Guidelines for writing book reviews. Dennis Wheatley to Kathy Reichs

Guidelines for writing really helpful book reviews.


Tip #1. No spoilers please.

Tip #2. Despite amazon’s encouragement to do so…don’t write the review immediately upon finishing the book.

Tip #3 Think reader/think writer.

All of the above will become clear as you read on.


When I started a literary group I wanted to outline some suggestions that members could use to get the most from what they each had to say.

Tell us about the book.

  1. What or who attracted you to the book?
  2. Is it your usual genre?
  3. Did the first paragraph/page draw you in?
  4. What did you experience/learn from it?
  5. Did you read it quickly/savour it or struggle?
  6. Tell us a favourite moment in the book (no spoliers, please)
  7. And your least favourite part?
  8. How many stars would you give it and why?
  9. Would you read another book by this author?
  10. If someone mentioned the title of this book, which three words would come to mind?


So, no spoilers. I guess that is obvious but not to some reviewers on amazon, it seems.

When I suggest not writing the review until some time after you have finished reading, that is a personal choice and is linked to tip #3.

As a writer I am not just interested in people’s (aka reader’s) thoughts I want to know how to improve as a writer.

For me this means that in one week, one month or even one year…what sticks in your mind about any particular book?

Let me give you an example.

Recent reading. Kathy Reichs, James Patterson, W. Somerset Maughan, Michael Connelly, Dennis Wheatley.

I finished reading these books in November. It is now February. Click on the image to enlarge.

Shouldn’t a great book illicit fond memories the moment you glace at the cover?

As a writer that is what I am aiming for.

Was it a gourmet meal or beans on toast?

Many a book I have enjoyed at the time to be almost totally forgotten soon after.

I don’t purport to write great literature (yet) but I do hope my readers can glance at a cover of any of my books and get an internal response and a smile. A smile is always good, even if the story is not amuse-worthy.


Book reviews of my November reads to follow…




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