How to Write Book Reviews on Amazon That People Will Read

With so many titles available on Amazon, it can help to leave book reviews. Here's how to write ones that people will actually read.

Amazon has almost a quarter of a billion titles in popular demand. A good review can help spread the word about great titles and best-selling books.

Writing book reviews on Amazon can help readers find the perfect matches for their book lists. It's also one of the best ways to show readers that you're an experienced and knowledgeable person who can provide valuable insights into a book.

Here, we share some tactics you can use to write book reviews on Amazon that people will want to read.

1. Carry Out Thorough Research

If you're going to write a book review, it's important to know what you're talking about. Consider doing some research on the book itself, and the author's overall body of work.

There are plenty of books out there, so you'll need to convince readers what they're missing out on by not reading them. The more familiar you are with the content of the book and its author’s other work, the more credible your opinions will be.

Read up on the author's background and reputation to get a sense of their writing style. Doing so will help you understand the author's perspective, and you'll be able to make an informed decision on whether to recommend the book.

2. Use Correct Keywords and Active Voice for Your Target Audience

Image of keywords related to career and job search ideas

The next step is to identify who your audience is and what they want from your review. Do they want advice on how to improve their business? Do they want information on how to use technology in their daily lives? Or do they just want an entertaining read that makes them laugh?

Once you know who your audience is, it's time to start thinking about how exactly you'll address their expectations from a book. We recommend writing in an engaging tone and using real-life examples from the story so that everyone can relate easily with what you're saying.

3. Stay Up-to-Date With Amazon's Community Guidelines

You should make it a point to adhere to Amazon's Community guidelines while posting book reviews on the site. To be eligible for reviewing a book or product, you would have to spend at least $50 on Amazon.

Amazon's Community guidelines

Make sure your views are informative and constructive. These must be genuine and reflect your honest opinion of the book you've read. That said, they should not contain spoilers or excessive promotion for other products or services that are unrelated to the original content.

4. Use Appropriate Headlines

A key aspect of a book review on Amazon, or any other platform for that matter, is to craft an appealing headline. This should be short, sweet, and catchy.

You'll also need to make sure that you have a strong introduction before diving into the main body of your review. It's tempting to just touch upon the points in the blurb from the back cover, but that's not going to work.

A compelling introduction should grab the reader's attention with a powerful hook or an interesting fact about the book. Take a moment to think about what makes this book unique. What makes it worth reading?

For instance, you can try and highlight in a sentence how their life will change if they read this book, or by explaining why they need to read it in order to accomplish something important in their life today or tomorrow (like improving their career).

5. Apply Proper Formatting and Include Images or Videos

Person Holding Fountain Pen

Book reviews go a long way in helping potential readers decide whether they want to buy a book or not.

Make sure your review is informative, not promotional. Readers should have all the information they need to decide whether that book is for them. You can include at least one quote or fact from the book, if you need to, but don't overdo it.

Use bullet points and bolded letters or italics to highlight key points in the text. You can also try doing a video review if that is something you're comfortable with. Use appropriate images or videos that may be helpful.

Given the huge sea of content on the Internet, you should exercise caution when it comes to reading others' reviews or doing your own research. We recommend checking tips to spot fake reviews online .

6. Give an Insightful and Unbiased Opinion

Person holding a newspaper cover with book reviews

Follow up your introduction with your unbiased opinion or analysis. Talk about the best parts of the book and explain why you feel so.

You can also mention any issues that may come up while reading the book. You can talk about them in terms of how they affect your understanding of the story, or how they impact your ability to connect with characters (in fiction) in some way or another.

Your reviews might vary with genres, such as fiction or non-fiction. When reviewing nonfiction titles, your review should consider the author's writing style, accuracy and clarity, structure, and logic.

In the case of fiction books, it all comes down to a compelling plot, characters who are memorable, and an ending that leaves readers wanting more. Your review should look at the characters, setting, and plot. It should also consider whether there were any significant flaws in these areas.

For example, if you're reviewing a fantasy novel, you might discuss how well its characters were developed and how convincingly they interacted with each other. You might also comment on whether there were any plot holes or inconsistencies in the narrative.

You should include what you liked or disliked about the book. You may mention whether you agree with the author's point of view. Reedsy recommends using an appropriate tone and style for note-worthy bestseller reviews.

7. Assign Star Ratings Wisely

Five stars ratings

Reviews are a great way for you to share your opinions on what you read, but star ratings are the first touchpoint where readers often decide whether to go for a purchase, so you should assign your star rating wisely.

The ratings you give your reviews carry distinct persuasive weight and can either make or break a book. Reviewers who write three-star and four-star reviews with honest, constructive criticisms are more likely to be read than reviewers who write very brief one-star reviews, which are often unconstructive rants.

8. Use a Book Review Template

You can always start off with a book review template to help you get started. You can find them for free on sites like Sample Templates, which will give you a basic outline of everything that needs to go into each book review.

Book review template in Sample Templates

Use them to submit a well-structured and readable review. It will help you focus on the most important aspects of the book.

Download: Sample Templates (Free)

9. Feel Free to Provide a Recommendation

You can leave a recommendation if you found a book extremely engaging and helpful. Consider if the book is something that would interest your target audience. While this is by no means necessary, reviews which include recommendations are more likely to be read by others.

If you're a new or experienced author, here's a list of tips on how to get positive reviews for your book .

Make Your Reviews Stand Out

Writing book reviews can be rewarding and fun, but it's also very hard to write them well. In order to get people to read your reviews, you have to ensure they're good.

And that means maintaining both a consistent level of authority and clarity in your reviews—no easy feat! With some practice, however, you should be able to take your reviews from average to outstanding by playing off the elements mentioned above. And there are other platforms for you to take your love of reading to as well.

Table of Contents

Why Do Book Reviews Matter?

How many reviews do i need, editorial reviews, how to get amazon book reviews, how to get reviews for your book on amazon.

how to write a book review amazon

What good is writing a great book if no one knows that it’s worth reading?

That’s where book reviews come in.

Reviews matter. They’re a key influencer of buying behavior and provide important social proof even to non-buyers.

Just think about it: how many times have you bought a book without looking at the reviews? I can’t speak for you, but I always read at least a few reviews of every book I buy.

So how do you get more? Most important, more good reviews?

Lots of people are trying to make money off Authors’ confusion in this area, and giving out terrible, deceitful advice about getting reviews (and a few straight up scams).

That’s why I wrote this blog post.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about getting reviews effectively and ethically, especially on Amazon .

If you’ve put in the effort to write a good book, then it’s worth taking the time to get honest feedback from your readers.

Quick note: I said “a good book.” All of my advice assumes you wrote a good book. I’m going to teach you how to get honest reviews, so if your book is not good, my suggestions will backfire. You’ll get reviews, but they won’t be ones you like.

1. Credibility & Social Proof

Imagine that you’re going out for a nice dinner, and you have a choice between two restaurants. One of them has two Michelin Stars, received glowing reviews on Yelp, and even has reviews on Google Maps.

The other restaurant looks nice from the outside, but it doesn’t have a website, and you don’t know anyone who’s been. You know nothing about the chef, and your only guideline for the food comes from the very basic menu posted outside the door.

Which restaurant are you going to choose?

Books work the same way.

If you had to choose, would you buy the book with 50 5-star reviews, or would you buy the one without any reviews at all?

People want to read books other people have read. If a book has a solid number of reviews, a strong blurb, and plenty of customer feedback, it’s going to do better.

Reviews are social proof. Proof that you have something to say, that you have the chops to say it, and that you can be engaging while you say it.

A book without reviews isn’t necessarily a bad book, but it also won’t have the same appeal as a book that consistently gets rave comments.

2. Influence search algorithms

You know what the third biggest search engine is?

Google is first, YouTube is second, and Amazon is third.

When people use Amazon, what they see first is determined by Amazon’s search algorithm…and reviews are a very important part of that algorithm.

Most of our authors write books not just to sell copies, but to use as a tool to market themselves . If this is the case for you, then people searching for your book topic are very important.

The better your ranking , the more likely it is that people will find your book. And the more likely it is that people find your book, the more likely you are to sell it.

3. Drive sales

Reviews won’t automatically make you a New York Times bestseller , but it will make your book more visible to potential readers.

Every review boosts your rankings, emphasizes your credibility, or entices potential readers.

And good reviews drive sales. Think about it–when you go to buy a book, what is the first thing you do?

Read the reviews.

book reviews

The more reviews you can get—assuming they are good—the better. Lots of reviews are strong social proof a book is popular, and popular books sell.

For a minimum, you should try to get 20 reviews within the first two months after your book release date. That shows your book has traction with real readers.

At around 50 reviews, you are probably good to go. Around that point, you have solidified the book as reputable and should continue to generate reviews.

A Note Before We Start: Don’t Try to Cheat Amazon

Amazon is savvy. Their algorithm is no joke, and if you try to cheat them, you will get caught. They actively look to find and remove any review that is not a real review written by a real person–and they’re very good at it.

Amazon also has a zero-tolerance policy for any review that is designed to mislead or manipulate customers. They’re not shy about removing reviews that violate that policy.

Here’s a list of things to avoid:

  • You can’t pay for reviews. This includes cash or giving reviewers a free or discounted product.
  • You can’t offer reviewers gifts in exchange for reviews.
  • You can’t exchange positive book reviews with other Authors, so don’t head to Facebook or Twitter to find review swaps.

This may seem pretty restrictive. After all, don’t most of us rely on business associates, friends, and other members of our networks to sell books? And what about giving away free review copies? Does that violate the promotional terms?

Well, there are a few caveats .

You can give away free or discounted books to potential reviewers, but you can’t tell them what to write. If they hate it, they have to be able to rant and rave to their heart’s content.

That’s why I said earlier that you have to write a high-quality book. Any free copy you give away has to be given with no strings attached.

Most of this information applies to customer reviews, but they aren’t the only kind of reviews on Amazon.

Editorial reviews are either written by Amazon editors or they come from established publications like Publisher’s Weekly or Kirkus Reviews. Official book endorsements also fall under the category of editorial reviews.

Let’s say that you are a physical therapist, and you have a colleague who is very well known in the field. If she likes your work, it would probably be better to ask her for an editorial review. That way, when people look at the Amazon listing, her review will be front and center. It won’t be buried in the middle of 45 other reviews.

Editorial reviews aren’t subject to the same kinds of restrictions as customer reviews. It’s still not ethical to pay someone to give you a review, but you can and should make the most of your connections to get these.

Step 1: Set-up For Success: Ask for Reviews In Your Book

The easiest way to get book reviews is to ask for them. What better place to do that than in the book itself?

Usually, it’s best to include a short, direct review request towards the back of the book, since good reviewers tend to read all the way to the end.

Few people realize how important book reviews are to Authors. There are probably many people who enjoyed your book and would be willing to write about it if you give them a little nudge.

There are unethical ways to ask, and you should avoid them.

For starters, don’t say, “If you really loved my book, please leave a review.” I know that Authors say this all the time, but it’s presumptuous. It’s like telling someone that their opinion doesn’t matter unless it’s glowing.

People leave reviews because they want to express their feelings. Those feelings might be more complicated than, “I adored the book.” Of course you want positive reviews, but you also have to leave space for readers who enjoyed the book but are reluctant to call it the best thing they’ve ever read.

It’s better to ask readers, “I’d love to hear your honest opinion.”

Here’s another thing to avoid: Don’t ask readers, “Can you take a minute to review my book so I can sell more copies?” This comes across as desperate.

Other people typically don’t care how many books you sell. They need a better reason to take the time to write. Try framing your request around the impact that the book had on them and the impact it could have for others.

Here’s an example: “Did this book help you in some way? If so, I’d love to hear about it. Honest reviews help readers find the right book for their needs.”

Step 2: Ask Your Network for Reviews

One of the most effective ways to get reviews is to set up a launch team .

To do this, put together a list of people who would immediately do a favor for you. You want to aim for 30-50 people.

One month before the book release, send this team a copy of your book so they can read it in advance. It’s easiest to email the book as a PDF, along with a short call to action. Here’s a sample:

Hello there!

I’m excited to let you know that my new book, [Title], launches on [date]. It’s been an amazing journey to get it completed, and I’m excited to finally share it with the world.

If you’re receiving this email, it’s because you’re someone I trust enough to (a) send a free copy of the book to in advance and (b) ask that you leave an honest review when it goes live.

Early reviews are the single most important factor in determining if a book succeeds, so I’m incredibly thankful for people like you who I can rely on to leave one.

No action needed yet. Attached is your free PDF of the book, and I’ll follow up when the book launches with a reminder to leave a review.

Thanks so much for your support. I deeply appreciate it.

Just before the book launches, use KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) to discount the e-reader version to 99 cents for the week of the book launch.

Then, follow up with your team, asking them to leave a review. You can highlight certain things that you would like reviewers to mention, but again, it’s good to emphasize that you want their honest opinion.

Also mention that your book is 99 cents, so if they’re feeling generous, they can buy a copy so their review will be verified. A verified review means that the writer purchased the product through Amazon, and they didn’t receive it at a deep discount. These matter more for your Amazon ranking.

Here’s a sample email: Hey [Name],

The day is here! My book, [Title + GENI.US link], is finally live on Amazon.

I have one simple ask:

If you were able to look at the book and enjoyed it, can you leave a short review?

Reviews should only be 1-2 sentences and should take about 30 seconds to leave (and would make a huge difference for me). If you can’t come up with one, here are some examples:

  • [Insert example review]

Finally, I wanted to give you a heads up that Amazon can sometimes block or remove reviews if they deem our digital relationship too close, or if your account is too new. This is few and far between so I’m sorry if you run into this and thank you all the more for your support!

Thanks so much for your help! I can’t thank you enough.

Best, [Author]

As you can see, this email alludes to Amazon’s “family and friends” rule. Most book reviews and sales come from word of mouth, and you will of course be asking your network for support. The key here is that you aren’t forcing or bribing people to give you good feedback.

Step 3: Set Up Your Assets to Remind Your Network

Social media is a great way to remind your network that your book is ready to be reviewed.

Use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or whatever social media assets you have to keep your book present in people’s minds.

