September 2018: Reading Other Book Reviews on Amazon

One really helpful thing that I have found on Amazon are the book reviews of other authors, given by readers. I tend to look at these across a range of genres in young adult fiction as well as fiction on a theme of mental health. Even though I do not necessarily write in the same genre as some of them, reading people’s reviews on these books, helps me understand what makes a good book and what might make a book better.

Strong reviews have included a good use of emotions, allowing the reader to empathise with the characters, to feel tension / excitement building up and to be moved by an unexpected turn of events. In particular, readers seem to have a strong preference for feeling a connection with the characters and the emotions conveyed in the book. This, therefore, is a strong reminder of what I need to do as I write my books.

As mentioned, it is also useful to look at lower rating reviews. This helps me to understand what I must try and avoid in my writing. Examples include the book taking too long to get going or not giving enough insight into characters.

Of course, there will never be a perfect book as different readers will look for different things. Even many top books will have critics. It is possible, however, to look at reviews and then to gain some general tips of what makes a good book as well as what to avoid when writing. It is important for me, therefore, to try to look at one or two reviews on a daily basis so that I am constantly reminded of the kinds of things that my current target audience of young adult readers are looking for.


Jonny Pardoe


Photo by Ellieelien on Unsplash


Jonny Pardoe © September 2018



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