The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
£10.16
  • RRP: £10.75
  • You Save: £0.59 (5%)
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing Perfect Paperback – 15 Jun 2008


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Perfect Paperback
"Please retry"
£10.16
£6.11 £6.04


Product details

  • Perfect Paperback: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Paladin Timeless Books (15 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933353228
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933353227
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.1 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,264,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

About the Author

Mayra Calvani is the author of two books. Her stories, articles and reviews have appeared in many online and print publications in the States, England and Puerto Rico. In addition, she is assistant editor of Voice in the Dark newsletter, where she writes a monthly column. She has lived in America, Asia, the Middle East, and is now settled in Brussels, Belgium, where she lives with her husband, two children and a variety of pets. Her hobbies include playing the violin and astronomy/sky observing.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
0
4 star
1
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
0
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John M. Ford TOP 500 REVIEWER on 2 Jun 2011
Format: Perfect Paperback
The authors thoroughly describe the low- to no-paying job of book reviewing. Their guide helps both enthusiastic amateurs and paid staff or freelance professional reviewers. It outlines the basic requirements of reviewing, lists the things reviewers need to learn as they master their craft, and suggests strategies and resources to help the serious reviewer succeed.

Fundamentals needed by beginning reviewers include a command of the language, clarity of thought and expression, honesty, objectivity and tact. Assuming we have passed this five-hurdle screening test, the authors proceed to teach us their slippery art. "First, read the book." is their opening advice (p. 29). The curriculum that follows shows us how to target a specific audience, "hook" them with an interesting opening, fairly summarize the book, evaluate it, and made a useful recommendation about reading it. Any generalizations--especially criticisms--should be supported by carefully-chosen examples. The authors follow their own advice by including many examples of different types of reviews, both well and poorly written.

The book also includes advice about working in the book reviewing community. Readers learn how to deal with publishers, editors, authors, other reviewers and readers of their reviews. There are helpful tips on coping with the irresponsible, irate, and irrational members of each group. We are told how to find (mostly free!) books to review as well as web sites and print publications that distribute reviews. The book's extensive resource list will certainly drift out of date, but the authors commit to maintain the most recent version on the book's web site. The advice, examples, and these resources will keep this book valuable for a long time to come.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Iona Main Stewart TOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 April 2011
Format: Perfect Paperback
This book deals in depth with all possible aspects of book reviews and reviewers.

In Part One, The Art of Reviewing, the authors examine what a book review is, comparing it to book reports, critiques, etc. There are sections on how to write a book review, including examples of published reviews by the two authors, on types of reviews, on "the absolute don'ts (or signs of an amateur), on "What's in it for You, the Reviewer", on how to start your own book review site, etc. etc.

Part Two deals with the influence of book reviewers and Part Three is entitled "Resources". This latter part includes advice on how and where to get started posting reviews, and provides useful information on online review sites and publications. I found this the most valuable part of the book.

I would have regarded this as quite a good book, had it not contained so many irritating instances of loose writing, including faulty grammar and sentence structure, lack of necessary prepositions, and so on, primarily in the first part of the book. I hadn't expected poor language in a book of this sort, written by experienced reviewers, particularly since the authors stress that such errors should not occur in the work of reviewers (they shouldn't occur in the work of authors, either!).

For example (on page 69): " ... you will state a little of the plot of each - or some - stories" - you can't say "each stories"! If this were just an isolated occurrence, it wouldn't matter, obviously, as we can all make mistakes, but unfortunately there are several such instances of sloppy language.

In one chapter the author concerned uses the word "readers" when she means "reader-reviewers", and "reviewer" when she means "professional reviewers", while on a later page the terms are correctly used.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 53 reviews
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
A Must for Aspiring Reviewers 1 Dec 2008
By Janet Boyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Perfect Paperback
"Are you passionate about books? Do you have a talent for easily capturing the essence of a book after reading it? Do you often feel the desire to share your thoughts about a book with readers? If you answered `yes' to these questions, then book reviewing can be one of the most satisfying, rewarding activities you'll ever undertake." - From The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing (Preface)

As an Amazon.com Top Reviewer, I often get emails from readers asking me how I became a reviewer, as well as requests for tips on getting started. I even had an independent publisher ask me to write an instructional book on how to write a great review.

Alas, my passion is actually writing reviews--not writing about reviews, or coaching others on how to create them (or enter the vocation/business of reviewing). Thankfully, I can now point aspiring writers to an excellent book called The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing by Mayra Calvani and Anne K. Edwards.

When Ms Calvani approached me about her book, I was intrigued and excited. Finally, I thought, someone has taken the time to explain the necessary mechanics of a quality review!

