Recipes for Success: What Makes A Good Review
Guest post: Cindy Minnich, Nerdy Book Club

Nerdy Book Club

Recipes for Success is back with more insight from bloggers you love! Did you know that Kristina will be moderating a panel at the BEA Bloggers Conference with some YA Book Blogging Pros? The panel will be on Wednesday May 29 at 11:15 am, but today I’m pleased to welcome one of the panelists, Cindy of Nerdy Book Club, as our guest blogger.

Continue reading for more insight about what makes a good review, as well as more information about how you can interact with NetGalley at and beyond BEA.

Recipes for Success aims to give new bloggers and reviewers helpful information, tools, and best practices to help facilitate your growth and effectiveness as reviewers. Check back often for tips and tricks from the insiders.

A quick overview of Nerdy Book Club:

The Nerdy Book Club blog began in December 2011 as a home for the Nerdy Book Club Awards – grassroots awards that grew from conversations on Twitter among teachers and librarians about titles they and their students love. It has become a site devoted to literature for children and young adults, and it is written by those invested in promoting a love of reading to children and teens. Guest bloggers have written about their reading lives, their promotion of reading, and reviewed everything from wordless picture books to mature YA titles. We anticipate future reads with Advance Reading Copies (often from our friends at NetGalley), find current titles in bookstores, libraries and generous friends, and dip into past reading with retro-reviews of books we have loved. Our bloggers embrace their role in leading young people to the joy of reading.

What makes a good book review?

For those of us at Nerdy Book Club, good reviews are first and foremost positive. We’re teachers and librarians, and we believe that every book has an audience somewhere. We hate the thought of discouraging a soul from reading something that speaks to them – even if it didn’t speak to us as reviewers. So we have a positive book review policy at Nerdy – our guest bloggers only review the books they love. That doesn’t mean that the books reviews on our blog are gushy and without substance. Our reviewers just choose to focus on why they love the book – the characters, the artwork, the way their students hang on every word when they read aloud to them, the unexpected turns the plot takes, the message it offers, the way it’s made a difference for them or their kids as readers. As a result, their reviews are heartfelt and sincere and full of insight into the experience of the book.

The information shared in a positive review will tell the reader if they would be interested in it or not. The bonus is that a positive review might convince some potential readers to give a book that they might not otherwise pick up a chance.

We don’t believe in judging books by their covers, but we always put the covers of the books reviewed in our posts because they allow titles to be more easily recognized when they are seen in the wild – with other readers, on the shelves at the library, or in the bookstore.

Are you cross-promoting via social media (which platforms work best)?

Nerdy Book Club posts are promoted daily via our Facebook fan page as well as the @nerdybookclub Twitter account and my personal Twitter account linked together under the hashtag #nerdybookclub. This seems to be enough to generate shares and retweets and other groups promoting our posts – and it seems to be where our audience of teachers and librarians spend their time.


Wellness Pledge

Thanks, Cindy for sharing your thoughts! We look forward to the panel at the BEA Bloggers Conference. Bloggers, don’t forget to sign the NetGalley Wellness pledge for a chance to win $100 in books!


5 thoughts on “Recipes for Success: What Makes A Good Review

  1. I always think being positive in reviews is much better then to bash a person’s hardwork as less worthy of reading time. There’s always someone who it can appeal to. Some books have large reader base while others have less..

    Loved your ideas.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Following you on FB & Twitter.

  2. Excelent! It applies not only for reviews but for life! Better to keep silence than to speak evil about anybody. I just started writing reviews and love your ideas!


  3. Just read the tips for reviews. Thank you. I do a lot of reviews & I think I will be changing a couple of things. It definitely helped.

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