Use this free Book Review Planner worksheet to save time preparing quality book reviews for your thought leadership content marketing.
This Book Review Planner is for you, if:
- You’re not using online book reviews to attract new followers and continually engage your market by positioning yourself as an expert in your field.
- You’re concerned you may be spending too much time preparing online book reviews
- You want to improve the quality of your book reviews and enjoy quick access to previously- published reviews.
The power of online book reviews
Online book reviews are one of the most powerful personal branding tools.
Thoughtful, well-written reviews communicate that you are a critical thinker and a thought leader in your field.
Your visibility and credibility increases the more you post thoughtful and relevant book reviews.
Well-written online book reviews show that you are constantly learning, informed, and an effective communicator. The better the review, the more they position you as trusted resource. This is especially true when others consistently rate your reviews as helpful.
Book reviews and social media
Each review also offers an opportunity to promote your brand using links shared on social media. In many cases, links to your reviews can be automatically shared.
Book Review Planner benefits
I created my downloadable Book Review Planner for my own use, as well as for my clients to use evaluating nonfiction books. It’s benefits include:
- Creates a structure. The worksheet provides a structure, or framework, for evaluating the key areas that help set helpful, relevant books apart from their competition. By listing the key review criteria in one place, my review planner reminds reviewers to address as many specifics as possible.
- Ease of use. I intended the Book Review Planner to be printed and filled-out by hand. The worksheet is intended to be easily used, so you get in the habit of using it as often as necessary.
- Faster starts and better quality. The Book Review Plannner turbo-charges your writing by providing an easily-filled in structure for organizing your ideas before you start to write. As a result, you’ll spend less time writing, and have more time left over for editing and proofing your reviews before publishing them.
Tips for working with the Book Review Planner
- Download and print on 3-hole paper. This makes it easy to save your book reviews in a 3-ring binder, so you can easily review the books you’ve read.
- Get an early start. Rather than waiting until you’ve finished a book to begin thinking about reviewing it, have a copy of the worksheet by your side as you read. This reminds you to note as many of the key criteria as possible in mind while reading the book.
- Avoid over-complicating your review. Although I encourage you to rate each book from multiple aspects, the Book Review Planner–and its ratings–are intended as “shorthand” rather than scientific accuracy. Start by entering a score for each of the 11 criteria, based on the Scoring Suggestions at the top of the worksheet. Then, summarize your impressions by entering a Total score.
- Provide additional detail when appropriate. As you read each book, and reflect on the value and presentation of its ideas, feel free to share examples of topics you feel covered especially well, or that may not be as helpful as you desired. Exploring a few examples in greater detail, and supporting your ideas with specific references from various chapters, enhances your credibility as an expert in your field.
- Promote your reviews. After your review appears, share it’s URL on your blog and social media platforms. Monitor your reviews, and–when appropriate–reply to comments by others. Acknowledge differing viewpoints, but avoid personal attacks.
- Build on your reviews. Although you should avoid copying and sharing your reviews verbatim in other locations, (your posts become the property of online hosts), you can refer to your reviews and their URLs in later compilations. Instead of copying and pasting, address the books from a fresh perspective or add new ideas in a different format. (Be sure to read each host’s terms of service, etc.)
- Share your comments with the authors. In addition to promoting your reviews via social media, when appropriate, feel free to share a link to your review with the authors. This is a courtesy most authors greatly appreciate.
- After your review is published, add the URL to the bottom of the Book Review Planner. This saves time access your reviews to monitor comments and ratings, as well as include your reviews as recommended resources in later ebooks or blog posts.
Share your experience!
Note: There’s no registration required! The Book Review Planner represents the type of pragmatic assistance I offer authors and content marketers looking for ways to maximize their writing productivity.
My #Book Title Tweet, the world’s first book about choosing nonfiction book titles, is another example of my concise, practical approach to writing and content marketing.
After downloading and using my Book Review Planner, share your experience using it when reviewing books. And, please let me know, as comments, below, if you’d like to see other types of writing, publishing, and content marketing checklists and planning worksheets.