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How To Write A Kindle Book Review

How To Write a Kindle Book Review

by Sherri Caldwell - The Rebel Housewife®

So, have you ever?
You don’t have to be a writer to express your opinion-- online retailers really want to know what you think! About the products you buy... clothes, household items, services, travel, and books (old-school or digital).

With Amazon.com and Kindle Book Reviews: K.I.S.S.
(Keep It Short & Simple—no stress!)

Amazon walks you gently through the whole process, whenever you finish a book, and offers many other review opportunities and reminders, as well.

You’ll notice, when reading on your Kindle, as you come close to 100% completed, a review screen pops up, often before you’re finished reading through the back material-- you know, the author interviews and reading guides, stuff like that (which I always read and enjoy).

“Before You Go...”

Review this book (Stars)
Title & Author (provided)
Title for your review (required)
Write your review here (required)

I recommend the following order:
1) Rate the book – 1 to 5 Stars
2) Write your review
3) Title your review & Submit

I’ll walk you through it-- easy-peasy!

First, the Amazon Star Ratings, 1 thru 5, are as follows:

★ - I hate it
★★ – I don’t like it
★★★ – It’s okay
★★★★ – I like it
★★★★★ – I love it

(I haven’t figured out how to rate on the half-star, so there’s no gray area here-- you like it or you love it, nothing in-between.)

Some Thoughts About Positive vs. Negative Reviews

This can be a touchy area, as other people rely on your honest, unbiased reaction to a book or product they are considering for purchase. There is a great deal of controversy and the potential for manipulation in reviews, either from false praise (generally for compensation or favor) or, at the other extreme, malicious, sometimes unwarranted, criticism and low ratings.

Amazon has gone to great lengths to keep their reviews honest, fair and legitimate (i.e. written by real people, not robots; ratings from people who have actually purchased and used the product, not fiverr gigs-for-hire). The dark side of reviews is a whole ‘nother conversation, and beyond the scope of this article. Keep it simple.

Should you leave a negative review? Sure, if it’s appropriate.
But... I don’t know... Is it worth your time and energy to continue to read or use something for which you would leave a 1- or 2-Star Rating and a negative review? Wouldn’t you just return the thing and move on to something more useful and enjoyable?

I was surprised to discover, over the years, I have 83 Reviews on Amazon.com, mostly for books, but occasionally I’ll leave feedback on other products or purchases, if I feel very strongly, one way or another.

In looking through those past reviews, I am generally positive and enthusiastic in my support. If I take the time to review-- usually a 4- or 5-Star Rating, and an honest, straightforward response of what I liked and maybe didn’t like so much. Of course, there are always exceptions... but again, that’s beside the point of this article.

[Maybe another time I can tell you about the ONE (1) time I left a 1-Star review (it wasn’t a book)... or you can read through the archives yourself in my Amazon Reviewer Profile.]

I don’t waste my time reading books I don’t LOVE or at least like a lot. My enthusiasm for reviewing is sharing great books! I’m an unpaid reviewer, although sometimes I’ll receive a free book for review, which I disclose. It’s not my job to spend time or effort on negative reviews-- unless there is a very good reason. (As was the case with the 1 Star.)

So choose your Stars carefully, but keep it simple, honest, and fun!
Here they are again:

★ - I hate it
★★ – I don’t like it
★★★ – It’s okay
★★★★ – I like it
★★★★★ – I love it

Writing the Review

Don’t worry about the title just yet. It’s easier to ‘blurb’ or come up with a great title after you write a little bit about the book.

How long should your review be?
As my copywriting editors always say... “However long it needs to be to make your point.”

You can write as much as you want-- I’ll say more about that in a minute. But the minimum, for Amazon standards, is 20 words to submit a review.

What should you say?

Amazon offers the following prompts or suggestions on the Kindle Review screen:

Why did you choose this rating?
What did you like or dislike?
Whom would you recommend this book to?

As with any written communication, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you are having a conversation--

-- What would you tell your best friend about this book or item?
-- What would you want to know?

In one sentence (write it down)...
-- What was this book about?

You’ll want to keep your review to a general overview, with enough specific detail to support your ideas-- i.e. beyond “It was a good book.” Why was it a good book?

Don’t give away major plot points, surprises, or the ending.

The best writing strategy to develop your ideas is the reliable fallback:
Who, What, When, Where, Why, How?

Here are some ideas/prompts to get you started:

-- Who is the book about? (Main Character or Group)
Or... Who wrote it? (Author)

-- What is the main story? (Plot/Conflict/Theme)

-- When & Where? (Setting: Time & Place)

-- Why? (Theme - What’s the point of the book?)
Or... Why did the author write this book?

-- How did you discover this book?

You don’t have to answer all of those questions, or any of them, necessarily, to come up with 20 words. This is not a graded essay-- you can write as much as you want, or just 20 well-chosen words to convey your message.

Another approach:
-- What did you like most about the book?
-- Any drawbacks? (critical analysis)

Finally... Title Your Review & Submit

The secret to writing the title?
Again: K.I.S.S. - Keep It Short & Simple

By this time, whether you have 20 words or 200 in your review, there’s something in there -- some engaging phrase or central statement -- you could use as your title, too.

If you’re having trouble with the title, or getting started on your review, read through some of the other reviews and comments to get an idea of flow and format.

Keep It Short & Simple-- and have fun with your reviews!

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