HOWTO : Writing a book review

Our friend Janet Crosbie over at Apress has written up a nice resource for those of you struggling to write a book review. In it she provides ideas, links and examples that any reader may find helpful in preparing their review. Read on for more!

If you would like to post a Book Review on our site, simply log in, select submit news from the Main Menu and type away. You can set the topic if you like, or just let me set it when I go to approve it.

Thank you Janet, for putting this together for us!

Apress encourages user group members to write book reviews that are comfortable and fun to write. We realize that time may be limited for working professionals, so we appreciate any thoughtful and constructive reviews of our books.

We suggest posting book reviews wherever relevant: Amazon, Slashdot, your blog, your buddy’s blog, Barnes and Noble, JavaRanch, or your user group’s site-just to name a handful.

Whenever possible, a review should mention chapter features, describing one or several chapters at a time. Additional topics might include:

  • How will this book help you with your work (or hobbies)?
  • What sets it apart from other books you’ve read?
  • Would you recommend it? To whom?
  • What was your favorite chapter or section?

Many reviewers enjoy sharing what worked (or didn’t work so well) for them in our books. And review length is up to the writer-we typically see reviews that range from a paragraph to a few pages. Here are a few examples:

If you want to challenge yourself, take a look at some examples of Slashdot reviews:

If you’re more limited on time, follow the example of some Amazon customer reviews:

Here are some fine examples of reviews posted on User Group sites:

  • http://www.denvervisualstudio.net/Reviews/Books2004/Book10052004.htm
  • http://www.mainebytes.org/bookreviews.asp
  • http://oakland.pm.org/reviews/apress_perlbeg.html
  • http://www.denverjug.org/reviews/DecompilingJava.jsp

And some Blogs that feature book reviews:

  • http://codegeneration.net/br_list.php?search=publisher&id=7
  • http://www.adboyd.com/reviews/apress/CubeFarm.html
  • http://www.crazedfanboy.com/npcr/popculturereview222.html
  • http://msmvps.com/williamryan/archive/2004/12/21/26681.aspx