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This book was written not only with the aspiring reviewer in mind, but also for the established reviewer who needs a bit of refreshing and also for anybody--be they author, publisher, reader, bookseller, librarian or publicist--who wants to become more informed about the value, purpose and effectiveness of reviews. Foreword by James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief Midwest Book Rev This book was written not only with the aspiring reviewer in mind, but also for the established reviewer who needs a bit of refreshing and also for anybody--be they author, publisher, reader, bookseller, librarian or publicist--who wants to become more informed about the value, purpose and effectiveness of reviews. Foreword by James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief Midwest Book Review Winner, ForeWord Magazine 2008 Book of the Year Award in the category of Writing


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This book was written not only with the aspiring reviewer in mind, but also for the established reviewer who needs a bit of refreshing and also for anybody--be they author, publisher, reader, bookseller, librarian or publicist--who wants to become more informed about the value, purpose and effectiveness of reviews. Foreword by James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief Midwest Book Rev This book was written not only with the aspiring reviewer in mind, but also for the established reviewer who needs a bit of refreshing and also for anybody--be they author, publisher, reader, bookseller, librarian or publicist--who wants to become more informed about the value, purpose and effectiveness of reviews. Foreword by James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief Midwest Book Review Winner, ForeWord Magazine 2008 Book of the Year Award in the category of Writing

30 review for The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing

  1. 4 out of 5

    Traci

    I'm sure you're asking why I, The Bookbabe, would pick up a book about writing reviews. After all, if you're reading this blog, then you already know that I write reviews. And that this isn't my first review. So, am I looking for a way to "make money" doing this? Am I thinking of a career change? (And would it really be a change, or sort of an obvious evolution?) None of the above. I believe that no matter what you do for a living, or even for a hobby, you can always do it better. And that's why I I'm sure you're asking why I, The Bookbabe, would pick up a book about writing reviews. After all, if you're reading this blog, then you already know that I write reviews. And that this isn't my first review. So, am I looking for a way to "make money" doing this? Am I thinking of a career change? (And would it really be a change, or sort of an obvious evolution?) None of the above. I believe that no matter what you do for a living, or even for a hobby, you can always do it better. And that's why I picked up this book: I want to write better reviews. The good news is that I'm already doing a lot of things right, such as being objective and never attacking the author. The bad news is that I still have much room for improvement, at least, according to the rules the authors lay out. This book does have a lot of good advice about the basics of writing a review, although the majority of the advice is slanted toward the person wishing to do this professionally. They recommend focusing on things I usually try to do anyway: plot, pacing, character development, editing, etc. One of the things I very much appreciated was the advice to be honest yet tactful. Look, as should be obvious to pretty much anyone who reads, not all books are great. A lot of them aren't even good. But rather than post a review that simply says "This is the worst book I ever read! Don't waste your time!", you (the reviewer) need to be able to cite concrete examples of why the book isn't good. And keep in mind that "good" is a subjective term; what I love to read may not be your cup of tea and vice versa. The authors include advice on things like how to set yourself a schedule, how to respond to emails/phone calls regarding negative reviews, how to start your own review site, how to contact established review sites to submit freelance work, and much, much more. In fact, I was surprised at just how much information they were able to pack into this very slim work (it clocks in at just 190 pages, including the appendices and the index). I will admit I skimmed some of this information, as I'm not interested in doing this professionally, nor do I have any wish to set up my own review site (I'm very happy with my little blog, thank you very much). They even include advice on how to handle the situation of "overload" - what to do if you suddenly realize that your hobby has become a full-time job and is no longer enjoyable. There are a few problems, though. I was amazed at how often the authors contradict themselves. For example, they talk a lot about the major book review publications, such as Booklist, Library Journal, Publishers' Weekly, etc, and how those reviews are generally considered legitimate; they also talk about how most do not consider reader reviews on sites such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble to be on equal footing. And yet, they often talk about posting reviews on those same sites. So should or shouldn't you post reviews on such online sites? It's never very clear. What also surprised me is that the blurb on the back of the back mentions being able to "make money" by writing and submitting reviews. And yet, in the page/chapter titled "Is There Any Money In It?", the very first sentence seems to state the exact opposite: "The sad reality is that, unless you work as a permanent staff reviewer for a major newspaper or publication, there's little chance of making any money reviewing." The authors do point out that you can make a few bucks if you get the right sites to accept your work, but pretty much, you're going to be doing this out of your love for books and your desire to share that love. Sorry, but to me, this is bordering on false advertising. If the authors want me to be honest in my reviews, then I'm gonna call them out on this money thing. My biggest disappointment was a simple sentence in the chapter regarding the influence of reviews on readers. Obviously, most readers are going to be reading other readers' reviews, not professional publications. Or they're going to be going off what they've seen on TV (authors out promoting their works), what their friends are reading, etc. In speaking of how readers go about finding out what's out there and what's worth reading, the authors state: "In this age of computers when almost every person has a PC at home, it's easy for booklovers to access the Internet and read book reviews." WRONG. I work in a public library, as many of you know, and I can state that the authors are off base on this. "Almost every person" does not have a PC at home, and many who do often do not have that computer hooked up to the Internet. Granted, this book was written in 2008, and perhaps the authors were projecting forward, thinking that the economy would keep moving forward (although there were already signs that the crash was coming), but this is exactly the sort of thinking that has many libraries frustrated. There are hundreds of thousands of people, if not more, who must rely on public access computers at libraries for Internet access. As such, they are not usually sitting around reading book reviews; they are trying to stay in contact with friends and family, applying for work, updating unemployment information, filing taxes, and the like. When people assume that everyone has Internet access, it really hurts those that don't - in the form of budget cuts, which results in the loss of public service hours, and often, library positions, finally resulting in complete closures. I would respectfully ask the authors to do a little more research next time (perhaps consulting a librarian). I do think this book has some good information and advice. I just wish the authors had been a little more clear on some issues and hadn't used commonly held beliefs for others.

