Do you review books? Just like any other work, book reviewing also has some rules and ethics which reviewers need to follow very strictly. Unless and until you follow these rules, you are not really doing justice to the purpose of book reviewing. So let us see what are the Dos and Don’ts while reviewing books.
- Give a small introduction about the book before you get into the review. (Relevant for blog reviews)
- Give the reader an idea about the story or content in the book. You can use the author’s blurb as in Amazon or Goodreads. I sometimes present it myself and sometimes take it from Amazon. (Relevant for blog reviews)
- If you are giving less than 5 stars, be specific to mention the flaws in the book.
- Be generous enough to appreciate the author for his/her work if you liked the book.
- Drop your reviews on Amazon and other e-commerce platforms since they help the author to generate sales.
- Give a link to purchase the book in your review blog post.
- Mention if the book is inappropriate for certain age groups.
- Do not ever give away the story of the book. Not even out of frustration or excitement. (Relevant for fiction)
- Do not use bad words for criticism. Just imagine somebody trashing your work saying it is useless and good for nothing. So, choose your words carefully.
- Do not defame the author because you did not like the book. Have some common sense, author and his book are two different entities. Imagine your cooking goes wrong somehow and people blaming your character for that.
- Do not write long essays in the name of a book review. Keep it small and up to the point.
Can I charge for a Book Review?
When you read a book by yourself, you read it out of keen interest. You may or may not choose to review it anywhere. But when someone requests you to read and review a book, they are asking for a service from your side. Charging or not charging for your service is completely your choice.
If you are accepting review copies just as a hobby and you are absolutely happy with a free copy of the book, go ahead with the idea.
However, you have all the right to charge for the services you provide. Your time and efforts are valuable. Again, when you charge for a book review, there are some more work ethics attached to it. Let’s check what are they;
- Have your terms and conditions clear with the author before you accept the review copy.
- Keep your work-related email (or social media) conversations with the author confidential.
- When you charge for something, give your services accordingly.
- Communicate with the author for any major issues you have with the book before posting your review. If the person is not ok with the opinions you are going to write in your review, be willing to return his/her money and step out from the project. Do not upload fake reviews at any cost.
These are my personal views regarding dos and don’ts while reviewing books. If you have anything more to add to this, do share it in the comment section below. Also, share your idea of book reviewing.