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Used to be, only the official review staff could write reviews for Cheftalk. But that's changed. One benefit of the new platform is that any registered member can write a cookbook review.

Another feature is that other members can comment on that review; writing their own if they disagree, or pointing out things the primary reviewer may have missed, or offering additional insights. Unlike with wicis, these comments appear as additional reviews. They do not overwrite the original.

Want to write a review of your favorite cookbook? For starters, there's a tutorial on review writing. You'll find it here: http://www.cheftalk.com/wiki/review-tutorial

But I wanted to clarify how that works. When you click on the Reviews button your screen will show several catagories, cookbooks among them. Each category has subheadings. Click on one of those and every book stocked by Amazon.com in that category appears. Scroll down until you find the one you're interested in and click on it. A page all about that book will open.

Sometimes what you think is the logical category and what Amazon thinks don't jibe, and your book won't be on the list. Not to worry. Up in the right-hand corner of the page is a box that says Add New Item. Click on that and follow the screens. You'll soon get a list of possibilities. Your book should be among them.

When writing your review there are a couple of key points.

1. The star rating boxes must be used, or your review won't appear. Same goes for those quick-view boxes asking for pros and cons. So be sure to fill them out.

2. Be sure and give your review a title.

3. Unlike in the cookbook forum, a simple "I liked it" or "didn't like it" is not a review. It's the reasons for your likes and dislikes that matter.

In a review you want to share insights with other community members. Tell us precisely why you did or didn't like it. Is the writing stilted or lively? Recipes exciting or dull? Information new and educational or old and incorrect. And compare and contrast all of that against your own experiences. In short, tell us a story about the book.

Above all else remember that you are offering a commentary about the book, not the author. If there's something wrong, tell us. But don't turn it into a personal attack against the writer.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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