  2. 4 out of 5

    kwesi 章英狮

    Are you passionate about books? [Yes.] Do you have a talent for easily capturing the essence of a book after having read it? [Maybe.] Do you often feel the desire to share your thoughts about a book with readers? [Yes.] If you answered “Yes” to these questions, then book reviewing can be one of the most satisfying, rewarding activities you’ll ever undertake. In fact, book reviewing can become addictive. [I couldn’t agree more.] Calvani and Edwards did not write a book for the aspiring reviewers only Are you passionate about books? [Yes.] Do you have a talent for easily capturing the essence of a book after having read it? [Maybe.] Do you often feel the desire to share your thoughts about a book with readers? [Yes.] If you answered “Yes” to these questions, then book reviewing can be one of the most satisfying, rewarding activities you’ll ever undertake. In fact, book reviewing can become addictive. [I couldn’t agree more.] Calvani and Edwards did not write a book for the aspiring reviewers only, they did it for everyone who are part of the book community—the reader, reviewer, publisher, and the author—to discuss sensitive issues on book reviewing, people involved, the energy and the effort of creating a book fresh from the press to the hands of the readers, and the time spent on a simple hobby turns into a havoc. The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing is a go-to manual for everyone interested to indulge themselves inside the business of ‘professional reviewing’ or termed as ‘reviewer review’. Yes, like the sisters said, you have to maintain the position of an ethical reviewer. To do so, you have to build a reputation of an honest, tactful, and objective reviewer. The sisters, Calvani and Edwards, have a thing for objectivity. It will never die off throughout the book. From their mouths came, a review is an individual’s opinion, it is subjective. The ultimate aim of a review is to recommend or not to recommend the book. Exactly, the couple would again apprehended by their words but deny it and counter it with the statement: in the sense that they shouldn’t be biased. Simply that, ideally, you shouldn’t let your values, beliefs, and way of life influence you. Again, not possible. Even the greatest writers recommending books or known reviewers from large prints would allegedly suspected with the same crime, because the message of the book moved them. The experience of reading is personal. A good review is resourceful. Do not overly academic or pompous to try to impress readers. The purpose of reviews is not to glorify the reviewer. Reviews are about books and the readers, NOT the reviewer. Don’t steal someone else’s book and transform it into your own creation! If this is the case, readers should stop reviewing books and let the publicist do the job. A review is a device that transports the message of the book from the reviewer’s point of view to the reader. This denies the significance of the reviewer as a writer. A review is not just recommending books by saying it out loud that you loved or hated it, it needs creativity too. If worried with readers, the reviewer also have his or her own specific readers, mind you. There are also readers who enjoy overly academic, pompous reviews, and bashful reviews even rants and ramblings. The book relies too much on the formula for writing book reviews. To differentiate from a good reviewer or ‘reviewer review’ from ‘reader review’ by the manner on presenting a review where the freedom of expression becomes somewhat limited and a reader moving into serious reviewing will learn self-control is their greatest asset. (See Types of Review on breakthroughs, p. 43) The book also offers lots of debatable opinion from the authors, such as reviewing non-fiction books should be given to specialists (opinion: non-fiction needs careful reading, but again there are books, such as reference, requires specialists); on badly-written books and vanity presses (opinion: don’t be afraid of letting the universe know how badly it was edited or written, but giving it to the charity or friends is a better idea from the authors, and don’t give shit over vanity presses, move on); on negative reviews (opinion: publish it! Except if you are flirting with publishers); on ARC’s (opinion: not interested, but kind of special for others, and ARC’s have bad covers); on bloggers and reviewers (opinion: let’s not generalize); and many more. From the blue corner of the story, Calvani and Edwards made effort to muster a step-by-step instruction on how to write a good review. It has examples specially taken from their collaborative reviews and breakthroughs that are insightful. A good manual for those readers who are interested to take review as a next step to reading, and experienced readers who needed more vision to improve their writing. It also shares tips on how to start your own review site or blog, catch hits, and apply for prints and review sites. The sisters even share directories of publishers, websites, university presses, periodicals, and other sources where you can send reviews and might be discover in plain sight. They also expound topics on ownership and print rights; how a review differs from a book report, a critique, and a press release; effects of book reviews on sales; requesting books; how to handle problems; on pre-publication and post-publication reviews; and lots of tips and tricks. The book published years ago, so few tweaks will do. If reissue is possible for the book, I suggest that the authors should include topics like immersive Booktubing, expound middleman websites that offer access to galleys in exchange of reviews, such as NetGalley, and the circulation of pirated e-books. With my mindful sincerity set aside, maybe this is the harsh reality behind the limelight of book business, especially these people who really wanted to sell books for a living, which they have big favors to the publishers, the authors, and the platforms or sites they are working. O, well. Who would print or publish a negative or a pompous review at first place? Right? For the best part, let’s just enjoy book reviewing like reading books. We do it for leisure and attracting friends with the same interest. Let’s not mind their business na lang, but still, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing is a keeper. You don’t know when you need it. Last words: But money? Take it from Jim Cox, editor at Midwest Book Review. “Here is the secret to being financially successful as a book reviewer—marry rich.”

  3. 4 out of 5

    Will Ansbacher

    WTF? So I was doing it all wrong? That, possums, is what Mayra Calvani and Anne Edwards call a “hook”, a device to capture a reader for your review. And that is also about the most useful tidbit I got from this tedious, pedestrian and repetitive book. You may guess that I did not think much of it, and in keeping with some fairly uncontroversial advice they give, I’ll back up my negative opinion with appropriate excerpts. But first, something positive. Early on there is a succinct and perceptive WTF? So I was doing it all wrong? That, possums, is what Mayra Calvani and Anne Edwards call a “hook”, a device to capture a reader for your review. And that is also about the most useful tidbit I got from this tedious, pedestrian and repetitive book. You may guess that I did not think much of it, and in keeping with some fairly uncontroversial advice they give, I’ll back up my negative opinion with appropriate excerpts. But first, something positive. Early on there is a succinct and perceptive comment on what makes a poor review: “The first of these weaknesses is self-evident to us all. Reviewers who are reviewing the book they think should have been written instead of the one that was.” Oh yes, I see I am guilty of that one, several times over. But more importantly, and unfortunately for the authors, it’s from the 4-page foreword by a James Cox, where he essentially covers the main points of the first 2/3 of the book. You might as well just read that and be done with it. I don’t mean that the authors’ advice is wrong, it’s just so, so clunky and uninspired, and their examples so laughably lame. (Think of those syndicated newspaper features with deathly titles like “10 Ways to Declutter your Garage”.) Now reviewers who aren’t authors (like myself, of course) perhaps shouldn’t be held to the same standards of style, but Calvani and Edwards ARE writers. They say: “A good review should sparkle with clarity. Keep your sentences straight and to the point.” Right on! ... you mean, sparkle like this: “A reviewer does not just write a review and that is the end of it. Each review a reviewer writes has an impact on the reviewer’s reputation as well as the author’s.” They don’t let up though; how about this anatomy lesson, which for a moment I thought had been lifted from "The Onion": “A book consists of three parts—the beginning where all the characters are introduced (there may be a few minor exceptions here), the plot is stated and begun, the tone of the book is set, and action must commence. Then comes the middle that is often considered filler [my emphasis], but in fact serves to continue the action from the beginning through to the end. It is here that many authors, both new and experienced, get bogged down and must slog or bluff their way through [my emphasis again] ... The ending is where all loose ends are tied off, the characters find a solution to their problem and the story reaches its conclusion. ...The three parts are not the same length and vary from writer to writer and from book to book.” So that’s all books, is it? Or just Calvani’s and Edwards’? Otherwise there’d not be a lot of variety in the English canon, would there? This prescriptive tone (was I surprised to find the authors write romance, mystery and paranormal genres?) continues: “In the United States, most published fiction falls under two categories: “genre fiction” and “literary fiction.” Though they do allow a third category, “New Wave Fabulist is non-realistic, literary fiction”. I have a sense that literary fiction makes them uneasy: “Is the book a light, joyful read or heavy and difficult? (Light and joyful doesn’t necessarily mean better, and the heavy, difficult book can be the better read—just look at the classics!)”, they say nervously. Non-fiction isn’t ignored however. “There are also reviews of nonfiction books that fall into so many areas, it is impossible to mention them all.” (or at all, one might note). This gem of genera is followed by an admonition: “Again, the reviewer must be thoroughly familiar with the area of the work involved. Example: An English professor would not review a paper or book on nuclear physics or architecture. He would review papers related to literature ...” - oh Mayra and Anne, who would have guessed? The last third of the book examines reviewing in relation to the literary industry. Here you’ll find that the most pertinent information again comes not from the authors but from brief observations by various publishers, bookstore owners, librarians, agents and bloggers whom they quote. The book concludes with an extensive list of resources – though it may be of limited use unless it’s been updated since publication in 2008. And finally, what to make of this curious bit of boosterism: “Once you’ve decided to try reviewing, relax and enjoy the experience. There’s nothing else quite like it.” Umm, weren’t we talking about writing, because that sounds more like smoking pot or white-water rafting?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nico

