4 Quick Ways To Write A #BookReview And Overcome Your Fears #MondayBlogs

To all you book lovers and readers out there: Heed Rosie Amber! Book reviews are the best way to promote your favorite indie author and they are NOT difficult to write! Consider Rosie’s tips for writing a book review and then go forth and write them 🙂

Rosie Amber

Authors WANT  Reviews

Make an Author's Day

Simple! How many times have you read pleas on social media for readers to write reviews? – Probably Loads.

Does the thought of writing a book review send you racing to the hills? – I can see plenty of you nodding in agreement.

WHAT holds you back?

Reading Soft edge

6 common replies:

I can’t write.

I can’t write paragraphs about a book.

I don’t know what to write.

I’m afraid of what people will think of my review.

I’m an author and don’t want a backlash on my own books.

I don’t have the time.

Let’s turn this around

I can’t write – I bet if you can read, you can write.

I can’t write paragraphs about a book – Good News, Amazon accepts one sentence reviews now as do many other sites.

I don’t know what to write – Ah! Quick Question – Why did you like or Dislike…

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Gatecrash: Liberating creativity in the age of boilerplate fiction

Come join the discussion on Kevin Brennan’s blog regarding the current state and future of literature in the self-publishing world! Experimentation vs formula. Where do you stand as a writer? As a reader?

I’m reblogging Kevin’s first installment of his very fine essay, but you’ll have to sign up for his blog to get notice of the rest.  And to make sure you do, I’ve closed comments on this reblog.



Last March I developed a long essay on the state of fiction these days, as I see it — particularly the fiction we associate with the indie market. It’s probably thought of mainly as genre fiction, though there’s a mixed bag of material out there, available predominantly as ebooks from Amazon.com. It struck me — still strikes me, in fact — that the tools offered by online publishing present an enormous opportunity that’s not being taken advantage of by writers, artistic freedom being the biggest elephant in the room.

I had planned on publishing the essay as a standalone ebook, but over the course of the year I realized that hawking my novels is hard enough. I’ve decided instead to post it in eleven parts here on the blog, offering it at the end as a free pdf download. Each part will run about a thousand words so it’s easily…

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Well Read? Or Not Well Read? #MondayBlogs

Elodea (RIP) posing on one of my smaller bookcases.

Elodea (RIP) posing on one of my smaller bookcases.

My husband and I have a lot of books.  Mine are mostly fiction; his are nonfiction (environment, politics, history).  I often think of my husband as better read than myself although he rarely reads fiction.  On the other hand, my girlfriend and I can dominate a social gathering with our discussion of our favorite fiction authors.  But, it’s only been in the last few years that I’ve really taken up with reading contemporary authors.  My journey has been odd but interesting.

When I was (much) younger and there was only the one-room library up the road for my summer reading adventures, I had only what that small room could offer.  I remember reading Hans Christian Anderson and being both drawn to and repulsed by his stories.  I also remember wanting to change the ending of his stories.  As I got older, I grabbed more of the hard-cover books because they made me feel like a grown-up.  Or I would sit in the magazine alcove and leaf through old issues of Vogue and Elle magazines.  In the last summer of my teens I read D.H. Lawrence, Anais Nin, Henry Miller, and  . . . Albert Speer.  I think I even tried to read The Gulag Archipelago.  I have a vivid memory of reclining on a lounge chair in my neighbor’s yard, sunbathing, while awkwardly holding open a very thick paperback copy of Solzhenitsyn’s book.

It was a strange summer.

And for the next 20 years as I drifted in and out of college classes and between degrees and jobs, I read the classics:  Shakespeare (totally lost on me when I was in high school), Dickens, Austen, Eliot (George and T.S.), the Brontes, Woolf, Forster, Ford, Donne, Pope, … there was a time when I could recite every author/poet/essayist that I read or was assigned to read.  I’ve since forgotten most of them.

After leaving college and applying myself to the work-a-day world, my reading shifted more to magazines:  The Nation, Harper’s, The New York Review of Books, The Atlantic.  Periodicals from which I could read an essay or short fiction as my last mental exercise before going to bed.  [Note: I’ve been a magazine subscriber for over 30 years. While I was in college, however, those magazines often just piled up while I tried to finish the next day’s reading assignment.]

