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Friday, December 21, 2012

Review Site Owner Pens Book on Writing Reviews

The Art of Assessment
By Magdalena Ball
Author's Web site:
Paperback: 150 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1477499863,
Genres: nonfiction, writing
Book available at:

Reviewed by gotanenvoy at The Review Centre (5 star)

When conducting a review, whether it is for a book, car, house, film or theatre there are principles one must keep in mind. Who it is going to read the review and what will their expectations of the evaluation be. Like all good writers the reviewer must decide who their audience will be, and aim their writing at that audience.

The Art of Assessment sets out to provide practical guidelines to prospective reviewers, on how to perfect the techniques required of the craft. Set out in thirteen chapters the book takes the reader step by step through the process of reviewing. Each step is highly detailed and backed up with examples of what is required. There is also a wide listing of potential reviews markets detailed throughout the book.

What makes this book stand out from others of its type? It is in the simplicity of the presentation both verbally and visually. The book is not cluttered to look at and does not talk down to the reader, or lecture at them through an academic format.
All the information about what a review, types of reviews, formatting, research and interviews are presented with great clarity. It is reflected in the book's construction that the author has a great wealth and experience in the field of reviewing. The book does not ignore the pitfalls of reviewing if one is seeking to make a full-time living from the exercise. It does emphasize that for reviews to be taken seriously, they must be well crafted and researched like any other form of published work.
Overall the book gives excellent guidance for a person contemplating traveling down the reviewing path. It is a journey that needs patience, dedication, grammatical skills and a thick skin. Not all those who you write reviews for will appreciate your views and will not hesitate to tell you. Financial reward will not be great in most cases, but the pleasure of completing a well-written review is a true reward in itself.
The Art of Assessment is a very useful tool to guide potential and practicing reviewers to greater heights of excellence in their chosen field. Until recently I ran a book review service for authors, and having access to a book such as Magdalena Ball has written, would have made my reviewing tasks so much easier. For those wishing to try their luck at reviewing they could buy no better text on the subject.


The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor. As a courtesy to the author, please tweet and retweet this post using this little green retweet widget :

1 comment:

Magdalena Ball said...

Thanks so much for publishing this great review, Caroline. Anyone interested in finding out more about The Art of Assessment is welcome to take the free week-long course, which can be signed up for here: