The Art of the Book Review

Get paid to write reviews that will influence the publishing landscape

  • sections:
  • Discussions Mondays 9-10pm ET, 2 sessions full schedule

The self-publishing revolution has sharply increased the demand for professional book reviews as marketing tools. Competent reviews are equally important to prospective readers faced with ever-expanding offerings from independent authors. If you’re an avid reader with a knack for summarizing stories and evaluating their quality, you’ll want to explore this creative avenue--whether as the host of your own literary blog, or as a reviewer-for-hire. This course will build your knowledge and skills through lectures, writing (two versions of your own review), and reading (one novella + select reviews from newspapers, magazines and blogs).

In this class, you will learn how to:

  • Determine an author's purpose and if the author accomplishes it
  • Recommend a book to its audience
  • Illustrate a book's strengths and any areas needing improvement
  • Write a review of varying lengths
  • Develop a field or genre of expertise
  • Tailor a review to the publication

By the end of class, you will have:

  • Two original reviews of varying length to use as writing samples
  • A list of paying markets for book reviews

Vanessa Finney has published book reviews for Publishers Weekly, ForeWord Reviews, San Francisco Book Review, Sacramento Book Review, Portland Book Review, Whole Life Times and others. She is a past judge for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.