Writing Business Book Reviews – Simple Instructions From an English Class Dropout to You

A business book review is a great way for any consultant, sales professional or thought leader in the business arena to demonstrate expertise and pre-sell products and services. This is particularly true when your business book review is syndicated online and gives the readers of your reviews an easy way to connect to a targeted landing page or business presence online.

If you are an independent consultant, salesperson or consultative entrepreneur, you can use business book reviews as a promotional vehicle by offering them to targeted local community publications or even trade specialty publications.

5 Simple Steps to a Great Business Book Review

If you’ve never written a book review, here’s a template for writing useful business book reviews even if you flunked (or stumbled through) all your high school writing classes.

1. Attention-grabbing Introduction section

One of the realities of using book reviews in the ways that I describe above is that they must be at least slightly entertaining or engaging by themselves. As a matter of fact, they must be engaging first before they inform. That’s how you will get your book reviews consistently read.

2. Background (or context)

A book review is incomplete if you don’t help your reader understand the context surrounding the book. For instance, the author of the book might also be the head of an organization that sells services related to the theme of the book, or may be an outcast in the community of his expertise (which may give the reader critical “extra information” that helps them judge what they read).

One excellent reviewer I came across even differentiates between the “background” and the “deep background” of the books in this excellent business book reviews.

3. The Book

In this section you break down the main components of the book. These break downs could be according to the parts or the chapters of the book. You may also ignore the structure of the content and just deliver the main points of the book in your own words and sequences.

A great way to do this is to identify the author’s stated goals for the book and share your opinion as to whether the author fell short, met, or exceeded their goal and why you think so. Don’t be afraid to use this area to illustrate some of the key concepts communicated by the author.

4. What You Liked

Immediately following your summary of the book’s key concepts, you can share what you liked or were impressed by (if anything). You’ll generally have a broad selection of areas to choose from:

  • Author tone, authority or approach
  • Key concepts
  • Communication format of those concepts
  • Use of examples, quotes, case studies
  • Sequencing of ideas
  • Assessments, tools and extras

Any one of these areas can give you all the substance you need to engagingly communicate your impressions while giving your reader a strong sense of what the book is about and how it tries to accomplish its purpose.

5. Dislikes or Holes in the book

For both personal and promotional reasons, I like to find something I dislike, or at least find a deficiency within every business book I read. Even with books that I am overwhelmingly impressed by, I look for “holes” in the scope of the book…if only as an exercise in intellectual acuity and critical thinking.

Always make sure you are being fair to the author and displaying intellectual honesty when you use this tactic. It’s not okay to just throw up anything for the purpose of having a “bone to pick” with the author.

This last step is also a critical skill to master if you write book and product reviews for online affiliate marketing purposes.