For example:

  • Pin a tweet requesting reviews at the top of your Twitter feed
  • Add the book to your email signature
  • Put your book in the header of your Facebook and Twitter profiles

Step 4: Reach Out to Authority Reviewers & Top Reviewers

Amazon has a list of top reviewers who are enthusiastic and authoritative about certain areas. If you notice that someone consistently reviews books in your field, they might be a good person to reach out to.

Be cautious about contacting too many top reviewers, especially if your book isn’t in their realm of interest. No one likes spam, so only reach out with good reason.

You have to know your audience , so look at book bloggers who might have some knowledge in your area or podcasters who might be interested in your book’s topic.

Alternately, you could use a site like BookRazor to find people interested in your book. If you send them a free copy, they agree to follow up with a review.

Be aware though: cold calls have a high failure rate. We haven’t found this method as effective as tapping personal networks.

Step 5: Don’t Ignore Negative Reviews

It’s highly likely that, at some point, you will get a negative review . This is just a fact of life.

One thing to keep in mind before you get upset is that bad reviews aren’t always a bad thing. Books that only have 5-star reviews often don’t seem credible. Bad reviews can actually convince people that your other reviews are real.

There are many ways to deal with negative reviews:

  • Ignore it. There’s no upside to responding to toxic people.
  • Answer it…but be careful. Responding can be a double-edged sword. Respond in a way that addresses the issue without coming off as defensive.
  • Admit it hurts to receive a bad review, then move on.
  • Keep things in perspective. Don’t give negative reviews more weight than positive ones.
  • Consider if the negative comments have any lessons for you.
  • Try to get Amazon to take down the review if it doesn’t comply with their guidelines. They probably won’t remove it unless the person has been fraudulent or crude.

BONUS Step: Use Paid Services

Okay, I know I said that you shouldn’t use paid services. But what I meant was, “Don’t use paid services to directly buy reviews.” That’s cheating the system, and scamming Amazon isn’t a good idea if you’re trying to be a legitimate Author.

But there are paid opportunities that you can use to get the book into potential reviewers’ hands in an ethical way.

Goodreads is a social media site for book lovers. Their book giveaways are a good way to increase exposure and create hype. Goodreads requires participants to add the book to their wish list, and they also remind winners to leave reviews. They offer several packages at different price points, depending on how many promotional options you want.

BookBub features discounted books in their daily newsletters, which have more than 10 million subscribers. You can pay to have your book featured, or you can buy ad space in the newsletters. The pricing depends on how deep the book’s discount is.

The Scribe Crew

Read this next.

What to Do (and Not Do) in a Book Launch Social Media Campaign

How to Measure Book Launch Success

How to Create a Winning Media Pitch (Step-by-Step Guide)

Katie Rose Guest Pryal

How To Write An Amazon Book Review

by Katie | Jun 19, 2017 | Book Reviews , Writing and Publishing

Alt Text: A photograph of a manual typewriter with this text: "Your words are as important to an author as an author’s words are to you."

:: Your words are as important to an author as an author’s words are to you: Please leave a book review.

Authors depend on book reviews written by readers. If you read a lot of books, and you don’t know this yet, you can read about why here , and here , and other places too. It’s good information to have. Writers and readers have always had a close relationship, unless maybe if you’re Jonathan Franzen telling Oprah you’re too good for her book club but then in that case I don’t know what to do with you.

In any event, I recently had a conversation with good friend who happens to be very smart and also a radiologist (!!), and she told me she loved my novels but had no idea how to leave a review on Amazon. I thought that was hilarious and also worthy of a blog post.

So, dear friend (you know who you are), this blog post is for you. Here’s how you leave a book review on Amazon.

[Accessibility note: Images below are screenshots from that visually demonstrate the written instructions.]

Step 1. Navigate to the book’s page on Amazon.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You do not need to have purchased the book on Amazon to leave a review on Amazon. In fact, DON’T purchase the book on Amazon. Go buy it at your local indie bookstore, and then leave a review on Amazon. HAHAHAHA.

(For the purposes of this demonstration I’m using a great book I recently read that is probably way not literary enough for Jonathan Franzen. THE BOOK WAS AMAZING. Go buy it .)

how to write a book review amazon

2. Scroll down to the Customer Reviews section of the page, located just under the author’s bio. There is a button that says, “Write a customer review.” CLICK IT.

how to write a book review amazon

3. You will be taken to the “Your Reviews” page. Cool! The book you have selected to review will be at the top.

how to write a book review amazon

4. Click the answer to “How is the author’s writing?” and the review panel for that book will expand. Super!

how to write a book review amazon

5. Now you can answer the questions and click on the scale of 1-5 stars.

Obviously this AMAZING book gets 5 stars.

how to write a book review amazon

6. Click inside the box that says “Write your review here” and write. Provide a TITLE for your review. THEN, click the SUBMIT button!

What should you write? Start with 1-2 sentences (or more) that will help readers understand how you feel about the book. If you want to write more, great! But don’t make writing book reviews such a burden that you don’t want to do it.

how to write a book review amazon

7. You’ll be taken back to the “Your Reviews” page where you’ll get a confirmation message.

You will receive an email from Amazon when your review is posted. OMG wasn’t that super easy. Let’s do it again.

how to write a book review amazon

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How To Write A Good Book Review On Amazon

Imagine this.

You have just finished the last page of a great book and that familiar feeling of emptiness runs over you.

You stop for a moment and think to yourself, “What now?” because the book that has really hit home with you is now over.

How can you reflect on your experience and share it with others?

Go to Amazon (or your favorite bookseller) and write a fair and honest book review !

If you are wondering how to write a book review, you have come to the right place.

As a self-published author , you know how valuable book reviews are.

They can validate your hard work and ensure you that people are benefiting from your dedication to the book.

It is also a chance for you to read some constructive feedback to keep in mind for your future books.

It is important for you to spread the love to other authors by writing helpful book reviews so their books can move up the ranks in Amazon’s algorithm.

While you are probably thrilled to get some feedback and positive comments on your work, other self-published authors also appreciate the opinions of other readers.

Writing reviews will also make you more credible as an author because it will show that you are able to look at a book objectively to see if it portrayed its intended message and then give your subjective opinions on the content.

woman sitting on floor writing a book how to leave a review

While it is great to give other authors reviews, you are writing the review for potential future readers, not for the author.

You give a review of a book so other readers can decide if it is worth their time and money to read.

One thing to keep in mind is that it is important to avoid writing reviews for authors that you have a personal relationship with, not only because it’s against Amazon’s rules, but also because you are likely to bring in your own bias.

Further, it is not acceptable to write or receive a review for any kind of compensation.

This also introduces a sense of bias to the book review that will not help other readers get an honest feeling as to whether this book is right for them or not.

Amazon has Customer Review Guidelines that set specific rules for giving and receiving book reviews on their website.

These guidelines are set forth to ensure that their customers are able to get truthful information about books when reading the reviews posted on their site.

There are some things you will want to keep in mind when writing any book review.

First, you want to be honest and allow readers to find you to be a trustworthy source of information. Doing so may even encourage them to look into books that you have authored.

If your opinions about the subject of the book are strong, be sure to still write an objective review of the book itself.

Don’t make the claim that a book is either extremely well-written or extremely poorly-written based on your opinion of the subject.

If the book is written by a fellow self-published writer, remember that you are working in a small community. You don’t want to write something that will come back and haunt you later.

Be respectful of your fellow authors.

Writing a Review for Fiction Books

Writing a review for non-fiction books, amazon’s bestseller ranking, here are some more specific tips on how to write a book review for fiction and non-fiction books..

There are several things you will want to include in your book review format for a fiction book to help potential future readers get information that is valuable to them.

First, you want to mention the title, author, and genre of the book . This will immediately narrow down the readership to only those who are interested in the idea of the book.

Then you will want to provide a brief synopsis including the main characters and a brief look into the plot.

In this section, you will want to be cautious to not give away anything that might ruin the book for the potential reader.

You can then move on to explain your personal impression of the book.

Some things you may address would be the credibility (or lack thereof) of the characters, the issues that the main characters have to face, the names of the characters you connected to (and why), your favorite (and least favorite) parts of the book, and if you would recommend it to other people.

When you are giving your personal impression, make sure you are writing about the story, not about yourself.

For example, you can mention how the ending was predictable, but don’t say something like, “I hate love stories.”

Doing this will have people wondering why you read the book in the first place.

Finally, mention what type of reader may especially enjoy the book.

You want to be able to gain the trust of other readers, so being honest about who may particularly like this book and who may find it to be a bit lacking is important.

man at desk typing how to write a book review

There are a few things to keep in mind when you are doing this. You want to write a review on how the book was written, not how you think it should have been written.

Your opinion in this matter is not going to help other readers decide if they want to read this book.

However, it is important to add some of your personal thoughts into the review instead of providing people with a summary similar to a book report.

It is good to give your opinion about the book’s quality beyond its content, just don’t go off on a tangent suggesting various endings or other directions in which the book could have gone.

Writing a review for non-fiction books looks a bit different than reviews for fiction books.

You will want to start your review with background information about the author and the information in the book. State why the author is (or is not) a trusted source of information on the subject at hand.

You then want to let the reader know what the author’s goal was when writing the book. Is the goal to inform readers?

To persuade them to do something? To teach them?

The important second step of this is to let the reader know if the author succeeded in meeting their goal.

Provide a summary of the book and an evaluation of its contents.

What are its strengths and weaknesses?

Describe the tone and writing style of the book and its potential value for its intended audience. Did the author present an effective argument?

Were the conclusions that were made by the author reasonable?

Did the author give any recommendations and were they practical?

Be objective in answering this question and provide book readers with the facts.

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You are able to give between one and five stars to a book, depending on how much you enjoyed it.

It is important, however, to think very carefully before giving either a one or a five.

Your five-star reviews should be left for books that have great writing, great editing, and an impactful storyline that makes you want to read it multiple times.

While it may seem like the nice thing to do is to give five stars to every book that you think is pretty good, it does not help potential readers really know if this book is worth their time.

If a book is written and edited well, you should not give it fewer than three stars.

screenshot from Amazon how to write a book review

You can give an explanation in your review telling readers why you did not like a book, but if it is well-written and you give it one or two stars, you are making your review too subjective.

You must allow other readers the chance to make their own decision on the content of the book because others may find the content to be great.

Unless a book has absolutely no redeeming qualities at all and the writing has errors and typos, do not give a one-star review.

As a self-published author, you likely know that poor reviews are very distressing to authors, especially if they stand no ground.

Also, getting a negative review from a fellow author can be even more painful than if it is from just a reader in passing.

Authors often focus on the negative points in reviews, even if they are mainly positive, so be careful to tread lightly.

Knowing the potential lasting effect that a negative review can have on an author’s reputation and personal feelings should show you the importance of leaving thoughtful reviews.

While this does not mean you have to be gentle in your criticism, it is important to be careful in the delivery of your opinions.

It is important to note that every book may have something about it that you don’t like.

In this case, it is best to lighten up your book critique and find some ways to put a positive spin on your comments.

For example, if you read a book on a subject and it is geared more towards beginners but doesn’t suggest that in the book’s title, say something like, “This book is a great tool for people who want to brush up on the basics” or something to that effect.

You can be critical without being harsh.

In conclusion, the trick to writing an effective book review is to approach the task in a systematic way.

Keep your focus on the main points you want to communicate to future readers and think about what readers want to get out of your review.

Book reviews should communicate the quality and style of the book without giving away so much detail that readers no longer feel the need to read the book to get more information.

Writing reviews will also make you more credible as an author because it will show that you are able to look at a book objectively to see if it portrayed its intended message and then give your subjective opinions on the content. #amazon #writer #writing

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Emerald Lake Books

How to Write a Good Review on Amazon

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.

Want to Learn More?

Amazon has a great set of FAQs for customer reviews that answer many frequently asked questions as well as a clearly stated set of customer review guidelines .

Share this:

Privacy overview.

Self-Publishing Review Logo


All About Book Reviews and Amazon – A Quick Guide and Rules

What reviews are allowed on amazon.

There’s been some panic in the self-publishing streets about reviews being removed from Amazon and who is going to get sued for their reviews – and a lot of outrage blogging about Evil Amazon. Here’s a quick guide to why you should stop worrying too much and start understanding the different types of book reviews a little better.

There are three kinds of reviews on Amazon:

1. customer reviews.

These are the reviews that Amazon is exercising their right, as a private company remember, to investigate more closely. What Amazon is trying to achieve is a clear picture of product experience. This picture has been muddied somewhat by several factors:

1. “Fiverr” style purchasing of 4 and 5-star reviews by authors – Not allowed

When you see an individual advertising to write and post a favorable review of your book on Fiverr, Craigslist, or other online marketplaces, this is the sort of review Amazon is now suing for. Never buy a customer review from a blogger or individual in this manner nor from a company offering to get their team to directly write reviews for you and post them to Amazon. Aside from that, they will be badly written and possibly copied and pasted over and over from other books. These reviews are most Unverified, i.e. the reviewer does not buy the book, which flags it even further to Amazon. Look for copy that says “We will write reviews and post them to Amazon,” that charge a low amount of money per review and typically without buying the book.

Outcome: Your review will be deleted, and possibly the user will be too. Your book may be demoted in Amazon’s shop lists if you have many of these. If the reviewer is part of a company, it’s likely Amazon already hit them.

Amazon says:

Paid Reviews – We do not permit reviews or votes on the helpfulness of reviews that are posted in exchange for compensation of any kind, including payment (whether in the form of money or gift certificates), bonus content, entry to a contest or sweepstakes, discounts on future purchases, extra product, or other gifts.

2. Authors getting family and friends to write reviews – Not allowed

Amazon is crystal clear on the fact they frown on family and friends writing reviews. Why? Because these reviews are bound to be biased. If you have personal contact and interaction with that person in real life, on a forum, or on email, it’s likely Amazon will delete that review. This is because you could have told the person what to write, or because they will be overly polite about your book because they like you!

Outcome: Most likely the review will be deleted.

Amazon Says:

Promotional Reviews – In order to preserve the integrity of Customer Reviews, we do not permit artists, authors, developers, manufacturers, publishers, sellers or vendors to write Customer Reviews for their own products or services, to post negative reviews on competing products or services, or to vote on the helpfulness of reviews. For the same reason, family members or close friends of the person, group, or company selling on Amazon may not write Customer Reviews for those particular items.

3. Authors swapping with other authors to gain reviews – Not allowed

Again, Amazon is crystal clear. If you have swapped a book with another author, and you think that book is a one-star book, and they have given you a five-star review, be honest: would you then leave a one-star review? No, of course not. So Amazon does not want you to do this, and it is not a good way to gain reviews. I feel like I am talking to the wall with this one. However much you want this to be true, it is just not true I am afraid. Because it is clearly stated in Amazon’s TOS that compensation of ANY kind is not allowed, these reviews will be deleted if a connection can be seen between authors with reviews because it could be argued that compensation was gained in the form of a reciprocal review.

Outcome: The review will be deleted. You also run the risk of losing book visibility if you have multiple offenses of this method.

Paid Reviews – We do not permit reviews or votes on the helpfulness of reviews that are posted in exchange for compensation of any kind

4. Bloggers being paid directly to add a customer review to Amazon

If you pay money to a blog to leave a customer review, or you run a sweepstake in exchange for a review, and that person leaves a Customer Review themselves – let’s say “Honey Raven Book Blogs” (disclaimer: I don’t know if there is a user called this!) puts your review that you paid for, gave a gift card for, or gave any other kind of compensation for onto Amazon under her username “Honey Raven” it is exactly the same as if you bought a review on Fiverr. It is unequivocally not allowed.

Outcome: The review and the user account may be removed.

Paid Reviews – We do not permit reviews or votes on the helpfulness of reviews that are posted in exchange for compensation of any kind , including payment (whether in the form of money or gift certificates), bonus content, entry to a contest or sweepstakes, discounts on future purchases, extra product, or other gifts .

2. Editorial Reviews

These are reviews written by companies that write reviews for publicity, such as Self-Publishing Review , Kirkus Reviews, Clarion, Publisher’s Weekly, and The Independent Review of Books . These reviews are allowed by Amazon, and are posted by the author themselves in the section Amazon provides for these reviews (and sometimes self-populates in the case of Kirkus Reviews) called Editorial Reviews, found in the Book Details page. You can read about how Amazon supports these reviews here.

Outcome: Totally fine, and will help promote your book on Amazon. These are marketing for your book. These reviews will be staying on the site and are an integral part of the Amazon Book Page – built by Amazon themselves .

You can also add these to Goodreads and the back of your book.

3. Verified Customer Reviews Gained by Mailing Lists

SPR has several Amazon Promotions that include getting Verified Customer Reviews. The reason our reviews are allowed is simple: you are not paying us to write the Customer Reviews, and we don’t know the reviewers. We are using our mailing lists to get your book seen, bought, and reviewed by members of the public. We have hundreds of readers on our list who signed up to receive news about books, and when they see a book they like, they told us via a survey a long while ago that they will most likely buy it and review it on Amazon. We have no control over their reviews, and our communication is not interactive.

Therefore, these kinds of reviews are fine to acquire – because you are buying our marketing skills to get your book out there and a happy side effect of the advertising is that you get your Verified Reviews (guaranteed numbers because we have enough people to know the minimum amount of reviews you will get when we market your book). Other companies that have a method like this, such as BookBub. With this method, you may get unbiased Verified Customer Reviews.

Mailing lists are the most effective way to get genuine, verified customer reviews, and is the method favored by traditional publishers and bestselling authors everywhere.

Outcome: Totally fine , and will help promote your book on Amazon if a sale is made before the review is posted as a Verified Review.

The Ten Commandments of Reviews:

  • Don’t ask anyone to review your book for free if you know them socially in any way including online forums and groups
  • Don’t pay or promise gifts to an individual to review your book even if they promise an honest review
  • Don’t swap your book with other authors for reviews even if you intend to give an honest review
Promotional Reviews – In order to preserve the integrity of Customer Reviews, we do not permit artists, authors , developers, manufacturers, publishers, sellers or vendors to write Customer Reviews for their own products or services
  • Go to your Amazon book page without being logged in
  • Click “Add A Customer Review”
  • Copy the link given for this sign-in page
  • Add this to your book page and your readers will go directly to the review page!
  • Don’t confuse the types of review available to you – you can still buy Editorial Reviews within Amazon Guidelines to use on your book page, and you can even buy mailing list marketing services to garner Customer Reviews within Guidelines too
  • Don’t get outraged – Amazon is a bookshop, with no public responsibility to you or anyone else lucky enough they started this revolution so we could all publish our books freely. Try to follow their very reasonable guidelines without too much kvetching and gain understanding of their very fair policy to sort the fakes from the real – it will be to your benefit as an author in the long run, and will mean Amazon is a healthier environment to sell books in
  • Unverified Reviews (no sale made to the reviewer before the review is written) are far more likely to be flagged as fake than Verified Reviews. Verified Reviews (written after a sale to the reviewer) are the only reviews that help with sales and visibility in the Amazon algorithm. Encourage readers to buy your book under their Amazon username, not just review it
  • Don’t get hung up on reviews. Many bestsellers have few reviews when they hit hot. Sales are always going to be more important than reviews to Amazon. Around ten to fifteen reasonable (3.5 – 4 star) reviews and a few strong editorial reviews will do nicely. You don’t need 300 reviews.
  • Build your own mailing list to advertise your book to avid readers by adding a sign-up link to the back of your book and on your websites and pages. If you cannot do this yourself, use a respected service that has mailing lists to garner customer reviews within Amazon TOS such as Self-Publishing Review or BookBub .

 You may not like these Terms of Service, but them’s the rules.

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This rule stands out: “Don’t pay or promise gifts to an individual to review your book even if they promise an honest review”

That’s precisely what Amazon does with its Vine reviews, which include books and a host of other items, some costing $100 or more.

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Yes, but Amazon owns the company. So they are allowed to do whatever they choose. They are under no obligations, as a private company, and this point is often forgotten by many authors using Amazon’s very convenient and free service to sell their books.

Amazon’s prerogative as a private business!

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IMO, it’s about time Amazon did something about the purchased 5-star reviews (Item 1.1 above). Maybe integrity can be restored to their review system.

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outstanding article

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Most of this makes sense, but asking people not to have friends and family write reviews seems unnecessarily draconian. For a novice, self-published author, these may be the only reviews they’ll start out with. If there are only a few reviews up, I’d expect the first ones to be positively biased.

See Amazon Terms of Service. It’s not allowed. This is because these reviews are bound to be biased. Friends and family will say your book is great, which, although that’s nice for the author’s ego, that does not give a consumer any real idea about the product. Amazon aims to only give unbiased opinions on its customer review section, and rightly so.

Unfortunately Amazon is a private business and only wants unbiased customers to review products, including books. Therefore there’s a chance these friends and family reviews would be deleted or worse, their account could be removed.

I think the rules should be changed. Beginning and first time authors may have ONLY reviews from friends or family to start. Therefore, I think the rules should be appended to allow for them to get the psychological boost they need.

Consider having a time limit and a number limit for reviews by friends & family Alternatively, allow those friends and family to write whatever they want. Add a category tag to reviews: [ ] Friends & family [ ] Solicited review in exchange for free or discounted copy [ ] Unsolicited review.

This would allow customers to evaluate the reviews and still let a beginning author get support. Someone might LIKE a book that only a mother would love. 🙂

Yeah, but this is not the purpose of Amazon reviews. It’s not a hobby site. How would you even vet that? Who is your friend? Your colleague author on a forum? Your best friend of 30 years? It’s an impossible idea, and all of those reviews would be worthless to Amazon and any customer looking to buy the book. So it wouldn’t work. I think in that way the system is fair – it should be members of the public reviewing to keep it unbiased.

Agreed. It’s not a hobby. But a new author must start somewhere. Chances are that they will have very few people who are aware of their book to start. Perhaps imposing a number limit and require a Relationship to Author field would help. I would find some of these reviews at least marginally informative compared to some of the trashy and poorly written reviews I find on Amazon. I’ve found a large fan base for books that are written in amateurish style with atrocious grammar.and poorly constructed sentences. Reviews of these books written by “the public” can be grossly misleading and not representative, and they skew the ratings.

I expect that some reviews written by family and associates associates may be as good as or better indicators of content quality than these.

Does the public include only total strangers? Then how do they learn of the book in the first place? Again, a new author must start someplace, and databases are infinitely modifiable to include and expose the relationships of the reviewers such that they do not have to be excluded.

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If that was true they would never have created their “Top Reviewer” program and pushed people like the late Harriet Klausner who reviewed ten books a day with worthless drivel and was gifted, for that, with a #1 reviewer rank that gained her tons of free books… They are trying to fix a problem they caused by being unwilling to police their reviews early on and then coming in with a hatchet later on to try and fix it.

While you are correct that they are merely using their rights to investigate customer reviews and regulate them, how is it a fair policy to do so – and cancel accounts, etc. without a warning that in any way shows that they DID said research. I run a company with 170 plus authors and 1500 titles. I am not familiar with every review… if a rule gets broken, all of us could be shut down, so the very least they could do if they actually cared about the authors they work with – who they have a contract with that only seems to matter if the user violates it – is a warning system that actually points out what they believe is wrong so it can be fixed, avoided, or deleted.

Yup, totally unfair, I know! For instance, what if a friend of yours through no volition of your own buys and reviews your book – then you know that person and it’s likely they may only have reviewed your book – does this mean their review will be deleted? There are a lot of problems with it. I would advise a spread of different streams of advertising and marketing to ensure a good cross-section of customer review sources.

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How to Write a Book Review in 3 Steps

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Trust book recommendations from real people, not robots 🤓

Blog – Posted on Wednesday, Apr 03

How to write a book review in 3 steps.

How to Write a Book Review in 3 Steps

If the idea of reading for free — or even getting paid to read — sounds like a dream come true, remember that it isn’t a pipe dream. There are many places aspiring book reviewers can read books for free, such as Reedsy Discovery — a new platform for reviewing indie books. Of course, if you’re giving serious thought to becoming a book reviewer, your first step should be learning how to write a book review. To that end, this post covers all the basics of literary criticism. Let’s get started!

The three main steps of writing a book review are simple:

  • Provide a summary: What is story about? Who are the main characters and what is the main conflict? 
  • Present your evaluation: What did you think of the book? What elements worked well, and which ones didn’t? 
  • Give your recommendation: Would you recommend this book to others? If so, what kinds of readers will enjoy it?

You can also download our free book review templates and use it as a guide! Otherwise, let’s take a closer look at each element.

Pro-tip : But wait! How are you sure if you should become a book reviewer in the first place? If you're on the fence, or curious about your match with a book reviewing career, take our quick quiz:

Should you become a book reviewer?

Find out the answer. Takes 30 seconds!

How to write a review of a book

Step 1. provide a summary.

Have you ever watched a movie only to realize that all the good bits were already in the trailer? Well, you don’t want the review to do that. What you do want the summary to do is reveal the genre, theme, main conflict, and main characters in the story — without giving away spoilers or revealing how the story ends.

A good rule of thumb is not to mention anything that happens beyond the midpoint. Set the stage and give readers a sense of the book without explaining how the central issue is resolved.

Emily W. Thompson's review of The Crossing :

In [Michael] Doane’s debut novel, a young man embarks on a journey of self-discovery with surprising results.
An unnamed protagonist (The Narrator) is dealing with heartbreak. His love, determined to see the world, sets out for Portland, Oregon. But he’s a small-town boy who hasn’t traveled much. So, the Narrator mourns her loss and hides from life, throwing himself into rehabbing an old motorcycle. Until one day, he takes a leap; he packs his bike and a few belongings and heads out to find the Girl. Read more...

Here are a few more reviews with well-written summaries for you to check out. The summary tend to be the longest part of the book review, so we won’t turn this post into a novel itself by pasting them all here: Le Cirque Navire reviewed by Anna Brill, The Heart of Stone reviewed by Kevin R. Dickinson, Fitting Out: The Friendship Experiment reviewed by Lianna Albrizio.

Non-fiction summary tip: The primary goal of a non-fiction summary is to provide context: what problems or issues has the book spotted, and how does it go about addressing them? Be sure to mention the authors of the title and what experience or expertise they bring to the title. Check Stefan Kløvning’s review of Creativity Cycling for an example of a summary that establishes the framework of the book within the context of its field.

Step 2. Present your evaluation

While you should absolutely weave your own personal take of a book into the review, your evaluation shouldn’t only be based on your subjective opinion. Along with presenting how you reacted to the story and how it affected you, you should also try to objectively critique the stronger and weaker elements of the story, and provide examples from the text to back up your points.

To help you write your evaluation, you should record your reactions and thoughts as you work your way through a novel you’re planning on reviewing. Here are some aspects of the book to keep in mind as you do.

Your evaluation might focus heartily on the book’s prose:

Donald Barker's review of Mercenary : 

Such are the bones of the story. But, of course, it is the manner in which Mr Gaughran puts the bones back together and fills them with life that makes “Mercenary” such a great read. The author’s style seems plain; it seems straightforward and even simple. But an attempt at imitation or emulation quickly proves that simple it is not. He employs short, punchy sentences that generate excellent dialogue dripping with irony, deadpan humour and wit. This, mixed with good descriptive prose, draws the characters – and what characters they are – along with the tumultuous events in which they participated amidst the stinking, steaming heat of the South American jungle, out from the past to the present; alive, scheming, drinking, womanising and fighting, onto the written page.

You can give readers a sense of the book by drawing comparisons to other well-known titles or authors:

Laura Hartman's review of The Mystery of Ruby's Mistletoe :

Reading Ms. Donovan’s book is reminiscent to one of my favorite authors, Dame Agatha Christie. Setting up the suspects in a snowbound house, asking them to meet in the drawing room and the cleverly satisfying conclusion was extremely gratifying. I can picture Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot nodding at Ms. Donovan saying “Well done!”

Not everyone’s tastes are the same, and you can always acknowledge this by calling out specific story elements in your evaluation: 

Kevin R. Dickinson's review of The Heart of Stone :

Whether you enjoy Galley’s worldbuilding will depend heavily on preference. Galley delivers information piecemeal, letting the characters, not the author, navigate the reader through Hartlund. A notable example is the magic system, an enigmatic force that lacks the ridge structures of, say, a Brandon Sanderson novel. While the world’s magical workings are explained, you only learn what the characters know and many mysteries remain by the end. Similar choices throughout make the world feel expansive and authentic.

