How to Write a Book Review

If and when you find an author whose work you enjoy, there are a lot of ways that you can support them. Number one, is obviously purchasing their books, but something else you can do is leave a review once you’ve read the book. This helps other readers decide whether or not the book is for them.

Does my opinion really matter?


Without digging into the statistics, people rely on independent reviews when shopping online. They use the number of reviews as an indicator of a book’s popularity and feel more comfortable when they can review information from a source with no financial interest in the outcome.

What if I don’t have a degree in English literature?

Neither do (the vast majority of) the other people browsing. Most potential readers are just trying to figure out whether or not they’ll enjoy the story. Is it going to be a fun beach read? An engaging listen during a long commute? Will they like the characters? What emotions will the story draw out?

If you’ve read the book, your opinion counts.

What if the book was only… okay? I’d like to give feedback, but don’t want to give it five stars.

Moderate reviews are helpful.

Consumer confidence goes up when consumers see reviewers giving honest feedback. Not everyone is going to like a given book, even if it’s well-written.

If a particular book isn’t for you, is there a target audience it might be better suited for?

How to write a review (on Amazon)

Search up the webpage where you purchased the book. Scroll down about half way. You should come to the “Customer Reviews” section. Look for the box that says “Write a customer review” and click on that.

Look for this!

At the top of the page you can leave a name that will be displayed. You don’t have to use the name associated with your account. Or you can shorten it.

Amazon Reviews will want a title. Sometimes this is called a “hook.” You don’t need to get too creative with it if you don’t want to. Titles like “I Really Enjoyed this Book” are fine. Sometimes it can help to write the main body of the review and then just copy an paste a phrase that comes out of that.

Ideas for things to discuss in the the body of the review
(you don’t have to answer all of these, they’re just suggestions, pick one or two):

  • What emotions did you feel while reading the book?
    Angst, fear, sadness, excitement, happiness, elation, joy?
  • What would you tell your best friend the book is really about?
    What happens? Where did the story take place? What was at stake?
  • What was something you read in the book that you hadn’t come across before? What was unique about it for you?
  • What is one word (or phrase) you would use to describe the book?
  • How would you describe the main character(s)?
    Did you feel an empathetic connection? Did you care what happened to them? What did the character want or what goals did they have in the story? Did other characters stand out for you?
  • What kind of reader is likely to enjoy this book?
    Age? Stage of life?
    Fans of another book, movie, or TV series?
    A book club or discussion group?
    Science nerds? History buffs?
  • For what places or circumstances might this book be a good read?
    Camping? A long road trip? Something to read next to a crackling fire?
  • Include something about yourself.
    Is this the first time you’ve read something like this or are you a prolific reader in the genre?
    What other types of books do you like to read?

And if you want to leave a review, but just can’t find the words or the time, you can always just say:
I enjoyed this book.