback from others for additional perspectives.

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Book Review Format

In this section, we'll explore how to write a book review format, particularly focusing on the formatting guidelines. Let's explore the essential guidelines that make up a compelling book review: 

Title Page:

  • Boldly display the book title centered at the top.
  • Include the author's name beneath the title.
  • Mention the publication date and edition if applicable.

Page Formatting:

  • Use standard letter-sized paper (8.5 x 11 inches).
  • Set 1-inch margins on all sides for a clean appearance.

Text Formatting:

  • Choose a legible font like Times New Roman or Arial.
  • Use a 12-point font size for the main text.
  • Italicize book titles and maintain consistency in formatting throughout.

Line Spacing:

  • Double-space the entire review for readability.
  • Single space within paragraphs for a balanced look.

If you want to learn the details of structuring and formatting a book review check out our “ book review format ” blog!

Book Review Template

Let’s take a look at a sample book review writing template: 

Note: The template provided is a general guide, and the structure can vary based on personal preferences or specific requirements. 

Book Review Examples

Examples are a great source to learn something new. That’s why below we have provided some book review examples that you can read to understand what it takes to write a great book review.

Fictional Book Review

Here is how to write a book review for a fiction book: 

Non-Fiction Book Review

Here is how to write a book review sample for a non-fictional book: 

How to Write a Book Review PDF Samples

We have collected a bunch of samples for your how to write a book review example queries. Check out and download to enhance your learning: 

Short Book Review For Students

How To Write A Book Review For School

How To Write A Book Review For College

How To Write A Book Review University

Need more examples for better understanding? Check out our book review examples blog for a range of sample book reviews.

Book Review Sample Topics

If you are looking for more book reviews, we have compiled some potential book review topics often designated for student assignments:

  • "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien Discuss the epic fantasy, world-building, and themes of friendship and power.
  • "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen Explore the societal norms and romantic elements in Austen's beloved novel.
  • "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins Analyze the dystopian world, social commentary, and character development in this modern YA classic.
  • "The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton Examine the portrayal of social issues and youth identity in this coming-of-age novel.
  • "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley Discuss the futuristic society, technology, and ethical dilemmas in Huxley's dystopian masterpiece.
  • "The Color Purple" by Alice Walker Analyze the narrative of oppression, resilience, and empowerment in Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.
  • "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini Explore themes of guilt, redemption, and the impact of personal choices in this powerful novel.
  • "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak Reflect on the impact of literature and the resilience of the human spirit during World War II.
  • "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde Analyze the moral decadence and the consequences of aestheticism in Wilde's classic novel.
  • "The Joy Luck Club" by Amy Tan Examine the intergenerational relationships and cultural dynamics in Tan's exploration of Chinese-American experiences.

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Tips to Write a Book Review Effectively

Here are some essential tips for writing a top-notch book review: 

  • Capture Emotions: Express how the book made you feel. Readers connect with genuine emotional responses.
  • Highlight Unique Aspects: Bring attention to distinctive elements—be it writing style, character depth, or unusual plot twists.
  • Avoid Spoilers: Maintain intrigue by avoiding detailed plot revelations. Let readers discover the story organically.
  • Compare Similar Works: Draw comparisons with other books in the same genre to provide context and perspective.
  • Proper Content Breakdown: Organize your review into distinct body paragraphs, each focusing on a specific aspect like plot, characters, and themes.
  • Consider the Audience: Tailor your review to the likely readership. Evaluate the book's appeal within its target audience.
  • Balance Critique: Offer constructive criticism without solely focusing on flaws. Acknowledge the book's strengths and weaknesses. Also, your thesis statement should guide the overarching tone and focus of your critique.
  • Connect with Themes: Discuss underlying themes and how they resonate with broader societal or personal contexts.
  • Use Vivid Language: Craft your review with descriptive language. Paint a vivid picture without giving away too much.
  • Relate to the Author: Explore the author's background, writing influences, or any personal connections that enhance understanding.
  • Encourage Discussion: Pose questions or points for discussion to engage readers and stimulate conversation.

Wrapping it Up!

This step-by-step guide has equipped you with the tools to craft a compelling book review. From understanding the book's essence to expressing your personal reactions, we've covered it all.  Remember, a well-crafted review is an art that combines analysis and emotion. 

If you find yourself struggling with your book review assignment or seeking professional guidance, don't hesitate to reach out. Our expert writers at MyPerfectWords.com are here to provide the best online writing service . 

Your academic success is our priority. Reach out to us today, and let's turn your book review assignment into a masterpiece!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 4 stages of a book review.

The 4 stages of reviewing a book are:

  • Introduction the book
  • Drafting an outline of its major chapters
  • Highlighting the significant details of the book
  • Writing a detailed evaluation

What are the parts of a book review?

The main parts of a book review are as following:

  • Summary of the book
  • Background details of the book
  • Credits: author, publisher, etc.
  • Plot and setting

What is the goal of a book review?

The purpose of the book review is to convey information about a particular book in an understandable way. It can be used as a tool by other people who want to know what your review about the book is or how it compares to their own expectations.

Cathy A. (Literature, Marketing)

Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.

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Book Blogging: How To Start A Book In 7 Easy Steps

This post may contain affiliate links that earn us a commission at no extra cost to you.

Blogging about books is the absolute best. Learn how to start a book blog as a hobby or one that makes money with TUL’s book blogging for beginners tutorial.

We’ll teach you how to create your own book blog website from scratch. Plus, learn about the importance of branding, and see how to receive free books. Work with book affiliates and high-paying ad networks like Mediavine. 

Lastly, discover how to write a book review and market your book blog on social media — all from a full-time, professional book blogger.

With this Book Blogging 101 Guide, we hope you’ll leave knowing how to start a thriving book blog that people actually read and come back to over and over again. Let’s get started!

If you are looking for a quick glimpse of the book blogging tools we suggest, don’t miss our Master Blogging Resources Guide .

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Are you considering starting a book review blog for fun, as an extra side hustle, or for your career?

Did you know that you can receive free books from authors and publishers in exchange for honest reviews posted on your book blog?   Authors talk to you and work with you, too.

Have you wanted to create a kind and bookish community to discuss your favorite reads?

Do you just want everyone to know your bookish opinions and convert them to steampunk YA lovers?

Keep reading!

If you answered yes to any of these you should know that…

Book Blogging Affords You:

  • The opportunity to connect with like-minded people
  • READ TONS OF NEW BOOKS and even receive coveted advanced reading copies (ARCs)
  • Earn a little bit (or a lot) of extra side income, if that’s your jam

As an original hobby book blogger, in 2018 I decided to convert my book blog and website into a full-blown LLC.  While this may not be your personal book blogging goal, this article will tell you how to start a book blog as a hobby or business.

Non-book bloggers may find relevant blogging tips and tricks, too.

Table of Contents

How To Start A Book Blog: 7 Steps You Will Find In This Book Blogging Guide

  • Choose Your Blog Name And Domain (Wordpress Book Blogs, specifically)
  • Pick Your Blog Theme & Set Up Your Website
  • Build Your Book Blogging Pages Such As “About Me” and “Book Review Policy”
  • Start Reading Books And Requesting Free Titles From Professional Reviewing Databases
  • Write Your First Book Review Posts
  • Begin To Think About Social Media And Where You Want To Share Your Posts
  • Monetize Your Book Blog With Tasteful Affiliate Links

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As a full-fledged member of the blogging community, I work with many amazing and successful bloggers, website developers, and blogging teachers. I use only the best services. These are a few special book blogging discounts just for you to get you started:

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Let’s get onto learning how to make a book review blog.

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Book Blogging For Beginners: How To Start A Book Blog In 7 Easy Steps

Step 1: choose your blog name and domain, how to pick your book blogging identity: brand time.

You want everyone to know who you are and what you are about.  Your book blog title is essentially your brand.

As you consider a blog name and domain (meaning your www. address), you want a title that is catchy, descriptive, and unique.

Before you claim a brand, you want to make sure that no one else is using the name, has trademarked any part of the words or phrase, or snatched up all of its social media handles. 

For example, I am The Uncorked Librarian, which tells you that I love books and booze.  Everything I write about is related to books, booze, and travel.  In addition, I have my MLIS and worked in public libraries for 5 years.

I own all of the social media handles like instagram.com/theuncorkedlibrarian and facebook.com/theuncorkedlibrarian. I made sure that no one had a similar name to cause confusion, too.

Pro Book Blogging Tip: I also registered my book blog as an LLC .

Once you make over $400+ dollars a year, you are no longer a ‘hobby blog’ in the eyes of the government. When you register as an LLC, you also have to check for trademarks, copyright, and if others in your state are operating under the same business name.

You can read more about why you would want to register your blog as a business and single-member LLC here (along with how to pay self-employment taxes)→

The Uncorked Librarian Book Blogging Logo with woman sitting on books reading a book with travel icons floating on rainbow dust into an open suitcase

You want to stand out. Don’t mimic another brand. Be unequivocally YOU.

You also don’t want to use someone else’s established name or add numbers to your handles — that just looks spammy and is poor book blogging etiquette. Your readers and audience will struggle to find you or tell you apart from another book blogger. 

Copyright is another issue that you can run into, says this uncorked lady that consistently has to send Cease and Desist letters for stolen content. It’s illegal and comes with hefty fines. Don’t copy, don’t rewrite someone else’s articles as your own, and don’t plain out steal their content. Find inspiration and do your own thing.

The Uncorked Librarian Travel and Book Blog

What Else To Consider When Looking At Book Blog Names:

  • What is your book blog reviewing niche? – Will you focus on just young adult books or all adult fiction? Do you want a book club blog?  Will you discuss what new books to read? Will you write about books on blogging? Do you want to write romance book reviews?  Are you solely a book review blog?  Are you hoping to add other topics besides books?  For example, I am a book and travel blogger.  My blogging friends have food paired with their book summary blogs.  You get the idea…
  • Who is your book blog audience? – Who are you hoping will read your posts?  Mature readers? Teachers? Librarians? Readers that travel?  Readers that cook? Aspiring writers? Teens?  Families?  Homeschool moms? Fitness fanatics?

Where To Start A Blog: How To Create A Domain/Web Address For Your Book Review Blog

This step is where people freak out.   Don’t freak out .

There are a ton of free platforms to choose from like WP .com, Wix, or Blogger.    Those sites are free, especially if you use a domain that ends in wordpress . com .  

This is completely acceptable if you are a hobby blogger , never want to make money from your blog, never want to add book affiliate programs , or don’t have or want to spend the extra $50 this year to dedicate to a book blogging website.  This part will not tell you how to start a book blog on tumblr.  Sorry.

However , if you want to be a more serious book blogger–even as a hobby blogger–I highly recommend using SiteGround to buy a cheap domain using your selected blog name. 

You don’t want to be tispybooksandcake.wordpress .com.   That domain looks long and somewhat amateur these days. There are a ton of book bloggers out there.  

You want your domain to be tispsybooksandcake .com. Clean. Professional. Serious. Easy to find.

Authors, publishers, and search engines like Google will see you as a professional book blogger with your own customized domain. 

I also always recommend using .com versus .blog or .org.  Studies show that people prefer and trust .com.  This tip is more personal opinion/preference, though.

Branding Your Book Blog Tips Pinterest Pin with 1.Pick a unique name that suggests what your blog is about 2. Make sure all handles are open 3. Choose distinctive & easy to read fonts and colors 4. Create a defined niche & tagline 5. Determine your target audience

The Basic Steps To Claim Your Book Blogging Domain

If you decide to take the leap to self-hosting and invest in your book blog: Head over to SiteGround .  They have 24/7 chat support and are my favorite techs  alive.   I’m not kidding.  I run two websites through them (Uncorked Asheville is my second one), and I have used them for years.

I love to play around with my site and sometimes things go wonky.  I am amazing at crashing my site when I edit my code.    These people save my blog for free every time.    Their tech support staff consists of magical faeries.  