    Yikes. I get that Twilight Times Book is a small publisher, small enough to use print-on-demand technology, but they could have invested in a professional editor. The authors ramble incessantly, belabour and then repeat points often enough that it quickly becomes irritating. And then the content... While the authors break down points to consider for fiction, audio books, graphic novels, works in translation, nonfiction, children's books, and what they call anthologies, there is no mention of poet Yikes. I get that Twilight Times Book is a small publisher, small enough to use print-on-demand technology, but they could have invested in a professional editor. The authors ramble incessantly, belabour and then repeat points often enough that it quickly becomes irritating. And then the content... While the authors break down points to consider for fiction, audio books, graphic novels, works in translation, nonfiction, children's books, and what they call anthologies, there is no mention of poetry or plays. All examples are taken from genre or commercial fiction; they seem incapable of discussing literary fiction, except to refer it to specialists or academics, which strikes me as incredibly bizarre. They could have enlisted someone else to fill in this section if they didn't feel sufficiently acquainted with the subject to cover it. I'm not sure if their non-standard usage of the term "anthology" is regional, or simply a misunderstanding, but in the example review, the book is actually a short story collection from a single author. Anthologies are typically books which collect works (essays, short stories, poetry) from a variety of authors. Other information regarding the expectations of publishers, libraries and bookstores is also suspect, and not in keeping with my experience working with a publisher and as a bookseller who's ordered for several stores (I haven't worked as a librarian, so I can't speak to that). In another sample review, "Time Travel" is referred to as a genre. It's not. Science Fiction is a genre, of which Time Travel may be a subgenre, perhaps listed as a subcategory in a dedicated science fiction periodical, but you wouldn't expect to see this in an average review. A sensible guideline for determining how to categorize a book might be to consider where it would be placed in your local independent bookstore or library. In terms of the reviews themselves, far too much emphasis is placed on the reader, and not enough on providing a critical evaluation of the work in question, as it stands in the field of its predecessors, whatever its genre. Despite what the authors claim, a review is not merely an opinion or it should not be. It should be an analysis, whether brief or in depth, as the space allotted allows. A review should above all be useful to potential readers. Don't couch criticism in positive terms, be polite, if you like, but don't coddle readers. They won't respect you for it, and neither will your colleagues. Speaking of which, frequently mentioned are reviewers reviewing works of friends or family, but critically absent is the integrity required to cop to this in the review. If you're reviewing the work of a friend, you absolutely must disclose this in your review. Readers have a right to know that your review may be biased. The most essential aspect of crafting any review is left out: have an intended publication in mind, actually read other reviews written for that publication, and, of course, read the guidelines they've provided. This will give the aspiring reviewer an idea of how they prefer their reviews crafted, in terms of length, style, depth, and, not unimportantly, financial remuneration. Which brings me to my last point. Despite the advertising copy, this book is clearly not geared for anyone aspiring to become a professional reviewer or critic. The first examples and most frequent examples given of places to send reviews is Amazon.com and other online retailers, followed by starting one's own blog. If all you're looking for is free books from publishers, this may be of interest, but if you intend to actually work as a book reviewer or critic, there's not enough substantial material to justify purchasing this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Carty Lepri

    Do you love to read? Do your friends ask you what you thought of a certain book, only to tell you after you share your ideas of it with them that you should write reviews? Did you ever wonder what it takes to be a book reviewer and how to get started? Well, Ms. Calvani and Ms. Edwards provide everything you need to know through their concise and detailed guide on what makes a great review and how to write one that will make others take notice. An excellent vehicle, this book supplies both the beg Do you love to read? Do your friends ask you what you thought of a certain book, only to tell you after you share your ideas of it with them that you should write reviews? Did you ever wonder what it takes to be a book reviewer and how to get started? Well, Ms. Calvani and Ms. Edwards provide everything you need to know through their concise and detailed guide on what makes a great review and how to write one that will make others take notice. An excellent vehicle, this book supplies both the beginner and seasoned reviewers with tips on how to create a professional and objective review. Different chapters teach how to read critically, distinguish different type of reviews, how to rate the books you are reviewing, and how to write outstanding reviews. Also described are the legalities of reviewing, dealing with ethics, and how to discern the difference between a critique, a review, and a book report. You will learn how to publish reviews on different online sites, create your own review site, and even how to make money writing reviews. Actual reviews are analyzed, showing what works and what does not, depicting how a mediocre review can be rewritten to be more professional. Different review genres are discussed as well as differences between reader and reviewer reviews. A key ingredient stressed is how a reviewer who writes only positive reviews can kill their credibility. Reviews are the reviewer’s opinion only, and this guide teaches how negative reviews should be handled with decorum and still show respect to the author. Reader resources with how and where to post reviews and how to compile a press release are also supplied, answering any question a reviewer could possibly have. The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing is a valuable resource not only for wannabe reviewers, but also for those who have been penning reviews for a long time. This also is a definite aid to authors, publishers, publicists, booksellers and librarians.

