Writing the Perfect Review – Just my 2 Cents by Nonnie Jules

Today I am excited to have a dear friend, Nonnie Jules, on “Be My Guest”.   Nonnie is energetic and her excitement for all things writing and support is highly contagious.  She is a talented writer (just check out her amazing books below).  Nonnie is going to give us her 2 Cents on Reviews today; something many of us struggle with.  Please grab your cup of tea, sit back, and enjoy my guest’s view on reviews.

Welcome to the 2nd day of my two week-long  “JUST MY TWO CENTS” Blog Tour and I’m kicking it off with one of my FAVORITE people, KATHRYN C. TREAT who has so graciously invited me to BE HER GUEST!  Next month will mark the anniversary of my burst onto the social media scene and during that time, I have published three REALLY GOOD books and have learned so very much about the industry.  Although I’ve been a writer for most of my life (actually, I was born one), I only just became a published author in 2013.  Some might say “In that short amount of time, what does she know?” Well, I’m here to tell you that “SHE” has learned a lot!  “SHE” has taken the time to hone her skills in the writing department as well as her knowledge.  “SHE” has taken the bull by the horn and run full speed ahead in building her author platform and establishing herself in the writing industry.  “SHE” is making her name KNOWN.

On each stop of my tour, I will give you my TWO-CENTS on a particular topic from the writing industry.  I hope that what I am imparting, you will take, mull over, and then act on in the best interest of YOU.

With that being said, here is JUST MY TWO CENTS ON…


Are you new to book reviewing?  Did you read something that was so incredibly good that you want to share it with the world?  Then, today I’m going to share with you how to post the (almost) perfect review.  Now, I am in no way saying that every review you post should be a 5 star one, BUT, I am saying that even in the not-so-great reviews, there is still a process.  Below you will find 6 little tips on how to post reviews.  You all know I always like to interject my little two-cents in the most constructive of ways, so here goes:

1)  When you review a book, PLEASE don’t give any SPOILERS.  And don’t give any “SPOILER ALERTS” either, because just as soon as you type the words, the reader’s eyes have already moved across the line and read the SPOIL.  Don’t do that again.

2)  Don’t tell what happens throughout the book and ruin it for the next reader.  If you give the reader of your review a play-by-play, what reason will they have to go out and get the book?  Then you’ve spoiled it for the reader AND the author who missed out on a sale.

3)  Book reviews are either critiques OR raves about a book.  Don’t say, “I didn’t like this book because the girl got raped”, OR “This book wasn’t good because I don’t like reading about children being hurt,” OR “DON’T read this book because nobody likes all that fantasy/Harry Potter-type stuff”.  {Well, we all know that somebody liked Harry Potter, now didn’t they?}

When you review a book, you review it on the WRITING, not the storyline the author decided to write about, but the writing. Did the “writing” captivate you?  Was it written so well you couldn’t put it down?  Were the characters written and described so vividly that you felt as if you could almost see them standing right in front of you?  Simply put, WAS THE WRITING GOOD? OR, WAS THE WRITING GREAT?  And here’s where it can sometimes get a little tricky and a little uncomfortable for some….WAS THE WRITING POOR?   Let’s face it, sometimes that has to be told, too.

4)  If you have to write a review that does not warrant a 4 or 5 star ranking, please don’t do it in such a manner that you are attacking the author.  Don’t say, “This book was written so poorly that I almost lost my lunch when I started to read it.” That’s a no-no.  And don’t even say, “I don’t like this author because there were so many typos and mis-spelled words, that it was hard to get through the story.”  Although I’ve felt these feelings quite often after reading a book, I would never post that publicly.  AND, although I do believe in posting ONLY totally HONEST reviews, if you have to give a review that you THINK warrants a 1, 2 or 3 star rank, then be tactful and kind.  I would say something like, “What I liked about this book was (because there’s always something good you can say.  Dig deep.)” OR, I might say, “What I didn’t like was that I felt as if the author should have edited the work a little better,” OR, “The storyline didn’t flow as well as I would have expected it to.  The author started to wander off in some areas, but I feel that with a little more time spent researching how to write a novel, he definitely has the potential to nail it better the next time.”  Reviews are only opinions, people.  And although there are some opinions that you should value more than others, it all comes back to someone’s opinion.