A domain name with SiteGround will cost you around $15.95 a year.

I also self-host with SiteGround, starting at $6.99 a month for beginners. Currently, I am on their largest plan since I have high blog traffic.  Because their long-term plans are cheaper, I also have a 3-year contract with them.

P.S. Even as a hobby book blogger, you can earn these investments back with basic affiliate links.

With SiteGround, you also need a FREE web-hosting platform — they will walk you through all of this.  I use Wordpress .org .  WP .org looks exactly like .com, but you have the freedom to include ads, download plugins, and pick any theme with customizations that you want (fonts, colors, styles). 

TUL Blogging Resources page mentions helpful, free plugins that you will love.

*Uncorked Extra* Blogging About Books Self-Hosting Tip:

Don’t forget that if you self-host with SiteGround, you can also create your own free and professional email address.  For example, my email is [email protected] .  Doesn’t that look more serious versus a gmail account?

Book Blogs Wordpress Favs

These are a few of my favorite Wordpress .org book blogs that I follow:

Reader Voracious 

Lost Between The Pages

The Books Across

Literary Dates

how to write a book review for blog

Step 2: How Do You Start A Book Blog That Looks Great? Pick Your Blog Theme

Once you have your book blog name and domain secured, you have to design your new blog site. 

Before you start blogging about books, you have to ask yourself:  How do you want your posts to look?  Do you want a sidebar (as you get bigger the answer might be ‘yes’ for ad networks like Mediavine and popular posts)?  What colors do you want to be associated with your brand?

This book blogging step is incredibly easy.  Platforms like Wordpress, Blogger, and Wix offer free themes.  Pick a theme that:

  • Is visually appealing and you like
  • Is desktop and mobile-friendly
  • Boasts of working well with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) — basically tools that help search engines like Google index your site so others can find your reviews

You can also invest in a book blogging theme:

  • TUL — as well as my other site — for years used a Restored 316 design. Their themes are beautiful. Because I wanted a speedier site, though, I recently switched to Mediavine’s Trellis framework and themes.
  • Many of my travel and book blogging friends use themes found in StudioPress that equally look great. Many people also rave about GeneratePress .

Step 3: Build Your Book Blogging Pages

Domain secured; check.  Attractive blog in place; check.  Now let’s get started blogging about books.

Before you create book review posts, you need essential book blogging pages.  Pages are static posts that don’t go into your blog roll. Your essential book blogging pages will describe who you are and your book review policies.

A few pages you want as a book blogger:

About Me/About My Site/Meet Me

Use this About Me page to tell people who you are in a professional but fun and personal way.

How did you start this book review blog? Why book blogging?  What is your book blog specifically about (your niche)?  How are you qualified to review books? What value will they get from your book blog? Why follow you out of the thousands of book bloggers out there?

You want your audience to be able to connect and relate to you.  Tell them fun facts: Do you binge-watch Netflix ?  What is your favorite book?  What else do you do besides read?  I drink wine.

See my About Me page→

7 Essential Book Blogging Pages Pinterest Pin with About Me, Book Review Policy, Work With Me, Disclaimer, Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy and Contact Me

BOOK BLOG REVIEW POLICY

Your Book Review Policy is an essential book blogging page if you want to work directly with publishers and authors.  Once you become well known in the book community, authors and publishers will swarm you with requests to review books. 

You are now blogging for books–and oftentimes free and gifted ones. You have an obligation to be honest as well as try to review what you accept. 

HOWEVER: You cannot possibly review every book, even if you want to.   At times, you will have to turn authors away. Sometimes you might DNF a book and not want to review. Authors may get mad at you and even call you out. This is why a strong book review policy is so important.

Your Book Review Policy Should Include :

  • What genre you accept for review:  Do you solely read YA?  Is nonfiction your favorite?  What won’t you review?
  • What types of posts will you write: Single book reviews? Book lists?  Will you interview authors or accept guest posts?
  • Where will you showcase reviews: Goodreads?  Amazon? Twitter and Facebook?  Will you pin the review to Pinterest?
  • What will you do if the book is awful or boring: Do you retain the right to decline a review after receiving a free book?  Will you write a negative review or choose not to review at all?
  • Will you have a book rating system: Do you use stars? What do they mean?  P.S. I do not use a star-rating system on my blog.
  • How do authors and publishers contact you: Should they email you or use a contact form? What information do you need from them?
  • What book formats do you accept: ePUB, physical copies only, or PDFs?
  • How will you communicate with the author or publisher once the review is posted?

This my Book Review Policy→

NECESSARY LEGAL PAGES ON YOUR SITE FOR BOOK BLOGGING

Disclaimer, Terms & Conditions, and Privacy Policy

Know that whenever you accept free items as gifts or make money blogging, if you earn over a particular threshold, you have to pay taxes either as self-employed or as a business.

Although I am an LLC, as a single-member LLC, I must pay quarterly self-employment taxes.

Plus, as soon as you start writing your opinion, you have to think about book blogging legally and ethically.  There is Copyright Law to worry about, and you must disclose when you received free items. 

Once you start monetizing, especially in the U.S., you want to read FTC regulations .

I am not a lawyer, but a blogger in my community is. Amira from A Self-Guru is a lawyer and blogger who helps bloggers protect themselves, even if you only make a few hundred dollars a year from your blog.

Many bloggers starting a book blog make the mistake of forgetting essential legal pages.  Nope, the free ones online won’t cover you; trust me, I used to use them, which was bad.    Plus, ad programs like Adsense and Mediavine won’t accept you without a solid privacy policy.

So where can get you get Privacy and Terms and Condition policies that are legit, will protect you, and are fairly priced?

I highly recommend checking out Amira’s legal bundle with templates for a Privacy Policy, Disclaimer, and Terms and Conditions . Both of my sites use these with her Starter Plan. Use the code UncorkedSpecial for a surprise discount, too.

Step 4: Start Book Blogging! Read Books To Review And Request Free Titles

Free book source one- your local library.

As a newbie and if you want to get started book blogging right away, you can head to your local library and peruse the latest titles to review.

By already having books reviewed, your book blog will have samples of your work for authors and publishers to see in order to decide if your blog is worthy. 

Trust me, publishers screen your content, quality, engagement, and social media numbers.  Why give a free book to a blogger who writes poor reviews and has endless typos?

Booking Blogging Pro-Tip : I started creating more book lists with mini book reviews instead of writing full reviews. If receiving higher book blogging traffic is one of your goals, book lists are king.

Where Can You Get Free Books As A Book Blogger Pinterest Pin with suggestions for NetGalley, Edelweiss, Publisher, Author, Library

ARC Source Two- Professional Book Reviewing Databases

These are two free databases where book bloggers can apply for Advanced Reading Copies (ARCs) of books:

  • NetGalley – Personally, I love NetGalley as they have great new releases, publishers can auto-approve you, and once you are established, publishers rarely deny you for a title that you want (at least in my experience). 
  • Edelweiss About The Treeline – Full disclosure: I have yet to use Edelweiss because I have way too many books sent to me directly from authors and publishers.  I can barely keep up with my NetGalley queue.  My librarian friends love Edelweiss, though.

ARC/Galley Source Three- Publishers’ Websites/Forms

You can also directly request books from publishers. Publishers obviously love blogs about books.   Many have forms to fill out vs accepting email requests because they receive thousands of offers.  For example, this is Penguin Teen’s Book Blogger Request Form .

Source Four For Free Books For Book Review Bloggers- If You Write, They Will Find You

Not even 3 months into starting my book blog as a beginner, I received author and publisher requests to review directly through my site and work email.  I rarely request books these days as they find themselves on my desk directly from the source.  Sadly, I turn down many authors.

Step 5: Write Your First Book Review Posts

I am not going to share advanced tips since this is the book blogging for beginners’ guide.  After trying to learn all of the blogging tricks, I know from experience that too much information is overwhelming and stressful. 

Starting a book blog is hard work.  I will tell you some of the basics of having a solid blog post.

Once you have read your first book, you are ready to write a book review. So, now onto how to blog about the actual book… Everyone chooses to format their reviews differently. There is no one right way.

Book Blogging 101 How To Write A Book Review Pinterest Pin with book information, summary, review, more about the author, purchase links, social media sharing images

A Book Review Should Include:

  • A disclosure noting that you received the book for free as an advanced copy in exchange for a fair and honest review (unless you grabbed it at the library or purchased it)
  • An affiliate disclosure at the top of the post if you use Amazon or affiliate links
  • An engaging and original summary of the book in your own words
  • Points that you liked and disliked about the book without sounding like a third grader
  • Information about the book: publisher, publication date, author, pages, genre
  • Information about the author and a link to his/her site is always nice
  • If you star-rate, go for it
  • A cover of the book, optional bookstagram picture, and Pinterest pin cover
  • Basically, tell people why they should care or why this book would interest them.  Provide value.

Other fun ideas to include in your book review: read alikes, links to purchase, links to Goodreads, and quotes from others’ book reviews.

Don’t miss these engaging book blogging post ideas to keep your readers coming back for more.

How to publish your first book review post:.

Check for typos.  A few will sneak past you — it’s OK not to be perfect.  I use a free version of Grammarly to proofread my work.

Keep your paragraphs short.  Many people read The Uncorked Librarian on their devices.  Shorter paragraphs are easier to scan. Think two to three sentences, tops. Also, readers and Google prefer shorter sentences.

SEO Tips For Blogging About Books Pinterest Pin including keyword research, short sentences and paragraphs, placing keywords in headings, checking for spelling

Think about SEO.  Although this is a blogging about books beginners’ post, you want to have searchable keywords. 

Place keywords in your blog post title, URL, headers, and image alt tags.  A keyword might be the book title and author.  I love Keysearch for SEO research and don’t write without it. Pssp…use the code KSDISC for 20% off .

Write a meaty post.  Publishers will judge your work based on past posts.  Make each book review long, worthwhile, and well-written.  Google likes longer posts too, and you want your audience hanging around on your page. Aim for at least 500-700 words.

I recommend reading others’ book review blogs to get ideas.  Do not copy them, though.

A Few Of The Best Book Blogs That I Love & Blogs For Book Lovers:

Booklist Queen

Books & Bao

Modern Mrs. Darcy

Mind Joggle

Beyond The Bookends

Never Enough Novels

Tea & Ink Society

Romance Book Blogs

Lovely Audiobooks

She Reads Romance

Book Blogs UK

What’s Hot?

Jenniely (awesome graphic designer too–she designed TUL’s logo)

Step 6: Thinking Past Book Blogging – Social Media Accounts & A Newsletter For Your Brand

You spent time on that book review: No one wants a book blog post to go unread.   Let’s briefly discuss using emails/newsletters and social media to market and share your book blog. And no, newsletters are not dead. That is a book blogging myth.

Blogging About Books On Social Media with ideas such as a newsletter, Pinterest, Facebook, Facebook Group, Instagram, and Twitter

Newsletters For Book Blogging 101

Over time, you will slowly build a list of book blog subscribers through an RSS feed, WP reader, or a newsletter. I vote newsletter (emails)! These are slightly more advanced book blogging tips that you can learn more about later in your book blogging career, too.

However, it never hurts to start collecting emails and sending out blog updates to your readers. I highly recommend using an emailing service like Mailerlite or Flodesk .

You can try Flodesk for free, create a sign-up form like you see below, and send out updates whenever you like to your subscribers. P.S. You can grab 50% off Flodesk here→

For The Uncorked Librarian, I send out bi-weekly emails to my mailing list of a few thousand people. My newsletter helps me connect with readers and share updates — bringing them back to my website. Emails are honestly my favorite part of book blogging. I can be more personal and real in them.

Below is one way readers can join my mailing list via an opt-in with a freebie:

Take The Uncorked Reading Challenge!

Travel around the world with our Uncorked Reading Challenge. Never be late to the party with unique new book releases. Get the latest movie and book lists straight to your inbox.