  6. 4 out of 5

    David

    I'm not one for much nonfiction, but I've gotten into reviewing a few books so I thought I'd check it out. On the whole, it wasn't bad. Some parts are a little simplistic or reductionistic, but there is a lot of good material here and it is organized and presented well. I think it is geared toward writing a different kind of review than I have gotten into, but I still found useful material.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Iona Stewart

    This book deals in depth with all possible aspects of book reviews and reviewers. In Part One, The Art of Reviewing, the authors examine what a book review is, comparing it to book reports, critiques, etc. There are sections on how to write a book review, including examples of published reviews by the two authors, on types of reviews, on "the absolute don'ts (or signs of an amateur), on "What's in it for You, the Reviewer", on how to start your own book review site, etc. etc. Part Two deals with t This book deals in depth with all possible aspects of book reviews and reviewers. In Part One, The Art of Reviewing, the authors examine what a book review is, comparing it to book reports, critiques, etc. There are sections on how to write a book review, including examples of published reviews by the two authors, on types of reviews, on "the absolute don'ts (or signs of an amateur), on "What's in it for You, the Reviewer", on how to start your own book review site, etc. etc. Part Two deals with the influence of book reviewers and Part Three is entitled "Resources". This latter part includes advice on how and where to get started posting reviews, and provides useful information on online review sites and publications. I found this the most valuable part of the book. I would have regarded this as quite a good book, had it not contained so many irritating instances of loose writing, including faulty grammar and sentence structure, lack of necessary prepositions, and so on, primarily in the first part of the book. I hadn't expected poor language in a book of this sort, written by experienced reviewers, particularly since the authors stress that such errors should not occur in the work of reviewers (they shouldn't occur in the work of authors, either!). For example (on page 69): " ... you will state a little of the plot of each - or some - stories" - you can't say "each stories"! If this were just an isolated occurrence, it wouldn't matter, obviously, as we can all make mistakes, but unfortunately there are several such instances of sloppy language. In one chapter the author concerned uses the word "readers" when she means "reader-reviewers", and "reviewer" when she means "professional reviewers", while on a later page the terms are correctly used. (This is perhaps due to problems co-ordinating the authors' individual contributions to the book.) A sentence that annoys me is, for instance, "Reader reviews can be of any length, ... and say things a reviewer wouldn't." Firstly, a "reader review" is a review too, and, secondly, I find it a bit sloppy to juxtapose "reader reviews" in the first part of the sentence with "reviewer" in the second part. Further on, she writes " a reader who enjoys writing reviews may graduate into becoming a reviewer". But, again, a reader who writes reviews is by definition a reviewer, perhaps not a good one or a professional one, but still a REVIEWER. We are advised to use words that all readers can understand. Firstly, it might inhibit one's writing style somewhat, should one attempt to do this, and anyone how could one tell? And, secondly, I feel the author's statement to be somewhat condescending, to try to follow her advice would be to "look down" on the reader and belittle his or her abilities. If anyone should fail to understand any of the words in the text he is reading, surely he could look up the words in a dictionary, or, in this day and age, check on-line? Of course we should write clearly and reasonably simply, but I feel that the authors' advice would tend to make for a puerile style that deprives the review of its individuality and richness. There is a section on the importance of objectivity when writing a review, i.e. that we should not be influenced by personal feelings "but should be 'unbiased'. However, in a later section comparing the characteristics of various types of literary output, we read under the heading "Review" - "it is subjective". And of course a review is subjective, as each person has his own views, and when expressing his evaluation of the book must base this on his own, necessarily subjective, views. How else could one appraise the book if not through one's own value system? To my mind, the very essence or rationale of a review is the principle of subjectivity. (Again, in this section we come across the statement "A review is ... and may be written by readers as well as reviewers"!! ) A section pertains to the subject of the books sent without cost to potential reviewers. I feel to see the relevance of discussing the ethics of whether or not a reviewer may sell these books. They've been freely sent to them, of course they can sell them. How can they be prevented from doing so, anyway, since once the books are in their possession they are theirs to dispose of as they will. And I really can't understand how receipt of a boring or uninteresting book you haven't yourself chosen but are obliged to review can be regarded as fair payment, as the authors argue. For firstly you're wasting your time simply reading such a/an misplaced/unwanted book, and then perhaps wasting it again writing the review, so how could the book be regarded as "fair payment"? And why would you value a personal library of such, for yourself, boring, uninteresting or badly written books? To sum up, to my mind, and I freely admit my subjectivity, the book is significantly marred by its content of these errors and such illogical reasoning as I have exemplified, though I'm sure many readers will find the book as a whole informative and useful.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Donna Brown

    It’s never as glamorous as it sounds. That’s the golden rule when it comes to so many things and reviewing is one of them. I’ve been reviewing for several years now (first books, then games, then back to books) and it’s many things: hard work, sometimes stressful, sometimes rewarding. Glamorous? Only if you have a very warped sense of glamour. In their book The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, Calvani and Edwards pretty much strip away the layers and myths surrounding what it means to be a reviewe It’s never as glamorous as it sounds. That’s the golden rule when it comes to so many things and reviewing is one of them. I’ve been reviewing for several years now (first books, then games, then back to books) and it’s many things: hard work, sometimes stressful, sometimes rewarding. Glamorous? Only if you have a very warped sense of glamour. In their book The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, Calvani and Edwards pretty much strip away the layers and myths surrounding what it means to be a reviewer, how to get started, how to cope with various complex situations and in doing so they have produced a volume that will likely be an excellent reference to any reviewer just starting out or any reader considering going down that road. From setting out various different types of review (and – I’m pleased to see – urging potential reviewers away from both the effusively gushing style and the downright mean and snarky style), to listing some of the problems you might encounter (angry authors, missing mail, books that aren’t as they are described) and how to address them, this book does offer lots of good advice. However, though the blurb claims to be an excellent reference tool for seasoned reviewers, be aware that if you fall into that camp you’ll probably find the list of useful sites/resources at the back of the book the most helpful aspect of it. The lessons and advice within will probably constitute things that you yourself have figured out during your reviewing tenure. Not that it isn’t helpful – it is – but if you’re been reviewing for anything from a few months to a few years you’ve probably drawn your own conclusions on these issues. Please don’t pick up this book thinking it will be a ‘catch-all’ solution to making your blog busier or finding a way for you to reduce your TBR pile from 200 to 20 in the space of a month! The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing raises some interesting questions that have long remained unanswered and probably will continue to cause debate for some time. Is it ethical to sell ARCs? Are ‘bloggers’ bringing down the overall perception of ‘reviewers’ because some are too over-the-top with praise? Should reviewers feel obligated to publish both good and bad reviews? That latter question was of particular interest to me. I don’t particularly enjoy writing ‘bad’ (or rather, low-scoring) reviews, let alone publishing them. Blogging is something I do for pleasure and I don’t want to commit time to bringing down my day or someone else’s. With 100 books in easy reach, why would I even persevere with a bad book long enough to finish and write about it? I enjoyed the fact that as an established blogger/reviewer this title got me thinking about my answers to various questions, the way I approach my reviews and whether there’s anything I’d do differently. If nothing else it was an affirmation that I’m on the right track. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to people considering starting a book blog. It doesn’t sugar coat the work and commitment involved. Might I be slightly more hesitant in recommending it to more established bloggers? Perhaps so – but only in-so-far as making them aware that this is not a book that claims to be all things to all people or offer all the answers. I would, however, point out the things that make it a worthwhile read for all those interested in reviewing and book blogging, including some wonderful quotes from those ‘in the business’. I would have enjoyed a little more on the additional aspects that are a necessary evil when it comes to starting a review site – using social media, for example, or perhaps an introduction to NetGalley (fast becoming a ‘must use’ for some book bloggers) but overall this is a pretty comprehensive volume. Just make sure you heed the message that is repeated more than once during the book: if you’re looking to get rich reviewing books, you’ll be a long time looking! This was originally published on Book Bags and Cat Naps. I received a copy of the book in exchange for my fair and honest review. I did not receive any additional compensation. All view are my own.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Emily-Jane Orford

