Writers of all levels of experience use Book Country to workshop their manuscripts. We have a one-to-one feedback ratio on Book Country, which means that members have to review another writer's book before they can post their own.
Before you write a review, watch our Writing Peer Reviews video tutorial.
Once you've watched the video, you'll need to find a manuscript to review. Find one that fits your reading affinities by visiting our Find Member's Manuscripts and Use the Genre Map FAQs.
After you write a peer review, you're ready to upload and submit your own work for review. Ready? Head over to your Dashboard and upload your manuscript.
Still have questions? No problem! To get you writing your first Book Country peer review, check out the FAQs below:
Book Country is a writing and publishing community. We believe in the importance of helping others to succeed. That's why we ask you to read and review at least one other person's manuscript before posting your own.
Many Book Country members tell us they learn a lot about what their book needs from reading and reviewing the work of fellow writers.Back to top »
Definitely! We're a community and that means we help each other. Even if you're not an experienced reviewer, keep this in mind: you are a voracious reader in a certain literary category. A writer who wants to be successful in that category will find your insight immensely valuable. Think of reviews as thoughtful comments.
Spend some time reading reviews posted by other members first so you can get a feel for the kind of feedback that is most helpful to writers. You can also find helpful tips for peer reviews in our discussion forums.
Here are some tips:
For more tips for reviewing on Book Country, please see tips on etiquette below and our blog post, "3 Ways to Give Great Writing Feedback on Book Country."Back to top »
We believe the best way to connect with other writers is to help them succeed. That's why we ask for a one-for-one contribution to post your book for review. Once your book is posted, it can have an unlimited amount of reviews.
Many writers tell us how much they learn about their own writing as they critique the work of their peers. We encourage you to read and review as many books as possible in your literary category.Back to top »
You must complete at least one peer review before you can post your own manuscript for review. You may post as many versions as needed of the same manuscript without completing additional peer reviews, but for each new title posted, you will need to complete a peer review (one review per one title posted).Back to top »
Head over to our Find Members' Manuscripts FAQs for more details! Search for a manuscript to review by title, subtitle, author, genre, subgenre, about the book, about the author, author notes, audience level, or keywords. You may also navigate to another member's profile and view a list of all the titles that person has posted and reviewed.
Once you find a book that looks interesting, click on Read and Review. The manuscript will open and a review section to the right of the manuscript will be displayed for you to fill in. Back to top »
The writer may have moved their book out of peer review and into our publishing wizard or they may have pulled their book down from peer review.Back to top »
Yes. You can save your manuscript and make it available for review later if you so choose. Click on the blue Save button before navigating away from the page. You will be prompted to enter your title and your author name in order to save your manuscript. Because Book Country is a community, you must complete at least one peer review before posting your manuscript for others to review.Back to top »
Find a book you want to review, then click the Read & Review button. Once you are in the online reader, there is a peer review editor to the right of the manuscript you are reading. Simply fill in the text boxes, provide a nib rating, and post your review. Watch this video, Writing Peer Reviews, for a step-by-step guide on how to write and post reviews.Back to top »
You must enter at least 140 characters in the overall feedback section before you can post your review and assign a nib rating. Please note, the character count does not include any quotes you highlight from the manuscript. You can't post a review until you assign a nib rating to the overall review section.
Also, if you want to assign a nib rating for optional criteria box the writer selected, such as character development or voice, you must enter some text in the review category to leave a rating. You must assign a nib rating to each optional category where you entered text before you can post your review. If you don't want to assign a nib rating for the optional criteria, simply leave those sections blank.
