There is nothing worse than buying a book because you think it will be a good read and getting partially through it only to be disappointed and regretful at having started it, to begin with. And if you are like me, you never stop reading a book part of the way through no matter how bad it is. I always have to finish it right to the end. This is partially due to wanting to get my money’s worth and hoping that perhaps it gets better as the pages turn and knowing I will never know if it does if I don’t just keep reading. After reading quite a few bad books, I learned that there is a simple way to avoid this and that is by reading book reviews before you even make the purchase.

A book review is a non-biased write-up about a book typically written by someone from the general public who read the book. The writer could be a novice or professional and they may be hired by the writer to read and conduct an honest review or they may just be an avid reader who happened to read the book and decided to write a review about it for other readers. A review can be any length but generally, it tells potential readers a very basic outline of the story without giving away the whole plot. It also provides an opinion on various aspects of the book such as composition, story-line and the writer’s ability to tell a compelling story while keeping the reader engaged.

The purpose of reading book reviews is clear; book reviews provide you with unbiased opinions about a book you are interested in reading. The information presented in a review may cause you to reconsider reading it if it got a bad review. A good review may end up being the final reason for making you consider diving in. Book reviews can be found in a number of places. Usually, the back of any book will have short reviews of other books written by the same author. The internet is a wealth of information when it comes to a sheer number of reviews for any book in existence. All you have to do is search the book’s name and dozens of sources appear. It’s important to read a good sample of reviews to get a good idea what the general opinion of the book is.

If you are a writer yourself then you are aware of how a book review can either make or break your sales. Before you release your book, hire some reviewers to read it and give honest opinions about it so you can make necessary changes if needed. After your book is released, be sure to keep an eye on the reviews that are being posted from it. If you get mostly good reviews, that’s great and this will likely help you in the short and long term. If you get a lot of bad reviews, use it as a learning tool. Bad reviews may be bad for that particular book but now you have some feedback to work with so you can make your next one better.

If you are a book reviewer, your job is an important one. Not only are you helping readers decide whether to proceed with a book or not, but you are also helping the writers by providing valuable feedback that will help them in the future. Just make sure to always provide an honest, non-biased opinion without being overly mean or unnecessarily critical. Remember this is someone’s work that they poured their heart into.