Writing book reviews, whether professional or amateur, is a slippery art due to a number of influences and pitfalls that are lurking in the path of a reviewer. While a large number of book readers, including regular book reviewers, have been writing reviews of books for decades, no writer/reviewer has so far taken the pains to probe the nuts and bolts of this hobby (or art, or profession etc).
Now we have the pioneering work of Mayra Calvani and Anne K. Edwards under the title The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing (Twilight Times Books, Tennessee, 2008), a book that guides you on how to review books fairly and objectively.
The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing includes nearly all the basic elements of book reviewing like the definition of different kinds of reviews; the characteristics of an objective review; ethics of reviewing; and a simple, step-wise guide to writing a good book review.
The most important aspect of book reviewing, on which Calvani and Edwards inform readers in The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, is the role of a book review in influencing a potential reader’s choice. As a book reviewer, one needs to be honest, objective, and rational in penning down the review of a title; otherwise, the reviewer’s own reputation and that of the author and even the publisher may be at stake. Amateurish, cheesy, overly positive, or overly negative reviews do more harm than good to all those concerned with a specific title.
The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing is also a recommended title for practicing and potential book reviewers as it comes with a list of the most important websites and print publications that include book reviews and author interviews. You also get to know the relation of book reviews to bookstores, book clubs, various issues associated with review copies, and the solutions to problems involved in reviewing books. If you aspire to start your own book review website, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing guides you on all the important considerations. This book from Mayra Calvani and Anne K. Edwards is the first ‘Reviewer’s Desk Reference’ for book reviewers at all levels.
Mayra Calvani: http://mayracalvani.com/
Anne K. Edwards: http://www.mysteryfiction.net/