Review Guidelines

We consider book bloggers to be an essential part of marketing books in the new media. That’s why we’re happy to send you free books.

• Fundamentals •

You may think these guides are obvious, but every one has been broken. If you have any questions about our guidelines, contact us at books@bookcrash.com. But please read through them first; we’re making this as easy for you as we can.

Filter Yourself

Do not request a book for which you are not the target market. These inevitably lead to bad reviews. If the book is, for example, A Catholic Dad’s Guide to Santa Claus and Your Kids, and you are a single Protestant female who doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, be a reasonable human being and do not request the book for review.

Candor

Thou shalt not lie. BookCrash does not publish any of these books, and we do not want to trade books for falsely positive reviews. We ask for nothing more than your complete honesty.

Specificity

We don’t want fluff reviews; we want pithy, meaty reviews. If you like something, don’t just say what you like, tell your readers why you like it. The same goes for something you didn’t like, because a carefully presented bad review can still create book sales if the reader disagrees with your premise.

Substance

Please make your reviews at least 200 words long, but no longer than 500 words. Be informative without being pedantic. A brief but substantive review is going to attract a lot more readers than a novella.

Respect

Respect the author. You can disagree or dislike what they say, but address the message, not the messenger.

In addition, respect the reader. Please avoid spoiling plot twists in fiction reviews. We all want your blog followers to have an enjoyable read.

• Structure •

Thumbnail

Can you give your review in a dozen words or less? Do so, and hook your audience! You can either use this as the title for your post, or as your first line if you prefer to use the book title for your post title.

Title and Author

We need to know which book it is. Including an ISBN is preferred.

Summary / Overview

The first paragraph or two of your review should discuss the content of the book, and should answer questions like these:

  • What’s the book about (theme, plot, or subject matter)?
  • Who’s the target audience?
  • Is there any special content, like a study guide, a map, or a concordance?
  • What’s the message or purpose of the book?

Appraisal / Evaluation / Review

While the first paragraph was technical and factual, this is where you can express your own opinions and evaluate the book. This should take 2–3 paragraphs, and answer question like these:

For fiction:

  • Was the book engaging? Predictable? Far-fetched? Exciting? Romantic?
  • Did the plot hold together? Were the characters believable? Was the dialog realistic? What worked and what fell short?
  • Did the book present a wholesome Christian worldview?
  • For all of the above, why or why not?

For nonfiction:

  • Was the book accessible? Challenging? Unorthodox? Interesting? Inspiring?
  • Did the book hold to its thesis? Did it cover all the angles? Did it answer all your questions? Did it hold together?
  • Was the book biblically accurate? Were there any unusual interpretations?
  • For all of the above, why or why not?

For any book:

  • Was the design (font, art, tables, etc.) helpful and useful, or jarring and cold?
  • Was the fundamental message uplifting or inspiring? Were you challenged in your faith?
  • Would you recommend this book to others? To whom, and why? Who should avoid it?
  • For all of the above, why or why not?

Purchase Link

We recommend that you place a hotlink at the end of the review for someone to purchase the book. It helps the publisher because it makes it more likely that an interested party will pick up the book. And it helps you because, if you have an affiliate account, you get a small commission. (If you don’t have an affiliate account, BookCrash will be happy to give you the code for our account so we can pick up some commissions.)

• FTC Disclosure •

To comply with ever-expanding regulations mandated by the Federal Trade Commission, please mention in your review that BookCrash provided you with a complimentary copy of the book in question. Thus far the FTC has not mandated the exact wording you need to use. We suggest:

Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookCrash.com book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Here’s the HTML code for the above:

<strong>Disclosure of Material:</strong> I received this book free from the publisher through the <a href=”http://www.bookcrash.com” target=”_new”>BookCrash.com</a> book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the <a href=”http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html” target=”_new”>Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”</a>

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