Since I’ve been seriously writing again (or writing seriously), I’ve started reading contemporary authors, as in authors who are still alive.  They’re not dead.  They might not be white.  And most of them are decidedly not male.  Joan Didion, Barbara Kingsolver, Louise Penny, Elizabeth Wein, Robert Galbraith (sorry, he’s a she), Val McDermid, Joyce Carol Oates (I have a love-hate relationship with that woman). All my life I’ve leaned toward women authors, but that’s another blog post.

I have no doubt that many of you could spout off a list of books/authors you’ve read that is twice or ten times as long as mine.  My list isn’t exhaustive.  I would have to get up off my ass and go to my bookcases to remind myself the books I’ve read or intend to read.  I don’t feel like doing that right now.

I used to feel self-conscious about either my lack of “well” reading or my inability to remember everything I’ve read.  But then I read this essay in Harper’s by John CrowleyOn Not Being Well Read (sorry, you need to be a subscriber to read the whole thing.)  Mr. Crowley has a reading history not much different from mine, in that it wasn’t perfectly linear with an early and long immersion in classic literature.  He muses about the idea of being “well read” or “widely read” or “much read.”  He discusses a book I’ve never heard of, How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read, but notes that your interest in following the lessons of this book may have more to do with “your need for approval from yourself and others.”  Crowley has the opposite problem.  While he acknowledges that he has “surely forgotten more of the books [he’s] read than remembered,” he still remembers a lot and some of what he remembers is esoteric enough that he gives the “impression” [his italics] of being well read.  He also discusses the fact that not everyone reads every book in its entirety.  [Look for discussions on Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch and you get the idea that a great many more readers probably don’t finish as many books as we think they do.]

But what I really appreciated about Crowley’s essay is that in the end, it doesn’t matter.  Having books is it’s own joy.

“But now that I am in my eighth decade, my seventh of devoted reading, isn’t it perhaps time to correct my lacks, to make myself whole, as the legal phrase would have it? As I write, I have in view a lot of the books I would ask myself to take up; they’ve been there for years, they move with me from house to house.  Like many people who have a lot of books on shelves, I have had casual visitors ask if I’ve really read them all, in a tone that might suggest wonderment, or suspicion of pretense. And of course I haven’t read them all.  Many are there just because I haven’t read them: because I want, or once wanted, to read them, or at least consult them. They are books I’d like to have inside as well as outside.”

So you, dear Reader, how do you fare with the reading of books?  Do you consider yourself well read?  What does “well read” mean to you?  And, finally, for this is very true of me, do you have books on your shelves you haven’t read but that you keep just because?

A Different Kind of Book Review: Living Life Backwards by Peter Wells


Randy shifted his weight in the uncomfortable straight-back wooden chair.  He was afraid to grasp the handle of the delicate teacup though he was thirsty for the hot tea.  Mary and her cousins were quiet, scrolling through their respective Kindles and Kobos for the book they were to discuss that night.  Randy didn’t know how he had been pressed into joining their book club.  The only reason could be that he had suggested the novel to Mary.  Living Life Backwards was an intriguing title he thought, and Peter Wells, the author, was a master of the short story, at least the ones he published through his blog, Counting Ducks.  That was another interesting title.  People usually count sheep.  Or the head of cattle.  But he had never known anyone to count ducks. (more…)

A Different Kind of Book Review: Miss Mabel’s School for Girls by Katie Cross


The tea kettle began to whistle, it’s high-pitched steamy hiss making Lucy wince.  She was in charge tonight.  She was the one to hold forth, to represent all young women everywhere, as the Widows’ Book Club met again.  She wondered if they would find it amusing or impertinent, maybe even juvenile, calling their book club The Widows’ Book Club.  But they were all widows, she argued with herself.  Well, three of them. (more…)

Rosie’s Book Review Team

Rosie Amber’s Book Review Challenge continues along with an opportunity to be on a volunteer book review team!

Rosie Amber

Good Luck readers with the Book Reviewing Challenge

Hopefully you will have received your book/ books or will be getting them today.

Let me know if you didn’t get a book, please do check spam, some of the filters do a good job.


Our first book review from the challenge will be posted tomorrow.