Non-fiction evaluation tip: A book’s topic is only as compelling as its supporting arguments. Your evaluation of a nonfiction book should address that: how clearly and effectively are the points communicated? Turn back to Stefan’s critique for an example of a non-fiction critique that covers key takeaways and readability, without giving away any “big reveals.”

Step 3. Give your recommendation 

At the end of the day, your critique needs to answer this question: is this a book you would (or wouldn’t) recommend to other readers? You might wrap up by comparing it to other books in the same genre, or authors with similar styles, such as: “Fans of so-and-so will enjoy this book.” 

Let’s take a look at a few more tips:

You don’t need to write, “I recommend this book” — you can make it clear by highlighting your favorable opinion:

Following in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and William Least Heat-Moon, Doane offers a coming of age story about a man finding himself on the backroads of America. Doane’s a gifted writer with fluid prose and insightful observations, using The Narrator’s personal interactions to illuminate the diversity of the United States.
Despite his flaws, it’s a pleasure to accompany The Narrator on his physical and emotional journey. The unexpected ending is a fitting denouement to an epic and memorable road trip.

Add more punch to your rating by mentioning what kind of audience will or won’t enjoy the book:

Charleigh Aleyna Reid's review of The King of FU :

I would recommend this book to anyone who grew up in the 90’s and would like to reminisce about the time, someone who is interested to see what it was like to be a 90’s kid, or perhaps anyone who is looking for a unique, funny story about someone’s life.

Unless you found the title absolutely abhorrent, a good way to balance out a less favorable book review it to share what you did like about the book — before ultimately stating why you wouldn’t recommend the novel:

Nicola O's review of Secrets of the Sea Lord :

Overall, there are plenty of enjoyable elements in this story and fans of Atlantis and mer mythology should give it a try. Despite this, it does not rise above a three-star rating, and while I had some difficulty pinning down why this is, I concluded that it comes from a surprisingly unsophisticated vocabulary. There are a couple of graphic sex scenes, which is absolutely fine in a paranormal romance, but if they were removed, I could easily imagine this as an appealing story for middle-schoolers.

Non-fiction recommendation tip: As with fiction book reviews, share why you did or didn’t enjoy the title. However, in one of the starkest divergences from fiction book reviews it’s more important than ever that you mention your expectations coming into the non-fiction book. For instance, if you’re a cow farmer who’s reading a book on the benefits of becoming a vegetarian, you’re coming in with a large and inherent bias that the book will struggle to alter. So your recommendation should cover your thoughts about the book, while clearly taking account your perspective before you started reading. Let’s look once more at Stefan’s review for an example of a rating that includes an explanation of the reviewer’s own bias.

Bonus tips for writing a book review

Let’s wrap up with a few final tips for writing a compelling review.

  • Remember, this isn’t a book report. If someone wants the summary of a book, they can read the synopsis. People turn to book reviews for a fellow reader’s take on the book. And for that reason...
  • Have an opinion. Even if your opinion is totally middle-of-the-line — you didn’t hate the book but you didn’t love it either — state that clearly, and explain why.
  • Make your stance clear from the outset. Don’t save your opinion just for the evaluation/recommendation. Weave your thoughts about the book into your summary as well, so that readers have an idea of your opinion from the outset.
  • Back up your points. Instead of just saying, “the prose was evocative” — show readers by providing an actual passage that displays this. Same goes for negative points — don’t simply tell readers you found a character unbelievable, reference a certain (non-spoiler) scene that backs this up.
  • Provide the details. Don’t forget to weave the book’s information into the review: is this a debut author? Is this one installment of a series? What types of books has the author written before? What is their background? How many pages does the book have? Who published the book? What is the book’s price?
  • Follow guidelines. Is the review you’re writing for Goodreads? For The New York Times ? The content and tone of your review will vary a good deal from publication to publication.
  • Learn from others. One of the best ways to learn how to write a great review is to read other reviews! To help you out with that, we’ve published a post all about book review examples .

Writing book reviews can be a rewarding experience! As a book-lover yourself, it’s a great opportunity to help guide readers to their next favorite title. If you’re just getting started as a reviewer and could use a couple more tips and nudges in the right direction, check out our comprehensive blog post on how to become a book reviewer . And if you want to find out which review community is the right fit for you, we recommend taking this quick quiz:

Which review community should you join?

Find out which review community is best for your style. Takes 30 seconds!

Finally, if you feel you've nailed the basics of how to write a book review, we recommend you check out Reedsy Discovery , where you can review books for free and are guaranteed people will read them. To register as a book reviewer, simply go here !

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Home / Book Writing / How to Write a Book Review + Bonus Tips!

How to Write a Book Review + Bonus Tips!

Whether you are a writer or a blogger, it will help to know a few things about book reviews. Book reviews used to be solely a formal analysis, but with sites like Amazon and Goodreads… the book review has a new meaning. Now, you can write a book review for the sake of trying to urge potential readers to get their credit cards out.

In this article, we’ll look at how you can write a formal book review. However, if you’re looking to write shorter reviews for Amazon or Goodreads, you can still use parts of this article too.

Table of contents

  • What is a Book Review?
  • Before you start writing, develop key questions for your book review.
  • Introduction
  • Your Summary of the Book
  • Include your analysis and opinion.
  • Conclude your points.
  • Be clear with your position.
  • Remember Your Audience
  • Include a Rating
  • Proofread Before Posting
  • Final thoughts

In order to ensure we’re on the same page, let’s start with the basics. It’s important to know that a book review is not the same as a book summary. A book summary–AKA an abstract–is a shortened version of a book. A book summary recaps the main ideas and doesn’t include any additional commentary.

On the other hand, a book review summarizes the book along with giving your opinions, interpretations, ideas, and critiques. The beauty of a book review is that you’re able to continue the conversation that the book starts. So rather than just summarize someone else’s opinions, you can become a part of the book and the surrounding discussion. If you’re a book blogger, you may also write a book review to try and sway potential readers to buy it as well.

Another thing commonly confused with book reviews and summaries are book synopses. Learn the difference and how to write a book synopsis here!

Sadly, there is no formal way to write a book review. For most cases though, writing a book review is a simple two-step process. First, develop an argument about the book. And be sure to make that argument as you write your review. Second, create a series of questions to concentrate your thinking towards a specific topic. While we have designed these questions for reviewing books , they’d be useful if you have to review pretty much anything.

  • What is the main argument of the book? If the author wanted you to get one idea from the book, what would it be? How does it compare to the world you know? What has the book accomplished? Was the author successful?
  • What exactly is the subject or topic of the book? Does the author cover the subject appropriately? Does the author cover all aspects of the subject fairly?
  • How does the author support their argument? What evidence has the author used to prove their point? Do you find the book’s evidence convincing? Why or why not? Does the book conflict with anything else you’ve read?
  • How does the author structure an argument? Does the argument make sense? Why or why not?
  • How has this book helped you understand the subject? Would you recommend the book to your reader?

Having these questions as the foundation for your book review will make sure that your analysis is on topic and relevant to the discussion. So, make sure these questions are at the forefront of your mind when reading a book you want to review.

How to Write a Book Review: What You Need to Include

  • Your summary of the book
  • Include your analysis and opinion
  • Conclude your points
  • Be clear with your position
  • Remember your audience

Once you’ve looked over your notes to the questions above, you need to create an overarching viewpoint or thesis for your review. What is the main point of your review? What are you adding?

When it comes down to writing your book review, you’ve got to say as much as possible with as few words as possible. Typically, a good book review is around the 1000 word mark. However, if you’re reviewing a book on a website like Goodreads, you may have to keep it even shorter.

But despite your review’s length, here’s a basic structure you can keep.

In the introduction, give your readers insight into what the book is all about. However, you need to make sure you’re concise and straight to the point while doing so. Get your reader interested in reading the book if they haven't or contributing to the conversation if they have.

Throughout your introduction, try to stay unbiased with your comments about the book. There should be a fair balance in the beginning as you’ll give your critical opinions later. The introduction to your book review will need to include:

  • A good hook : When you are writing a book review, the hook is one of the most important lines you’ll write . Your major aim here should be to draw the reader’s attention and have them interested enough to read the rest of your review, maybe even read the entire book.
  • Important information: Include the book’s author, title, date of publication.
  • Background on the author : What do you know about the author? When were they alive and when were they writing? Did the author’s background have a major role in the book’s message?
  • The book’s theses : What message is the author trying to say with the book? This will be a lot easier if you’re reviewing a non-fiction book as they are more obvious in their theses.

You need to include a short summary of the book in your review. Nothing more than a few paragraphs. Make sure you don’t go into too much detail–you’re writing a review, not a full analysis. Look to keep your summary short and sweet. This way the potential reader has an idea about what to expect in the full book without revealing everything.

The Writing Center states that when you’re looking to summarize the plot, you also have to consider the audience of your work. For example, if you’re writing book reviews for comprehensive grad exams, you’ll want to include more of the book’s contents. However, if you’re writing a review to an audience that’s already read the book, you’ll have to scope and emphasize the subtle points of the text. If you’re writing a review for a website or a blog, you’ll want to fall somewhere in between.

Formatting Has Never Been Easier

Write and format professional books with ease.  Never before has creating formatted books been easier.

Rather than go through the book and give analysis chapter by chapter, break your writing down into arguments. Think about it the same way you’d write an English paper in high school.

Dedicate a paragraph or two to each argument you make about the book. To drive your points home, sometimes it’s necessary to quote the text. This shows that your views are grounded in evidence from the book. Paraphrase quotes when you can, as it saves time and makes your review more concise.

Recap your analysis before making your final judgement on the book. If you’re writing a literary review, go over the book’s main points. And if you’re a book blogger writing a sales-focused review, you may want to include a Call-to-Action.

Like any piece of writing, you shouldn’t look to include new points in your conclusion. Instead, reiterate the points you’ve already made.

Other things to consider when writing a book review

Once you’ve got the key structure down, here are a few additional things you should pay attention to.

While you need to provide accurate information about the book, it is also important in a book review that you make your feelings and opinions clear. It’s not enough to just describe the plot and use a bunch of general statements. Instead, let everyone know what you think. Don’t be afraid to include your own opinions about the events, characters and settings in the book.

Depending on the way you want readers to take your review, you can make your opinion clear right from the beginning. And give your insights as you explain the plot. For example, if there’s a character or device used that you think is notably weak or strong, include your views.

Your audience is reading your review so they can get an honest opinion. Let them know if they should or shouldn’t read the full book.

The audience reading your book review should dictate the style in which you write. So, look at the publication you’re publishing in (or the reason for writing) and make adjustments accordingly. If you’re writing a buyer-focused review, make recommendations to the right audiences. Game of Thrones would not only appeal to fantasy fans, but also to those who enjoy a good political thriller.

We touched on this earlier, but for a buyer-focused book review, the rating is very important. The way you rate a book determines the overall feeling you have and will impact the opinions of those reading your review.

Star rating systems are popular and widely understood. We all know a five-star thing is good, and one-star is mostly terrible. Apart from the star rating, you can use a conventional rating such as five out of ten points or a school-based letter grade.

The book’s author probably went to a lot of effort to put their thoughts into words, the least you can do is the same. There isn’t anything that takes credibility away from a written viewpoint quicker than poor spelling and grammar. Make sure you use a top-notch writing tool like ProWritingAid to edit and optimize your work.

So, there you have it. If you want to write a book review, follow these steps to get started. Personally, I find it easier to learn through great examples. So I’d go ahead and recommend checking out The New York Times Sunday Book Review and The New York Review of Books for some of the best book reviews available.

Dave Chesson

When I’m not sipping tea with princesses or lightsaber dueling with little Jedi, I’m a book marketing nut. Having consulted multiple publishing companies and NYT best-selling authors, I created Kindlepreneur to help authors sell more books. I’ve even been called “The Kindlepreneur” by Amazon publicly, and I’m here to help you with your author journey.

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Sample Easy Book Review & Template To Use on Amazon (or anywhere else)!

Please Share With Your Friends!

Last Updated on October 10, 2023 by Sarah McCubbin

Customer book reviews on Amazon are a valuable resource for both authors and other customers. Many of us use these reviews on a regular basis to help us sift through the titles there for the perfect one for our situation. This book review template and sample book review will make it easy for you to write a great review!

(Affiliate Disclosure: Purchases made through links on this page may result in me earning a small commission. Thank you!)

In 2021, I was helping my brother and friend launch their new real estate book on Amazon. They needed reviews for their book. We had a launch team of family, friends and supporters. But I realized that as people bought the book, it didn’t necessarily translate into reviews. Why? I think it is because there is SO MUCH in a book and people don’t know know how to narrow that down into something helpful…so they don’t write a review. So, I put out an explanation of how to write reviews…and this book review template…and the reviews began to trickle in. Funny enough though, this became the most popular post on my blog even though it had nothing to do with my main content. I hope YOU find it helpful and if you think there are other things I should add, send me an email to [email protected] . Happy Reading!

Table of Contents

Why Are Book Reviews Important?

Book reviews help potential buyers know if a book will meet their specific needs.

Here is an example of how a book review would save a customer from purchasing a book that isn’t right for them:

You are on a diet and need some new recipes. Great! You go looking for a low-sugar cookbook and find one with a lot of 5-star reviews which seems promising. It also has some 1 and 2-star reviews. Out of curiosity, you start reading the low reviews and realize that the comments all mention that this cookbook uses a lot of sugar substitutes in place of regular sugar.

Perhaps your actual diet goal is whole foods eating plan (no sugar substitutes) that is low-sugar but your search did not have all those details because you weren’t thinking about it that way. However, when you read the reviews, you realized…Nope..this cookbook is not the one for me.

These reviews saved you a lot of frustration and prevented you from ordering a book that did not meet your needs.

how to write a book review amazon

What Should I Include in My Book Review?

