What does a complete book review consist of? What elements? And what can we, as individuals, bring to a review that would set it apart from the ordinary, saying something about the book, something about us as readers, and something about us as writers? These are the questions we’ll discuss on Writing Wednesday with Robyn McIntyre at 4 p.m. E.T, April 22, 2015.De_Bows_Review_from_1857_(146665459)

“Page turner.” “Great book – couldn’t put it down.” These are book reviews that tell us nothing.

Those who read books and choose to review them should provide good signposts for the readers to come after us. Like the hoboes of old, our reviews are symbols on a gatepost – kind lady lives here or this place will let you work for food. Those of us who write books have an obligation to our fellow writers to be clear about how the book made us feel, whether it made us think, where we felt it soared, and when we felt it lagged; to give them the information that we would want about our own work.

But there is something else a well-written review does – it creates presence and reputation. If you write a good review, others will pay attention. You may be sought out to review books and in these social media days, others may follow your reviews, looking for the insights you provide, finding your reviews as interesting in their own way as your other writings.

As readers, we want to know more than that you enjoyed it, we want to know why. As writers, the book review can give us more than an idea of whether or not we should add the title to our inexhaustible pile of To-Be-Read books. It tells us what was particularly enjoyable to the reader, providing an insight into the workings that might serve us on our quest to write a good book of our own. We want a good review. But a good review can mean a couple of different things. What we really want is a complete review.

So what does a complete book review consist of? What elements? And what can we, as individuals, bring to a review that would set it apart from the ordinary, saying something about the book, something about us as readers, and something about us as writers? These are the questions we’ll discuss on April 22nd’s Writing Wednesday, 1pm PT, 4pm ET. Join us on Twitter by following #LitChat or log in to our dedicated Nurph channel at www.nurph.com/litchat.

Follow Robyn McIntyre on Twitter: @RobynMcIntyre.