The Slippery Art of Book Reviewingby Mayra Calvani, Anne K. Edwards
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This book was written not only with the aspiring reviewer in mind, but also for the established reviewer who needs a bit of refreshing and also for anybody--be they author, publisher, reader, bookseller, librarian or publicist--who wants to become more informed about the value, purpose and effectiveness of reviews. Foreword by James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief Midwest Book Review Winner, ForeWord Magazine 2008 Book of the Year Award in the category of Writing
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Meet the Author
Mayra Calvani is a reviewer, freelance journalist and the author of ten books for children and adults. She's a regular contributor to Blogcritics Magazine, Suite101, and the Latino Books Examiner for Examiner.com. Together with Anne K. Edwards, she co-edits Voice in the Dark Ezine. In addition, she's editor of The Dark Phantom Review. She lives in Brussels, Belgium.
To learn more about Mayra and her works, visit For her children's books, visit
Anne K. Edwards writes what she reads--mysteries. Death on Delivery is her second book, the first in the Hannah Clare series. Anne lives on a small farm in southern Pennsylvania with several cats and horses. Her interests other than reading and writing are meeting new people, traveling and talking to other authors. She is the editor of Voice in the Dark, a free monthly ezine featuring author interviews, columns, articles, short fiction, and resources for authors and readers.
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THE SLIPPERY ART OF BOOK REVIEWING Mayra Calvani and Anne K. Edwards Have you ever wanted to write a review for a book you read, but weren't quite sure where to start or what to say? Or maybe you've written reviews but weren't satisfied with the way they turned out. If you answered yes to either or both of the above, then check out The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing by authors and reviewers Mayra Calvani and Anne E. Edwards. Their book points both experienced and prospective reviewers in the right direction to help write the best reviews possible. The authors divide the book into three parts. They also provide a table of contents and an index to make it easy to find exactly the topic the reader is looking for. Part one starts with "The Five Keys to Being a Good Reviewer." The authors continue with an explanation of what a book review is and the results of the review for the reader, author, publisher, booksellers, librarians, and the world. Another section discusses the importance of reading critically and gives points to consider as you read the book, for both fiction and nonfiction. If audio books and graphic novels are your preference, the authors talk about them as well. From the different types of reviews to signs of what makes an amateur reviewer to starting your own book review site and much more, Ms. Calvani and Ms. Edwards give the reader expert advice on how to write a book review. I used their information on reviewing nonfiction books to help me write this review. Part two discuses the influence of book reviews. Have you ever stopped to think that your review might sway a bookseller or librarian in their choice of titles to purchase? That's an awesome responsibility, which shows how important your review is. The authors say: "Reviews play an important part on whether or not a person buys a book; a positive review tells the reader that the money they will spend on that book is worth it, while a negative review will do the opposite and may influence the person into not buying the book." This is one reason that your reviews must be honest. Part three lists resources, such as review sites, online communities, print publications, and so much more. I know I'll be looking into some of these to find more places to post my reviews. The authors clearly have done their research, with quotes from many of their sources. They also give examples of reviews that I found very helpful. I haven't covered nearly all the information this book provides, but you'll find that it answers just about any question you might have. I highly recommend The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing for everyone who aspires to review books, as well as to readers who might like to host reviewers on their blogs or who simply enjoy reading good nonfiction books. The authors sum it up pretty nicely, I think: "Once you've decided to try reviewing, relax and enjoy the experience. There's nothing else quite like it." What more can I say?