Your review is likely only going to be about 5 or 6 sentences. That is a short amount of space to include all or some of the following:

  • Amazon will require that you Title your review. So pick a short title that gives readers an idea of how your review might help their situation (i.e. “From No Cooking Skills to Almost-Gourmet Chef Nearly Overnight” as a title for a book on cooking for beginners.
  • Why you bought the book
  • What you hoped to learn from the book
  • How the book helped you (or didn’t help you)
  • Who would you recommend this book to?
  • Did the book live up to it’s claims
  • Comments about specific formats of the book (i.e. the Kindle book is poorly formatted or the print size in the paperback version is printed too light to read easily)
  • If you have expertise in the area of the book, you can agree or disagree with the author’s premises. A positive review from an “expert” will add to their credibility, but a negative review from an expert will detract from the author’s credibility…so use this carefully.

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What Should I NOT include in My Book Review?

  • Details about poor shipping times. These have nothing to do with the book and can be left on the seller’s review page.
  • Any mention of your relationship to the author (i.e. “I’m Bill’s mom…sister…friend…neighbor…etc”) It is fine for these people to review the book…just don’t put it in the review itself.

Amazon Rules For Customer Reviews

how to write a book review amazon

How Long Should My Review Be?

Reviews can be long or short. They can be 1 sentence or 5 paragraphs. The important thing is that if you take the time to review it you are giving value to someone who reads your review…that your intention is to help the next person.

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A Sample “Fill In the Blank” Non-Fiction Book Review

I got this book because ( problem you needed to solve ). I thought ( BOOK TITLE ) might give me more information about ( fill in the blank ). I was not disappointed. This book helped me so much. I learned a lot about ( what are some things you learned in the book ). Moving forward, I know I’ll be able to ( what you plan to do ). I highly recommend this book to anyone who ( fill in the blank with the type of person who would benefit from this book).

Obviously, your review does not have to follow that format or use every sentence. If you have more thoughts to add, definitely do that. The most important thing is that your review is honest and adds value to other potential readers.

If you need more information about writing Amazon book reviews including the rules and how to use stars, please read: How to Write a Good Book Review on Amazon. I hope this template is helpful. If you think other things should be added, please send me an email at [email protected] . Have a great day!

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Amazon Book Reviews: How To Get Book Reviews on Amazon For Free

POSTED ON Nov 10, 2020

P.J McNulty

Written by P.J McNulty

When it comes to Amazon book reviews, they are necessary to proactively marketing your book.

There’s almost nothing as important as Amazon reviews when it comes to generating consistent book sales month after month and creating an effective book marketing strategy.

It’s not enough to publish your book and hope reviewers will find you. They almost certainly won’t. You need to work hard to find them and convince them to review your book.

But even that isn’t enough!

If you go about getting reviews the wrong way, you risk incurring the wrath of Amazon. Your book will sink before it ever stood a chance of succeeding.

Related: Amazon Self-Publishing

So how can you get the reviews you need in an ethical and effective way?

We’ve gathered together everything you need to know.

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This guide to Amazon book reviews covers:

Why are amazon book reviews important, how many book reviews do i need on amazon, how to get your book reviewed on amazon, can i review my own book on amazon, book review services , can i contact the top reviewers on amazon.

  • Does Amazon support editorial reviews

Guidelines for Amazon reviews

Why does amazon remove book reviews.

If you’re new to the world of self-publishing , it might be unclear why there is so much importance placed on getting Amazon reviews for your book. 

After all, if you create a good book, produce an attractive cover, and write a catchy description, shouldn’t that be enough?

As much as we might see our book as special, Amazon won’t.

At least, not at first. And neither will the vast majority of book browsers.

While the benefits of self-publishing are well-known, there are also some challenges you need to overcome in order to experience success.

One such challenge is the abundance of books released on Amazon.

The vast majority of books are lost amidst the noise. New titles are added to Amazon every few minutes, and there are endless titles already available. 

What does this mean for you?

If you want to see your book reach the right readers, you need to do everything in your power to get it in front of them. 

One of the most powerful ways to do that is by ensuring your book has reviews.

A lack of reviews harms your book’s prospects in two ways. 

First, a book without reviews is unlikely to even get noticed by the vast majority of book browsers.

Second, even if people do somehow stumble across your book, they are unlikely to borrow or buy it without a credible number of reviews.

Here are the befits to make your reviews worth it:

  • Trust. Book reviews are especially important when you’re just starting out as an author on Amazon . Put yourself in the shoes of a customer. Why should they trust your book? They almost certainly haven’t heard of you. Reviews overcome this problem. When people see that others have been helped or entertained by a book, it gives them the confidence they will experience the same result.
  • Algorithm. Amazon is famous for having one of the most powerful and effective algorithms out there. The company explores and experiments with every possible way to get customers to spend more. Reviews are a huge signal to Amazon that your book is worth promoting. Without a respectable number of reviews close to the time of launch, your book will miss out on the immense power of Amazon’s promotional machinery.
  • External promotion. There are plenty of promotional services out there willing to help introduce your book to readers who are likely to benefit from it. However, most of them require you to have a certain number of positive reviews before they will even consider your book. You can also promote this on your author platform .
  • Feedback. Reviews are also a valuable source of feedback on your work. Yes, even the negative ones! You can get a sense of what readers did and did not like about your book and take this feedback on board for your future releases. 

When it comes to success on Amazon, it’s almost impossible to overstate just how important reviews are.

Now that you know the benefits of reviews for your book, let’s take a closer look at exactly how to get them.

Getting people to take the time to review your book isn’t always easy, especially when you’re new to the self-publishing scene.

Given the difficulty of getting reviews, it’s natural to wonder just how many you need. 

No matter what people might say, there is no magic number that you need. It varies from book to book.

However, there are some proven principles and guidelines you can use to inform the number of reviews you aim to get.

  • Check competing books. Take the time to check out other books that your ideal reader might be interested in. For example, which books rank for your keywords? Which books are selling well in your intended categories ? Try and look for books of similar stature to your own. How many reviews do they have? How many would you need to seem respectable in the eyes of a buyer choosing between your book and a competing title?
  • Aim for 10 minimum. 10 reviews seems to be the number that starts to move the needle for a lot of authors. When you’re putting together your initial strategy, make 10 book reviews the minimum number you aim for. 
  • 20 is ideal. If you’re capable of proactively getting 10 people to leave an Amazon review of your book, you’re more than capable of getting 20! Just double down on what you’re doing. We’ll explore exactly how shortly. 
  • Don’t go overboard. After a certain number of reviews, you’re unlikely to experience much extra benefit. The effort needed to seek out reviews is not commensurate to the benefits you will experience. Also, after getting a large number of reviews, buyers are likely to review your book of their own accord. You won’t need to seek them out. 30-50 reviews is a good guideline here, but a lower number may suffice depending on the books you are competing against. 
  • Your promo strategy. Many authors make book promotion sites or services an integral part of their marketing strategy. If you have a particular promotional site you want to be featured on, you’re probably going to need a certain number of reviews to be eligible.

Even though there isn’t a particular number of Amazon book reviews that’s right for every book, there’s definitely a number that’s right for yours.

Use the above ideas to find it and make this a target you strive to hit.

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Sadly, no. Some authors might think it's a good idea to review their own book to get an initial momentum going for their reviews, but that's against the rules specified on Amazon's Guidelines .

So how should you go about getting the reviews you need for your book to succeed?

Seeking out reviews in the right way isn’t just a matter of doing what’s likely to get results.

It’s also a matter of respecting Amazon’s rules and regulations. If you fail to do so, you run the risk of having your reviews removed.

If you’re unsure of how to get the reviews your book needs, here are some effective techniques.

  • Set up a review plan prior to launch. A lot of authors learn the hard way that you can’t leave book reviews to chance. You need to have a clear plan in place way ahead of your book launch . This should involve a clear approach to hit your review target number as close to the time of your book going live as possible.
  • Reach out to existing readers. Do you have an email list of readers? Have you written anything in the past? Even if you don’t have books out, do you have a blog with readers? Could you leverage your author network to promote your book to another writer’s fans? Existing readers, either your own or another author’s, are a great potential source of book reviews.
  • Use social media. While social media is a valuable source of potential reviewers of your work, you should approach it with caution. If Amazon’s algorithm deems you to have a close connection with people on social media, their reviews of your book may be removed. In spite of that, it’s still worth utilizing options such as Facebook reading groups, relevant hashtags on Twitter or Instagram, visual platforms like Pinterest , and even Tik Tok if you have a younger audience, to seek out people who might be interested in your book. 
  • Consider offline readers. Most authors will focus their review approach on the online world. By seeking out book clubs, library groups, and other interested communities offline, you open the door to a rich source of potential reviewers that many other authors aren't aware of.  
  • CTA in your book. There’s no harm of asking for book reviews within your book itself. You can also include a link in the ebook version to make it as straightforward as possible.

Be aware that by asking for reviews in any of the ways mentioned, you are seeking something of value from them. To make them want to take the time to help you, you need to frame your request in the right way.

Related: Amazon Book Description HTML: Making Words Look Better

Instead of coming across as self-serving or even desperate, why not base your review request around:

  • Feedback. If people respect your work they are likely to want to help you out as an author. If you make them feel like their feedback is valued, you are more likely to get a review.
  • Helping other readers. Another angle to take is appealing to a sense of community among readers. Rather than making your request for reviews about yourself, make it about informing fellow readers about a book that might benefit or entertain them.
  • A promotional price point. It’s human nature to love a good deal. By emphasizing your book being offered at a low price point for a limited time, you tap into the psychological appeal of both value and scarcity, making it more likely that people will see it as worthwhile to review your book.

Combining the right sources of potential reviews with the right type of request is the best way to get your book the review score it needs.

As well as seeking out relevant readers by yourself, a range of professional book review services exist.

While this can form a valuable part of your overall approach to reviews, you need to be careful.

Amazon is known for being incredibly strict about people selling reviews. Many people on Fiverr have experienced this firsthand!

The Amazon review guideline s are elaborated on a little later in this guide, but as a general principle, always avoid paying for a review directly. That includes offering a gift of some type.

Instead of paying for a review on Fiverr, consider using one of these services:

  • Goodreads book giveaways
  • Rainbow Book Reviews

If you’re considering paying for a review service, make sure to check both of these two things before investing your money:

  • Compliance. Ensure any review service you’re considering is compliant with Amazon’s rules and regulations. Otherwise, you risk losing your money, having the review removed, and possibly even worse consequences if Amazon feels you’re being particularly underhanded.
  • Results. Check out what kind of results a review service promises, and what kind of success they’ve had in the past. Have they produced good results for books similar to yours? What kind of ROI can you expect?

Book review services can be a valuable way to help your book get the momentum it needs. Just make sure you’re dealing with a reputable and effective service provider.

No, the top Amazon reviewers are no longer available.

In the past, a popular way of seeking book reviews involved trying to find and contact the top reviewers on Amazon.

This may have worked well back in the day, but it’s not really something to pursue in the here and now. 

The top Amazon reviewers no longer have emails available to reach out to. Even when they did, the odds of having a top reviewer take the time to check out your work was pretty slim. 

Does Amazon support editorial reviews?

What exactly is an editorial review, and why does it matter for your book?

So far, we’ve talked about customer reviews, which are exactly what they sound like. A customer reads your book and leaves their opinion. If they purchased it from Amazon, this would count as a verified review. 

The other type of review to utilize is the editorial review. This involves a trusted source such as a magazine or publication giving their take on your book.

While editorial reviews aren't included in your book's review score and don't show up with the customer reviews, this is actually a good thing. 

Some of the main benefits of editorial reviews are:

  • They won’t get lost in the middle of the (hopefully) large number of customer reviews your book has
  • You can add them to your Amazon Author Central page
  • You are allowed to leverage your connections as Amazon can’t remove these in the way that they can remove customer reviews
  • A reputable publication or individual may carry more weight in the mind of a potential book buyer than an unknown customer reviewer

There’s no denying the value of editorial reviews, but think of them as icing on the cake. 

Make customer reviews your priority, at least initially, as they will move the needle in terms of the Amazon algorithm.

Spend some time around the indie author community and you’ll come across some fairly angry writers.

A common source of frustration is the seemingly ever-changing Amazon review rules.

In reality, the Amazon review guidelines aren’t as bad as you might have heard.

You can check out the full picture here , but some basic principles include:

  • You can’t pay for reviews. It’s absolutely prohibited to exchange money for a review of your book.
  • You can’t ask for conditional reviews. Although it’s completely fine to ask for someone to review your book, you cannot request they review it in a certain way. Asking for an honest review is the best approach.
  • You can’t review a rival book. If Amazon feels someone is negatively reviewing a rival product of any type, they will remove that review.
  • You can’t rely on friends and family. Amazon state that reviews from close personal connections are not allowed. This can involve being friends with people and interacting on social media.
  • You can’t offer gifts. It’s not permissible to over an Amazon gift card or anything else whatsoever in exchange for a review. You can offer an ARC of your book but that’s all.

While it’s definitely worth respecting the Amazon review guidelines, try not to worry too much. As long as you’re operating from a place of good faith, the worst that will happen in the majority of cases is Amazon will remove some of your reviews.

Amazon Algorithm Strategies

Amazon can remove reviews for violations of any of their guidelines mentioned above. 

However, some of the most common reasons for a review to be removed are:

  • You have reviewed your own book
  • Someone with the same address with you has reviewed your book
  • A reviewer has attempted to leave multiple reviews of your work
  • The review is obscene, defamatory or otherwise unacceptable
  • The reviewer is a customer who has spent less than $50 on Amazon
  • The reviewer appears to be a spammer who leaves too many reviews in a short space of time
  • You have reported the review to [email protected] and Amazon agrees it is unacceptable

Having some reviews removed is a fact of life for most authors. Although it might seem frustrating, try and see the system as being in place to preserve the integrity of the entire process. 

We hope you’ve found this guide to the dos and don'ts of Amazon book reviews useful. 

If you have any tips on getting book reviews ethically, or warnings about Amazon’s rules and regulations, feel free to leave a comment and help your fellow authors out. 

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Amazon Book Review Policy Demystified for Authors

Amazon Book Review Policy Demystified for Authors

Last Updated on February 4, 2024 by David Wogahn

Book reviews are important for all books, but they're especially so for self-published books, because most of their sales are online. And when it comes to selling books online, Amazon customer reviews can make or break shopper interest in a book.