Here are some tips for when an author requests additional feedback on the optional criteria:
The Book Review Details page gives you a snapshot of all activity surrounding any book in peer review. In addition to seeing the book's nib rating, draft number, About the Author, About the Book, and Author's Note, you can also read all the Peer Reviews that have been posted for that title, and you can share a book title with a non-member via email, Twitter, or Facebook.Back to top »
You can submit one review per draft of a manuscript. So, if you leave a review on the first draft of manuscript, you may offer a review of the second version after the author posts it.Back to top »
We encourage you to post as many as you like! There is no restriction on how many peer reviews you post overall.Back to top »
Yes, click in the review category where you would like to reference text from the manuscript. Next, click and highlight the text you would like to quote, and then click Quote to automatically enter the text you would like to quote. You may only highlight two paragraphs per review section.Back to top »
This prevents plagiarism and protects the work of Book Country members. As a guideline, you want to quote just enough text so the writer has a frame of reference for the point in their manuscript where you are providing feedback.Back to top »
The quoted text will be in italics and have quotes around the text. The review you write will display in a regular font style.Back to top »
Sure! Simply click the blue Save for Later button under the review editor for that manuscript. You may come back later to edit and update your review. Please note, it's possible the writer could post a new version of their book since your review was last saved. You have the option to finish your review for the old version or navigate to the newer version and leave a review there. If you opt to review the new version, your review-in-progress will not be saved.Back to top »
No, make sure you double check your review before you post it! You will not be able to edit later.Back to top »
Simply navigate to the review dashboard for that manuscript and begin reviewing it again. Once you're finished, you can either choose to save it again in order to finish reviewing it later or post the review.
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Click on Report Abuse next to the review, and an email will be sent to our administrators. We will then determine if the review should be deleted. Please note that if it's determined the review should be pulled, the overall nib rating will recalculate without the abusive review.Back to top »
To comment on another Book Country member's review of a manuscript, simply navigate to the review page for that manuscript and scroll down to the Peer Reviews section. At the bottom of each review, there is a Comment button. Simply click the Comment button. After you've written your comment, click the Post Comment button and your comment should appear.Back to top »
To read other member's comments on another Book Country member's review of a manuscript, simply navigate to the review page for that book and scroll down to the Peer Reviews section. Below the Comment button at the bottom of each review, there is a "+" sign. Simply click on the "+" sign to expand all comments left for that review. If you don't see a "+" sign, no comments have been left yet for that review.Back to top »
Yes. Book Details pages, reviews, and comments are public.Back to top »
To follow a manuscript you've reviewed, simply navigate to the review page for that manuscript. Below the cover image, click the "follow" button. Updates for that manuscript will then begin appearing in your homepage news feed.Back to top »
Yes! In general, write manuscript reviews with your own sensitivity to feedback in mind.To get comfortable giving the kind of feedback that we all want to receive on the site—the kind that will help us write our best books, here are some tips.
Do be specific. If you think a piece of dialogue is pitch perfect or needs some additional attention, highlight it to quote and then use the space below to tell the author why you love it or think it needs more work.
Don't underestimate your skills as a reviewer. If you are skilled enough to go into a bookstore and start flipping through the books, you can give an author valuable feedback. How would you react if you read this as the first page of a book you were thinking of buying? Would you think twice before taking it to the register? If so, explain why. Even if a book is obviously in its very early stages, try to give feedback that will hopefully help the author see what they can do to get ever closer to that "just browsing in a bookstore" reader.
Do be honest. Respect is a huge tenet of the Book Country community, and it's always important to honor this. But so long as you give your feedback in a polite tone, you should feel comfortable stating your opinion about a book. As writers eager to develop our skills, we need this feedback. Hearing it now means we might avoid some big pitfalls in our next draft.
Don't forget to mention what you like! Even just a quick, "Nice scene here!" lets the author know what not to edit out of their next draft. In fact, if a writer sees positive comments right at the beginning of the review, it builds a sense of trust and respect that will be helpful when they are digesting the more critical aspects of the feedback.
Do take advantage of the "Save for Later" button. Saving the work and coming back to it later with a fresh mindset will allow you to give clear feedback.
