Smorgasbord Posts from the Archives 2021 – Pot Luck – Book Reviews: Their Importance and How to Write Them by J. Q. Rose

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Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine. The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics.

In this series I have shared posts from the last six months of 2020 and the series is now closed to new participants.

This is the first post by J.Q. Rose on the subject of book reviews, their importance and the elements to include.

The Importance of Book Reviews for Readers and Writers

Book Reviews. Oh the pressure of reading the required book and then writing the review brings back the picture of my sixth-grade teacher hovering over me. And don’t even go there about her criticism about the grammar and spelling or even neat handwriting. Visions of all the red ink that covered the page come to mind when Miss Oldaker noted every error. And then, the command to “re-write” the entire review.

Okay, relax. You can breathe now. We are not talking about a sixth-grade book report. Far from it. I’m discussing online book reviews, a kinder, gentler exercise written because you want to share the great book you read with other readers so they can enjoy the experience as much as you did.

Word-of-mouth is the best advertising when one receives information about a product or service from a friend, neighbor, or family member. Online book reviews work in a similar fashion. Do you read product reviews online to help you decide whether to purchase? Click here for a study showing that 85 percent of people trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. Book reviews can make a difference in influencing readers to buy a book.

Book publishing has changed the way it does business. Authors and small presses are able to publish their books with easy access to readers instead of having to go through only the elite few of big city publishers. The advent of super booksellers online allows readers to share their opinion about the books they read to help readers find a book as well as authors to get noticed.

No longer is a book published, then off the shelves after a few months. Instead, the book is available for a long time on virtual shelves and its popularity can grow through time. Sales can occur throughout its lifetime rather than a flush of sales when first released.

Readers and their reviews drive this new model and mindset in book publishing.

If you’re a writer, be prepared to market your book forever! Just because your book is a year old or two years old or more, celebrate each birthday and in between with fresh new ideas on promoting it.

Consider these tips when writing a book review.

  • Go to the page where you bought the book and near the book review comments area, you will find a place to click that says “Write a Review.”
  • Rate the book using the bookseller’s ratings e.g. 1-5 stars. 5 Stars means you really really loved the book, 1 star is you didn’t like the book.
  • Because you are on the book’s sales page, you do not need to explain the whole plot of the book because it is on the sales page.
  • Don’t worry about a title for the review yet. Write the review first, then pick out a phrase you used in the review as the title.
  • You need not write a long review. Three sentences or more are fine as long as the reader understands if you liked the book or not and why e.g. I liked the book because I really identified with the main character or I liked the way the author described the setting of the book.
  • Write as if you are talking to a friend on the phone or at a coffee shop. Keep it casual and write how you talk.
  • Compare it to another book you liked and why this book reminded you of the other book.
  • If you feel you’d like to read another book by the author, say so.
  • Recommend it to readers of the genre such as cozy mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, etc.
  • If you received the book as a gift from the author or publisher, amazon requires you to divulge this. But just say you are voluntarily leaving a book review.
  • You’ll receive an email from the bookseller allowing you to read through the review and make changes if needed.
  • You can leave your book review at goodreads, amazon, kobo, Barnes and Noble, Walmart and booksellers where you have an account.


The information in the diyMFA newsletter by Gabriella Pereira inspired this blog post.
Articles on Book Reviews by Sandra Beckwith contributed to this post.  Click here to visit Sandra’s site at Build Book Buzz.
Thank you Gabriella and Sandra!

©J.Q. Rose

About J.Q. Rose

Whether the story is fiction or non-fiction, J.Q. Rose is “focused on story.” She offers readers chills, giggles and quirky characters woven within the pages of her mystery novels. Using her storytelling skills, she provides entertainment and information with articles featured in books, magazines, newspapers, and online magazines.

Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. She and her husband spend winters in Florida and summers up north with their two daughters, two sons-in-law, four grandsons, one granddaughter, two grand dogs, four grand cats, and one great-grand bearded dragon

A selection of books by J.Q. Rose

One of the recent reviews for the memoir Arranging a Dream

Rosemary Morris 5.0 out of 5 stars A Young Couple’s Struggle to Achieve Their Dream  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 February 2021

J. Q. Rose’s husband had a full-time job and grew plants in a greenhouse in his spare time. He dreamt of his ‘green fingers’ earning his living. Although it meant leaving their families behind, with J.Q.Rose’s encouragement and enthusiasm he resigned, and they bought what is now described as a garden centre, with greenhouses and a florist shop. They moved far from family and friends to Missouri with their baby girl. With help from the previous owners, and many ups and downs they learnt how to manage their enterprise. Guilt over childcare for their daughter warred with how much the young mother enjoyed her fulltime job managing the shop.

In J.Q’s autobiography she describes being a mother, a housewife, a working woman and, with her husband arranging their dream.

I really like the author’s vibrant voice which kept me turning the pages when I read about their mistakes, the bitterly cold Missouri winters, and how to capitalise on weddings, and important days for their business, for example, Easter, and Mother’s Day.

I recommend this inspirational book which lingers in my mind after I reached the end.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow J.Q. Rose: GoodreadsWebsite: J.Q. Rose – Blog: J.Q. Rose – Facebook: J.Q. Rose Author


My thanks to J.Q. Rose for letting me share posts from her archives and I hope you will head over to enjoy browsing yourselves.. thanks Sally.

34 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from the Archives 2021 – Pot Luck – Book Reviews: Their Importance and How to Write Them by J. Q. Rose

  1. I read a stat that about 5-10% of readers leave reviews. I think some people think that it’s too difficult. but as stated, “You need not write a long review. Three sentences or more are fine as long as the reader understands if you liked the book or not and why…”
    The other important point is, “Recommend it to readers of the genre…” Yes, please.
    Nothing elates and author more than receiving a good or great review…but on the flip side, it can be deflating when your hard work is panned. As a writer, you can’t please all readers, and you need to take those less than glowing reviews and use them to hone your craft if you can.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Leon.. as you say you sometimes a reader does not find a book to their taste, which is why it is so important to put the genre and sub genre’s in the book specs on its page on Amazon.. Far too often I go in to check on a book and it has no genre, the blurb is non- specific and I am left wondering what I am going to get when I buy it. Also pushing Goodreads as a place to leave reviews means even those who received the book as a gift anywhere in the world can leave a review… thanks for the reblog..

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Smorgasbord Posts from the Archives 2021 – Pot Luck – Book Reviews: Their Importance and How to Write Them by J. Q. Rose — Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Lines by Leon

  3. Thank you for sharing this great motivational posting, Sally! Now i will see writing my first ever rieview, as soon as possible. Yes, i also had remembered all the red ink, on my elaborates at school. 😉 Michael xx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wonderful advice. I read that about 4% of readers leave a review, and have found that to be fairly accurate. I think now that on Amazon they can leave a rating without a review, and people are more willing to do that. Thanks for sharing this great article, Sally. Toni x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. How refreshing and down to earth…I struggle with reviews and am in awe of those who leave such glowing reviews so much so I am then scared to leave mine as it feels inferior…this has enthused me to write my way …A great share Hugs x

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  6. Great advice. No point summarizing the plot of the story as it is usually in the blurb. Although sometimes it can serve to make a point. What you liked about the book and what you didn´t is valuable to other readers.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Reviews are so important for authors. So many readers have bad memories of writing book reports in school, and they won’t leave reviews. I must admit, I rarely did, either, until I became a published author. Now I review every book I read.
    I try to be kind to the author but also let potential readers know what to expect.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 23rd – 29th May 2021 – | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  9. Great tips for writing a review from J. I think readers often over-think reviews, and really authors are happy with one sentence! (At least, I am). I like the tip: “Keep it casual and write how you talk.” I like writing reviews so much better if I simply have fun with them. Great share, Sally.

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