    Amateur book reviewers beware! Mayra Calvani and Anne K. Edwards’ book, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, has your number and you are being watched! I had better make sure that I double cross my “t’s” and double dot my “i’s”, since I have now been assigned the slippery task of writing a book review on book reviewing. I thought I had the reviewing art down pat, but The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing has given me further points to ponder and improve my brush strokes to make my book reviews into Amateur book reviewers beware! Mayra Calvani and Anne K. Edwards’ book, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, has your number and you are being watched! I had better make sure that I double cross my “t’s” and double dot my “i’s”, since I have now been assigned the slippery task of writing a book review on book reviewing. I thought I had the reviewing art down pat, but The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing has given me further points to ponder and improve my brush strokes to make my book reviews into a fine art. All I have to do is follow some of the extremely solid advice presented in this book and consider the lists of do’s and don’t’s (and, of course, make sure that I always check my list twice). Writing a book review about book reviewing! Isn’t that something of an oxymoron? It was this daunting thought that haunted me as I plowed my way through yet another good book of useful advice. I am astounded at what I always took for granted as essentials for good book reviewing: the art of critical reading, the non-prejudice mind-set that is essential for a fair and honest review, the time and patience in reading and writing about both good and not-so-good books, and the diplomatic stance one must take to defend oneself when challenged about one’s review. There are a few nice benefits to this task: free books, free exposure of one’s own writing skills, and sometimes a small payment. Then, there is the business side of the art. Whilst one would never become rich as a book reviewer, one could always create a book review business with an online website or in the print journal format. It is all a matter of knowing how to do it and where to find the resources to help. Mayra Calvani and Anne K. Edwards are successful book reviewers. The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing is a compilation of lessons learned and rock solid advice for both the novice and the experienced book reviewer. Each chapter takes the amateur and experienced book reviewer through different steps in the process. The authors use examples of their own published reviews and provide alternate ways to write the same reviews from different perspectives. There are useful resources provided, as well as a good list of print and online book review sites where reviewers can submit their work. Although some of the material seems repetitive, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing is a useful took for both amateur and professional book reviewers, as well as book review editors. There should be no doubt that the good tips, thoughtful perspective and resource information can be of considerable value to anyone wishing to practice this art. It is highly recommended by award-winning author, Emily-Jane Hills Orford, Allbooks Reviews.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sapphyria

    Does your love for books make you want to tell everyone you can about them? Has is caused you to stop and think about taking up the task of publicly reviewing those very same books? Well, if you're looking for a good resource that will A) Help you decide if reviewing is for you; B) Discuss the ins and outs of writing quality reviews; C) List sources to post reviews; and D) Provide useful information involving authors, publishers, and review requests, "The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing" should b Does your love for books make you want to tell everyone you can about them? Has is caused you to stop and think about taking up the task of publicly reviewing those very same books? Well, if you're looking for a good resource that will A) Help you decide if reviewing is for you; B) Discuss the ins and outs of writing quality reviews; C) List sources to post reviews; and D) Provide useful information involving authors, publishers, and review requests, "The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing" should be in your arsenal of preparatory materials. The amount of information and assistance in this reference book isn't just for the new reviewer. It contains sound information that even the seasoned review could do well to review once in awhile just as a refresher if they so desired. I was unaware of this book when I began my book review blog in May 2011, however I'm glad I've been given the opportunity to not only review this for the authors but read it for my own pleasure and education. There are many aspects that I already know and incorporate into my reviews but I'm also very aware that my reviews may not be considered much beyond amateurish. Here is where this educational book will help me, a budding book reviewer, strengthen the reviews I do.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarah (Workaday Reads)

    I found this book to be an interesting look at traditional book reviews. It seemed to be geared more towards print reviews than book bloggers, but lots of the advice is good, regardless of the final outlet. Most of the advice seems like commonsense, but that might just be because I already read with an eye towards my final review. The most current and interesting chapter was the about the controversy about whether book review bloggers are true reviewers. This is something that was discussed and a I found this book to be an interesting look at traditional book reviews. It seemed to be geared more towards print reviews than book bloggers, but lots of the advice is good, regardless of the final outlet. Most of the advice seems like commonsense, but that might just be because I already read with an eye towards my final review. The most current and interesting chapter was the about the controversy about whether book review bloggers are true reviewers. This is something that was discussed and argued about within the last few months, and I found the view of the authors to be quite respectful and interesting. Overall, I was very interested to read the advice in the book, but I was slightly disappointed in the lack of pertinent information. It seemed a bit outdated for online book review bloggers, but was still worth reading.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rae