From grammar skills to critical reading, ethical considerations to honest (but tactful) reviewing, the authors reveal the secrets of what separates amateurs from the pros. A few of the informative, helpful areas include:

* Reviewing a book for what it is, not what the reviewer wishes it was
* Signs of an amateur
* Five keys to being a good reviewer
* The harmful practices of both sugarcoated and caustic reviews
* A reviewer's responsibility to the reader, author and publisher
* The difference between book reviews, reports and press releases
* How to handle backlash resulting from a negative review
* Pre-publication versus post-publication reviews
* Dozens of print and online venues for getting started as a reviewer

The only (minor) qualm I have with in this book is the section on ascertaining readership. The authors write, "For instance, a mystery by Agatha Christie would be slanted towards the reader in their thirties or older. This can be judged by the age of the main character or detective, for example. If the character or detective solving the crime is under thirty-five, this is a book that would appeal to the younger set."

Their subsequent logic didn't ring true with my own reading experience. For example, by the time I graduated High School, I had read just about every book by Agatha Christie (not to mention those by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary Higgins Clark, Robin Cook, Stephen King, and Dean Koontz--as well as many of the classics). Now, as a 38-year-old lover of books, juvenile and Young Adult fiction are two of my favorite genres. Personally, I feel that identifying readership is, indeed, important--but not necessarily based on the age of characters.

The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing also deconstructs actual reviews, explaining why certain elements are needed and work well or, in the case of poorly written reviews, why certain elements must be eliminated altogether for a professional, objective presentation.

For reviewers who want to hone their skills and discover additional reviewing opportunities, this book is an engaging, useful read. (I wish this book had been available when I started. Instead, I had to master the art of reviewing on my own!)

For those who are considering book reviewing as a hobby or career, reading (and owning) The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing is an absolute must--especially for those who want to be taken seriously and garner a reputation as a quality reviewer.

-- Janet Boyer, author of The Back in Time Tarot Book
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Review Advice and Resources: The Perfect Combination 26 July 2008
By Carolyn Howard-Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Perfect Paperback
I have long advocated reviewing as a way for freelance writers to begin a career and for the authors of books to network with other authors and lots of editors. The trouble is there are few books that approach the subject from any but the most traditional, literary and academic point of view.

The world has turned, and turned...and turned. We now have Amazon and other online bookstores. We have online review sites that specialize in the quick and easy (for screen-tired eyes and busy people) to those who prefer edgy or esoteric. There is room for all and Calvani and Edwards address that.

What I like best, though, is the lists of publications in their last chapters. Those pages are a veritable storehouse of helpful information for any would-be reviewer but also for any author who would like to get reviewed!
----
Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the author of the award-winning HowToDoIt series of books for writers.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A wealth of information in a concise format 12 Jan 2009
By M. A. Filippelli - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
Mayra Calvari and Anne K Edwards do an outstanding job relaying important information about the art of reviewing books. Calvari and Edwards provide several examples of reviews based on your target audience. Calvari and Edwards also discuss writing style for different types of reviews i.e. reviewing for an online service such as Amazon versus reviewing for a newspaper or magazine. The only draw back that I see to this book is that Calvari and Edwards didn't really cover much about writing reviews for technical books.

The Calvary and Edwards also talk about writing overly positive reviews or overly negative reviews and how to write a negative review or positive review. There are several review examples based on the same story, long reviews, short reviews, positive and negative so that the reader gets a good idea how to structure their review. There is a section that talks about various writing pitfalls to avoid that make you look like a novice which was helpful to me.

In The slippery art of reviewing Clavari and Edwards also discuss various online sites that accept reviews like Amazon versus other online sites that you have to pay to post your reviews. There is a lot site included in this book with the urls.

Calvari and Edwards also cover setting up your own website for reviewing, best practices for getting it started, how to plan the for it, getting your web presence known and how to contact publishers for ARC's (Advance Reading Copy's).

Calvari and Edwards also cover the difference between writing pre release reviews for publishers versus post release reviews for the general public. They discuss what publishers are looking for in a pre release review and how to address issues if you feel that you can't write the review the way they would like it to be written.

I highly recommend this book for the novice to intermediate reviewer, especially if your trying to get your name known and you want to turn your reviewing hobby into a profession. At the back of the book there is an abundance of contact information regarding contacts for various publishers, online and print media. Amazon reviewers will find this book especially interesting because there are several references to Amazon and the impact that reviews on Amazon have on a books sales.

The Slippery art of reviewing is well thought out and very easy to read,understand and very helpful. Five stars for the beginning reviewer, 4 stars for the intermediate reviewer. This is the books intended audience but there is good information even for the experienced reviewer.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Covers many aspects of reviewers and reviewing, but is marred by various errors and illogical thinking 3 April 2011
By Iona Main Stewart - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Perfect Paperback
This book deals in depth with all possible aspects of book reviews and reviewers.