The Uncorked Librarian Logo with graphics of gray cat, stack of books, glass of pink wine, green suitcase

You will find forms like the above on the top and bottom of my book blogging website, in book-related articles, and in the sidebar. Unlike social media platforms — which we will get to next — you ‘own’ your website and mailing list. You have more control without any algorithms to ruin your day.

And speaking of algorithms, let’s talk about social media for book blogging…

Starting A Book Blog: Social Media 101

First off, you want to add a sharing button to the side and top of your blog if your theme doesn’t have one you like.  I use and recommend Grow (formerly Social Pug), which is a free plugin. This allows readers to share your content for you. Many might want to save a post for later on a platform like Pinterest.

Then, you want to be active on social media. For beginning book bloggers, I recommend working on one or two platforms that you enjoy or where your readers are first. You don’t want to burn out trying to do it all. Later, you can grow all handles.

My biggest tip for starting a book blog and using social media is being consistent. Try to show up on your channels and don’t disappear for large amounts of time. If you need to be away, schedule your posts in advance. I try to post at least once a day in some capacity on all of my channels.

A few social media platforms that I love for book blogging:

  • Facebook & Facebook Group: Uncorked Readers

The Uncorked Librarian book blog on Instagram screenshot of grid

Social Media Accounts For Blogging About Books: An Extra Note On Pinterest 

Along with search traffic (mostly Google), Pinterest is my next highest blog traffic source these days. I consider Pinterest to be more like a search engine than a social media platform.

Each book review that you create should have a pinnable image so that readers can pin that review to Pinterest. 

This image might be a book cover or a pin you create in Canva or Adobe Spark. I love Canva and subscribe to the Pro version. You can save book covers into folders by book list and create tons of fresh Pinterest pins in seconds. For book blogging, their stock photos are great too — and you get more in the paid version. Try Canva Pro for free here→

How To Start A Book Blog and Book Blogging Guide From A Pro Pinterest Pin with laptop and pink flowers

Marketing on Pinterest is slightly advanced Book Blogging 101, but I highly recommend making Pinterest a priority.  I’ve had to up 6.9 million users view my pins MONTHLY.  

Book Blogging With Pinterest Screenshot of The Uncorked Librarian Pinterest Account showing 6.9 million monthly views

Imagine how many of those users see my book review pins and come to my site.  It’s A Lot.  You can see The Uncorked Librarian Pinterest account to get a better idea of how the platform works.

Book blogging tips with Pinterest screenshot with a viral pin on Pinterest

I did not go at Pinterest alone, though.  In order to have 3,500+ daily blog page views , I took this Pinterest marketing course by Boss Girl Blogger, Ell Duclos. 

She’s a Pinterest goddess.  In that link, you will also find a FREE traffic-driving for your blog course. You keep the course for ‘life’ and get all of her updates.

One Advanced Tip: How To Make Money Blogging About Books

Step 7: how to make money book blogging with ads & affiliate links.

Since I recommended a few book blogging tips and tools that cost money, you probably want to make that money back.  Right?  

I will not go into advanced marketing, sponsorships, ads, etc, but one way to make a few dollars per book review or book list is through affiliate marketing for book bloggers .

So how do you get paid by blogging about books?

Affiliate marketing involves applying for affiliate programs like Barnes and Noble, Amazon, IndieBound, and Book Depository. 

At the end or beginning of your book review, you use these links for readers to purchase the books.   If someone clicks your link and buys the book, you make a commission.  You also earn a commission if that person buys other items through that link within a certain timeframe on Amazon.

Since this isn’t an affiliate marketing how-to guide, do know that are rules about affiliate marketing.  I learned a lot from this affiliate marketing course .  Be sure to read up on disclosures and nofollow/sponsored links.

Book Blogging Affiliate Programs Pinterest Pin with Amazon, IndieBound, Book Depository, CJ Affiliate Awin, and ShareASale

Easy Affiliate Programs For Starting Book Bloggers To Apply For:

  • Amazon –  Amazon takes seconds to sign up for and is easy to understand and use.  They have a lot of rules that you should read first. You must make three initial sales within a certain timeframe to become fully approved. Don’t list prices, and don’t change their links. They have specific disclosures that need to go on your book blogging website.
  • Barnes and Noble – Barnes and Noble has an affiliate program through CJ Junction.  This one is slightly trickier to learn.
  • Book Depository – You can apply through Book Depository directly or use Awin.  I prefer Awin  because not only do they include Barnes and Noble, but they have great vendors like Etsy.  As you gain book blogging skills, think about all the fun links to Harry Potter wine glasses that you can add to your book reviews. 

Read all about Book Affiliate Programs that TUL uses here→

Ad Networks For Book Bloggers

I also make money book blogging with ads. I use Mediavine , a high-paying ad network that you can apply to once your blog has reached 50,000 monthly sessions.

Google Adsense, Ezoic, SHE Media, and Monumetric are a few more ad networks that have less pageview requirements.

how to start a book blog book blogging 101 with white hands typing on silver laptop and blue notebook

How To Start A Book Blog In 7 Steps

Book Blogging 101 Guide: Learn how to start a successful and money-making book blog from a full-time, professional book blogger.

  • This Book Blogging Guide
  • Laptop or Computer
  • Hosting Platform

Instructions

  • Choose Your Book Blog Name And Domain (www.) . Pick a unique blog name and consider self-hosting on WP .org through SiteGround. Make sure all social media handles are available for that name. Check for any trademarks. Don't forget to have a strong niche.  Be the expert in your field and provide value. It helps to have your brand name reflect your niche.  Make your niche book-related from the start. Know your audience.
  • Select Your Book Blog Theme & Design. Use a free Wordpress theme to start or make an investment in one like Restored316 using Genesis Framework. Make sure your site works well on mobile and desktop. Pick a theme that keeps your book blog speedy.
  • Build Your Book Blogging Pages . You need a solid Book Review Policy, About Me, and Legal Pages. Create strong book blogging categories for readers to more easily navigate your site. Don't use category headings like "Musings." Be specific.
  • Start Reading Books And Requesting ARCs . Head to the library or request books through professional reviewing databases like NetGalley. Make sure to use Goodreads, too.  Publishers appreciate it.
  • Write Your First Book Review Posts . Use keywords, be engaging, and include book information.  The goal of any book blogger is to provide value. Start learning about SEO.  Headers, post title, a few images, and paragraphs should include your main keyword.
  • Share Your Posts On Social Media . Share your newly published book review posts and book lists on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Start building your online presence by being consistent and showing up.
  • Monetize Your Book Blog . Apply for affiliate programs. Don't forget to properly disclose and follow all program directions.  Amazon is the easiest to start with affiliate marketing for book bloggers.  Once your traffic increases, add an ad network. And, HAVE FUN!

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

SiteGround Hosting Services

Was this book blogging guide helpful?

Let us know in the comments, and be sure to save this post on Pinterest to return to it when you need to.

Starting A Book Blog The Right Way Book Blogging Guide Pinterest Pin with 7 steps 1. Choose Your Blog Name And Domain 2. Pick Your Blog Theme and Set Up Your Website 3. Build Your Book Blogging Pages 4. Start Reading Books And Requesting Free Titles From Professional Reviewing Databases 5. Write Your First Book Review Posts 6. Market on Social Media 7. Monetize Your Book Blog

Book Blogging Discounts From Us To You :

Don’t forget these special book blogging discounts to help get you started:

  • Take our recommended Blogging 101 Course and use the code UNCORKED40 for 40% off this comprehensive blog training guide→
  • Make gorgeous book blog, Pinterest, and Instagram graphics with Canva. Try Canva Pro for free here→
  • Grab your lawyer-written Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, and Terms & Conditions pages here and use the code UncorkedSpecial for $40-$60 off→
  • If you want to start a newsletter like we have, grab 50% off of Flodesk here→
  • Improve how people find you in Internet searches with Keysearch for SEO research. Use the code KSDISC for 20% off here→
  • Need some help setting up or speeding up your site? I use Aamir and his team from WPGeared . Tell him Christine, The Uncorked Librarian, sent you, and he’ll give you 5% off and priority. Email Aamir directly at [email protected] .

Do You Feel Like You Know How To Start A Book Review Blog Now?

These are the basics of book blogging for beginners.  Once you start playing around with all of the tools mentioned, you will slowly learn more about starting a book review blog.

You can also check out The Uncorked Librarian’s Blogging Resources in order to learn more about the topics discussed or visit this specific Book Blogging Tips page.

Never hesitate to ask me any questions in the comments below or drop me an email at hello [at] theuncorkedlibrarian [dot] com.

If you are still unsure about blogging, check here for fun reasons why you should book blog .  Remember, creating a book blog should also be fun.

We originally posted this Book Blogging 101 Guide in January 2019 and the article has been updated for 2021.

Other Book Blogging Posts You May Enjoy:

How To Start A Bookstagram 70 Book Blogging Post Ideas Photoshop for Book Bloggers Affiliate Marketing Programs For Book Bloggers

More Helpful Blogging Tips:

How To Increase Your Blog Traffic How To Register Your Blog As An LLC Stealing Blog Content Is Not Flattery Blogging Courses We Recommend Blogging Tips & Tricks From All-Niche Bloggers

Christine Owner The Uncorked Librarian LLC with white brunette female in pink dress sitting in chair with glass of white wine and open book

Christine Frascarelli

Christine (she/her) is the owner, lead editor, and tipsy book sommelier of The Uncorked Librarian LLC, an online literary publication showcasing books and movies to inspire travel and home to the famed Uncorked Reading Challenge.

With a BA in English & History from Smith College, an MLIS from USF-Tampa, and a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship in Christine's back pocket, there isn't a bookstore, library, or winery that can hide from her. Christine loves brewery yoga, adopting all of the kitties, and a glass of oaked Chardonnay. Charcuterie is her favorite food group.

44 Comments

Thank you for this post! I’ve been book blogging consistently only for a few months. I love the creative outlet. I’m currently a paid Wix user and am wondering how difficult it truly is to blog on a platform that requires coding? I have minimal knowledge in coding. I’ve taken some free courses through codeacademy and have a a basic understanding but am worried that switching to another provider, like WP, would be more daunting than I care to conquer at the moment.

Thanks again! Amy

Thank you! I use WP, and I don’t think I’ve actually coded much for years now. My blog theme at the moment is through Mediavine with their Trellis structure (anyone can purchase it). I know that if I wanted to customize my homepage, I could code it better, but everything else is built via my theme and WP. Personally, I think WP is pretty easy to use (and I have very little coding background). I hope that helps!

Thanks for highlighting my book blog, She Reads Romance Books, Christine! I so love your blog and this post is FULL of incredibly helpful tips. I completely agree that once you start blogging, authors and publishers find YOU. I only take a few requests for romance book reviews now because I’m so inundated but that’s a good problem to have!

Your romance book blog has grown so much and looks fabulous. You are welcome.

I definitely have a surplus of ARCS to be read. Such a wonderful problem to have.

Thanks for this helpful post. I’ve struggling with my book blog for a year now. Hopefully, I can apply some of the ideas here.

Thank you! I did check out your website. Your book lists look great.

If you want a little unsolicited advice, maybe make your homepage a little cleaner and your tagline much clearer. As a reader, I am not sure what “Book recommendations, self-help, and everything in between” really means… (I started that way, too — I totally get it.) What type of books… People want to very specifically know what makes your site unique and what they will get. Every book blogger offers “book recommendations.” What is your niche? What value will you provide to them, specifically? Why will they come back, and how will your site enhance their reading and lives? Just a thought. Check out Donald Miller’s StoryBranding if you get a chance. Best of luck!

oh my golly gee! thank you so very much for the helpful info! I’m currently a high schooler looking to create my very own blog, so this is all quite new (but very fun) for me! have a fabulous rest of your day!

That’s awesome! Best of luck. I love blogging, and I hope you do, too.

