How to Write an Online Review

You just finished reading a book that you really liked. What should you do next?

Before you dive into another book, why not write a review of the one you just finished? If you do that, it may help other readers find the  book and also have a great reading experience.

A lot of readers don't review books which is too bad. There are so many books available, but some never find readers because the books remain undiscovered. Aha! That's what a review can do—help a book get discovered.

At least once a year, I post about how to write an online review because I think if you like something, you should tell others about it. Like most authors, I beg for reviews. We try to do it nicely by writing in the back of our books, "If you like this book, please leave a short review."

That's code for, "Please, please, please leave a review on my book."

For those who have an internet presence, reviews rule. We can't be blunt like Dave Ramsey, the financial guru on YouTube who says: "Leave a 5 star review because that'll help us. Don't leave a 1 star. Just go on your way because we're not for you." Or words to that effect.

I leave reviews on books and other products I like. That makes it easy to give 4 and 5 stars, but I understand what Ramsey means. Consumer taste is subjective. One person may hate a book, movie, or a bit of financial advice, but another may love it. Bad reviews keep those who might love the book, movie, or whatever from giving it a chance.

That's where writing an objective review comes in.


An online review is like having a conversation with friends about a book you just read or a movie you watched or a video game you played.

Imagine you're getting together with friends for coffee, and you start telling them about this amazing book you're reading. That's the way you write a review—the way you talk.

A review should be about the product, not the creator of the product. People create products. 

A review should never denigrate the person who created it. 

You can say something negative without a personal attack on the person with the intention of inflicting emotional harm.

The online world is full of bullies and trolls. Don't be one. There's enough animosity and hate in the world without perpetuating it. Be objective.


1. Make notes.

After reading a book, watching a movie, using a product, etc. make a few notes while the experience is fresh in your mind.

If a book or movie, answer these questions. What was it about? Did the story pull you in or was it a slow build? Did you like the main characters? Were they people you'd like to know? Did it end in a satisfying way? What were your emotions as you read or watched? Did you like the way everything worked out? Would you read something else written by that author?

2. Write a paragraph or two incorporating your answers to the above.

Keep it simple. Does it convey what you really felt about the book, movie, game, or website? Is it in an easy conversational style as if you were telling a friend about the book?

3. Read over what you wrote to check for grammar and misspelled words.

If you wrote it in one of the most common document apps, it's easy to spell check and grammar check.

4. Post the review on the webpage for the book, movie, game, YouTube video, etc.

Open a tab in your browser and navigate to the webpage. For example, if you bought the book on Amazon, go to the Amazon page for the book.

5. Copy and paste your review.

On the webpage, scroll down until you see Write a Customer Review. It's on most webpages that sell products. Click that. When the form opens, paste your review into the space allotted. Give it the number of stars that reflect how you felt. I've read reviews that raved about a book, but the reviewer gave it only 3 stars. 3 = average. That doesn't make sense.

6. Preview your review.

When you're finished, you always have the chance to preview what you wrote in case you'd like to add or remove something.

7. Click to Submit your review.


That's it. Easy peasy. Go forth and review. Please.

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