    Want to write a better review? Read this book and you'll be better equipped to do so. Calvani and Edwards cover professional and amateur review writing, as well as the topics of blogging, acquiring books, and basic ethics. Although I was hoping for a book that was less targeted toward professionals, I did benefit from this overview. On a side note: My copy has a foreword written by the Editor-in-Chief of the Midwest Book Review. It reads like a rough draft, with many obvious sentence fragments. T Want to write a better review? Read this book and you'll be better equipped to do so. Calvani and Edwards cover professional and amateur review writing, as well as the topics of blogging, acquiring books, and basic ethics. Although I was hoping for a book that was less targeted toward professionals, I did benefit from this overview. On a side note: My copy has a foreword written by the Editor-in-Chief of the Midwest Book Review. It reads like a rough draft, with many obvious sentence fragments. The poor writing almost prevented me from reading further, so I hope it will be polished in future editions of the book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    It has some good tips on how to properly review. The book gives examples of reviews such as comparing amateur reviews to more professional reviews. There is a section on how to review different types of material from audio books, graphic novels, etc. For all the helpful things that are in this read, there is just as much useless information. Such as, Is there any money in it?, Reviewer Vs. Bloggers, Dealing with editors, and a lot more. So it has good information and some useless information. Tha It has some good tips on how to properly review. The book gives examples of reviews such as comparing amateur reviews to more professional reviews. There is a section on how to review different types of material from audio books, graphic novels, etc. For all the helpful things that are in this read, there is just as much useless information. Such as, Is there any money in it?, Reviewer Vs. Bloggers, Dealing with editors, and a lot more. So it has good information and some useless information. That's all I got to say. This would be an amateur review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Shannon McGee

    I first heard of this book through J. Kaye's Book Blog. I have searched the internet and books for info on how to write good book reviews, but I never found anything as detailed as this. I was worried it would get too technical, but the book didn't. It was easy to understand and I'll probably use it frequently. I especially found the part on reviewing children books helpful. It's a small part, but has some good pointers.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stefan

    I enjoy writing book reviews almost as much as I do reading them but my reviews always feel a little flat. "The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing" gives many examples what to do and not to do when reviewing a book. Consider this your "how to" guide to delivering objective reviews on any type of book. I recommend this book to anyone that wants writes books reviews or wants to learn how.

  16. 5 out of 5

    BookLover62

    Just got my autographed copy in the mail from Mayra Calvani - all the way from Belgium! I'm so excited to read this and get started on my book reviews for my blog! Thanks Mayra 6-17-2012 This book will ALWAYS be in my current reading list, because I keep it handy when I am reading or re-reading a book for a review. It is that helpful for a newbie reviewer.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    A really useful guide, but it was quite dry at times and made reviewing sound like such a drag. If I had never reviewed books, I'd be in disbelief after reading this book, wondering why anyone would bother.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Marisa

    While there was some helpful information in this book, it was limited. The chapters were redundant and focused more on the usefulness of a review, rather than the art of writing one.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Scott J Pearson

    Have you ever been frustrated by the lack of quality of book reviews on Amazon.com? So many “love it” or “hate it” comments, but so little who tell you why this book meant so much to them… I desire to change that in my writing, so I bought this book to learn to write book reviews better. Mayra Calvani and Anne Edwards cover everything in this book – how to write an effective book review for any audience, how to avoid common pitfalls, where one might write in order to gain influence, and how to co Have you ever been frustrated by the lack of quality of book reviews on Amazon.com? So many “love it” or “hate it” comments, but so little who tell you why this book meant so much to them… I desire to change that in my writing, so I bought this book to learn to write book reviews better. Mayra Calvani and Anne Edwards cover everything in this book – how to write an effective book review for any audience, how to avoid common pitfalls, where one might write in order to gain influence, and how to contact helpful channels to acquire (free) books to review. My copy is dog-eared in many places so that I can return for future reference. The book is divided into many short chapters, most of which consist of only two pages, but a few of which are longer. The text reads quickly and easily. The final section contains places to submit reviews – helpful to any reviewer. One cannot help but wonder how in-date a book published in 2008 can be, though, especially as the Internet continues to change the dynamics of the marketplace. An expanded section on blogging would update this otherwise-helpful reference work to contemporary standards. Overall, this book is ideal for people interested in sharing what they read with others so that they, too, can benefit. I plan to refer back to its resources in the coming months.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Timpf

    The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing provided some sound advice, which I've subsequently been able to use in the reviews I've written. Since I'm not new to reviewing, in some cases the book simply reinforced what I've already been doing, or reassured me that I was on the right track. The examples provided were helpful, as were the "dos and don'ts" sections. While I realize that individual publications' requirements may vary, one aspect I would have liked to see more of (or more clearly delineated The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing provided some sound advice, which I've subsequently been able to use in the reviews I've written. Since I'm not new to reviewing, in some cases the book simply reinforced what I've already been doing, or reassured me that I was on the right track. The examples provided were helpful, as were the "dos and don'ts" sections. While I realize that individual publications' requirements may vary, one aspect I would have liked to see more of (or more clearly delineated) is structural advice or templates. The book explores sensitive questions, like how to handle writing a review for a book you thought wasn't all that well written, and addresses the difference between book reviews and book criticism. At the end of the book, a number of review markets are suggested. Unfortunately, since the book is copyright 2008, some of these markets are no longer in existence. My sense after reading the book is that it would be most of value to someone who is just starting out with book reviews, or has a few under their belt but would like to refine their technique or efficiency.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Fagshelf

    Kind of a weird book for me. I would especially complain about the fact that some information is repeated way too many times sometimes, the book is longer than how much it actually has to offer. Definitely intended especially for people who want to get into book reviewing professionally, but haven't seriously started, and it does fulfill that purpose, I feel. However, I merely wanted some guidelines and stylistic / structural tips for amateur book reviewing, for which it was both a little "too mu Kind of a weird book for me. I would especially complain about the fact that some information is repeated way too many times sometimes, the book is longer than how much it actually has to offer. Definitely intended especially for people who want to get into book reviewing professionally, but haven't seriously started, and it does fulfill that purpose, I feel. However, I merely wanted some guidelines and stylistic / structural tips for amateur book reviewing, for which it was both a little "too much" and "too little".

  22. 4 out of 5

    Julia Reding

    A Concise Guide to Book Reviews This book provided recommended formats, examples of a variety of kinds of book reviews, and a thorough description of what kind of writing qualifies as a book review. The book spent a great deal of time on ethical behavior for book reviewers, as well as some guidelines for dealing with upset authors. At the end the book offers a reference section of legitimate places to post reviews. This is a helpful resource for new reviewers.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Telling

    Helpful This book has some helpful hints, helpful websites and places to post your reviews. At this point some of the sites are out of date. Helium.com, listed as a place to post reviews shut down.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Rand