Thank you Christine! I just started my own book blog (finally!) and this was so handy in clearing my doubts and giving me ideas. ❤

Congrats on the new book blog! I’m so glad this book blogging post helped. Thanks for letting me know, and good luck!

Really needed something like this. Thanks a lot for such a helpful article.

Thank you! I am so glad that this book blogging article helped!

I love reading. This is a very informative article!!

Thank you so much for letting me know! I am glad that you found it helpful and best of luck book blogging.

Such a great post and full of information! I just launched my own Romance Book Blog and I’m super excited to enter this online world though also a bit intimidated if I’m totally honest. Your site and success is an inspiration. I hope to utilize Pinterest as well so I guess that’s next on my list- to understand Tailwind and design lots of pins! Thanks again.

Hey! Thank you so much! It’s definitely an intimidating and even frustrating world, at times. Algorithms and best practices are always changing, digital content is hard to manage/protect, and for me, book blogging was a huge learning curve. Blogging about books or anything is not the easiest sometimes, but it is rewarding. I love it, too. Pinterest is definitely a must still for traffic. I actually think Pinterest is the most fun to use. Good luck and thanks for the kind message. Never hesitate to reach out if you have questions. I’m always taking courses and reading up on blogging too.

Nice article you have shared such a important information about the books to read for beginners keep writing.

Thank you so much! I am so glad that you found this book blogging post helpful! Thanks for stopping by, too.

This post was super helpful!! I just started my book blog and I already know I will be using your tips to help get it off the ground:)

Good luck with the new blog! If you have any questions, just drop me an email; I’ll be glad to help where I can.

Hey Christine!

I saw that you use the Genesis platform with Restored 316… What is the genesis platform used for? Thnx

In order to use a theme like Restored 316 (which I love), you have to have Genesis. Genesis is kind of like a blog framework or the internal bones for your site. It holds everything together and works well behind the scenes, especially for SEO (so Google can better index your site and so that your site runs more smoothly and is user-friendly). Genesis also works well with your text editor (like Gutenberg), helps make your site function on mobile devices, and has its own set of widgets (so you can add things like your IG feed or share buttons).

I hope that helps answer your question a little better. Let me know! I actually love Genesis and you can pick a whole slew of themes that work well with it. A few big bloggers were using it, which tuned me in.

Genesis is part of StudioPress and they have even more blog themes that you can look at too.

I did not get the link thing. Some people say that it is google ads that you earn from. And you talked about the link. This is something new i heard from you. Can you please explain a little about the difference between adsense and links.

For links, do you mean affiliate links vs ads? I do both on TUL. So google ads (Adsense) is what you see when you scroll through my blog post article. They are ads with both pictures and text. They look just like they sound–it’s an ad that google chooses; you can control some of the settings and placement of these. Google tries to guess what the reader would like to see based on their personal search history (and not my site). Adsense pays for impressions (how many people see the ad) and clicks. Adsense pays out very little to bloggers unless a ton of people are clicking on those ads.

Affiliate links are specific programs that you apply for, like Amazon, and then link to their product or site. I have a more comprehensive article here: https://www.theuncorkedlibrarian.com/affiliate-marketing-for-bloggers/ ; I do need to update it just a tad, but it should get you started.

I use affiliate links specifically for books so that readers can buy the book through Amazon or say IndieBound. I set up an affiliate link through that program that I am a part of, link to their product, and then if someone makes a purchase, I earn a commission. That commission is much higher than Adsense ads, usually. You can see a few embedded affiliate links when you click on my “books set in Salem” book list (my lastest post). The book title is an affiliate link to Amazon, for example.

I can recommend a great course on affiliate marketing if you are interested.

Does this help answer your question, a little more? Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification or email me, too: [email protected] .

Have a great weekend.

You nailed it really well. 🙂 I wish I had had a comprehensive guide like this when I was looking to start my blog…but I’m also kinda glad I didn’t because I might have been put off by how much work is involved, lol. For me, it was better that I didn’t know what I was getting into until I was in it. 😀 But, these tips are REALLY helpful to have, especially all in one place. I learned everything piecemeal, and that was a PITA. Great post! And, OMG, congrats on getting named as one of the best book bloggers in 2018!! Holy cow, that’s awesome! As are you, so it’s not surprising you were awarded such a distinction. 😀

Hey!! Look at you back on the interwebs and feeling all better! I appreciate the comment, too, because I know how behind you must be with the concussion. I missed your online presence, for sure!

I wish I had a more comprehensive guide when I started too. I feel like I am still correcting the errors of the past. It’s a work in progress. However, I do appreciate even seeing my own growth from hobby to business blogger.

Thanks for the congrats! The award was a lovely surprise–I just love working with certain publishers and authors.

Thank you so much for this informative post. I love that you post specifically about book blogging. I think this niche is so different from others out there. Being a newbie, it’s nice to learn from other bloggers further ahead than me on this blogging journey. I also took that Pinterest course and found it very helpful. Thanks again. Keep these book blogging posts coming! One time, I’d love to hear about your more advanced marketing ideas! Thanks again.

Hey Tina, thank you so much! I find myself pinning a lot of your great posts (book lists, especially). Thanks for the idea for a blog post too! I love hearing what other people find the most helpful. So sorry for the late reply–I was in Iceland and decided to leave my computer behind for this one. Definitely not like me to leave comments hanging for so long. I appreciate your readership and book blogging camaraderie. ; ) Your kind words definitely made my day!

When I decided to start a blog, I was so torn between travel and book blogging. I wanted to focus on one or the other. In the end, travel won. Of course, my love of books is pretty obvious in my blog and I still sneak in posts about books when I can relate it to travel. These tips are awesome and so easy to follow. If I were to start a book blog, I would know exactly what to do!

Personally, I LOVE that you write about travel related to books. Your blog has definitely inspired me to make sure that I cover more bookstores in the future. You do a great job!

Merging the two (well, three with boozy drinks) this year has been challenging and a small hit to my traffic on all channels. My followers have to get used to the niching down and decide if it’s still for them. I picked up a bunch of new community members too. Pinterest just jumped back up after some work, and I am hoping that my IG family gets on board too. Not every traveler wants books and not every reader wants to travel…but I’m working on it ; )

This is such a wonderful, well composed, and informative resource, love! I’m currently working on the making money part of my blog, but am hoping to use more affiliates in the future! ❤️

Thank you so much! I really like affiliate marketing. It’s not too in your face, you can advertise what you truly love, and it’s great passive income.

Thank you! This is very helpful! You’re such a great teacher. I still feel like a beginner especially due to my lack of time because of my current job. I’m crossing my fingers I get this new job I interviewed for! Send good vibes! I will hopefully find out this week! Ahhhhh!

I’m still working on gaining traffic and then I’ll see if I can tackle monetizing my blog. ?

Ohhh I want to hear all about this potential job. Sending all the good vibes. Xxxx You deserve it! Update me when you find out too!

This is such a great post and honestly still useful for people with a book blog already! I will probably switch to SiteGround once my year with WP .com ends because it’s cheaper (!) and I will be able to finally use Google Analytics.

Thank you, book bestie!! I love SiteGround, and you are right: it actually ended up being cheaper than the higher plans of .com. You will love the switch. Good luck, and if you have any trouble, let me know. I’ve probably been there. You will LOVE all the data you can pull. ; ) Have a great weekend.

As always Christine, you did an amazing job with this post! I love to read, and I love to write about what I read, and it is a secret goal (is it secret now?) of mine to start doing book reviews on my blog. I didn’t want to put that out there in my blog post on goals because that would practically force me to do it, and although I’m determined to do so, that just seemed to daunting :’) I’d like to move my blog in the bookish direction and make it a nice mix of lifestyle/books, and you provided some great resources. I’m totally going self-hosted this year and will definitely be investing in a Pipdig theme; these have been two goals of mine for awhile now. 2019 will certainly be exciting for me in terms of blogging!!

Yay, I always love seeing another blogger talking about books! So excited for you!

You will definitely love self-hosting as it is a complete gamechanger. You have so much more freedom to add plugins to your blog, make it look good, and add fun features that you want. I barely notice a difference in upkeep with self-hosting. When I was researching self-hosting, it sounded so intimidating and scary. The switch definitely wasn’t hard at all.

I love pipdig. They have great support, and they keep coming up with great new designs.

Good luck with all of your 2019 goals!

I ran a book blog for about 6 years and it took me forever to figure some of these things out. I agree that a lot of these tips can be used for any type of blogging. I wish I had have known many of these when I first started my book blog because it would have made things easier. I did the blog for fun, but even so knowing this before would have made it less stressful at times.

Yes, my first year as a hobby blogger was fun but a mess. Then, I converted that hobby blog to a monetized one, which was such a disaster to clean up. Although I was getting decent traffic and engagement, I knew that by 2019, I had to take more courses, talk to other bloggers, and just try to learn all that I could. I wish I had seen the how-to’s laid out like this. Of course, there is a lot more to add in (and you can go about it differently), but learning how to blog properly can be so overwhelming. For me, self-hosting made the world of a difference to start, especially since I could play with plugins. I had NO idea.

I’m not a book blogger but if I wanted to be one, I sure know how now. 😉 Great post! Your guides are always well written and easy to understand. Hope this inspires and helps others to start a book blog.

Haha, if you ever join the dark side, I am here for you. LOL. Don’t tell my travel bloggers, but I love book blogging A LOT.

This is an amazing resource for beginner and advanced book bloggers. I love that you did a recap at the end too! I have a question though; do you make some money from affiliate links? I’m an affiliate for Book Depository and I haven’t made any money despite the fact that I promote a lot. Of course, I don’t have as many views as you do ? Taiwo x

I do make money from affiliate links. Book Depository isn’t huge for me, which is I why I now monetize it through Awin and not the site itself. Awin is great for a bunch of affiliates (like Etsy and Book Depository). I don’t make a lot from Barnes and Noble either, but I do make consistent sales with Amazon, Awin, and ShareASale.

Thank you! I hope this helped, and thank you for reading, too!

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WEBSITE ESSENTIALS

How to start a book blog: A comprehensive guide

  • Lena Sernoff
  • Nov 2, 2023
  • 16 min read

How to Start a Book Blog

In the last decade, the book industry has reinvented itself. Books have become much more accessible to a broader public, especially in their newer digital formats. This shift is also visible in how traditional book clubs have naturally evolved into book blogs.

If you’re an avid reader, creating a blog will give you the perfect platform to apply your passion for literature by writing book reviews, sharing novel recommendations, and most importantly, connecting with the online bookish community.

We know you’re pretty booked , which is why we’ve broken down how to start a book blog into just 10 easy steps. From how to make a website , choosing a website template and blog name to learning which types of book blog posts to write, here’s what you need to do to be ready to publish .

What is a book blog?

A book blog is a website or online journal where someone writes about books. This can include anything from book reviews and recommendations to author interviews, book-related news and discussions about literature. Book blogs can be written by anyone, from professional book reviewers and literary critics to bookworms who are simply passionate about reading and want to share their thoughts and opinions with others.

Book blogs are a great way to discover new books, get recommendations from other readers and learn more about literature. They can also be a lot of fun to read, as book bloggers often have a unique voice and style.

Why should you start a book blog?

Here are some reasons why you should start a book blog:

To share your love of reading with others. If you're a passionate reader, starting a book blog is a great way to share your love of books with others. You can write about your favorite books, authors and genres, and share your thoughts and opinions on what you're reading.

To connect with other book lovers. Starting a book blog is a great way to connect with other book lovers from all over the world. You can comment on other blogs, participate in online book clubs and make new friends who share your passion for reading.

To improve your writing skills. Blogging is a great way to improve your writing skills. You'll learn how to write concisely and clearly, and you'll also learn how to express your thoughts and ideas in a way that is engaging and interesting to read.

To promote authors and books. If you're a fan of a particular author or book, you can use your blog to promote them. You can write reviews, interview authors and share news about upcoming releases.