If someone posts a poor review of your work, take the time to tip over (if you can) and check out their written work, or some other reviews they’ve posted.  If you find that their work is poorly written, pour yourself a glass of champagne and take a long, hot soak in the tub, while thinking to yourself, “THE NERVE OF SOME PEOPLE!” And this brings me to my next tip…

5)  When posting your reviews, please ensure that you have no mis-spelled words, no punctuation hiccups and that your sentences make total sense.  I’m not going to take seriously the opinion of someone who has left me a review and each sentence of that review holds typos and hiccups.  How can you critique someone else’s work, when your work clearly shows that someone should be critiquing yours? Please “proof & review” before you hit POST REVIEW.

6)  I will never post a review under NONNIE’S REVIEWS at RaveReviewsbyNonnieJules with a rating of less than 3 stars, but that is not to say that I won’t post a review with less than 3 stars on Amazon, B & N or some other forum, but in all my postings I WILL offer praise as well as constructive criticism, if warranted.  I will never use my words in a review to tear down, or discourage someone from writing.  Was everyone born with the GIFT OF WRITING?  NO.  But, I do believe that if you work hard at it, you can become skilled in that arena.   And it’s true, EVERYONE CAN’T WRITE AND SOME SHOULDN’T WRITE, not unless they’re willing to put in the time and the effort to make it good enough that book lovers want to read it.  Don’t go saturating the market with junk. There is enough of that out there already.  Take the time to hone your craft and ensure that everything you put out is worthy of the highest of praise. Because if you didn’t take time with it, and I accidentally pick it up, I might not be all that happy (insert angry face here).

I hope this has helped you as an author as well as a reviewer.  Just my two cents, but you know they carry a lot of weight in some parts… Tell me, do you have a review process?  If you do, please share it with us!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:                                                                       

 NONNIE Jules grew up loving books and everything about them.  She has traveled the world, jumped out of planes and climbed many mountains, all thanks to the wonderful world of literature.  She lives with her husband and two daughters on a very quiet strip of land in Louisiana, where red dirt roads and pick-up trucks go hand in hand.  She is the Author of three great reads at present:  “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS,” 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can’t Help But Love!; “Daydream’s Daughter, Nightmare’s Friend” (a novel);  and “SUGARCOATIN’ IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN’ IS FOR KIDS!” Nonnie is also Founder and President of the widely-known Rave Reviews Book Club, as well as being a sought-after book reviewer with a strong “eye” for perfection.

She continues to write from many different genres and hopes to teach and touch minds and hearts alike with her very unique style of writing.  She loves positive feedback on her writing and personally responds to each and every email.  Nonnie can be reached at nonniewrites@yahoo.com, on Twitter @nonniejules, and do follow her blogs WATCH NONNIE WRITE! {nonniewrites.wordpress.com}  and ASK THE GOOD MOMMY {askthegoodmommy.wordpress.com}.

Nonnie’s feet are firmly planted in her two most important platforms:  Parenting & Support, where she continually invites the masses to join her.


“THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS,” 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can’t Help But Love!

TGMG on BN counter med

“Daydream’s Daughter, Nightmare’s Friend” – 

DDNF1 - Copy


NJ Cover Design-1

17 responses to “Writing the Perfect Review – Just my 2 Cents by Nonnie Jules

  1. Excellent tips. I’ve been struggling with a review for a while and this helps me focus it on the right things.

  2. Thank you for sharing this information, Nonnie. Very helpful! 🙂

  3. Shirley L. Slaughter

    I have someone right now who will benefit from this post because he is questioning his ability to write a good review. So this is timely.

  4. More great advice, Nonnie. Enjoyed learning more about YOU, too! Thanks for hosting, Kathryn. Just finished ALLERGIC to LIFE. Great inspirational read… Posted review on Amazon and will head over to Goodreads too! 🙂

  5. Love this! I couldn’t agree more with all of these tips. This would be a great reference for anyone!

  6. I write lots of reviews but never read any before I buy a book. As you say, Nonnie, there always seems to be a spoiler in them. Most of all, reviews are so subjective (yet I love writing them and will continue to do so!). I agree with you about not writing a review if it is less than 3 stars. When we review appliances, clothing, etc., we can say “it didn’t work” or “it didn’t flatter me.” Writing about someone’s thoughts is a whole other thing. I’ve been hurt by reviews and hope all will take Nonnie’s ideas seriously and not be hurtful.

  7. These are extremely helpful tips. Thank you for your insight.

  8. Excellent tips for anyone that wants to fine tune their reviewing skills.

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