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Do you ever read the book reviews on Amazon before ordering a book? Many people want to view what others think about the book before buying it.

Earlier I requested reviews for our latest cookbook, Cooking in the Midwest – A Collection of Favorite Recipes from the Heartland. It is a new book in need of reviews. I reached out to you and you may be thinking, “OK, how do I write a review and do they even matter?”

The following article written by author and book publishing expert, Jeanette S. Cates. Ph.D., who I have been a fan of her work for many years, gives you step-by-step information on what to write and how to write it. This applies not only to our book on Amazon, but you can do it for any book any time.  Amazon will often email you to inquire whether you’d like to write a review for the book you ordered. They make it really easy.

Book reviews are very important as they help others determine whether or not to buy. The more positive the book review, the higher the rank, and more books sold.  For any author, this is the crowning glory. Just a note on star ranking for Amazon – anything below 4 stars is considered “not recommended”, so it helps to be generous with the stars.

How To Write A Book Review On Amazon

By Jeanette S Cates, PhD  |  

Have you ever read a book that you really enjoyed? Did you tell your friends about it? That’s exactly what a book review is. You are sharing your thoughts about a book.

And like any opinion you offer, it has the advantage of not having to be right or wrong. It’s just your opinion.

Keep in mind that these tips are most appropriate for non-fiction books. While you can apply them to fiction, there are additional considerations for a review of a fiction book.

Start with who you are talking to – your audience.

You speak differently to your children than you do to your boss. The same goes for a book review. Deciding who you want to tell about the book makes a difference as to what you include and how you say it.

As you are thinking of what to say, picture the person you’re talking to. And just talk to them on paper as you write the review.

To make it easier write your review in a word processor or a text processor. Then you can just copy and paste it into the review box.

Decide what to include in a book review on Amazon.

First you’ll choose the number of stars to give the book. Don’t agonize over this. Just choose the rating you think is appropriate.

Next you want a title or headline for your review. Again, don’t spend a lot of time on this. It can be as simple as “buy this book”, “best book on the topic”, “great information here”. If in doubt, look at some of the reviews on other books. But don’t stress on this step.

Now write the review. The easiest thing to include in the review is what your favorite idea or tip was. Pick it out (you can even refer to the chapter or page) and tell why you liked that item.

Next you may want to say who you think would most benefit from this book. Is it for beginners? Or is it more appropriate for someone with experience with this topic?

You can easily stop your review there. Most reviews are fairly short – under 250 words. But if you want additional ideas for what you could include in your review, think about these questions:

How does this compare to other books you’ve read on the topic?

  • Did the information you got from the book help you do something?
  • Is there a quote from the book that will stick with you?
  • Did your opinion or knowledge on the topic change as a result of reading the book?
  • Was the author funny or entertaining?
  • Did something surprise you?
  • Are you looking forward to reading future books from this author?

Include negative feedback if needed

Since the book review is your opinion, you are just as correct to include negative comments as positive ones, particularly if they will help future readers who are considering buying this book. However, remember to keep the positive perspective, rather than lash out at the author.

Here are some sample phrases that you can use for negative comments in your review.

While overall the book was good, I wish the author had…

  • The book would have been better if…
  • I don’t recommend this book for…
  • I wish the author had included…

While you may have hesitated writing book reviews in the past, you will find that they become easier with each one you write. Remember you are just sharing your opinion with your fellow readers on Amazon!

Dr. Jeanette Cates is a best-selling Amazon author with multiple titles to her credit. Her latest is Sell Your Book With An Ecourse. Enjoy one of Jeanette’s books at

Did this answer your question? Grab a pen and keep your thoughts flowing. Write that requested book review for Cooking in the Midwest – A Collection of Favorite Recipes from the Heartland as well as perhaps other books, too.

Lee Jackson
Images Unlimited Publishing








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