On the back of the success of the Book Review Challenge, I want to launch the idea of a voluntary Book Review Team. This would give author’s a wider book reviewing audience based in one location. Reviewers would need to be able to post any book reviews on at least 2 platforms such as their blogs, Goodreads, Amazon etc Plus provide a copy to be posted here on Rosie Amber’s blog where they would be personally acknowledged for the review. They would need to be able to read and review the book…

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Book Review Challenge Series – The Importance of Book Reviews by Lizzie Lamb

It’s the last guest post for Rosie Amber’s Book Review Challenge! This post is by Lizzie Lamb!

Rosie Amber

Last Day

Our last guest post on the Book review Challenge before we hand over to you the reader is author Lizzie Lamb. Plus authors might like to step around the fence to the book reviewers side and take a look.

Lizzie Lamb New

1)     How important are book reviews for an author?

Very important. Not only do they let writers know what their readers (the genuine ones, that is) think, they give readers feedback to see if the book is something they might enjoy and download. Reviews also help to keep a writer’s profile ‘up there’ with Amazon. They ‘ping’ with the SEO machine and make sure that writer doesn’t get forgotten by Amazon’s big publicity machine.

2)     What are the top sites for book reviews?

I must admit that I don’t search these types of sites very often so I really can’t say. Sites like Novelicious and Love Reading, for example…

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Book review challenge series – Ionia Martin

Day 5 of Rosie Amber’s book review challenge. Visit Rosie’s blog where you can enjoy interviews with top book reviewer Ionia Martin and author Adrienne Vaughan. And there are still books available if you want to join the challenge!

Rosie Amber

Day 5

Today our guest is book reviewer extraordinaire Ionia Martin. Please join me in welcoming her to the blog. Plus we have author Adrienne Vaughan’s views on the importance of book reviews, posting a review to Amazon and gearing up to write your own review.

Ionia Martin

1) Where can readers and writers find your blog?
You can find me at http://readfulthingsblog.com

2) Where do you post your book reviews as well as your blog?
It depends on the book, but I usually cross-post to Amazon.com US and UK as well as posting to Facebook, Linked-in, Goodreads and Twitter. If the author has a publisher site I will sometimes post there too.

3) What type of books will you consider for review?
I don’t do sci-fi books. Otherwise, I accept almost anything that doesn’t include graphic material. If a 15 year old couldn’t read it without blushing or getting sick, I…

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Book Review Challenge – Writing Book Reviews by Diane Coto from Fictionzeal

And Rosie Amber’s Book Review Challenge continues with Day 4 and Diane Coto!

Rosie Amber

Day 4

Today Diane Coto joins us from Fictionzeal and talks about book reviews. Plus a quick look at Shelfari and I go in deep talking more about what you can look for whilst reading a book ready for a book review.

button 3

Over to you Diane.
1)    Where can readers and writers find your blog?
2)    Where do you post your book reviews as well as your blog?
I provide links back to the review on Twitter; Facebook; Google+; and bookblogs.ning.com.  Then I provide the review on Amazon; GoodReads; and Shelfari. 
3)    What type of books will you consider for review?
Even though my preferred genre is mystery & suspense, I leave myself open to review outside of my ‘comfort genre.’  I also really enjoy romantic suspense; historical fiction (not Tudor); and many YA books.  I tend to avoid horror and sci-fi.

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Book Review Challenge Series – The Importance Of Book Reviews By Terry Tyler

It’s Day 3 of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Challenge!

Rosie Amber

Day 3

Today our guest is fabulous author Terry Tyler. I’ve challenged Terry to talk about the importance of book reviews as an author. Plus we’ll look at Goodreads and should you write a Bad Book Review?


Over to you Terry.

1)      How important are book reviews for an author?

 Hugely, massively! The more the better. Doesn’t even matter if some aren’t that complimentary; they show potential readers that the book has provoked interest sufficient for people to want to write about it. It doesn’t matter if some of the reviews are only a couple of lines long, either.

 2) What are the top sites for book reviews?

I’m sorry, I don’t know! I only know about the few on which I’ve appeared regularly, which, apart from yours, are A Woman’s Wisdom, Once Upon A Book Blog, Jera’s Jamboree, Me My Books and I, Kerry’s Reviews Blog, A Lover Of…

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