To make money. While most book bloggers don't make a lot of money, there are a few ways to monetize a book blog. You can sell advertising space, partner with authors and publishers on sponsored posts or write and sell eBooks.

Of course, the most important reason to start a book blog is because you enjoy it. If you're passionate about reading and writing, then starting a book blog is a great way to share your love of books with others and make new friends.

Ready to start a book blog? Do it with Wix .

How to start a book blog

Select a blogging platform

Pick a blog name and secure your domain

Design your book blog

Choose your type of book blog

Brainstorm ideas and write your first blog posts

Optimize your book blog for SEO

Promote your blog

Make money blogging

Immerse into the book blog community

01. Select a blogging platform

The first step in starting a blog , or any type of website , is choosing where you want to host and publish your content. There are several blogging platforms to choose from depending on your blogging goals and needs. Some important factors to consider when making this choice are storage space, page security, uptime, and customer support.

In addition to top-level service in the above areas, Wix’s blogging platform offers professional web design features, opportunities to monetize your blog, rich website analytics and many built-in marketing tools to help you reach more readers. You can get access to all these tools at no cost and upgrade your free plan whenever you’d want.

Reliable, scalable and free web hosting means you can rest assured your book blog is always live and accessible - allowing you to focus on what really matters, growing your site. With Wix this means 99.9% uptime, enterprise-grade reliability and automatic setup. It's there when you build your blog and as you scale.

Website security is also important to consider when choosing a blogging platform. Keep your content, and your users information safe from cyber security threats. With a Wix site your blog is protected by around the clock monitoring and built-in security features.

Don't forget to consider website performance when choosing where to build your book blog. How fast your content loads can have a direct impact on your user's experience on your blog. Poor page and load speeds, might cause readers to bounce. Keep them on the page instead with a platform that prioritizes performance.

website hosting

02. Pick a blog name and secure your domain

Just like we often judge a book by its cover, visitors might be quick to judge your blog by its name. This is why you should be intentional when choosing the name for your book blog.

To help you choose the best one, we’ve come up with these efficient strategies to come up with blog name ideas . If you plan to mainly cover one book genre or stick to a single author, you can include related words in your blog name.

Use a blog name generator

Experiment with blog naming formulas

Adapt a popular saying or come up with puns

Try an alliteration

Use your own name or nickname

Simplify with abbreviations

If you’d like some inspiration before you start brainstorming here are some creative book blog name ideas:

Treat Yo’ Shelf

Been There Read That

Check Your Shelf

I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie

Reading is a Novel Idea

Where My Prose At?

Do It by the Book

After you’ve finalized your choice, go ahead and secure your blog’s domain name . This should be similar to the name of your blog so users can easily find you and recognize you online.

You might also want to consider using a .blog domain extension , to make sure your blog stands out.

blog name generator to come up with a book blog name

03. Design your book blog

Now that we’ve chosen your blogging platform and domain name, the next step in starting a book blog is designing your site. The easiest way to begin is with one of our professionally designed blog website templates . They all come with built-in capabilities and are fully customizable. Still not sure which one to pick? Take a look at these blog examples for further inspiration.

When you’re customizing your template, consider creating a logo to elevate and personalize your site. Having a blog logo can make you more memorable, edgy and easily recognizable. Just remember to match your logo to the design and overall tone of the blog.

colourful book blog template for how to start a book blog

Next, choose which pages to include. On top of your blogging section, we recommend you include the following pages:

Let readers get to know you and your taste in books. This section is a good place to mention your genre of expertise, your favorite books of all time and let your personality show with some interesting facts and information about yourself.

Review Policy

State what your policy is about reviewing books. You might have opportunities to review advanced reading copies (ARCs), so it would be helpful for publishers and book reviewing professionals to know the following:

Are you currently accepting new review copies?

Which genres do you cover and which platform do you typically use to promote books and showcase your reviews?

What types of posts will you write?

What book formats do you accept? Just physical ones or also PDFs and digital copies?

What do you do if you do not like the book? Will you decline a review?

Do you have a book rating system? If so, how does it work?

What is the best way to contact you and which information should be provided?

Contact Page

Help authors, publishers and readers easily contact you with inquiries, questions or collaboration opportunities by adding a contact page to your blog. Using a free form builder , you can effortlessly create a contact form to make sure people are sending all the necessary information.

contact page template to add when you start a book blog

04. Choose your type of book blog

Before you start collecting books and writing your first blog post, first consider which type of book blog you wish to run. Your book blog can specialize in either a niche or genre or even be known for specific types of content.

At the end of the day, you should think about what your goals are for blogging and which kind of audience you’d like to reach. If you’re passionate about a specific genre that you think has a strong fan base community, you can tailor your blog around it. Of course, you can keep your blog more general, but in case you were interested, here are types of book blogs on the web:

Book reviews

Book recommendations

How to write a book

Book critiques

Book discussion blogs

General book blog

On the other hand, if you want to write for a more specific audience, you can choose a literary genre to focus on and break into that niche reading community:

Action and adventure

Suspense and thrillers

Science Fiction (Sci-Fi)

Biography and autobiography

Religion and spirituality

Poetry blog

sleek book blog template for how to start a book blog

05. Get books

Writing a book blog without books would be like cooking without food. So how can you feed your shelf ? When you first start a book blog, you can utilize the books you’ve read in the past or currently own. Over time, you’ll want to scale your book reading efforts - so make yourself rich with book resources, get free ARCs and consider joining book networks.

We’ve done some in-depth research for you and recommend these outlets and platforms for getting your hands on as many books as possible, whether it’s free copies or through book networks.

Public libraries

NetGalley (See their ARC book review program)

Little Free Library

BookishFirst

Penguin Teen

Edelweiss by Above the Treeline

Fierce Reads

Penguin Random House

Harper Collins

Virtual reading subscription platforms such as Scribd , Audible , Kindle Unlimited , BookBub , Bookmate , Manybooks .

BookCrossing

Nook by Barnes and Nobles

Bibliomania

Paperback Swap

Book stores and thrift shops

Garage sales

Swap books with friends and family

06. Brainstorm ideas and write your first blog posts

One of the most important parts of starting a successful book review blog is creating quality content. Think of your blog posts as the central part of your blog, the factor that will draw readers in and keep them coming back. The simplest way to begin producing blog posts is by following these 4 steps:

Select your book blog content

Come up with a book rating and review system, write your first few blog posts, create an editorial calendar.

Your blog posts' topics can be as creative and unique as you’d like. But sometimes, it’s easier to start where others have seen success and follow some of the blog posts' formats that are popular on book blogs. Here are some engaging blog ideas to write about:

Book reviews: Write a review or critique of a book you just finished. Share your opinion on what you liked about it or didn’t.

Themed “top X” lists and rankings: Create a list of top 10 or top 20 books that fall into a genre or category. This can also be in the form of book suggestions to readers.

Discussion posts: Spur up a discussion about a book that you’d like to analyze with your bookish community. This can even be discussing a controversial novel or a specific scene in a book.

Interviews with authors: Interview authors of a book you just finished. You can ask them about their inspiration for the book or even about character development.

Book tags: Answer questions about your favorite books, authors, and characters and then tag other people to write blog posts and answer those questions as well. You can also look up other book tags and respond to them.

Guest posts: Feature other book bloggers or writers on your blog. It can be nice for readers to hear new voices from time to time. You can even use this type of blog post to allow young writers to showcase their work.

Monthly wrap-ups: Summarize and rate all the books you read that month.

Roundups of new publications and TBR lists: TBR stands for “to be read.” Make a list of the books that just came out and are now on your must read list.

Essays, guides and opinion pieces: Share your opinion in the form of an essay. You can compare two books, analyze a book vs. the movie or even write an author review. Another approach you can take is providing reading tips, how to pick which books to read or even teaching people how to write books if that is something you’ve done (see how to start a teacher blog ).

Genre and industry news: Keep your readers updated on the latest literature news and gossip. Did a book just get announced it will be made into a movie? Is an author writing a new sequel to their first successful book? Let your readers know.

Personal reading challenges: Participate in book challenges that are happening in your community. You can add memes as well and get others to take on the same challenge. This is a great way to build community.

Character roundups: A roundup post consists of a collection of characters, authors, or even quotes. Your posts list several of the characters that ultimately can contribute something to your readers. For example, you can do a roundup of the strongest female book characters.

To be a trustworthy book reviewer that shows authority, it’s important that you have a clear method and system in place for how you rate books. There are several ways and scales to use and you have the freedom to create your own, just make sure to show consistency and transparency.

Some things to consider when rating a book are writing style, plot, world building, and characters. All of these can be factors to your end review and be aware not to leak any spoilers. Here is an example of how Liam Reads includes his book rating system as part of his review policy page on his Wix website.

If you’re working with a book review platform such as NetGalley, they have a rating system of their own, so make sure to always check rating guidelines with the platform you’re working with.

Now comes the fun part, learning how to write a blog post . This crafting process can be broken down into three main steps:

Do keyword research: If you want your blog post to rank in search engines, try to target certain phrases in your article, ideally keywords that are often being searched for. You can use sites like Google Keyword Planner , Answer The Public or Ahrefs for help to find highly searched keywords.

Come up with a blog post title: Write blog titles that will hook your readers. Small word choices can make a difference on whether someone clicks in your post.

Write valuable clear content: Try to have an introduction and use headers and subheaders to break up the body of the post. You can even start with an outline to make it easier to map out your ideas. Keep in mind that there are best practices to follow regarding how long a blog post should be . Lastly, don’t forget to add images with alt text, write your SEO titles, edit and then hit publish.

Before you start promoting your blog to a large audience, we recommend already having at least 3-5 blog posts published and living on your website. This will create a better reader experience and best show your expertise.

To ensure your writing process is enjoyable and you never feel pressed on time to publish articles, plan out the rest of your month’s posting schedule with an editorial calendar.

In section number 6, we brainstormed dozens of blog topics. Now you just plan out when you’d like to publish each type of article in a spreadsheet. You can even add your TBR books to your schedule.

The bookish community has certain days dedicated to specific articles and memes. For instance, there is “Top Ten Tuesday,” “Waiting on Wednesday,” and “Thrifty Thursday.” These types of themes can help you post the most relevant articles on their matching days. See this detailed book blog meme directory for more subjects for each day of the week.

Lastly, keep in mind that Tuesday is the day most books are published which can be a neat day to post reviews on your blog.

blog editorial calendar example for how to start a book blog and manage your content

07. Optimize your blog for SEO

In order to attract heavy traffic to your book blog, you should aim to show up on search engines through search engine optimization (SEO). Besides writing keyword optimized blog posts, there are a few more SEO tips for bloggers to know about.

Wix SEO has several built-in features and an SEO Guide to ensure your blog ranks. But, in a nutshell, aim to follow these best practices:

Optimize your website content and metadata descriptions with relevant keywords in strategic placements—including the page title, description and URL.

Write-SEO friendly alt text on all the images on your blog and within blog posts.

Use internal and external linking from other related articles.

Get backlinks to your blog from other trustworthy sources. This will show authority to search engines and likely improve your ranking.

SEO examples for making sure your book blog ranks on google

08. Promote your blog

A good author wouldn't publish a book and not tell anyone, and neither should you. You’ve crafted a masterpiece website and now it's time to promote your blog. Here are the best ways to do so:

Share on social media

When literature lovers are not reading a book or consuming book blog content, they are likely engaging with the literature community on social media. This is why you should open a social media account under the same blog name and join book groups.

We also ecommend you have an Instagram marketing strategy, as the book fans have a large community on the platform with accounts known as “Bookstagrams.” There you can share your blog content and book reviews.

