How to write a book review

Since you’re here, you probably love to read fantasy, horror, and science fiction… right? Wouldn’t you also love to share your opinions? Hopefully! We are looking for reviews on books, tv shows, and movies that feel like chatting with a smart friend. These reviews should accomplish two things: first, they ought to be compelling, and second, they ought to help readers decide whether or not to invest more time into a particular book (TV show or movie).

Length

If you are reviewing a single book, movie, or TV show aim for 500 to 800 words.

If you are reviewing three to five books as a group, go up to 1,500 words.

If you are writing a longer list — say, 100 best science fiction novels that involve dogs — you can go as long as you like. Aim for a couple of paragraphs per book.

Images and links

Include a link to the Amazon page of the book, and we’ll get its image from there and link to its Amazon page in the review.

You can also provide links to the author’s website, or the official website for the movie or TV show if you’re reviewing those.

Tone

Ideally, our reviews should be like talking to a smart friend –– honest, interesting, meaningful, engaging, and without spoilers! It should not be too academic, and should not summarize the book. Any relatively new terms (such as “high fantasy” and “Afrofuturism”) should be briefly defined.

Focus on what’s great about the book, movie, or TV show. What really caught your eye? What will make someone interested in checking it out?

If you didn’t like the book, movie, or TV show, you can still review it, especially if everyone else likes it. What made you disagree with other reviewers? Again, don’t give away any spoilers.

Don’t be afraid to talk about yourself. What is it about your background that affected your reaction to this book? This will make the review more meaningful to readers.

Be transparent

Be honest about your review. If you personally know the author, say so.

In fact, if you know the author personally and can add a bit of background about them, and what they’re like, that will add to the review.

If you got the book for free, say that as well. Though realistically, most reviewers get books sent for free. You can also review books you borrowed from the library, or got through Kindle Unlimited or other book subscription sites. If you paid for the book with your own cold, hard cash, mention that as well.

Where to find books to review

To start with, you can review books, films or TV shows you’ve recently read or read in the past. For older works, try to find new angles — how is the work relevant to the world today, or to you personally? Or what does the work show about the evolution of the genre?

Then, if you have a library card or subscriptions to Scribd or Amazon Prime’s Kindle Unlimited you can review books that of interest to you that are available through those services.

Finally, you can spread the word that you’re interesting in doing reviews. Update your author bio on this site, explaining specifically what kinds of works you’re most interested in. If you’ve ever written any Amazon reviews, update your profile to include what books you prefer to review, and how to contact you. And you can let our editors know that you’re available to review books in particular genres, and we’ll connect you with authors and publishers to get free copies.