Don't be afraid to correct for grammar, typos, and word choice. Yes, these are small things, but as you are reading, they are a good place to start. As you delve deeper into the manuscript, patterns might emerge that you'll want to have kept track of so that you can give examples of them in your overall feedback. Furthermore, as you're getting into the swing of the book and writing your review of it, making comments on small things will help you to feel confident remarking on the big stuff.
Do consider more than just the manuscript itself. It's totally cool to give honest feedback on a cover, a title, or even the "About the Book." These are all tools that an author uses to find an audience, and you're providing great feedback about whether or not those tools are working.Back to top »
The Book Country "nib" rating system is primed to help you give comprehensive feedback and to help writers know how much work is needed to improve their manuscript. When you give a peer review on Book Country, the focus is to help the writer improve her work and writing skills, unlike other websites where the rating system only indicates how much you liked a book. See our next FAQs below for a guide on how to rate books on Book Country.Back to top »
Book Country uses nib ratings to help writers understand how much work is needed on their book and how ready the manuscript is for publication. Think of the nib ratings on a scale of rough draft to final draft. One nib means that the book needs a lot of improvement and five nibs means that the book is polished and ready for publication.
Here's how we think about the nib ratings:
One nib — piece needs significant redrafting as well as reconceptualization.
Two nibs — piece needs several more drafts and maybe some reconceptualization.
Three nibs — piece needs significant revision, perhaps another draft.
Four nibs — piece needs some editing and minor revisions.
Five nibs — piece is publication-ready.Back to top »
While rating a manuscript can be based on subjective preferences, here are some guidelines to help you decide:
One Nib Giving a book a "one" nib rating means that you didn't get a clear sense of where the book was going. The plot was badly executed and the writer needs to go back to the drawing board. Giving a "one" nib rating is not easy, so it's important that you explain clearly what exactly is not working in the book and offer suggestions on how the author can improve.
In a manuscript that has a one nib rating, you'll likely see:
Two Nibs A "two" nib rating indicates that major restructuring is needed to improve the story. It could that there are significant plot holes in the story and/or the story is not complex enough. At this stage, it's important to tell the author specifically what's not working and offer suggestions on how the author can improve her writing.
In a manuscript that has a two nib rating, you'll likely see:
Three Nibs A "three" nib rating means that the book is good overall, but there are several things the writer needs to work on. Highlighting quotes from the book can help point out to the author where they can improve.
In a manuscript that has a three nib rating, you'll likely see:
Four Nibs A "four" nib rating means that the book is strong overall. A few key elements in the story needs to be revised in order to improve the book as a whole.
In a manuscript that has a four nib rating, you'll likely see:
Five Nibs A book with a "five"nib rating is ready to begin the publishing process. Nice!
In a manuscript that has a five nib rating, you'll likely see:
This prevents plagiarism. You can use the Quote feature in order to easily copy a few sentences you wish to directly address in your review.Back to top »
Make sure that you've entered text in all of the requested feedback criteria fields, and that your overall review has at least 140 characters or more. You cannot assign a nib rating unless you do so. Please note, quoted text from the manuscript you are reviewing does not count towards the minimum character count.Back to top »
Make sure you have entered at least 140 characters, and at least some text in each criteria box the author selected for review. Please note that the character count does not include any quotes you highlight from the manuscript. You must also assign a nib rating to each category you entered text for before you can post your review.Back to top »
Double check your character count and nib rating. The Post Review button will not be activated until you enter at least 140 characters in the overall feedback section. Please note, this does not include any quotes you highlight from the manuscript. You must also assign a nib rating to each optional category where you entered text before you can post your review.Back to top »
Don't forget that Book Country works best in Chrome or Firefox on a computer. If you are still unable to post our review, please click the blue Save for Later button, refresh the page, and try again. If that still doesn't work please email firstname.lastname@example.org.Back to top »
Please see our Upload Your Manuscript FAQ or email support@BookCountry.com.Back to top »