Let's begin by defining the difference between customer reviews and editorial reviews, and by debunking myths.

  • Customer Reviews: Written by a reader—ideally by someone who bought the book—who also assigns a number of stars (1-5). Most authors are referring to customer reviews when they reference “Amazon reviews.”
  • Editorial Reviews: An editorial review is a formal evaluation of a book, usually written by a professional reviewer or expert within a genre. These are also often called blurbs, endorsements, and testimonials.
Editorial reviews are added by the author via Author Central. See our guide: Create and Manage the Perfect Amazon US and UK Author Central Page.

Myth 1: You cannot pay someone to write a review.

False . Amazon permits payment for editorial reviews.

Myth 2: You cannot give people your book and ask them to review it.

False . You can, as long as you are clear that you welcome all feedback, both positive and negative.

Before Amazon became the dominant book retailer—in fact, before the internet—publishers would haul cartons of advance reading copies of their forthcoming books to book-industry tradeshows. These would sit in piles, free for the taking, with no requirements that someone write a review, much less provide their contact information to receive a copy.

The $50 spending requirement

Sometime in 2017 (they do not date their policy changes), Amazon inserted a new requirement into their Community Guidelines under the heading Eligibility:

To contribute to Customer features (for example, Customer Reviews, Customer Answers, Idea Lists) or to follow other contributors, you must have spent at least $50 on using a valid credit or debit card in the past 12 months. Promotional discounts don't qualify towards the $50 minimum.

Some have complained that this is overreach and another way for Amazon to force people to buy from them. We don't see it this way. In fact, we consider it a positive.

Many shoppers rely on customer reviews to guide our consideration of a product. How can we make an informed choice if those reviews are polluted by paid reviewers who never bought the product? And that's what was going on. Anyone could write a review; in fact, reviews were being posted by fake accounts.

Here’s a look at what’s permitted, what can get reviews removed, and how reviewers should disclose their relationship to the author.

What’s permitted

  • Amazon says this: “You may provide free or discounted copies of your books to readers. However, you may not demand a review in exchange or attempt to influence the review. Offering anything other than a free or discounted copy of the book—including gift cards—will invalidate a review, and we'll have to remove it.”
  • Reviewers can remove or edit a review after it is posted.
  • Amazon says that just because a review is written by a friend or a social media connection doesn’t necessarily result in that review being taken down.
  • A reviewer can link to another product—such as their own—if it is relevant and available on Amazon.

Friends & family

A common question we hear is whether friends and family can review a book. Amazon says this:

We don't allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book.

It used to be that Amazon encouraged authors to have their friends use the customer discussions feature to promote their book. That feature has been discontinued, and readers are being referred to Goodreads Groups  (requires login).

TIP: One way Amazon can monitor who your close friends are is by comparing the reviewer's contact information with the contact information in your account's address book. For example, if you've used Amazon for Christmas shopping, you probably don't want to bother asking any of those people to write a review.

When reviews are removed, or Amazon never posts it

  • Never invite (or allow) a family member or someone you have a close personal relationship with to review your book.
  • If a reader says they wrote a review, but the review was taken down or they say it was never posted, tell them to send an email to [email protected] .

When you want to get a review taken down or modified

If you feel a review violates guidelines , you can click the “Report abuse” link or email [email protected] .

Examples of guideline abuse may include use of obscenities, a privacy violation, impersonating others, and the usual libelous, defamatory, harassing, threatening, or inflammatory statements.

NOTE: If someone makes a negative comment about your book, and you fix what they are referring to, neither they nor Amazon are required to change the review to reflect your correction. You may, however, consider replying to the comment with a thanks to the commenter and a note that the issue has been fixed.

How to disclose your relationship

If you give your book away for the purpose of getting a review, you must instruct your prospective reviewer to disclose how they received your book.

There are many ways for the reviewer to do this; it just must be conspicuous. They can put it at the end of the review (most common), the beginning, or in the subject line.

Here are some sample phrases you can suggest if asking others to write a review for your book.

  • In the subject line: I received an ARC for an objective review.
  • I received a copy of this book via [name of source, i.e., NetGalley, Edelweiss, the publisher, author] and I’m reviewing it voluntarily.
  • I wrote this review based on an advance reading copy that the publisher sent me.
  • This review was based on a complimentary pre-release copy.

Knowing that someone reading an “author-encouraged review” might discount its value, some people will add an additional comment (if true), such as one of these:

  • I've since bought two more copies; one Kindle for myself and a paperback for [my mom/dad/friend]
  • That said, I liked it so much that I bought . . .

Amazon resources for more details or help

NOTE: You might need to be logged in or have an account to see some of these pages.

  • Community guidelines . There are several pages with this title, but with different URLs. From what we see, it’s the same content: find the guidelines here .
  • KDP has a good resource in their help section. Login to KDP, in the top menu click Help . On the left, click Promote Your Book , then click Customer Reviews . There you will find several FAQs and answers.
  • Amazon has guides devoted to Promotional Content and its relationship to reviews; find them here .
  • Most of us sell books on Amazon using one of their book-specific selling tools: KDP, Advantage, or a third-party such as an IngramSpark. You can also sell books via Amazon Seller Central’s Marketplace, which has its own policies. Turns out, these policies are the same for books. Create and Manage the Perfect Amazon US and UK Author Central Page. .
  • Email Amazon to report problems or issues with reviews: [email protected] .

About The Author

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David Wogahn

30 thoughts on “amazon book review policy demystified for authors”.

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Thanks for sharing this quick primer on Amazon’s book review policies.

Allow me to show my ignorance. How do you set up an advanced review copy? How do you send it to potential reviewers? Do you pay for each ebook sent? Do you offer some code in a newsletter or during a conference presentation? (So far, I have the best method of getting book reviews is giving away exam copies to fellow English teachers at teacher conferences or professional development workshops.) Giving away free ebooks sounds far less expensive. Or can you set up ARC for hard copies too? How do get the attention of potential book reviewers? Is there a service you recommend? Why?

Another question: can you use or set up an ARC for a book published last year? Or is that verboten?

I do offer free sample chapters on my website, and I encourage readers to share their positive experiences with the book online. So I do some things to generate reviews. Thanks!

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Very helpful info, David. Unfortunately, Amazon is often totally unresponsive to questions about why they removed reviews. I’ve posted reviews since 2009, more than 100 of them, and about three months ago Amazon deleted EVERY SINGLE ONE of them. They will not tell me why, except to refer me to the guidelines. Yeah, many of the reviews I posted were for advance reader copies authors gave me to review, but many were verified Kindle purchases. All of the reviews were honest, very few of them 5-stars, and I always included a sentence saying I received a copy of the book without obligation to post a review. Now, Amazon will not let me post any new reviews. Go figure.

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This article is FANTASTIC–thank you so much for researching and writing it!

I did note, on the Prohibited Seller Activities page (the “find them in a different place” link in #4 above), about 40% down the page, it read, “Additionally, you may not provide compensation (including free or discounted products) for a review.” Hopefully, this admonition is rendered null and void for books, based on your Amazon quote early in the article, “[These] changes will apply to product categories other than books. We will continue to allow the age-old practice of providing advance review copies of books.”

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Eric, you can learn more about the how question by reading my post here: . As to some of your other points, I have a short email course about pre-release marketing here (it’s free):

The A in ARC stands for advance, so it wouldn’t be an ARC after the book is published. Nevertheless, you should always be looking for people to review the book and many won’t review ebooks. The Book Reviewer Yellow Pages is the best place to start to get connected to potential reviewers.

Sounds like you got caught up in a “dragnet.” So no books whatsoever? Not even a “NY Times Best Seller”?

That’s right, books are excluded. The crackdown last year was on all sorts of “review clubs.” Links to those sites are now dead, or have been sold for their traffic. (Yeah!)

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Amazon Reviews can make or break a book. I am a veteran Indie author and tried various marketing techniques, but nothing beats a reviews. For authentic book reviews, I use: I get a few reviews and also exposure for my book.

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People bought my book through Amazon. I offered no deals. Only thing I asked was the review to be honest. Reviews were done and Amazon would not post them because they were friends of mine on my Facebook link. I got the reviews on my FB wall however– other people never saw them. So the reviews are not there. The positive nor the negative. All were positive on the actual book– the kindle version was really bad. I saw it was and took it down myself. Friends felt bad for me but it is what it is. A good book –I believe with all my heart will make it regardless of circumstances. It is being redone and it is a very good read.

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I published Garage Band Theory 4 years ago, it’s a music education book has been doing OK on Amazon and elsewhere since day 1.

Currently I have 57 Amazon reviews, am trying to push to the 100 mark.

I played professionally for 30 years, met a lot of people and a big % of the people on my FaceBook friends list are musicians – most are what you’d call ‘casual acquaintances’ – played some gigs with some, met lots at a job, mine or theirs – more than a few are teachers, and I thought it was time to reach out to them, offer a free digital copy if they’d consider leaving a review, be sure to tell them to include “My remarks are based on complimentary copy of this book that I received from the author. ”

I have endorsements from a few well known ‘stars’ and a few of my good friends and family did leave comments early in the process – but none of the people I plan to contact are going to leave a positive remark unless they feel it’s deserved.

I recently had heard that Amazon was not allowing any FaceBook friends to review – I did a search, found this post, and suddenly it seems that it could be a very bad idea to go through with the plan.

Is this gonna do more harm than good if a few were to leave positive comments?

Hi Duke, good to to hear from you. This is a really tricky area with lots of variables. My advice is to try a sample size group and see how it goes. Execute your plan in stages or phases.

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Thanks so much for the explanation – I think Amazon scares all of us who’ve self-published. I just found out that I can’t buy any advertising with AMS. It is only for people who published with them, on Kindle Direct, and my company, Mill City Press, will disown me if I try to go Kindle Unlimited, the only way I can buy a sponsored ad. Mill City said they’d never done an Amazon ad, which just chilled me. These are the pros in advising self-published authors?

But there is one thing you haven’t addressed, and that’s the ghetto reviews can find themselves in if they are not Verified Purchase. No one will answer this question. Apparently, no one really understands, and Amazon won’t take questions. A review may appear, or it may not. So, when you’re madly giving away expensive copies of your novel on Facebook, in the glimmer of a hope of a review, you need to be aware of this.

There are no easy answers. You just have to try and know some won’t make it through. I’ve heard some crazy stories about reviews blocked or taken down. I’ve been blocked, too. That’s very interesting about Mill City, surprising in fact.

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Regarding the requirement to “have spent at least $50 on using a valid credit or debit card in the past 12 months.” I see this as a discriminatory policy if you bought a book at AMAZON. In my case I want to post a review and am not permitted due to I didn’t spent $50.

Unfortunately, there were businesses that specialized in writing bogus reviews of products they never bought and this policy helps to stop or limit that activity. It has as much to do with toothpaste as it does books.

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I would like to “advertise” my book on Amazon but I did not have it published by Amazon. When you look up a book, at the bottom it will say, “If you like this you might also like…..” and it lists other books or it might even say “Customers who review this might also like….” or other types of advertising for books with comparable content. How do I go about getting my book in these space?

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I’m new to KDP, and my question doesn’t specifically apply to reviews, but can’t seem to find an answer explicitly stated on Amazon’s policy info. I’m doing low content books, journals, coloring books, kids activity books… I wanted to get a couple for my nephew and ordered through my Prime account because paying full shipping cost for author copies was twice as much as the books! Is ordering a couple coloring books from my account an issue? I guess it adds to my sales rank, but how big a deal is something like that? I think my mom ordered some journals as well.

You are buying them as an customer would, at the retail price, so no problem.

Those places you reference are decided by Amazon based on what people are buying. It works like any retail store–the retailer decides these things.

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Can an author, as of August 4, 2021, register with any of the book reviewing companies found on the internet and pay as much as $500 and have them provide book reviews and then post them on Amazon?

Don, the answer is a qualified yes. I cannot confirm “any,” but there are many reviewers and review businesses you can use, free or paid. Most of those reviews would be editorial reviews and they are posted using Author Central. Here is a list of fee-based editorial reviewers:

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I can never figure out how to ask an author question on amazon. My self-published book recently won a Bronze Award from READER VIEWS. I’m wondering if it can be displayed on my Amazon book page, not just the Amazon author page. Thanks for information.

Put it on the cover of the book.

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A couple of professional contacts wrote books which I bought, and I wanted to leave reviews to support them. However, Amazon says there has been unusual review activity associated with my account and will not let me leave a review. I don’t think I’ve EVER left a review, so someone must have done so using my name. How do I remedy this? I really would like to leave a couple of reviews.

This is not uncommon and Amazon won’t explain. You can try emailing them to ask. If you bought the eBook, try leaving a review from the eBook. there should be a link at the end. You can also leave the review on Goodreads.

' src=

Hi, What about author’s swapping books and reviewing each other? Are there restrictions against this or is this permitted under all circumstances? Thanks!

' src=

Can a person leave a review if they only read a few pages of your book? I have a poor review from someone who said they only read a few pages. Is that even allowed? Don’t you have to read a certain percentage of a book in order to leave a verified review? The person actually said in the review that they only read a few pages.

There is nothing preventing authors reviewing other books as long as the reviews don’t violate policies. But what you describe has been tried many times and it works until Amazon figures out what’s going on. Lots of risk in this case.

No rules about that and it applies the other direction as well. You can always protest.

' src=

This is a great article. Very insightful. Thanks for the post.

' src=

I appreciate the emphasis on continuous learning and staying updated with the latest trends in Amazon selling. Your blog is a great resource for sellers like us who are looking to stay ahead of the competition. Thank you for sharing your expertise!

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How to Leave a Review on Amazon

Last Updated: September 27, 2023

On the Mobile App

This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Nicole Levine, MFA . Nicole Levine is a Technology Writer and Editor for wikiHow. She has more than 20 years of experience creating technical documentation and leading support teams at major web hosting and software companies. Nicole also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Portland State University and teaches composition, fiction-writing, and zine-making at various institutions. This article has been viewed 290,134 times. Learn more...

Like or dislike a product you recently bought on Amazon? Well, now’s the perfect time to leave a review! Reviewing an item on Amazon can help other shoppers decide whether or not to buy a product, and they only take a few minutes to write up. Follow our guide and we’ll walk you through the process of making a review on Amazon’s website or mobile app.