    I picked up this book to try and help me improve my Booktube reviews, and I'm sad to say I'm not impressed. This book was written back when Booktube wasn't so much of a thing and Goodreads had only been around for a year, so the world of reviews directly aimed at readers has changed drastically and left this book out of date. Not just that, but the writing is sometimes clunky and the e-book formatting was not great. So many bullet points and the titles and analysis on example reviews were the sam I picked up this book to try and help me improve my Booktube reviews, and I'm sad to say I'm not impressed. This book was written back when Booktube wasn't so much of a thing and Goodreads had only been around for a year, so the world of reviews directly aimed at readers has changed drastically and left this book out of date. Not just that, but the writing is sometimes clunky and the e-book formatting was not great. So many bullet points and the titles and analysis on example reviews were the same hard to make out bold font. We get almost 70% in before she mentions bloggers and for a book that has as much back matter as this one does, lists of addresses and such, that just seemed ridiculous. I'll also add that I disagreed with her distinction between amateur and published reviews. Almost all published reviews are also amateur and getting someone else to put them on their website or in their magazine doesn't make them professional. If something is unpayed, it's amateur. I bring this up because this is a book that stresses proper use of words.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nixons Books

    Great and informative! It’s funny reviewing a book about reviewing books. In short, this book was very informative and just what I was looking for to enhance my personal reviews.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kristi Bernard

    Book reviewers have a bittersweet disposition. We can encourage potential readers and buyers to purchase a book or not. Does that mean book reviewers are powerful? No, not at all, it simply means that if you are a fair and respectable reviewer, your opinion about a book or author will be taken into consideration. If you would like to learn how to be a respected book reviewer with the right skill set to review any type of book, Mayra Calvani and Anne K. Edwards can help you achieve your goal. Acco Book reviewers have a bittersweet disposition. We can encourage potential readers and buyers to purchase a book or not. Does that mean book reviewers are powerful? No, not at all, it simply means that if you are a fair and respectable reviewer, your opinion about a book or author will be taken into consideration. If you would like to learn how to be a respected book reviewer with the right skill set to review any type of book, Mayra Calvani and Anne K. Edwards can help you achieve your goal. According to Calvani and Edwards writing a book review has 5 requirements: 1) Command of Language 2) Clarity of Thought 3) Honesty 4) Objectivity 5) Tact. From that point each reader will get an in depth view on what a book review consists of. This section is the most important piece of the book. Calvani and Edwards offer a generous amount of information on how reviews should read critically. A list of helpful questions is provided as a guide for truly understanding and pulling information from what was read by the reviewer. For example: Plot = is the plot original? Has it been done many times? If not original, is it written from a fresh angle? Narrative and Flow = is there too much telling instead of letting the characters talk to the reader? Point of View = does the author jump from one point to another in a way that disrupts the readers suspension of disbelief? Reviewers also have the job of providing a ‘hook’ for their review. According to Calvani and Edwards a ‘hook’ is: “A hook is any set of words that will attract a reader and hold their attention long enough to get them to read the complete review.” Information on how to rate books on popular sites such as Amazon are explained in great detail. Samples of reviews along with sample formatting for setting up a document are very helpful for new reviewers. Readers will find sample reviews for articles, children’s book and anthologies. Another section I found to be very helpful is the “How a Review Differs from a Book Report, a Critique and a Press Release.” Calvani and Edwards explain that in time reviewers will quickly learn how to recognize the differences of these techniques by acquiring some experience. A list is provided breaking down the difference between a review, book report, critique or press release. For example: Review = an individual’s opinion Book Report = a book report is objective and not consumer-oriented Critique = A critique is an individual’s opinion. The focus is critical and evaluative. Press Release = the press release is an announcement to the media. It is media-oriented and never negative. Everything you can ever imagine a book reviewer needing help with or any question that would need to be answered can be found in these pages. Calvani and Edwards discuss what not to do as a reviewer, teach readers how to deal with the feelings of the author, how to start your own book review site, how to present your review for publication and how to tactfully write about your dislikes. These are just a few of the many things that can be learned from reading this book. The back of the books has tons of print review publications and website resources for posting reviews. As a reviewer I found this book to be very informative, educational and resourceful. This guide can be used by a new reviewer or someone who has been doing it for a while. About the authors: Mayra Calvani is a multi-genre author of adult and children’s books and has been a reviewer for most of the past decade. She is co-editor of Voice in the Dark Ezine and also keeps three lit blogs, Mayra’s Secret Bookcase, The Dark Phantom Review, and Violin and Books. In addition, she teaches book reviewing at the Long Story Short School of Writing. Anne K. Edwards enjoys writing mysteries, but dabbles in children’s stories and other genre. She reviews for some publicists and web zines and is co-editor of Voice in the Dark Ezine. She is a member of Pennwriters and Books We Love

  27. 4 out of 5

    JoAnne

    My review originally posted on Romancing-the-Book.com is below I am a volunteer book reviewer and also write reviews for books I read for pleasure on book websites. I didn't realize there is a book reviews industry and I personally had "on the job" training if you will. Much of what was in this book about reviews - how to write them, who owns them, where you can post them, etc. are what I've been doing but really didn't know the logic behind. The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing gave support to why My review originally posted on Romancing-the-Book.com is below I am a volunteer book reviewer and also write reviews for books I read for pleasure on book websites. I didn't realize there is a book reviews industry and I personally had "on the job" training if you will. Much of what was in this book about reviews - how to write them, who owns them, where you can post them, etc. are what I've been doing but really didn't know the logic behind. The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing gave support to why who I write volunteer reviews for has us write our reviews the way we do, including number of books we can have out, assignments, where we can post reviews, etc. This book is a how to book on the do's and don'ts of being a book reviewer. Some of the areas covered are how to write a positive review, how to write a positive negative review when you have to write a negative one, what to include and the format needed. It also gave several samples after the discussions to show you how to write reviews given different scenarios. It also delves into the importance of reviewers to publishers, authors and readers. A second section dealt with the book review sites and how to start your own. It was extremely detailed in explaining how best to do so with lots of pros and cons especially as it relates to ebooks and reviews posted on the internet. It had a lot of information but was really geared to the owners or webmasters of the book reviewer sites. It also touched on how to obtain volunteer reviewers - what to look for, how to see if they would be a good fit, how to enforce their deadlines, and make sure they write a quality review. The last part of the book dealt with resources was 20 pages long almost all of it giving website and contact information for where you can possibly post your reviews. This section is really for independent reviewers and those either having a book review site or setting one up. It wasn't for the average reader or reviewer so I was able to skim through most of it but glancing at the titles of the suggested websites. As a person who loves to read and who is enjoying being a volunteer reviewer this was an enjoyable although technical read. I would recommend it to anyone who sees writing reviews in their future. Favorite Quote: Remember that the books are being sent to you in exchange for a review. Accepting books and not writing the reviews is, in one word: STEALING. You'd be surprised at the number of reviewers' who, after having requested several books, suddenly 'disappear.' These people are not legitimate, they're crooks, plain and simple. Integrity is part of the code of honor of a legitimate reviewer.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Romancing the Book