What is this? Here I am, a book reviewer, reviewing a book about how do to book reviews! Mayra Calvani is a multi-genre author and reviewer. Anne K. Edwards is a mystery writer. Each one is also the editor of a newsletter and/or ezine related to writing, so they know whereof they speak. This book is in three parts. Part One, "The Art of Reviewing," explains five keys to being a good reviewer, how to read critically, how to write a book review, how to rate books, the different types of reviews, the signs of an amateur reviewer, and other information related to writing book reviews. Part Two, "The Influence of Book Reviews." discusses how book reviews influence libraries, bookstores, publishers, authors, publicists, book clubs, and readers. Part Three, "Resources," gives hints on how and where to get start posting reviews with contact information for both print review publications and online review sites of all genres. The main point that Calvani and Edwards try to get across is that a reviewer must be as objective as possible and fair. Like any other "how to" book, there may be some suggestions that will not necessarily apply in every situation, but in general this book provides good advice that will be useful for both beginning reviewers and those who are veterans at reviewing. Why would I review such a book for Stories for Children Magazine? Some of the young people reading the reviews here to find books that they might want to read may decide, later in life or even now, to start doing their own book reviews for publication, and they will find a lot of helpful material in this book. As for me, I feel that one is never too old to learn and grow, so I certainly appreciate the opportunity of being able to read and review the book.
If you enjoy sharing your literary opinion on books by writing your own reviews, you'll find this book to be an excellent source of information and advice. You'll learn the ins-and-outs of how to deal with all types of books. Key points that I was reminded of while reading "The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing" are the following: * Giving an overly-positive review to a book can sometimes be too much, or raise suspicion the reviewer may just be attempting to be too nice to the author. "Remember, objectivity and honesty in reviewing are of the utmost importance." -Page 56 * When you have a negative opinion on a book, there is always a tactful way to share your personal thoughts without being rude. "You can be critical and honest without being unkind." -Page 51 * Always maintain structure, clarity and objectivity in your reviews. "Each word you use in your review should count and have a purpose." -Page 10 * A book review is definitely different than a book report, a critique, or press release, and should be written accordingly. The title of this book is aptly named, because the material literally explains about the "slippery art" of reviewing. There are many more beneficial facts found in the book to allow you to improve your own art of reviewing, and much advice is planted throughout the chapters. "The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing" is not just for people (like myself) who post their reviews on personal blogs, or online book stores, but also for people who review books as their full-time job. I'll be returning to this book often as a reliable aid.
Reviewed By~JoAnne Review Copy Provided By~Bewitching Book Tour I am a volunteer book reviewer and also write reviews for books I read for pleasure on book websites. I didn't realize there is a book reviews industry and I personally had "on the job" training if you will. Much of what was in this book about reviews - how to write them, who owns them, where you can post them, etc. are what I've been doing but really didn't know the logic behind. The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing gave support to why who I write volunteer reviews for has us write our reviews the way we do, including number of books we can have out, assignments, where we can post reviews, etc. This book is a how to book on the do's and don'ts of being a book reviewer. Some of the areas covered are how to write a positive review, how to write a positive negative review when you have to write a negative one, what to include and the format needed. It also gave several samples after the discussions to show you how to write reviews given different scenarios. It also delves into the importance of reviewers to publishers, authors and readers. A second section dealt with the book review sites and how to start your own. It was extremely detailed in explaining how best to do so with lots of pros and cons especially as it relates to ebooks and reviews posted on the internet. It had a lot of information but was really geared to the owners or webmasters of the book reviewer sites. It also touched on how to obtain volunteer reviewers - what to look for, how to see if they would be a good fit, how to enforce their deadlines, and make sure they write a quality review. The last part of the book dealt with resources was 20 pages long almost all of it giving website and contact information for where you can possibly post your reviews. This section is really for independent reviewers and those either having a book review site or setting one up. It wasn't for the average reader or reviewer so I was able to skim through most of it but glancing at the titles of the suggested websites. As a person who loves to read and who is enjoying being a volunteer reviewer this was an enjoyable although technical read. I would recommend it to anyone who sees writing reviews in their future. Favorite Quote: Remember that the books are being sent to you in exchange for a review. Accepting books and not writing the reviews is, in one word: STEALING. You'd be surprised at the number of reviewers' who, after having requested several books, suddenly 'disappear.' These people are not legitimate, they're crooks, plain and simple. Integrity is part of the code of honor of a legitimate reviewer.