Let’s say that you just finished reading a book that you loved. Perhaps it was even one of Emerald Lake Books’ latest titles. Whatever it was, following it up with a review is a good habit to get into.
Reviews provide encouragement, feedback and constructive criticism for authors, which is something we all stand to benefit from.
But reviews also serve to help future buyers and prospective readers decide whether a title is right for them or not. Your honest review can help them decide whether to invest their time and money in a book.
So let’s take a few minutes to understand how to write a compelling review for Amazon.
Every review consists of three parts: a star rating, the review itself and a headline or title for the review.
Understanding Star Ratings
Every item on Amazon can be quickly critiqued by selecting a star rating from 1 to 5. So as you’re thinking about the book you’ve just read (or any other product you’ve just finished trying), the first step is to figure out what star rating to assign to it.
Amazon’s definition of each of the stars is:
- 5 – I love it
- 4 – I like it
- 3 – It’s okay
- 2 – I don’t like it
- 1 – I hate it
Short and sweet, but easy to decipher.
As much as every author loves to receive five-star reviews, it’s also unrealistic to expect everyone to love the same book. A five-star review should be reserved for when the book has everything: strong writing, solid content, great editing, etc.
Ultimately, the test is this: If this is a book that you know all your friends and family should read, and that you know you’ll be reading again, then it’s five-star worthy.
Elements of a Good Review
Once you’ve chosen your star rating, you’ll be asked to write your review. This is the bulk of what you have to say about the book you’ve just read. While you can write anything you want here, you can make your review ultra-useful by including the following information:
- Write the review as if you’re explaining to a friend why they should read the book. While the author is certainly interested in what you have to say about their book, it’s a prospective reader who’s going to base their decision about whether to read the book based on what you share.
- Include something about the book itself so that prospective readers understand what it’s about.
- Share something that stood out to you or resonated with you. What was it? Why did it impact you the way it did?
Remember, your review is about the book and how it impacted you. It is not about you or about any technical difficulties you may have had with downloading it. So make sure that you stay on topic if you want to write a compelling review.
Give It a Compelling Headline
After you’ve written your review, summarize it by giving your review a compelling headline. Some reviewers use this as a call-to-action directed at a prospective buyer. Others use it to accentuate a key point in their review.
Whatever your preference is, use it as a means of capturing the reader’s attention so that they take the time to read what you’ve had to say about the book.
A Word of Caution
Amazon has a clearly stated policy against friends and family writing reviews for an author’s book. In their estimation, if you have a close relationship with an author, you’re unlikely to write an unbiased review.
Therefore, keep your review focused on the book itself and not on the author. Amazon does actively seek out reviews that give the impression of a close personal relationship with the author and removes them without warning.
So don’t let your review go to waste. Keep it focused on the book and its value to a prospective reader.