    Reviewed By~JoAnne Review Copy Provided By~Bewitching Book Tour I am a volunteer book reviewer and also write reviews for books I read for pleasure on book websites. I didn't realize there is a book reviews industry and I personally had "on the job" training if you will. Much of what was in this book about reviews - how to write them, who owns them, where you can post them, etc. are what I've been doing but really didn't know the logic behind. The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing gave support to why Reviewed By~JoAnne Review Copy Provided By~Bewitching Book Tour I am a volunteer book reviewer and also write reviews for books I read for pleasure on book websites. I didn't realize there is a book reviews industry and I personally had "on the job" training if you will. Much of what was in this book about reviews - how to write them, who owns them, where you can post them, etc. are what I've been doing but really didn't know the logic behind. The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing gave support to why who I write volunteer reviews for has us write our reviews the way we do, including number of books we can have out, assignments, where we can post reviews, etc. This book is a how to book on the do's and don'ts of being a book reviewer. Some of the areas covered are how to write a positive review, how to write a positive negative review when you have to write a negative one, what to include and the format needed. It also gave several samples after the discussions to show you how to write reviews given different scenarios. It also delves into the importance of reviewers to publishers, authors and readers. A second section dealt with the book review sites and how to start your own. It was extremely detailed in explaining how best to do so with lots of pros and cons especially as it relates to ebooks and reviews posted on the internet. It had a lot of information but was really geared to the owners or webmasters of the book reviewer sites. It also touched on how to obtain volunteer reviewers - what to look for, how to see if they would be a good fit, how to enforce their deadlines, and make sure they write a quality review. The last part of the book dealt with resources was 20 pages long almost all of it giving website and contact information for where you can possibly post your reviews. This section is really for independent reviewers and those either having a book review site or setting one up. It wasn't for the average reader or reviewer so I was able to skim through most of it but glancing at the titles of the suggested websites. As a person who loves to read and who is enjoying being a volunteer reviewer this was an enjoyable although technical read. I would recommend it to anyone who sees writing reviews in their future. Favorite Quote: Remember that the books are being sent to you in exchange for a review. Accepting books and not writing the reviews is, in one word: STEALING. You'd be surprised at the number of reviewers' who, after having requested several books, suddenly 'disappear.' These people are not legitimate, they're crooks, plain and simple. Integrity is part of the code of honor of a legitimate reviewer.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tammi

    This book was written not only with the aspiring reviewer in mind, but also for the established reviewer who needs a bit of refreshing and also for anybody--be they author, publisher, reader, bookseller, librarian or publicist--who wants to become more informed about the value, purpose and effectiveness of reviews. Foreword by James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief Midwest Book Review Winner, ForeWord Magazine 2008 Book of the Year Award in the category of Writing. When I was first sent the e-mail to revi This book was written not only with the aspiring reviewer in mind, but also for the established reviewer who needs a bit of refreshing and also for anybody--be they author, publisher, reader, bookseller, librarian or publicist--who wants to become more informed about the value, purpose and effectiveness of reviews. Foreword by James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief Midwest Book Review Winner, ForeWord Magazine 2008 Book of the Year Award in the category of Writing. When I was first sent the e-mail to review this book, I was excited because it sounded like it would be an educational book and I would learn something about how I review books. Granted, that DID happen. What I didn’t expect was that I wouldn’t know HOW to review it. I don’t normally review educational material, so I will tell you what I thought of it and give you some of what it in the book. This has been the most difficult review I have had to write because I cannot give away too many pearls. While reading, I took some notes on some things that I wanted to start doing in my reviews. I hope to incorporate them sometime this year. It was very instructional and went over the differences between a review and a book report. I will say that when I started this blog, my reviews would fall into the “book report” pile, but thankfully, my “voice” has grown and now I feel that my reviews would fall into a review category. I learned what NOT to do in a review also. Some of the points they made are things that I set when I first started this blog, so that made me feel good about it. Aside from those things, this book also tells you five keys to being a good reviewer. I think everyone needs to go over these to ensure that their reviews are putting forth the image that they want to represent. Some of the other things that The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing goes over are: how to write a book review; rating books; types of reviews; what to do if a book is terrible; and when to post your reviews. Other than that, there are resources that helpful to reviewers of all kinds and examples of reviews to help you learn the principles that they are teaching. Overall, this book has educated me on the process needed for well-written, thought-provoking reviews. I am sure that I will be using this book as a reference as needed. Cover: I like how the design of this cover incorporates a book and then outlines the words in the title of the book. I felt that this cover is fitting for this book because it deals with pulling information out of books and putting them into reviews.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Killer of Dreams

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Readers of this book will surely criticize this review style which is a perfect lead towards critiquing “The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing”. For many months I have debated what constitutes star ratings when writing reviews. This book answers that question for me. It reveals to me that most reviewers write objective reviews that takes into account basic criteria (plot, characterization, etc.) and addresses this to a larger audience. This dissapointed me and cemented my previous disregarding of r Readers of this book will surely criticize this review style which is a perfect lead towards critiquing “The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing”. For many months I have debated what constitutes star ratings when writing reviews. This book answers that question for me. It reveals to me that most reviewers write objective reviews that takes into account basic criteria (plot, characterization, etc.) and addresses this to a larger audience. This dissapointed me and cemented my previous disregarding of reviews like this in favor of critical reviews and negative reviews. For the book to say that reviews should not be subjective is impossible seeing that reviews are already subjective. To say that reviews should rate a book based on the basic criteria previously mentioned is narrow. To say that reviews should address a genre’s audience despite the reviewer not enjoying the book is to be more false than the biased reviewer who does not enjoy the genre of the book and writes a negative review. I remain convinced that designating a correct way to write reviews is wrong and unconvinced on how I should rate. For my critical reader’s review of this book, I rate the book at two stars. It was informative to read how reviews should be written and the process behind reviewing, but I did not enjoy reading about it. The benefits outside of reading about reviews was learning about the differences between literary and genre fiction and tips on how I can improve my rating system. August 22, 2019 Rating Update With the adoption of my new rating system, a one star rating is befitting. As a reference book, this provides me little valuable information, the most being the sections I stated in the last paragraph of the original review. A misconception is that the book was valuable in changing my perception of my rating system and led to me shifting my rating system when in fact I changed my review system to a harsh one, rating books only in terms of entertainment value. This book led me to a strained rating system from which I have now departed from. In summary, this is a useless book to me with few sections that I would revisit. August 31, 2019 Update A reason behind the one star-rating is the extensive example review of the fake dinosaur book. Felt like it was geared towards a four year-old in explaining different review types and differentiating between good and bad reviews.

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