Make sure to add your website's URL on your Instagram bio and feel free to mention which book you're currently reading using the abbreviation CR, followed by the book title. Here are some Wix user’s beautiful Bookstagram’s to look at as examples:

Eva’s Book Corner

Eva’s Book Corner Instagram book blog

Somer Reads

Somer Reads Instagram book blog

Create a blog newsletter

Make an effort to get subscribers and use an email marketing tool to send out newsletters, promotions and distribute your content. This will invite readers to come back to your blog for more and sustain a loyal fan base.

Join book clubs

Whether they are virtual or in-person book clubs, meeting and engaging with other book lovers can help grow your network. Over time, people in your book club will get to know that you're a blogger and likely show interest in coming to your website, reading your content and recommending your blog to others.

Write for other blogs

Collaborate with other lit bloggers and offer to write a guest blog post that will be published on their site. In your signature, include your name and add a backlink to your blog so people can come to follow you. Overall, writing on other blogs will get you in front of new relevant audiences.

Invest in paid ads

Dabble with paid marketing and advertising to reach people who do not currently follow your social channels or blog. You can try social media advertising, banner ads, search ads or even YouTube video promos.

Participate in book tags and discussion sites

An excellent way to reach new people is to go to them instead of waiting for them to come to you. Therefore you should read other book blogs, respond to their book tags and engage with the fans and readers on those blogs. If you can show how insightful you are with your comments and engagement, people might be curious to come to your blog and learn more about you.

Host a book blogging event

Have you ever been to a book reading aloud that took place in a bookstore or library? You too can host a unique event that will bring book lovers together. There, you can mention your blog and encourage event registration to sign up for your blog newsletter and later send them emails.

09. Make money blogging and monetize your blog

When we wrote the title “How to Start a Book Blog,” we added “and Earn Money” for a reason. We’ve seen many users monetize their blog which we believe has made their blogging process even more rewarding at times.

If you’re looking to turn your passion project into an additional source of income, consider trying one of these ways to make money blogging:

Join an affiliate marketing program. Amazon Associates can be a great place to start since there are a lot of books sold there.

Advertise within your blog with a Google AdSense integration.

Offer paid subscriptions.

Write sponsored content.

Sell books, e-books and merchandise on your online store .

Provide consulting services.

Sell an online course and use Wix Video to produce your content. Consider teaching others how to start a book blog, since by then you’ll be an expert.

Write freelance book content for publishers and magazines.

Start a podcast .

10. Immerse into the book blogging community

It takes a village to raise a child and a lit community to bring book blogs to life. This is why to make the most of your book blog, you should highly engage with bibliophiles.

After you start your book blog, attempt to make a weekly effort to read other book blogs, not just to get inspiration but also to show support and connect with other like minded writers. Lastly, follow publishers and authors on social media and join their mailing lists so you stay in the know about upcoming releases and hot industry news.

Remember that ultimately, blogging is a beautiful journey, so try to take as many readers on that journey with you.

Examples of successful book blogs

Elle katherine white.

Author Elle Katherine White uses her book blog to showcase and sell her self written books - The Heartstone Saga collection.

The Written Witengier

This book blog by self confessed book nerd Marie who uses her blog to review her favorite reads with the occasional books on the art of writing.

Book Devotee Blog

Explore book reviews with this well-established blog. Keep up to date with recent book and literature news as well.

What should a book blog include?

Your book blog should include a variety of content that is relevant to your target audience. Some of the things you may want to include are:

Book reviews: Write reviews of the books that you have read. Be honest and share your thoughts and opinions on the books.

Book recommendations: Recommend books to your readers based on their interests.

Author interviews: Interview authors and share the interviews on your blog.

Book-related news: Share news and updates about the book world, such as upcoming book releases, literary awards and author events.

Book club discussion guides: Create and share discussion guides for popular books.

Book-related DIYs: Share DIY projects and crafts related to books, such as how to make a book cover or how to decorate a bookshelf.

Book-themed humor: Share book-themed memes, cartoons and other humorous content.

In addition to these core topics, you may also want to include other content on your book blog, such as:

Personal stories and essays: This is where you share your own personal stories and essays related to books. This is a great way to connect with your readers on a personal level and to share your passion for books.

Book-related photography: This is where you share your own book-related photography. This is a great way to visually engage your readers and to share your love of books in a creative way.

Bookish lifestyle content: This is where you share content about your bookish lifestyle, such as what you're currently reading, your favorite bookish accessories and your bookish travel experiences. This is a great way to give your readers a glimpse into your life as a book lover.

It’s always a good idea to create a blog post checklist to make sure you’ve covered everything before publishing. You can also explore blogging for beginners to jumpstart your blog.

Other types of blogs to consider starting

How to start a finance blog

How to start a real estate blog

How to start a gaming blog

How to start a health blog

How to start a teaching blog

How to start a music blog

How to start a tech blog

How to start a mom blog

How to start a sports blog

How to start a beauty blog

How to start a lifestyle blog

How to start a book blog FAQ

Is it worth starting a book blog.

Whether or not it's worth starting a book blog depends on your goals. If you're looking to make a lot of money quickly, then a book blog may not be the best option for you. However, if you're passionate about reading and you're willing to put in the time and effort to build a successful blog, then it can be a great way to share your love of books with others and even make a living.

Is it better to start a blog or write a book?

How often should you post on a book blog, do book bloggers get free books, related posts.

How to choose a blog name [+ 80 blog name ideas to inspire you]

How to easily start a blog and make money

How to monetize a blog in 2024 in 7 effective steps

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How to Start a Profitable Book Blog (as told by a Book Blog)

Starting a book blog is one of the best side gigs you can have. With blogs, you work at your own pace, learn profitable career skills, can make money and even sell them!

That being said, blogs do require some initial effort to get off the ground. Your first 1,000 monthly visitors will be the hardest, but it gets easier after that.

Blogs are long term projects, and this guide contains step-by-step instructions to help insure your book blog will be fast, flexible when it comes to design and features, and also get good support from specialists when you’ll have technical issues.

The last 3 sections of this blog cover important subjects such as how to generate traffic , finding subjects and books to write about and also how to monetize your new blog.   Blogging can require a lot of time, and those 3 sections will help you not waste yours by writing articles people won’t get a chance to read.

Starting and setting up your book review blog

Choose your domain name.

The first step to any blog or site is to find an available name and domain (.com, .co, .net etc.) that can also provide a unique identity.

To see whether a domain name is available, you can check it out on Namecheap.com .

how to write a book review for blog

When choosing a domain name, you have to balance 4 things:

How specific a domain name is. As an example, dailystoicism.com is a blog about stoicism (duh). In search results related to stoicism, their domain name is a competitive advantage that draws more clicks because it seems like an authority on the subject.

How general a domain name is. General and vague domain names are great if you don’t want to be boxed into niche, and want to write about a wider variety of topics.

Lifehack.com is a great example of a more generalist domain name. At first glance, it gives the impression of a site that help you find shortcuts in life, but it’s also compatible with self-help articles, book suggestions, do-it-yourself tips etc.

How catchy you want your domain name to be. Some domain names are simply more brandable than others. FourHourWorkWeek.com is a very catchy name for a site. It has a good cadence, rolls nicely off the tongue and has that irresistible value proposition of working less but making the same.

WaitButWhy.com is another catchy name, that can turn your attention on a dime and do a double take.

Whether the social media handles are available or not. This one is always a great bonus, but ultimately domain name is more important than the social media handles. If you’ve found an amazing domain name, but no social media handles, take it nonetheless.

In terms of cost, a domain costs around $10-$12 per year. Namecheap is usually pretty aggressive in its discounts so you’re likely get prices as low as $8-9 per first year. 

how to write a book review for blog

It will cost you around $14, so a bit more than Namecheap, but it will also reduce the amount of work and time you need to set up a website.

If you do decide on Namecheap, this guide has an optional section to help you integrate Namecheap with the hosting company for free.

Choosing a host

Hosting providers are the real workhorses for running the technical side of your site. They’re the ones that contain (“host”) the files and information of your website in a dedicated datacenter or server. Once there, they are accessible to be displayed on the Internet.

A good host is incredibly important in running a blog , for multiple reasons:

  • Good hosts ensure will keep your site up 100% of the time.
  • They offer technologies to make your site more secure and harder to hack (https vs http).
  • They have solid data centers and servers across the world to maximize site speed.
  • They have fast and responsive support to help you if you have technical problems.

The hosting company that I suggest is the one this blog uses: SiteGround.

how to write a book review for blog

The reason I like them is because they have a solid technical infrastructure to run a website, but most importantly, their support is amazing.

As a solo blogger that isn’t technically oriented, I’ve heavily relied on SiteGround’s support team over the years to properly set up services such as Cloudflare, custom email servers, DNS records, security certificates, etc.

how to write a book review for blog

Knowing there’s a dedicated support team you can live chat with 24/7 in case of issues is a huge source of confidence and comfort. You know that even if you mess up your site pretty badly, you’ll still be able to recover it and fix any issues.

If you’ve decided on buying the domain name on SiteGround, the process of setting up is very straightforward.

  • Go to SiteGround’s Web Hosting page .

how to write a book review for blog

The Start Up plan should be more than enough for what you need, at least in the first few months, maybe even a year.

  • Register your domain with SiteGround

how to write a book review for blog

  • Fill in your details and choose data center

The next step requires you complete the payment details. After doing so, scroll down the page at the Purchase Information section and change the data center your site will be hosted on to the one closest to your target audience.

how to write a book review for blog

Slower site loading="lazy" speeds often translate into lower traffic since many people are impatient and would rather press the “Back” button instead of waiting a bit more for a page to load.

  • Extra Services (not required)

These extra services are nice to haves, but not necessary. I myself use neither.

You have now registered your site, but it’s now empty. The only thing left for you to do now is to add a WordPress installation and figure out how you want your site to look.

Creating site and installing WordPress

  • After you’ve processed payment, your account should now be created. To continue building your site just press “Proceed to Customer Area”

how to write a book review for blog

  • Next, click on “Set Up Site”.

how to write a book review for blog

In the next menu, choose “ Start a New Website ” and click on WordPress. WooCommerce is a plugin designed for eCommerce stores, so it’s not something you really need right now. Plus, you can install it at any time once you’ve finished setting up your site.

how to write a book review for blog

  • Next, create your WordPress admin account. You’ll use it later a bit later on.

how to write a book review for blog

You’ll be prompted again if you would like to install SiteGround’s site scanner functionality. I don’t personally believe it to be necessary so my suggestion is to just press finish.

how to write a book review for blog

(OPTIONAL) Point your nameservers from Namecheap (or other registrar) to SiteGround

! If you’ve registered your domain name through SiteGround, skip this step. If you’ve registered it through Namecheap or another registrar, follow the instructions!

If you haven’t registered your domain name with SiteGround, you will have to point your name servers away from the registrar and unto your host.

This basically tells the Internet that all of the files and information that make up your site are hosted on SiteGround’s server, and that’s where the Internet should go to display the information on your site.

Fortunately, it’s very easy to change your name servers.

In the next screen after setting up your WordPress account, you will be given two name server addresses.

how to write a book review for blog

  • Copy these, and then login to your Namecheap account.

Go back to your Namecheap.com account, navigate to Domain List, select your Site and click the “Manage” button on the right side of the domain name.

Then scroll down to the “Name Server” section and simply copy the Name Server addresses you have in your SiteGround dashboard.

how to write a book review for blog

After you’ve completed this step, continue with the setup process as described below.

Securing your site with an SSL certificate

Next, you’ll need to install an SSL certificate on your site. This basically means your site will be configured to appear as https:// yoursite.com instead of http:// yoursite.com.

This is important, because browsers will often block http websites behind a “Warning, site not secure” pop-up. This can be devastating to your traffic since most people refuse to go any further.

Fortunately, this doesn’t cost anything, is completely free and takes only a few seconds to set-up permanently.

