How To Write An Informative And Entertaining Book Review, By Jerome Eberle

When one is writing a book review, whether in response to an online purchase or in an academic context, it is important to keep in mind that the review will garner the most appreciation if it is both informative and entertaining. Before and while reading the book there are certain considerations that will help the review be successful. Some of these include: writing for the audience; focusing on main characters and themes of the book; and including a critical analysis. The general public, as an audience, will be receptive to a casual style of writing, while a more technical or academic audience will require more specialized language. It is a good idea to avoid subplots and minor characters and focus on detailing the core themes presented by the author. And, of course, while it is pleasant to give a plot synopsis, readers of the review are really looking for a critical analysis backed by detailed reasons and examples.

Jerome Eberle, a writing and editing professional based in Chicago, is a former Publishing Assistant at the American Library Association. He now works at the American Academy of Periodontology and still contributes book reviews to the ALA’s trade publication Booklist Magazine.


Jerome Eberle on the Editing Process

While the editing process is different at each publishing house, there are essentially three steps that are followed by most.

The first is typically the macro edit, during which the editor will give general notes to the author about the content and expect the author to use those to edit his or her manuscript.

Second is the line edit, during which the editor goes through content line by line, highlighting inconsistencies and anything else that may need changing. This is also when the editor must help the author align his or her writing to fit the house style guidelines.

Lastly, there is the copy edit, during which typos, spelling, and punctuation are corrected, and facts and permissions are verified.

As Editorial Coordinator in the publications and marketing departments of the American Academy of Periodontology, Jerome Eberle provides editorial support. He received his degree in English literature in 2000 and his certificate in editing in 2008.