Step 1 Go to

  • For tips on writing helpful and objective Amazon reviews, check out How to Write an Objective Amazon Review .
  • Customer reviews must meet Amazon's Community Guidelines, which you can find here:

Step 2 Sign in to your account.

  • If you're no longer able to access the Amazon account you used to purchase the product, you can still leave a review using a different account. It just won't be marked with the "Verified Purchase" badge. [1] X Research source You can review the product by searching for it on Amazon and clicking Write a Customer Review on the left side of the review section.

Step 3 Click Returns & Orders.

  • You can also search for the item by typing its name into the "Search all orders" blank and then clicking Search Orders .

Step 5 Click Write a product review next to the order.

  • If the order contains two or more items, clicking this link will display thumbnails of all ordered items. Click Write a review below the thumbnail of the item you want to review to continue.

Step 6 Select an overall rating.

  • It may take up to 48 hours for the review to be approved.
  • You can read all the reviews you've written by visiting .

Step 1 Open the Amazon app on your phone or tablet.

  • If you're no longer able to access the Amazon account you used to purchase the product, you can still leave a review with a different account. It just won't be marked with the "Verified Purchase" badge. To review the product, go to its page on Amazon and click Write a Customer Review to the left of the review list.

Step 4 Locate the item you want to review.

  • If the item was purchased prior to that time, tap the Filter orders menu near the top-right corner of the order list, select a different time period, and then tap Apply .
  • You can also search for the item by tapping Search Amazon at the top-center part of the screen, typing the product name, and then tapping the Search or Enter key.

Step 5 Tap the item you want to review.

  • If you ordered a functional item, such as headphones or a lamp, you'll also be able to rate aspects of that item below. Tap star ratings for any other aspect of the product you want to rate, or tap the corresponding X to remove that piece from your review.

Step 8 Tap the camera icon to add a photo or video.

  • You can read all the reviews you've written by visiting in any web browser.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Be sure your review is accurate and fair. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
  • Be sure to be descriptive and personal when writing your review description. Make sure it is at least 75 words long, and without spelling or grammar errors. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Remember who you're reviewing for. Reviews are for potential customers to make a fully informed purchase. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

how to write a book review amazon

  • Actually use the item before you review it. Some people can't resist the urge to get on Amazon and write a glowing review about their purchase as soon as they receive it only to find out a few days after posting that the item did not meet their expectations. Thanks Helpful 9 Not Helpful 1
  • Do not use profanity or slander, or your review will not be published. Thanks Helpful 7 Not Helpful 3
  • Do not use your review to complain that Amazon or the company who is selling through Amazon was late in delivering your item. Put those complaints on the seller feedback page. Reviews that start with this complaint are usually skipped over by the more experienced Amazon user who is more interested in researching the quality of the product, and removed via Amazon if they are caught in time (before they enter the reviews that are already present for the item). Thanks Helpful 4 Not Helpful 1
  • In your review do not say that all products made by such and such company are junk. You are announcing to the world that you were already prejudiced against the item before you bought it and therefore might be more prone to give a negative review. Thanks Helpful 5 Not Helpful 2

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About This Article

Nicole Levine, MFA

1. Go to . 2. Click Returns & Orders . 3. Find the order. 4. Click Write a product review . 5. Complete the review. 6. Click Submit . Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write a Book Review

How to Write a Book Review: A book review evaluates critically what the author has written, it delves into how the book’s content is, its style and quality. Book reviews can be found in magazines, newspapers, online platforms, personal blogs and social media. Thoroughly read the book and then formulate your points accordingly and then write the book review. A good book review has a balanced assessment and is well-written highlighting the good parts & the parts which need to be worked upon. It makes it easy for readers to decide whether to read a book or not.

In this article, we will talk about how to write a book review, what a book review is, writing a good book review, its length, layout and structure, what to include, how to write a good book review, tips for writing a book review and an example of an outline of how a book review should be.

Table of Content

Book Review

Writing a good book review, length of a book review, structure of a book review, tips for writing a book review, example of an outline of a book review.

Writing a book review means critically evaluating a written piece by an author, talking about what s/he has written, their style, content and quality. There are various mediums in which book reviews are found, from newspapers and magazines to social media. One must ensure that before writing a book review, one must have thoroughly read the book and then formulate their points accordingly.

A book review helps readers decide whether to read a book or not as it gives an idea of the strengths & weaknesses of the content given in the book. Well-written and balanced assessment of a book, makes for a good review, focusing on both the good parts & the parts which need more work to be done.

A book review is a critical evaluation of a literary work, typically written to inform potential readers about the book’s content, style, and overall quality. These reviews can take various forms, including professional critiques published in newspapers, magazines, or online platforms, as well as amateur reviews posted on personal blogs or social media.

The purpose of a book review is to provide readers with insight into the book’s strengths and weaknesses, helping them decide whether or not to read it. A well-written review should offer a balanced assessment, highlighting both the positive aspects of the book and any areas where it falls short.

Writing a good book review involves a thoughtful and balanced evaluation of the book’s content, style, and overall impact. Whether you’re writing for a professional publication or sharing your thoughts on a personal blog or social media platform, here are some tips to help you craft a compelling and informative review:

The length of a book review can vary depending on the publication or platform where it’s being published, as well as the depth of analysis and the reviewer’s writing style. Generally, book reviews can range from a few hundred words to several thousand words.

Here’s a breakdown of the typical lengths for different types of book reviews:

The structure of a book review typically follows a clear and logical format that allows the reviewer to convey their thoughts and opinions effectively.

While the specific structure may vary slightly depending on the publication or platform, here is a commonly used structure for a book review:

Writing a book review can be a rewarding process that not only helps potential readers but also allows you to engage critically with a piece of literature. Here are some tips to consider when writing a book review:

  • Read the Book Carefully : Before you start writing your review, make sure you’ve read the book thoroughly. Take notes as you read to capture your initial reactions, key themes, memorable quotes, and any questions or concerns that arise.
  • Understand the Author’s Intentions : Consider what the author is trying to achieve with the book. Understanding the author’s intentions can help you evaluate whether they were successful in achieving their goals.
  • Provide Context : Begin your review by providing some context for the book, including information about the author, genre, and publication details. You can also briefly summarize the plot or central premise to give readers a sense of what the book is about.
  • Focus on Analysis, Not Summary : While it’s important to provide a brief overview of the book, avoid summarizing the entire plot in your review. Instead, focus on analyzing the book’s strengths and weaknesses, discussing elements such as character development, writing style, plot structure, and thematic depth.
  • Support Your Opinions : Back up your opinions with evidence from the text. If you thought the characters were well-developed, provide examples of specific scenes or dialogue that illustrate this. Similarly, if you found the pacing to be slow, point to specific sections of the book that dragged.
  • Be Honest and Balanced : A good book review is honest and balanced, acknowledging both the book’s strengths and weaknesses. Avoid overly positive or negative reviews that fail to consider the nuances of the book. Even if you didn’t enjoy the book overall, try to find something positive to say, whether it’s about the writing style, the premise, or a particular character.
  • Consider Your Audience : Think about who your audience is and what they might be interested in knowing about the book. Tailor your review to their interests and preferences, and consider whether the book is suitable for specific types of readers.
  • Use a Clear Structure : Organize your review clearly and logically, with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Use subheadings or paragraphs to break up your review and make it easier to read.
  • Conclude with a Recommendation : Conclude your review by summarizing your overall assessment of the book and offering a recommendation for potential readers. You can also suggest the type of reader who might enjoy the book based on its content and themes.
  • Proofread and Revise : Before publishing your review, take the time to proofread and revise it for clarity, coherence, and grammar. Pay attention to spelling errors, awkward phrasing, and inconsistencies in your argument.
  • Be Respectful : Remember that your review reflects your opinion, and others may have different perspectives. Be respectful in your critique, avoiding personal attacks or derogatory language towards the author or other readers who may have enjoyed the book.

Below is an example of a book review following the outlined structure:

Title: The Great Gatsby Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald Genre: Classic Literature Introduction: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” is a timeless classic that continues to captivate readers with its portrayal of the Jazz Age and the pursuit of the American Dream. As one of the most celebrated novels of the 20th century, it explores themes of love, wealth, and the elusive nature of happiness. In this review, I will delve into the novel’s enduring relevance and its impact on readers. Summary: Set in the 1920s, “The Great Gatsby” follows the story of Jay Gatsby, a mysterious millionaire who throws extravagant parties at his mansion in West Egg. Narrated by Nick Carraway, a young man from the Midwest who moves to Long Island, the novel explores Gatsby’s obsession with the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, his past relationship with her, and his relentless pursuit to win her back, despite her marriage to the wealthy Tom Buchanan. The novel culminates in a tragic climax that exposes the emptiness of wealth and the futility of Gatsby’s dreams. Analysis: 1. Writing Style Fitzgerald’s writing style in “The Great Gatsby” is both poetic and evocative. His vivid descriptions of the opulent parties, luxurious lifestyles, and decay of moral values immerse the reader in the glamour and excess of the Jazz Age. The prose is elegant and lyrical, reflecting the elegance and decadence of the era. 2. Character Development The characters in “The Great Gatsby” are complex and multi-dimensional. Gatsby, with his enigmatic persona and grandiose ambitions, embodies the American Dream and the pursuit of success at any cost. Daisy represents the allure of wealth and privilege, while Tom symbolizes the moral decay and corruption of the upper class. Nick Carraway, the narrator, serves as a moral compass amidst the chaos, offering a critical perspective on the characters and society. 3. Themes and Symbolism “The Great Gatsby” explores timeless themes such as the illusion of the American Dream, the corruption of wealth, and the emptiness of materialism. The green light at the end of Daisy’s dock symbolizes Gatsby’s unattainable dreams, while the Valley of Ashes represents the moral decay and social disparity of the era. Fitzgerald’s use of symbolism adds depth and complexity to the narrative, inviting readers to reflect on the deeper meanings behind the story. 4. Emotional Impact “The Great Gatsby” evokes a range of emotions, from admiration for Gatsby’s determination to pity for his tragic downfall. The novel’s exploration of love, loss, and disillusionment resonates with readers of all ages, making it a timeless classic that continues to inspire and provoke thought. Personal Response As a reader, I was deeply moved by the themes and characters in “The Great Gatsby.” Fitzgerald’s poignant portrayal of the human condition and the fragility of the American Dream left a lasting impression on me. The novel’s tragic ending serves as a powerful reminder of the consequences of unchecked ambition and the pursuit of superficial happiness. Conclusion In conclusion, “The Great Gatsby” is a masterpiece of American literature that continues to resonate with readers decades after its publication. Fitzgerald’s timeless exploration of love, wealth, and the pursuit of happiness offers valuable insights into the human experience. I highly recommend this novel to anyone seeking a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant read.

This example provides a comprehensive review of “The Great Gatsby,” covering key aspects such as the writing style, character development, themes, and personal response, while adhering to the outlined structure.

A book review is about what the author has written, and understanding his/ her viewpoint. It talks about how the book’s content is, its style and its quality. They can be found in magazines, newspapers, online platforms, personal blogs and social media. One must read the book thoroughly and then provide an insight into the book by forming their points accordingly.

An honest and balanced assessment is considered to be a good book review as it makes it easy for the readers to decide whether to read a book or not. A book reviewer must know their audience, understand the author’s frame of mind and while writing a book review, be respectful and refrain from making any personal attack. Thus, we see how a book review is a constructive assessment of a book.

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FAQs on How to Write a Book Review

Define a book review..

A book review evaluates critically what the author has written, it delves into how the book’s content is, its style and quality.

How long should a book review be?

A book review is usually about 500 to 800 words.

What is a good book review?

A good book review is one that has an honest assessment of what the author has written, it gives a balanced view and a critical analysis. It talks about both the good parts and the parts that need further work upon.

What are the tips for writing a book review?

The following points need to be considered for writing a book review: Thoroughly read the book Make notes of important details, quotes and other information you find useful Try to understand the author’s viewpoint Provide a context Analyze the book and not summarize Support your opinion with strong points Honest and balanced assessment Keep in mind the audience that is the readers Proper structure Provide recommendation for a good read Proofread what you have written and revise it properly Be respectful while writing a book review, no personal attacks, Constructive criticism

What does a book review include?

A book review includes the following: Introduction/Plot- context of the book Analysis- of what the author has written, understanding his view point Personal response- how you felt while reading the book Reviewer’s opinion based on their critical analysis Conclusion- Talking about author’s strengths and weaknesses Recommendations of further books that one can read

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How to Publish a Book on Amazon in 12 Steps, With Photos

S o, you have written a book but are unsure how to get it to your target audience? One of the best avenues to a broad, pre-formed customer base is to use Amazon. Amazon self-publishing is a service that is for writers who have an eBook and want to release it to the world. This service removes rejection from publishing companies and over-editing by editors who do not share your vision. It allows independent writers to publish a book on amazon that mainstream publishers would not be interested in and release it to their specified audience. 

This service also allows all writers to dictate the monetary profit they will receive from each sale of their book, promoting independence and creativity. 

When going to publish a book on amazon, if done in a rush or incorrectly, your book may not be uploaded to Amazon in the way you visualized. Uploading your eBook to Amazon can be stressful to partake on your own. But don’t worry, we have got you covered.

This article will direct you through each stage of how to publish a book on amazon so that when your manuscript is complete, you will be able to showcase a finished product that is professional, engaging, and inspiring.

Step 1: Create an Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing Account

The first step in publishing your book on Amazon is to create an Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing account. To do this, visit “Kindle Direct Publishing” and click “Sign Up,” or if you already have an account set up, you can click “Sign In.” 

If it is your first time signing in, you must add your basic information, create a username and password, add a payment method, and accept Amazon’s terms of use before proceeding. 

Once you have created or signed in to your existing account, you will be directed to the Amazon Author dashboard to start your journey to becoming a published writer.

Step 2: Add a New Kindle eBook

1.     to start a new book, click “kindle ebook.” .

As this book will be your first title, no other book titles will be on the dashboard. 

2.     Select Your Book’s Language from the drop-down list under “Language.”

At the start of this process, you must choose your eBooks language, which should match the language it was in. Kindle supports over 40 languages worldwide, so there is a wide range of options. 

