A New Life in Seattle

A New Life in Seattle
August, 2018

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Easy Art of Writing a 30-Word Review

So many writers have written about the hardships encountered in getting reviews of their work. The writers are right in suspecting that many readers do not know the need for even short reviews of books they have enjoyed.

When a new restaurant opens--possibly a great one--who wants to be the first to walk through its doors? Who doesn't find the prospect of all those empty tables more than a little unnerving? Who isn't put off by the sight of the waiters desperately hoping for something to do?

But as the tables slowly fill, night after night, and word of mouth begins to spread, we grow far more willing to give the place a try.

Circling back on the first paragraph: for every reader who doesn't know the importance of a short, simple review, I suspect there are others who do know--but who tremble at the prospect of sitting down to write one.

For those who are willing but fearful, here's a 30-plus-word review of The Suting's 25th Anny Edition that resulted in at least one sale the day that it was published.

"Starts off easy. Picks up speed. Then towards the end, hits like Ronnie Lott and runs you over. Great book. a must read for those who enjoy Horror. Thanks for the ride, Reb!"

The Suiting has received longer, more detailed, reviews. And I'm grateful for each one of them. But this mini-review from 'porkfatrulez' shows mastery of the short form. He gives an idea of the escalated pacing and the crushing final impact. Equally important, he conveys the suspense and the fun of the book as a Horror novel--and a ride. (The review earned one comment on Twitter: 'Told me all I needed to know. I'm rushing out to buy the book.')

Next time we don't have time to write a hundred-word critique, let's keep this in mind as a template of sorts. In just thirty words we can tell the genre of the book, what we liked best about it, and what others can expect: great plot twists, deep characterization, razzle-dazzle style, etc.

No need to do this every time. But if a book's enriched your life, why not take time for thirty words?

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