Writers Write is your one-stop writing resource. In this post, we write about how you can make your book reviews relate to your brand as a writer.
‘This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly,’ Dorothy Parker once wrote in a book review for The New Yorker, ‘it should be hurled with great force.’
Even in her book reviews, her legendary wit and poison pen was evident. She would also use her book and theatre reviews to send messages to Robert Benchley. Her reviews were highly personal and bore her individual mark.
How can you make your book reviews relate to your brand as a writer?
5 Ways To Brand Your Book Reviews
- Know your reader. Try to imagine your ideal reader sitting in front of you when you write your review. If you’re reviewing a novel or a movie, think of a friend you know enjoys the genre. What would she be looking for?
- Give it your unique lens. What can you say that’s different to every other reviewer? If you’re a screenwriter, for example, perhaps your movie reviews will highlight what other screenwriters can learn from the movie. If it’s a business book, can you bring some of your own work experience to the review?
- Create a format. To make your reviews consistent, figure out what your average length will be, how you’ll structure your review, and so forth. Perhaps you’ll start with a bio on the author, give a plot teaser, or do a comparative review with books or movies with similar themes.
- Your style. If you watch Ellen, Oprah, or The View, you’ll notice that although each is a talk show, some are serious, others witty or chatty. What is your tone and style as a reviewer? Do you want to make people laugh or think about a subject?
- Sign off. How will you give your review a quirk or something memorable that the audience will remember? Perhaps instead of a star rating system, you’ll use wineglass icons; instead of a saying ‘A disappointing read’, you’ll say ‘Should be pulped.’
Just like Dorothy Parker, you must have a strong — a very strong — opinion on a book, whether it’s good or bad. Audiences don’t like ambivalence or weak opinions.
‘People will settle for a draw,’ my writing mentor Amanda Patterson once told a class, ‘but what they’re really looking for is a knockout.’
If you enjoyed this post, read:
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- Five Ways To Kick-Start Your New Short Story