  • After you’ve created your site, press the “Manage Site” button .

how to write a book review for blog

  • On your SiteGround Dashboard, simply navigate to the “Security” tab on the left hand menu, expand it, and choose “SSL Manager” and on the “Select SSL” choose the “Let’s Encrypt” option. 

how to write a book review for blog

After you’ve selected “Let’s Encrypt”, simply click the “GET” button below your domain name and wait for the certificate to be installed.

The SSL certificate is only valid for 3 months. However, it will renew itself automatically so it’s something you don’t ever have to worry about again.

how to write a book review for blog

  • Next, click on HTTPS Enforce on the right hand menu, and activate “HTTPS Enforce” for your domain.

 This will redirect all traffic going to insecure http links over to the secure https versions.

how to write a book review for blog

Congrats! Your site setup is complete and now is the time to customize its appearance!

Customizing your WordPress

Your site is now live, but empty. If you want to see how it look, simply go to yoursite.com and check it out.

It will probably be something like this:

how to write a book review for blog

Currently, you are running the default WordPress theme, which is most likely Twenty Twenty or Twenty Nineteen.

Themes are essentially different “skins” for a website that can be turned on or off whenever you want, at the click of a button.  The best part is that there are thousands of themes , and most are free .

  • To install a new theme, first go to yoursite.com/wp-admin

 To do so, simply navigate to yoursite.com/wp-admin , which will take you to a login screen. There, you will have to introduce the WordPress login details you filled out at step 7.

how to write a book review for blog

  • Choose whether to skip or follow the WordPress tutorial offered by SiteGround.

WordPress is pretty easy to learn, plus there will be a few links attached below to help figure out what each options does so it’s safe to press “Exit” and continue with this guide.

how to write a book review for blog

  • To install a new theme, go to Appearance -> Themes -> Add New

To test them out, all you have to do is go to your WordPress dashboard ( yoursite.com/wp-admin ), log in, then go to Appearance -> Themes -> Add New.

how to write a book review for blog

You’ll then be taken to the “Featured” themes screen, which contains curated lists of themes.  Right next to the “Featured” tab is the tab for “Popular” themes.

how to write a book review for blog

My personal recommendation is to settle on a theme from the “Popular” list. The themes in this section are popular because they are exceptionally good, are very customizable, are lightweight and receive constant updates.

Just to give you an idea, Hestia theme is 12 years old and still receives constant updates, improvements and adaptations to the newest technologies available.

This blog uses a theme called Lovecraft . Back when I first started this blog I knew very little about WordPress. Instead of looking for a beautiful and flexible theme, I chose the one that I thought looked the most pleasing to the eye.

It’s been more than 5 years since then, and I wish I could turn back time and pick a different theme.  While this theme has served this blog well, it does have some severe limitations in terms of customization.

For instance, I cannot change the font for this blog or the size without plugins or code . I also cannot adjust the width of the content box without code .

Why don’t I change the theme? Mostly because this blog now has a fair bit of technical debt and code changes in the background. If I were to change themes, I’m afraid it would impact my SEO and how much traffic I receive from Google.

So which theme would I use today if I could? In all honesty it would be either one of the following:

  • Hello Elementor

At first glance, they all look the same. However, these themes are extremely powerful and customizable. If you’re the tinkering type, it’s easily possible to make 1 Neve site completely unrecognizable from another Neve site.

If you’re not the tinkering type, I still suggest you install one of these themes and work with their standard, out-of-the-box settings.

You may not want to design your site right now, but as the years will pass you’ll see that there will come a time when you will want to modify a font size here, add a clickable button there, adjust the position of an element, add a header image etc.

Ultimately, themes such as these offer you a very strong foundation for a long-term book blog that will last you years or decades.

And as promised, below are a few guides that can help you learn the ins and outs of WordPress.

  • What is the WordPress Dashboard? (Quick Guide)
  • What Is the WordPress Admin Dashboard?

How to write blog posts, setting up pages

After you’ve decided on a theme (maybe even customized it a bit), you can start adding pages and posts.

Posts are the regular articles you write to gain traffic. Pages are navigational posts that are fixed to your menus and offer visitors useful information (About Me / Contact Us / Privacy Policy).

how to write a book review for blog

  • To write your information pages, just go to the WordPress Dashboard -> Pages -> Add New.

how to write a book review for blog

Once you’ve finished writing the pages, you’ll need to add them to your navigation menu.

  • Go to Appearance -> Menus and choose which pages to appear in the navigation menu.

how to write a book review for blog

Once you’re done, press “Save Menu” and refresh your site. You should now see the updated navigational menu.

  • To write blog articles, simply go to Posts in the dashboard and start writing!

How to generate traffic

Social media traffic is great, but it’s not self-sustaining.

So you’ve setup your brand new book review blog and you now want to start writing, build traffic and gain a readership. How exactly do you do that?

If you’ve never blogged before or have 0 experience with generating traffic for websites, then chances your first instinct is to write a few articles, share them with friends, acquaintances, specialized places such as forums and groups, popular media sources etc.

This kind of traffic can be classified as “Social” traffic. There’s nothing wrong with it, except that Social traffic disappears in a few days and almost never comes back – even for the wildly viral popular articles.

Focus on search traffic

What you really want is constant, sustainable traffic for which you have to do (almost) nothing to maintain.

As an example of this, here are the stats for an article on this blog and how much traffic it has generated over the years.

how to write a book review for blog

In the case of this article (as with all of the other article on this blog) the vast majority of traffic has been generated by Google search.

The only work I did for the article was to 1) write it 2) get a few links from some bloggers and 3) do a rewrite when it started to slide in the rankings. Total work? 30-40 hours in 2 years.

The advantage of Google search traffic is that once you reach the top of a page for a certain keyword, you’re likely to stay there for a very long time with near 0 effort. This is guaranteed to bring you traffic day in and day out.

How to rank in the first page of Google is the main subject of SEO. It is a gigantic topic so there’s no point in trying to cover it in depth-here.

So how long does it take to generate meaningful SEO traffic?

In the case of this blog, it took ~42 months to reach 10,000 monthly sessions . After that however, things accelerated rapidly and 9 months later it reached 50,000 monthly sessions .

how to write a book review for blog

Will it also take you this long? Probably not. In my case, I wasted at least 2 ½ years by not doing even the most basic forms of SEO.

Also, I wrote extremely few articles . Two years after I started this book blog, I had published only 6-7 blog posts. That’s simply too little to generate any meaningful traffic.

If you avoid my mistakes and write 20-40 articles, while also targeting easy keywords you will absolutely crush the 10,000 session mark well within the first year.

That being said, first time bloggers should focus on two major aspects of SEO :

  • Write articles that target certain keywords

People search for stuff on Google with keywords. In order to get search traffic, you have to signal to search engines that the subject of your article is that particular keyword.

Take this article for example. It was optimized to answer the query “how to start a book review blog”. As a result, I included that keyword right in the headline, and also in the link of the article itself: hastyreader.com/ how-to-start-a-book-review-blog .

Other similar articles I’ve written is this one about the best philosophy books or one about dark disturbing books.

Some people consider SEO to be unethical, since it seems like “gaming the system”. However, that’s mostly not true. The vast majority of SEO is really benign stuff where you tell search engines what a particular article is about, so it can then appear in search results.

Also, Google is really sophisticated and organizes results on a page depending on how good each article is. So how does Google know the quality of an article?

The Big G almost certainly measures how users interact with search results: when they enter, exit or reenter certain search results, or even retype a keyword so it’s a better fit.

If a particular article is the “end point” of a user’s search, this means it answers a user’s question. As a result, that article is probably the best result for that particular keyword. Thus, over time it gets placed higher up the search results.

In other words, quality articles go up the search rankings.

  • Whenever possible, get links

Certain keywords are extremely competitive , to the point where hundreds of articles are written on that particular subject every week.

As an example, consider the keyword “philosophy of mind”.  Google can’t possibly rank every single one of these articles based on the content alone, so they use another metric to sort them out: how many other sites link to that article.

In SEO terms, links to articles are viewed as positive reviews of the article’s quality.

For instance, if article A has been linked to from 10 other sites, it will tend to rank higher than article B that has 0 outside links pointing to it.

The number of links an article has received (or backlinks, in SEO language) isn’t visible for regular users of search engines. Instead, one must use specialized SEO tools such as SEMRush to figure this out.

These SEO tools also neatly show how rankings tend to increase with the number of sites linking to an article.

how to write a book review for blog

In fact, one backlink from Forbes can often be enough to catapult an article from the 10 th page of search results, right up to the first 2-3 spots on the first page.

Because of this, there is a huge, underground economy of people approaching (and paying) writers / bloggers in order to get a backlink to a particular article.

Depending on how big your blog becomes, the sums involved can be quite handsome and a good source of revenue.

More about this in the “How to make money with a book blog” section.

Pinterest can also generate sustainable, organic traffic

Believe it or not, but Pinterest is actually an extremely good source of sustainable, constant traffic. Many, many successful blogs have actually been built on majority Pinterest traffic.

This is because Pinterest primarily functions as an image based search / suggestion engine. Its users type in keywords similar to how they do on Google, browse through pins, click on the ones that are interesting and end up on your blog.

Plus, they can also repin (share) Pins, which can make them go viral.

Below are the traffic stats from Nikki’s Plate , a food blog that generates more than 90% of its traffic through Pinterest.

how to write a book review for blog

The traffic is designated as “Social” but that’s just because Google Analytics considers Pinterest to be a social network, rather than a search engine.

What to write about

The cool thing about book blogging is that new books are constantly published, meaning there’s always something to write about.

Not only that, but millions of books have already been published these past few millennia and most of them haven’t been reviewed by a book blogger.

The only problem however is that it’s difficult to find a book that can both generate traffic, and also be an enjoyable read. Trying to power through 10 books you just don’t connect with is absolutely not fun!

Fortunately, there are quick fixes for both these issues.

Read summaries of books before reviewing

To prevent wasting time and effort with books you don’t like, consider using book summary services such as Blinkist and getAbstract .

These companies basically read thousands of books and then condense them into 10-15 minute articles that contain only the major talking points.

This can seriously cut down on a lot of wasted time and frustration with books you don’t like and can’t connect with on a personal level.

Use SEO tools to see traffic potentials

Let’s say you’ve found 10-15 books that are interesting enough for you to review. How do you know which can generate you traffic and readers, and which are dead ends?

One free option is to use Google Trends :

how to write a book review for blog

With this tool, you can quickly allow you to compare the search traffic between two keywords.

The more professional option is to use an SEO tool such as SEMRush .

These SEO tools give you a lot of information when choosing what to write about , such as:

  • How difficult a keyword is, meaning how many backlinks you may need to rank for it.
  • Related keywords.
  • See what other book blogs have written about.
  • See a rough approximation of monthly searches for a given keyword.
  • See the backlink profiles of other articles.

how to write a book review for blog

That being said, these SEO tools can be pretty expensive. SEMRush has a 1 week free trial, after which it costs $100 per month, so certainly not cheap. You can however use a 1 month subscription, gather up enough ideas to last you 4-5-6 months, and then cancel it.

How to make money with a book blog

The hard truth about blogging is that you need to put in a lot of upfront work before you start to make any real money, especially as a beginner that’s never done this before.

This up-front work is all about generating traffic. Without traffic there is no monetization.

Fortunately however, SEO and Pinterest traffic is usually very stable when generated which allows you to then focus on building an income stream.

This section below explains the very basics of blog monetization as well as what traffic goals you should have in order to generate some meaningful revenue.

When you mention putting ads on a website, most people immediately think of Google Adsense. 10-15 years ago, AdSense was pretty much the only ad network available to monetize a website.

Things have changed a lot since then. Nowadays, most high traffic blogs have moved away from Adsense and instead migrated to other ad networks that pay 15x-30x as much : AdThrive, Monumetric or Mediavine.

Just to give you a comparison, Mediavine can provide around ~$20 per 1,000 sessions. Thus, a blog with 50,000 sessions can earn roughly $1,000 per month.

how to write a book review for blog

This screenshot is from a review of Mediavine from thisonlineworld.com .

