There comes a time in every writer’s life when a fellow writer approaches and asks:

“Will you write a review for my book for my website or back cover?”

“Will you write a review for my book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble?”

“Would you “like” my book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble?”

“Would you “like” my book on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, et al?”

What do you do?  On a number of online discussions, I’ve seen many requests for “likes” and many responses in both negative and positive.  Here’s what I do.

First, I decide if I want to read the book or not.  Except for rare cases (see below) I won’t write a review unless I’ve read the book.  If I agree to read, it’s with the caveat that I will try to get to it as soon as I can, particularly if I’m reading another book and have a top ten list of books in line.  If I don’t want to read it, however, I’ll be honest and say that I’m not the right person to write a review since I usually don’t read    . . .  name your genre: horror, sci fi, non-fiction, etc.

For those books I do wind up reading and don’t like, I think about the positives and begin with those:

“Great atmosphere”

“Spunky characters”

“Vivid setting”

“Provocative premise for the book.”

Every book has good qualities.  Really.  Find them.  Give that writer positive, encouraging feedback.

If the writer asks you to post a review on Amazon and you seriously don’t like it, I would be honest and say I can only give it two stars because:

“The writing is inconsistent”

“The characters are rather wooden”

“The setting is hard to visualize”

This might open the door for more conversation about how to improve the book– in your opinion, of course, which could be a good thing for both parties.  And, like in critique groups, both writers come away with something valuable.

I welcome your feedback.