3.     Enter your eBook title and subtitle in the prompt box under “Book Title.”

Once the language is selected, you can enter your eBook title and subtitle. Your book’s title should be well-thought-out and engaging, as many people will judge whether to read it on its title and cover. 

4.     Enter the Primary author and contributor names in the prompt boxes under “Author” and “Contributor.”

Do not forget to add the author’s name under which you want your book to be published, whether that is your birth name, a pseudonym, or another person’s name.

5.     Enter your book description in the prompt box under “Description.” 

The description of your book is a crucial marketing strategy for your work. It will seal your reader’s interest and prompt them to purchase your writing to read the whole story. Amazon will give you up to 4,000 characters in the description section, which gives you ample space to sell your book.

This description will be located within your book on the book’s detail page. 

Once you start entering information about your book, if you stop during this process, you can click “Save as Draft” to save all your progress, and you can resume where you left off later.

Step 3: Verify Your Publishing Rights for Your eBook

Click the option that pertains to your publishing rights..

If you are the eBook’s author, you can choose the option allowing you to own the copyright and the publishing rights. Under American law, you own anything that you write from the moment you start creating it. 

If you are not interested in owning your work, you can click the option to make it part of the public domain, where anyone can cite it or use it without your permission.

Step 4: Choose Your eBook’s Category

1.     enter the applicable keywords to your ebook..

Choosing the specific keywords that will direct Amazon customers to your new book is incredibly important. Potential customers will use these words in an Amazon search, so any terminology directly related to your eBook should be added to these prompt boxes. 

2.     Click the “Set Categories” button to choose two applicable categories for your book.

By adding your book to the categories that are most applicable to its story, a higher number of relevant customers will be able to find your writing. 

3.     Choose a suitable age range for your eBook.

Unless your eBook is specifically for teens or younger readers, these boxes should be left to their default settings. If it is, then select a minimum and maximum age so that it can be categorized correctly. 

Step 5: Choose a Book Release Option for Your eBook

1.     under the title “pre-order” section, select the option that applies to your ebook..

If you choose to publish immediately, ensure that you have a marketing plan in place to ensure that customers know your book is now available for purchase. 

When deciding to release your book later, you can set the KDP pre-order up to a year in advance. Unsure of the release date? You can add a preliminary date and change it once you know a definite date. 

2.     Select Your Digital Rights Management 

Enabling digital rights management on your eBook will prevent people from copying and using your book for free. It is useful to know that people will still be able to lend the book for a short period but not use it without authorization. 

Step 6: Uploading Your eBook

Select “upload ebook manuscript”.

Once you are happy with the features you have selected, it is time to upload your eBook manuscript. There are several recommended formats for your book, including .doc, .docx, HTML, Plain Text, and MOBI to name a few. 

Using the current Kindle format is recommended so your book will be readable and professional on every e-reader . Once you upload the file, you can see how it looks like an actual book. 

Under the title “Kindle eBook Cover,” select the book cover option that applies to you. 

Unfortunately, the saying is untrue; people absolutely judge books by their covers. If you want a book cover that resonates with your readers, either create one in Cover Creator or pay an illustrator to produce a custom one that you can upload using the option “Upload a cover you already have.” 

Step 7: Preview Your eBook

Once your eBook has been uploaded, you can preview it using the Kindle Previewer. To use the Kindle Previewer, click the “Preview on your computer” button and install the current version of the app for Mac or Windows, depending on your computer. 

When previewing your manuscript, ensure you check the following:

  • Check the cover image.
  • Read through and check every single page to ensure readability and no grammatical errors.
  • Try out the navigation to ensure it is fit for purpose.

Step 8: Select Publisher              

1.     under the “kindle ebook isbn” section, enter the international standard book number, if applicable, and the publisher..

If you intend only to publish this eBook on Amazon, then you do not need either piece of information and can leave the prompt boxes blank. 

2.     Under the “KDP Select Enrollment section,” select the KDP option that applies to your eBook.

Also, in this section, you can add your eBook to KDP Select, which allows your eBook to be a part of Kindle Unlimited, and you will receive a broader range of marketing options. To avail of this, your eBook has to be exclusive to Amazon. 

If you are unsure about this option, you can always add it later. 

Step 9: Choose the Territories and Pricing for Your eBook

1.     under the “territories” section, select the territorial option that applies to your ebook..

It is standard practice to select the default setting “All territories (worldwide rights)” unless there is a specific reason not to. This will make your eBook available to every customer base that has access to Amazon.

2.     Select the Royalty Plan Applicable to your eBook.

You can choose between 35% and 70% royalty for your book. Selecting 70% will result in more profit for you, but it will add pricing limitations to your book, and you will have to enroll in Book Lending. 

3.     Select your eBook’s primary marketplace and add the listing price in the prompt box.

Select as your eBook’s primary marketplace, and then add your listing price to the prompt box. If your book is selected to be available worldwide, the listing pricing may change subject to exchange rates in different countries. 

Step 10: Add Your eBook to Matchbook and Book Lending

If you want to enroll your book into the Book Lending and Matchbook feature, you can select to add yourself or opt out, depending on your preferences. 

Step 11: Save Your Draft eBook 

  click “save as draft” until you are ready to publish..

Once you have added all the relevant information about your eBook into the specified areas, you are given two options: “Save as draft” until you are ready to publish it or “Publish your Kindle eBook” if your eBook is completed. 

Once your book goes live, it is best practice to set up your Amazon Author page with a recent photo and biography, giving potential customers insight into the book’s background. Also, any blubs from the book should be added to your eBook’s details page. 

Step 12: Self-Publishing Your eBook

If you are interested in publishing your eBook as a printed book or if your eBook has become so successful that there is a space in the market for a printed, physical version, self-printing can be completed through Self-publishing your eBooks was historically completed by CreateSpace through Amazon but now can be produced through the Kindle section within 

Your eBook will need a spine and back cover and must be re-formatted as physical books look different from eBooks. But it is another service that Amazon offers its budding writers. 

To publish a book on amazon is a skill, and it is a challenging feat. It is very tempting to rush your manuscript to the market when you have spent so much time, creative juices, and effort producing something that people will like with no monetary supplement. However, releasing something that is not entirely finished is unprofessional and will ruin your chances of success.

Amazon and Kindle have ensured that writers can easily present their hard work to an enormous market of potential customers. It gives writers the option to bring their body of work to the market under their terms and when they feel like it is ready to be presented, which ensures that there are more quality eBooks on the market. 

This article provides writers with a guide to ensure that they can navigate the publishing software and successfully publish a book on amazon that people are excited to read on any tablet or e-reader.

The post How to Publish a Book on Amazon in 12 Steps, With Photos appeared first on History-Computer .

How to Publish a Book on Amazon in 12 Steps, With Photos


  1. How To Write An Amazon Book Review

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  2. Amazon Book Review Template

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  3. How to write a book review on Amazon (#3)

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  4. Sample Book Review & Template To Use on Amazon

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  5. How to Write a Book Review on Amazon

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  1. How to Write Book Reviews on Amazon That People Will Read

    1. Carry Out Thorough Research If you're going to write a book review, it's important to know what you're talking about. Consider doing some research on the book itself, and the author's overall body of work. There are plenty of books out there, so you'll need to convince readers what they're missing out on by not reading them.

  2. Submit a Review

    Select Write a product review in the Customer Reviews section. Select a Star Rating. A green check mark shows for successfully submitted ratings. Optionally, add text, photos, or videos and select Submit. Share your thoughts with other customers by submitting a customer review. You can submit product feedback by selecting a star rating.

  3. How To Write A Good Book Review

    Eligibility An Amazon Customer Review must be written by someone who has read the book and has an Amazon account. You don't have to have bought the book from Amazon. You can only review on Amazon if: You have spent more than $50 on Amazon in the last twelve months and have an Amazon account

  4. How To Get REAL Book Reviews on Amazon [For Free]

    Step 3: Set Up Your Assets to Remind Your Network. Social media is a great way to remind your network that your book is ready to be reviewed. Use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or whatever social media assets you have to keep your book present in people's minds. For example:

  5. How to Write a Good Book Review on Amazon

    How to Review Books on Amazon. Whether a book is fiction or non-fiction does play some significance in what you share on Amazon. 5 Tips for Fiction Book Reviews on Amazon Fiction reviews may include the following elements: A brief summary of the story. An analysis of the characters, plot, and genre; Description of the writing style of the author

  6. How To Write An Amazon Book Review

    Step 1. Navigate to the book's page on Amazon. 2. Scroll down to the Customer Reviews section of the page, located just under the author's bio. There is a button that says, "Write a customer review." CLICK IT. Step 2. CLICK the "Write a customer review" button. 3. You will be taken to the "Your Reviews" page. Cool!

  7. How to Write a Book Review on Amazon

    Sep 1, 2022 12:47 AM EDT Helpful vs. Non-Helpful Book Reviews I know that writing a book review seems like an obvious thing to do when you've finished reading. But the number of people who read books and actually post reviews can be very small. By posting a review on book-selling sites, particularly Amazon, you're doing authors a big favor.

  8. How to Write a Book Review: A Template for Reviewing Books

    How to Write a Book Review is a practical how-to on writing book reviews from the #1 bestselling author of A Reader's Library of Book Quotes and The Great Literature Trivia Quiz Book. This detailed workbook is designed to help you grow into a confident book reviewer, whether you are writing a review for school, on your blog, or anywhere else.

  9. How To Write a Book Review (At Amazon and other booksellers)

    Go to Amazon (or your favorite bookseller) and write a fair and honest book review! If you are wondering how to write a book review, you have come to the right place. As a self-published author, you know how valuable book reviews are. They can validate your hard work and ensure you that people are benefiting from your dedication to the book.

  10. How To Write A Good Book Review

    Always write a review in the present tense. This is true in almost any language. Don't make your presence known in the review, i.e. do not write "I liked this book because…" or "I thought the writing was…". It is assumed it's your opinion in a professional review. Don't use double negatives, "This book is not awful/not bad ...

  11. How to Post a Book Review on Amazon

    7. Check your email for a message from Amazon containing your book review. It will also contain a link to "See your full review." Congratulations! You have posted your first book review on Amazon. How to Edit Your Book Review. After posting your book review, you may later decide that you want to edit or update it.

  12. How to Write a Good Review on Amazon

    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

  13. All About Book Reviews and Amazon

    1. Customer Reviews. These are the reviews that Amazon is exercising their right, as a private company remember, to investigate more closely. What Amazon is trying to achieve is a clear picture of product experience. This picture has been muddied somewhat by several factors: 1. "Fiverr" style purchasing of 4 and 5-star reviews by authors ...

  14. How To Write an Engaging Book Review

    Read any good books lately? Want to share your thoughts about them? A book review is a great way to shed insight and give your opinion on a book you've read, whether it's nonfiction, a mystery novel, or a collection of poems. Give your writing extra polish Grammarly helps you communicate confidently Write with Grammarly What is a book review?

  15. 17 Book Review Examples to Help You Write the Perfect Review

    Start quiz What must a book review contain? Like all works of art, no two book reviews will be identical. But fear not: there are a few guidelines for any aspiring book reviewer to follow. Most book reviews, for instance, are less than 1,500 words long, with the sweet spot hitting somewhere around the 1,000-word mark.

  16. How to Write a Book Review in 3 Steps

    The three main steps of writing a book review are simple: Provide a summary: What is story about? Who are the main characters and what is the main conflict? Present your evaluation: What did you think of the book? What elements worked well, and which ones didn't? Give your recommendation: Would you recommend this book to others?

  17. How to Write a Book Review + Bonus Tips!

    For most cases though, writing a book review is a simple two-step process. First, develop an argument about the book. And be sure to make that argument as you write your review. Second, create a series of questions to concentrate your thinking towards a specific topic.

  18. Sample Book Review & Template To Use on Amazon

    A Sample "Fill In the Blank" Non-Fiction Book Review Why Are Book Reviews Important? Book reviews help potential buyers know if a book will meet their specific needs. Here is an example of how a book review would save a customer from purchasing a book that isn't right for them: You are on a diet and need some new recipes. Great!

  19. Posting an Amazon Book Review from Your Kindle

    Updated: 03-26-2016 Fire Tablets For Dummies Explore Book Buy On Amazon One of the nice things about in general, and about the Kindle Store in particular, is that customers participate heavily in contributing content to the site.

  20. Amazon Book Reviews: How To Get Book Reviews on Amazon For Free

    Set up a review plan prior to launch. A lot of authors learn the hard way that you can't leave book reviews to chance. You need to have a clear plan in place way ahead of your book launch. This should involve a clear approach to hit your review target number as close to the time of your book going live as possible.

  21. Amazon Book Review Policy Demystified for Authors

    Amazon book review policy for authors, updated for 2019: $50 eligibility requirement, giving away free books, rules on paid reviews, relationship disclosure ... Here are some sample phrases you can suggest if asking others to write a review for your book. In the subject line: I received an ARC for an objective review. I received a copy of this ...

  22. How to Leave a Review on Amazon (with Pictures)

    Method 1 Online Download Article 1 Go to Once you've spent enough time with your product to leave a helpful review, open Amazon's website in your preferred web browser. For tips on writing helpful and objective Amazon reviews, check out How to Write an Objective Amazon Review.

  23. How to Write a Review on Amazon Without Purchasing

    In the search bar, type in the name of the product you'd like to review. Be as specific as possible — since you'll have to pick it out of the search results, you want to make this as easy for yourself as you can. If possible, use the exact name of the product. For example, if you'd like to learn how to review a book on Amazon, type in ...

  24. How to Write a Book Review

    Give a Context. Provide some context for the book, including information about the author, genre, and publication details. You can also briefly summarize the plot to give readers a sense of what the book is about. Analysis. Provide a brief overview of the book, avoid summarizing the entire plot in your review.

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    Bring your club to Amazon Book Clubs, start a new book club and invite your friends to join, or find a club that's right for you for free. Explore Amazon Book Clubs Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required .

  26. How to Publish a Book on Amazon in 12 Steps, With Photos

    One of the best avenues to a broad, pre-formed customer base is to use Amazon. Amazon self-publishing is a service that is for writers who have an eBook and want to release it to the world. This ...