The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing

 The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing

by Mayra Calvani and Anne K. Edwards

After reading this most comprehensive book on reviewing books, I wondered what the heck I was doing reviewing this book. Yes, I do review books on occasion, some that are sent to me by publishing houses and other by the authors themselves. Sometimes I review a book I liked because I want other people to know about it. As an author, I’ve also had my books reviewed many, many times.

Calvani and Edwards not only did a all encompassing job on this subject, I know that both of them have earned the titles of author and reviewer and know what they wrote about.

Frankly, I had no idea how they could fill an entire book about writing book reviews.

Part I is all about “The Art of Reviewing.”

As I began reading, I knew that they’d taken on a much bigger job than I anticipated and covered all the necessary aspects of book reviewing.

Included is a checklist to follow while reading a book to review and there was a different checklist for non-fiction and fiction, different genres, including children’s books.

Ever wonder what the star ratings mean? You can find out here.

The authors included samples of different typos of reviews, including a bad one.

One segment addressed what to do if a book is terrible.

The contest covered every question you might ever wonder about if you’re a new book reviewer including whether or not you should sell a book that you received for free.

One of the last chapters of Part I that particularly interested me was titled, “Reviewers vs. Bloggers: the Controversy.” Though I do post reviews on Amazon and write reviews for Kings River magazine, I also post them on my blog.

Part II is titled, “The Influence of Book Reviews” and covers libraries, bookstores, publishers, authors, publicists, book clubs and reviewers.

Part III, “Resources” tells how to get stated posting reviews, places to get your reviews printed both in paper publications and online review sites and publications.

The Appendix has a sample of a press release.

This is a book that anyone who is writing book reviews or would like to write reviews should have in his or her possession. The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing is well-organized, easy to understand, and cover every subject you need to know to be a book reviewer.

Just for fun, I thought I’d share what most irritates me in a book review—and that’s when someone gives away the surprise ending of my book or anyone else’s. And yes, that’s happened to me.

Great job Mayra and Anne!

Review by Marilyn Meredith

The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing
by Mayra Calvani and Anne K. Edwards

List $16.95
180 Pages Twilight Times Books
ISBN: 978-1-933353-22-7
Reference/Writing Trade paperback

The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing serves as an excellent reference tool and amalgam of resources. The book shows you how to write a well-written, honest, objective and professional book review.

Available online and at

About the Authors

Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults. She’s had over 300 stories, articles, interviews and reviews published both online and in print, in publications such as The Writer, Writer's Journal, Acentos Review, Bloomsbury Review, Mosaic, and Multicultural Review, among many others. A reviewer for more than a decade, she now offers numerous book reviewing workshops online. She also offers workshops on the art of picture book writing. She's represented by Mansion Street Literary and Savvy Literary.

Anne K. Edwards is an award-winning multi-genre author, reviewer and editor of Voice in the Dark Ezine. Her latest novel is the suspense thriller, Shadows Over Paradise, published by Twilight Times Books.


ForeWord Best Book of the Year Award Winner under the Writing Category!

2011 Global Ebooks Awards Winner for Nonfiction/Reference!

*US Book News National Best Book Award Finalist!

*Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist!

*EPPIE Award Finalist!

*Used for reviewing course at 3 US universities and 1 university in the Netherlands.


Mayra Calvani said…
Thanks so much for the great review, Marilyn!
Cheryl said…
Great review, Marilyn. I also thought this book had a lot to offer anyone who writes reviews. I have it on my shelf with the other reference books I use.
You're welcome, Mayra.

And Cheryl, I felt a bit bold to be reviewing a book on how to review.


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