• Amy Shannon

A Writer's Look at Reading

I love reading as much as I love writing. I don't even know if I can equate a word like "love" to writing, as it is part of me, and that's more than just feeling emotion. It's being able to put words to everything. Anyway, I love to read, and as a writer, that is a plus. I not only read for enjoyment, research, but also with the intention of writing reviews (as I own and operate my book review blog "Amy's Bookshelf Reviews").

As a writer, or just observer, I look at reading differently. I not only look at the story, but also the story comes together, the cover, the synopsis, and even the format of the story (not book format) or writing style of the author. As a reviewer, I don't look at these things carefully until AFTER I read the book, and am writing the review. There are a few reasons for that ...

To sequel or not to Sequel ...

If you're a writer, and you've taken a novel, split it up into small novellas (or novelettes), make sure the give the series a name and number each story. If you're also selling it as a complete story, make sure you make note of the difference. Label the books as book 1 ... volume 1 ... etc, some numerical order.

If you're a writer, and you don't know if you're going to have a sequel to a story, don't label it Book 1 (or the like) until you do know. You can always go back and change it, if necessary. I have seen a lot of books that have been out for several years, labelled as "book 1" or listed as part of a series, that only has ONE book within. Also, don't end it with a cliffhanger if you are not going to give the readers an ending at some point.


The synopsis is what is on the back cover (if printed) or the book's description. Personally, I also add this in the ebook copy of my book as an "introduction" but that's my personal preference. The synopsis should entice the reader into reading the book, NOT give the entire story of the book. This is why I don't read a synopsis until AFTER I read the book. I don't want the story ruined by any spoilers in the synopsis. Grab the readers attention, and even use a promotional tag line for your book.


Covers should tell the essence of the story, and also be simple. Also, Indie authors, when using a template from a publisher, such as "Amazon Cover Creator", though it works as a basic cover, it is an easy tell. Some readers will automatically bypass a cover that looks like it was just picked from a template, without thought. Covers do not have to be over the top, and the font should be legible, and contain the Book title (and sub title), and author's name (author's name slightly smaller than the title). If you're going to use a template for a book cover, make sure you can edit it more than just the title and author names, so it can more personalized to fit the book.

The format of the story This is what tells the story, but the reader should be able to see the story. Depending on the genre, can depend on how the story should be written. Point of Views can change the story, especially if you are using first person (or several first persons) or third person. Also, there should be a way to differential what is narrated and what is the story, and a backstory does not have to be given all at once, but if it is needed for the story, add the backstory to a prologue.

Well, remember what I write on my blog, as writing tips or observations for writers, is my opinion. If anyone ever has any comment on any blog post, feel free to contact me directly at writeramyshannon@gmail.com or you can contact me on my facebook page.

Follow me on Twitter (@amyshan_author) and I'd be glad to follow you.