When you review a book, you are giving your opinion. That is what readers and authors expect. They want to know what you experienced when you read the book. It is a personal review, but you don’t want to get personal.
What It Means to Get Personal
You are getting personal when you give a review, but what I mean is for you not to get mean personal. What I’m talking about when I say ‘personal’ is direct attacks on the author.
Never call the author names. Never comment on their educational level. Never refer to their personal life, their heritage or culture. Never assume they are phobic anything and never stereotype them. That is what it means to get personal. Focus on the book in a mature manner.
How to Avoid Getting Personal
The best way to avoid getting personal is just to focus on the book. Don’t talk about the author at all. Focus on the writing.
Now, many reviewers can still get personal when they focus on the book. Here’s how you can comment on the book without getting personal and creating a nasty review instead of a high quality review.
Think the writing is too immature? In a sense, no matter what you say about the writing, it will be personal as the writing is an extension of the author, but you can soften the blow where it doesn’t feel like a direct attack on the author. Talk about the fact that the author uses easy words for even those of a younger age to read and understand.
Think the plot was too boring? Say that you struggled getting into the storyline. Describe what it was about it that was so hard but don’t say the author can’t write a good plot. That’s when it gets personal.
Think the characters were not deep enough? Explain how the characters didn’t pull you in and that with a little more work they might have.
See how the less you point fingers, the less personal it can be while at the same time it is saying the same thing. To be honest, the impact can be much stronger when it is stated in a more objective manner. The author will receive it in a more open manner.
When you write a book review, focus on the book and the writing. Word things in a constructive manner that is not offensive or can be construed as attacking the author.
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