So what’s the catch? Well, you have to meet certain conditions to join these high paying ad networks:

First, your site must have majority US/UK/Canada/Australia traffic (~65% or more).

Secondly, your blog must generate significant amounts of traffic per month. For instance, Monumetric asks for 10,000 pageviews, Mediavine requires 50,000 monthly sessions and AdThrive demands 100,000 monthly pageviews.

Sponsored Articles

As mentioned previously, there is currently a huge underground industry of people paying to get links from other sites. Google absolutely hates this and tries its best to crackdown on the practice, but not even they can consistently differentiate between a bought link and a natural one.

These links usually point to “money articles”, meaning posts that generate traffic from people who want to spend money. A few examples of such posts would be “Best Mattresses to Buy in 2020”, “Best Flashlights for Engineers” etc.

Sponsored articles are generally priced at around $1 per 100 pageviews. Thus, a blog with 10,000 monthly pageviews can ask for around $100, while one with 50,000 can demand a minimum of $500.

This blog doesn’t do sponsored articles, but it does receive offers on a weekly basis:

how to write a book review for blog

There are multiple reasons why I don’t accept sponsored posts:

  • The buyers are extremely obvious in their demands, meaning you risk a severe Google penalty.
  • They propose subjects that don’t align with your niche.
  • The articles they provide are so poor quality, you’ll have to practically rewrite them from scratch to make any sense.

That being said, bloggers that are willing to work with these limitations can create a good revenue stream from sponsored articles.

Affiliate marketing

In a nutshell, affiliate marketing means you promote a product and get a commission in case one of your visitors purchases it.

As an example, on this blog I promote CuriosityStream documentaries on relevant articles and books from Amazon as well as Audiobooks.com.

The nice part about affiliate marketing is that there are tons of advertisers across a wide variety of niches. This means it’s quite easy to find products that align with your values, and you can safely promote on your blog without feeling like a sellout.

To get into affiliate marketing, you’ll need to sign up to affiliate marketplaces. These are big sites that act as middlemen between advertisers and publishers as yourself:

  • Commision Junction
  • Amazon Affiliates

Some of these affiliate marketplaces have a vetting process. It’s pretty relaxed, so it’s not that hard to enter but I do suggest you first reach at least 1,000 monthly visitors before applying.

This way you’ll have some traffic and can generate some sales, which is important since inactive accounts or ones that can’t generate sales are often deactivated after a few months.

Monetizing a website through Patreon is now a viable option. The only downside to Patreon is that it requires you put in a lot of work into building and nurturing a core audience of readers that will visit your site again and again.

Traditional blogs usually monetize with affiliate links, ads and email newsletters. These can all be automated so that you don’t really have to interact a lot with your readers. This frees up the blogger, allowing them to focus on writing and promoting their articles.

Patreon bloggers on the other hand have to put effort into interacting with their audience. This can mean answering their emails, asking them what to write about, creating offers to entice donations etc.

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A Writer With Skin in the Game

The essayist Leslie Jamison has become known for her careful balancing acts of self-exposure.

  • Share full article

A close-up portrait of Leslie Jamison, who is wearing a green and black floral dress and earrings shaped like lemon wheels.

By Kate Dwyer

“If the self is a guesthouse, most of the rooms are full of ghosts,” Leslie Jamison said on a recent Monday afternoon in a Columbia University lecture hall. Ms. Jamison, wearing an ethereal blue maxi dress, stood before a projector screen showing 19th-century spirit photography. “Being haunted can be a state of abundance,” she said. “Living in the ghost hotel is a state of abundance. Memories are raw material.”

One does not check into a ghost hotel without taking inventory of its specters: “Who are you haunted by?” Ms. Jamison told her students to ask themselves. “What versions of yourself are you haunted by? What moments are you haunted by?”

Ms. Jamison’s graduate course is called “The Self” and addresses the challenges of writing in the first person. Each class tackles a different self that can come through in a work: There is the “loving self” in relationships; the “shameful self,” who reckons with pain; the “self at risk,” who is in peril; and, during class that Monday, the “haunted self,” who lives in the aftermath of disaster and must confront the past.

Ms. Jamison said she became acquainted with each of these while writing her new memoir, “ Splinters ,” which recounts the birth of her child and the end of her marriage. Her writing often includes intensely personal details — in “ The Empathy Exams ” she wrote about her excessive drinking and an abortion, and in “ The Recovering ” she shared an unvarnished account of her path to sobriety. But this is her first book drawn entirely from her own life, without the essayistic pivots between criticism and reportage that made her name in literary circles alongside writers like Maggie Nelson, Roxane Gay and Eula Biss.

“Part of what spoke to me in the form of ‘Splinters’ was this idea of accessing something different by staying so close to the body and lived experience,” Ms. Jamison, 40, said.

But her character on the page, she added, is a “partial, built thing.”

“Who I am in ‘Splinters,’ yes, is me — I lived all of those things,” she said. “But at the same time, I’m choosing what that narrator does and says and is on the page, and building her piece by piece.”

Her raw material is this: Ms. Jamison grew up in Los Angeles, and knew from a young age that she wanted to write even before she could physically do so, enlisting her two older brothers to write down the stories she told them. She left the West Coast to attend Harvard and then moved to Iowa City for an M.F.A. in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop; from there, she pursued a Ph.D in English at Yale. But she says she completed her debut novel, “The Gin Closet,” while working as an innkeeper in her hometown — one of a handful of odd jobs she’s had, including baker, office temp, juice barista, Gap sales clerk and medical actor . Her breakout essay collection, “The Empathy Exams,” followed four years later.

That spring, at a writers’ work space near Union Square in Manhattan, she met the writer Charles Bock , who appears in “Splinters” as “C.” They got married just a few months later, and settled down in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn.

The marital troubles began after the birth of their daughter and the publication of “The Recovering” in 2018, she writes in the memoir, when she and Mr. Bock became emotionally distant. “Our home was a place in which I’d come to feel alone, and so — in retaliation, or from depletion — I made C feel alone, too,” she writes. “His barbed comments left me so frayed that I stopped trying to detect or soothe the hurt beneath them.”

After separating in 2019, she began to take notes for “Splinters” while living in a sublet next to a firehouse, where she felt the grief of rupture alongside a “sense of hope and deep love,” she said. She wanted to explore those seemingly contradictory feelings on the page.

In her memoir, Ms. Jamison breaks these life events into shards for the reader to piece together over the course of the book. By writing in short, intense vignettes, she said, “it felt like I broke open something in my language,” and discovered a new way of writing. “That’s always the feeling that I want.”

Less than an hour after Ms. Jamison’s daughter is born, on Page 9, a nurse takes the baby down the hall to receive treatment for jaundice. It takes another nurse’s words of comfort for Ms. Jamison to feel the tears on her cheeks. After a little while, Ms. Jamison writes, she wheels her IV pole down the hall to observe her daughter blue-lit under the nursery’s bilirubin lights.

Forty pages later, she reveals that during that “little while,” she had pulled out her laptop and continued fact-checking an essay on female rage from her hospital bed, “bleary with shame and pride.” Having finished copy edits just before her water broke, she had planned to continue working from the hospital.

“Why did it feel somehow like saying, ‘I got to work and I was glad to get to work’?” she asked. “Why does that threaten to invalidate the feeling of sadness that I narrate the first time?”

The revelations that arrive in “Splinters” are not the payoff; instead, Ms. Jamison sees the thrill of narrative as “dramatizing the process of getting there,” she said, and “getting to watch thought become suspicious of itself, but then still be hungry for some sort of meaning.”

Ms. Jamison arrived on the literary scene when the hybrid essay was becoming more popular in the wake of “ It Happened to Me ”-style confessional essays that populated blogs the decade before, often relying on writers to expose their deepest wounds for page views.

“There was a moment, sometime between 2008 and 2010, when a woman’s insides — her exploits, her eating habits, her feelings, her sex life — became a lucrative internet product,” Anne Helen Petersen wrote in a review of “How to Murder Your Life,” the 2017 memoir by Cat Marnell, a former beauty editor at xoJane, which became known for that form of personal writing.

In a workshop at the end of her M.F.A., Ms. Jamison said she had tried to write these self-lacerating essays. But she found them claustrophobic and felt they didn’t make room for the range of feelings she wanted to convey. Incorporating journalism and criticism made the personal essay feel more outward-looking, she said. Ms. Jamison set out to prove that “personal narrative doesn’t have to be as solipsistic as we think it is.”

That has earned her a devoted following. The rise of the hybrid essay “coincided with a rise in the creative nonfiction programs across the country,” said Jan Weissmiller, a poet and an owner of Prairie Lights Books in Iowa City, where Ms. Jamison drafted parts of “The Empathy Exams.” Ms. Weissmiller said that book “was formative for all those young people that were studying and starting to write that way.”

Ms. Jamison is one of 30 or so writers who Michael Taeckens, the former marketing director of Graywolf Press, said had “spawned legions of imitators” — or at least legions of young writers and students who want to learn the secrets of this genre-bending high-wire act.

Emmeline Clein, a former student of Ms. Jamison’s whose forthcoming book “Dead Weight” recounts her struggle with an eating disorder, said Ms. Jamison was the first writer she read who captured “a certain type of human void that manifests in emotional and mental distress,” and whose approach “is grounded in research but is very human and lived.”

Anika Jade Levy, the co-editor of Forever Magazine, marveled over Ms. Jamison’s “ability to intellectualize her own experiences without diluting their emotional resonances.” Madelaine Lucas, another former Columbia student, said Ms. Jamison’s 2014 essay “ Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain ” — about women who numb themselves to avoid seeming melodramatic — is “maybe not a battle cry, but something that spoke to a particular generation of women.”

This semester, all but three of the 60 students in Ms. Jamison’s course are women, many of them longtime Leslie-heads who applied to the program hoping to work with her.

Ms. Jamison’s life looks much different now than it does in the pages of “Splinters.” These days, she lives with a partner in Brooklyn and splits the week between what she calls “outward”-facing days teaching at Columbia and internet-free writing days at home, where she is working on a novel, a book about daydreaming and a version of her “Self” lectures to publish widely. Friday afternoons are reserved for time with her daughter, who is now in kindergarten.

Ms. Jamison said she tries to bring some of the vulnerability she uses in her books to her classroom to show students that she, too, has skin in the game. She talks openly about addiction, anorexia and unhealthy relationships. “People are just so much more ready and willing and eager to share parts of themselves because they already feel like they’re on this particular radio channel with you,” she said.

During a 10-minute break, she asked her students to respond to a writing prompt about “haunted sweetness.” When class resumed, students talked about learning to sew and embarking upon ill-advised affairs.

“To believe in writing from a first-person perspective is not just about believing in your own first person,” Ms. Jamison said later, during an interview in her tidy, bohemian office, where a colleague’s origami mobile hangs from a shelf. “It’s literally about believing in the richness of anybody’s subjectivity.”

She recounted how she had read a biography of the 19th-century mathematician Georg Cantor as a child, an attempt to impress one of her older brothers. One of Cantor’s great discoveries was that there were different types of infinities.

In writing creative nonfiction, she said, there’s one kind of infinity available in examining one’s life alongside the lives of others, something she hopes she manages to capture in her essays.

“Then there’s this other kind of infinity — that’s not a lesser infinity, it’s just a different infinity — that’s between zero and one,” she said, “when you’re hewing closer to your own experience.”

Back in the classroom, Ms. Jamison recounted an anecdote about an apple farmer who coined the term “ghost apples” to describe the icy formations he noticed growing in his orchard. During a cold snap in Michigan, the farmer realized that his apples had turned to mush and escaped their icy shells, leaving behind perfect crystalline forms.

“When I think of writing the moments that haunt me, I think of these ghost apples,” Ms. Jamison said. “How to let the excess drop away, the mush and skin of what happened but isn’t necessary to the telling.”

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