Writing Book Reviews for SFReader

How to Write Book Reviews for SFReader

So you want to write speculative fiction book reviews? Good! If you already have a review to submit, please email it to webmasterATsfreader.com. But before you submit a review, please read over the following to make sure it’s the type of review I’m looking for.

SFReader will post a review of any speculative fiction book, newly published or timeless classic, out of print or the current best seller. If you have doubts as to whether the book qualifies as speculative fiction, ask me. SFReader will publish multiple reviews of the same book, so it doesn’t matter if the book is already on the site.

The Review
We aren’t looking for reviews that are summaries of the plot or outlines of the chapters. I want reviews that tell what the book is about, not what happens. A subtle, but distinct difference. Think about some of the conflicts and issues the characters faced. Is there a theme at the heart of the story? Does it offer a lesson or caution? Does it deal with issues that have relevancy today? Does it take a moral stance? Ask yourself these and other questions as you read the book, then try to answer them as you write the review.

No spoilers please! Although I want you talk about issues and conflicts the book deals with, don’t give away what happens in the story. Hard to do, I know, but if I feel a review gives away too much of the plot, we won’t post it.

Most important: Take a stance in your review! Tell whether or not you liked the book and make a recommendation. Try to think of the type of reader who might like the book even if you didn’t: “The technical science here is sure to appeal to fans of hard science fiction” or “The ideal reader for this book is a fan of space opera.” Even though I want you to take a stance on whether or not YOU liked it, I still want you to consider other readers who might like it even if you didn’t. You might want to say thing like “Although it wasn’t quite my cuppa, this book would have definite appeal to Heinlien fans.”

Part of taking a stance is offering an overall rating. I’d like you to include a numerical rating of 0 (worst) to 10 (best) along with your review. This rating will be converted to stars: a 10 equals 5 stars, a 9 equals 4.5 stars, etc. Justify your rating – if you think the book is one star, great, but explain why you think it’s one star. If you think a book is bad, you must have a reason why and I want to hear it. And if it’s good, I want to hear that reason too.

SFReader.com doesn’t offer compensation for book reviews, although we do pay for magazine, movie and TV series reviews. You might be able to score some free books. Contact me to see if I have any books to mail out, the deal being if you’re sent you a book, you’re expected to review it.

If you’re already a reviewer who has had reviews published in magazines or posted on the Internet, great. Send samples or links so I can check them out. If I think you’ll fit in with the SFReader reviewer family, I’ll be in touch.

If you don’t fall into the above category, I’ll need some reviews on spec. This means you read a book, write a review, and send the review. If we think it fits, we’ll post it. Once you’ve done a few of these, you get the opportunity to choose from any books I have available.

SFReader often gets pre-release gallies, uncorrected proofs, and even signed copies. These wonderful treasures can be yours, all for the simple price of well-done, insightful reviews.

Thanks for checking out SFReader!