In Part One, The Art of Reviewing, the authors examine what a book review is, comparing it to book reports, critiques, etc. There are sections on how to write a book review, including examples of published reviews by the two authors, on types of reviews, on "the absolute don'ts (or signs of an amateur), on "What's in it for You, the Reviewer", on how to start your own book review site, etc. etc.

Part Two deals with the influence of book reviewers and Part Three is entitled "Resources". This latter part includes advice on how and where to get started posting reviews, and provides useful information on online review sites and publications. I found this the most valuable part of the book.

I would have regarded this as quite a good book, had it not contained so many irritating instances of loose writing, including faulty grammar and sentence structure, lack of necessary prepositions, and so on, primarily in the first part of the book. I hadn't expected poor language in a book of this sort, written by experienced reviewers, particularly since the authors stress that such errors should not occur in the work of reviewers (they shouldn't occur in the work of authors, either!).

For example (on page 69): " ... you will state a little of the plot of each - or some - stories" - you can't say "each stories"! If this were just an isolated occurrence, it wouldn't matter, obviously, as we can all make mistakes, but unfortunately there are several such instances of sloppy language.

In one chapter the author concerned uses the word "readers" when she means "reader-reviewers", and "reviewer" when she means "professional reviewers", while on a later page the terms are correctly used. (This is perhaps due to problems co-ordinating the authors' individual contributions to the book.)

A sentence that annoys me is, for instance, "Reader reviews can be of any length, ... and say things a reviewer wouldn't." Firstly, a "reader review" is a review too, and, secondly, I find it a bit sloppy to juxtapose "reader reviews" in the first part of the sentence with "reviewer" in the second part. Further on, she writes " a reader who enjoys writing reviews may graduate into becoming a reviewer". But, again, a reader who writes reviews is by definition a reviewer, perhaps not a good one or a professional one, but still a REVIEWER.

We are advised to use words that all readers can understand. Firstly, it might inhibit one's writing style somewhat, should one attempt to do this, and anyone how could one tell? And, secondly, I feel the author's statement to be somewhat condescending, to try to follow her advice would be to "look down" on the reader and belittle his or her abilities. If anyone should fail to understand any of the words in the text he is reading, surely he could look up the words in a dictionary, or, in this day and age, check on-line? Of course we should write clearly and reasonably simply, but I feel that the authors' advice would tend to make for a puerile style that deprives the review of its individuality and richness.

There is a section on the importance of objectivity when writing a review, i.e. that we should not be influenced by personal feelings "but should be 'unbiased'. However, in a later section comparing the characteristics of various types of literary output, we read under the heading "Review" - "it is subjective". And of course a review is subjective, as each person has his own views, and when expressing his evaluation of the book must base this on his own, necessarily subjective views. How else could one appraise the book if not through one's own value system? To my mind, the very essence or rationale of a review is the principle of subjectivity. (Again, in this section we come across the statement "A review is ... and may be written by readers as well as reviewers"!! )

A section pertains to the subject of the books sent without cost to potential reviewers. I fail to see the relevance of discussing the ethics of whether or not a reviewer may sell these books. They've been freely sent to them, of course they can sell them. How can they be prevented from doing so, anyway, since once the books are in their possession they are theirs to dispose of as they will.

But I really can't understand how receipt of a boring or uninteresting book you haven't yourself chosen but are obliged to review can be regarded as fair payment, as the authors argue. For firstly you're wasting your time simply reading such a/an misplaced/unwanted book, and then perhaps wasting it again writing the review, so how could the book be regarded as "fair payment"? And why would you value a personal library of such, for yourself, boring, uninteresting or badly written books?

To sum up, to my mind, and I freely admit my subjectivity, the book is significantly marred by its content of these errors and such illogical reasoning as I have exemplified, though I'm sure many readers will find the book as a whole informative and useful.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
If you review...or want to, this is an excellent resource 17 Jun 2008
By Armchair Interviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Perfect Paperback
Newspapers continue to drop their book review columns and few magazines include them in their issues. What is a reviewer to do to get that much needed visibility? The answer might be in the proliferation of reputable online websites devoted to reviewing books. But where do the reviewers come from? And how can a lover of books break into the reviewing business?

There are numerous answers to these two questions, but an excellent place to start is by reading and studying The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing by Mayra Calvani and Anne K. Edwards. Calvani and Edwards give detailed, practical tips and techniques to help the reader learn how to review books. It also covers information about the review organizations themselves.

As an experienced reviewer I learned that I do not know it all and will keep my copy of The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing for reference. It is not a book I will loan outbecause it won't be returned.

If you want to break into book reviewing, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing is a must-have reference. Heed the author's advice and you can write reviews that will get you and the books you review noticed.

Armchair Interviews says: You won't get rich, but you'll have a lot of fun.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know

Look for similar items by category


Feedback