Writing Reviews for Readers' Advisory

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the Author
  • Reviews

Reviews are an important resource for readers' advisory and collection development. They are also a helpful promotional tool, introducing patrons to what is new on the shelf. This resource includes

  • Tips for writing strong, relevant reviews
  • Different ways reviews can be used to promote your library
  • A chapter by Joyce Saricks covering the how-tos of reviewing audiobooks

Whether the ultimate goal is writing for a library website, book club, or monthly handout, or freelancing for a newspaper, magazine, or professional journal, readers will find plenty of ideas and insight here.


Chapter 1 Marketing through Reviewing
Chapter 2 Reviews versus Criticism
Chapter 3 Two Kinds of Reviews: Before Publication and After Publication
Chapter 4 What Is in a Book Review?
Chapter 5 What Makes a Good Review?
Chapter 6 What Makes a Good Reviewer?
Chapter 7 Review-Writing Workshops
Chapter 8 Writing Audiobook Reviews


by Joyce Saricks




A Writing Annotations
B My Favorite Reviewers










Brad Hooper

Brad Hooper is the former Adult Books Editor at Booklist. His books include The Short Story Readers’ Advisory and Writing Reviews for Readers’ Advisory. He was the 2015 recipient of the Louis Shores Award for outstanding reviewing. He served as Chair of the selection committee of the Carnegie Medals.

"There is much to be gleaned from this pithy work, both for fledgling reviewers and those with experience. Hooper touches on both why and how to write reviews. He addresses the challenges of writing about different aspects of fiction and nonfiction, identifying different pieces of what I think of as the puzzle box of reviewing, fitting coverage of plot, characters, setting, and style into that 175 word limit. Some of the reminders I appreciated most were the admonitions to be generous; to compare the book with others of its ilk, not the great books or a personal ideal; and the warnings not to overwrite reviews ... If you are new to reviewing, it will give you the tools you need. If you are an experienced hand, I recommend taking it in slowly and thinking about how each section applies to your own work."
--Neil Hollands, author of Read On... Fantasy Fiction and Fellowship in a Ring

"Not overly lengthy, this work presents in a concise format the knowledge required for publishing a book review ... This work is recommended for public, academic and special libraries and those interested in writing book reviews."
--Collection Building

"As always, Hooper's writing is clear and precise. He illustrates his points with examples of reviews from a wide range of sources and writers, giving the reader a superb set of examples of good, and occasionally bad, reviewing."

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