Review: The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing

The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing by Mayra Calvani & Anne K Edwards
Release Date: June 15, 2008
Publisher: Twilight Times Books

Source: Bewitching Book Tours

Are you passionate about books? Do you have the desire to share your thoughts about a book with readers, yet are unsure about what makes a good review? Are you curious about the influence reviews have on readers, booksellers, and librarians?

If you’re an experienced reviewer, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing will serve as an excellent reference tool and amalgam of resources. If you’re a beginner, this book will show you how to write a well-written, honest, objective and professional book review. It will also teach you:
How to read critically.
How to differentiate the various types of reviews.
How to rate books.
How to prevent amateurish mistakes.
How to deal with the ethics and legalities of reviewing.
How to tell the difference between a review, a book report, and a critique.
How to start your own review site.
How to publish your reviews on dozens of sites and even make money while you’re at it, and much more.

If you’re an author, publisher, publicist, bookseller, librarian, or reader, this book will also bring to light the importance and influence of book reviews within a wider spectrum.


Review:  I am a volunteer book reviewer and also write reviews for books I read for pleasure on book websites. I didn’t realize there is a book reviews industry and I personally had “on the job” training if you will. Much of what was in this book about reviews – how to write them, who owns them, where you can post them, etc. are what I’ve been doing but really didn’t know the logic behind. The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing gave support to why who I write volunteer reviews for has us write our reviews the way we do, including number of books we can have out, assignments, where we can post reviews, etc.

This book is a how to book on the do’s and don’ts of being a book reviewer. Some of the areas covered are how to write a positive review, how to write a positive negative review when you have to write a negative one, what to include and the format needed. It also gave several samples after the discussions to show you how to write reviews given different scenarios. It also delves into the importance of reviewers to publishers, authors and readers.

A second section dealt with the book review sites and how to start your own. It was extremely detailed in explaining how best to do so with lots of pros and cons especially as it relates to ebooks and reviews posted on the internet. It had a lot of information but was really geared to the owners or webmasters of the book reviewer sites. It also touched on how to obtain volunteer reviewers – what to look for, how to see if they would be a good fit, how to enforce their deadlines, and make sure they write a quality review.

The last part of the book dealt with resources was 20 pages long almost all of it giving website and contact information for where you can possibly post your reviews. This section is really for independent reviewers and those either having a book review site or setting one up. It wasn’t for the average reader or reviewer so I was able to skim through most of it but glancing at the titles of the suggested websites.

As a person who loves to read and who is enjoying being a volunteer reviewer this was an enjoyable although technical read. I would recommend it to anyone who sees writing reviews in their future.

Favorite Quote:  Remember that the books are being sent to you in exchange for a review. Accepting books and not writing the reviews is, in one word: STEALING. You’d be surprised at the number of reviewers’ who, after having requested several books, suddenly ‘disappear.’ These people are not legitimate, they’re crooks, plain and simple. Integrity is part of the code of honor of a legitimate reviewer.

Purchase Links
Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

Today (March 19) only, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing (ebook version) is on sale for $2.99 instead of it’s normal price of $5.99.