Recipes for Success: 8 Tips for Writing Good Book Reviews (or, A Neon Sign at the Topless Bar of Literature)

Guest Post: Janice Harayda, novelist, award-winning journalist, and founder and editor-in-chief of One-Minute Book Reviews

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We’re thrilled to welcome Janice Harayda to the NetGalley blog. After being fortunate enough to hear her panel on book reviewing at the 2012 BEA Bloggers conference, we’re so pleased she’s shared this updated version of her remarks as part of our Recipes for Success series. Janice Harayda is a novelist and an award-winning journalist who has been the book columnist for Glamour, the book editor of the Plain Dealer in Cleveland and a vice-president of the National Book Critics Circle. You can read more of her comments and tips on reviewing here, and follow her tweets at @janiceharayda.

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

A well-known book critic once said that she hoped that her reviews would be “a soft light in the alcove of art.” Some of the books I’ve reviewed have made me feel more like a neon sign at the topless bar of literature. But I share that critic’s view: A reviewer’s most important task is to help you see a book clearly and, especially, to show its uniqueness. A question I ask every day is: How can I show how this book differs from all others? And I’ve tried to develop a few guidelines for answering it. Continue reading “Recipes for Success: 8 Tips for Writing Good Book Reviews”

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