Not how to become a reviewer, but how to review. First rule: do not forget a person with feelings wrote what you’re about to talk about. First rule: a person who worked hard for their money is about to buy the book you’re talking about.
First rule: People.
There are people involved in what you’re about to share. Someone(s) who spent time and energy and dreams on the words telling you the story you just read. They believe in their story. They love their story. They took the risk to share their joy. They’re learning and stretching the rules of writing.
There are people who are willing to spend their money on a book that may only have learned about it via you. They worked hard for that money. They pay bills and budget their spending. They are looking to be entertained and to escape.
Second Rule: You might be wrong.
Yup, reviewers can be wrong. I’m not supposed to mention this? When it comes to movies, I never agree with the reviewers which is how I judge whether I’ll like the movie or not. I’ve checked out other reviews, on books, and wonder if we had read the same thing. Reviewers are not perfect. We can miss the points. We can simply just not mix with the story and how it was told. Know your genres. Recognize your reading interests; what you gravitate towards. Remember why you started to review…to share the love of books.
Third Rule: Why.
You started to review to share the love of books, right? Maybe you started in order to help a friend. Maybe, like my daughter did, wrote for the local library. I’m hoping you didn’t start so you could trash others for doing something you can’t…yes, this happens. Were your intentions good? Too many books irritated you with their weak writing and bad grammar? Your why is okay as long as it remembers rule one and two. As long as it remembers my rule one and two.
Fourth Rule: Don’t give the story away. Don’t tell the readers the twist. Don’t give clues to the twist. Don’t give the story away.
Fifth Rule: It’s only your opinion.
Sixth Rule: Have fun. We’re talking about sharing books. Have fun.