Some reviewers get hung up on how long their review is. They are fixated on the number of words. Should it be 100 or 1000? In the end, it all depends on you. But here are a few guidelines for you that can help get you started.
The average length most companies look for in a book review is 400–600 words. If you are just doing a quick review on the site where you purchased the book, 100–400 words should do it if you aren’t looking at doing reviews on a regular basis.
400 words is a good length to give the basics of a good book review. That length allows coverage of the major areas of a book review: characters, writing style, plot, and editing to name a few. I have found a few that were around 1000 words that were good only because they were uniquely customized.
You can have quite a bit of fun with book reviews. I’ve seen reviewers share their favorite quotes, new words they learned, or more details on a favorite scene or character from the book. Author bios can be added as well.
Customizing can take your review to a much longer length. If you are writing the reviews for your own site, push the length to 1000 words if you want. Make the reviews uniquely yours.
Give Meat But Not a Buffet
You want your review to have meat but don’t give the reader too much to absorb. Don’t overwhelm them.
The key is to inform the reader just enough to either send them on their way or have them purchase the book. If you talk too much about the book, why should they buy it? They already know the whole story. If you talk too little, they are afraid to buy it because they really don’t understand the reasoning behind your rating. Give the reader what they need to make an informed decision.
Fit the Medium
Many times, the length of a review is dependent on the medium. Some sites have restrictions on length. If it is in a magazine, length could be limited to the space alotted for it.
Work the medium for the final say on the length of your piece.
Fit the Audience
Who will be reading your review? If you are writing for teens and children, you will not be wanting to write a long review. Keep it around 250 words and make sure it is to the point as well as energetic in writing to keep their attention. They don’t care about plot or character analysis.
It’s Up to You
How long is the review depends on you. Get feedback and see how people feel about the length of your reviews.