Friday, July 26, 2013

A food book worth Yelping about

Let me make this clear from the start: I know Hanna Raskin, dating back to her days as the eager young restaurant reviewer at the Mountain Xpress in Asheville, through her travels and travails in alt-weekly newspaper reviewing in Dallas and the Seattle Weekly and right up to her new gig, starting soon, at the Charleston Post & Courier. She's smart, energetic and down to earth.

So partly, I wanted to pass along word about the e-book she wrote while she was between being laid off in Seattle and happily hired in Charleston because she works hard, writes well and deserves to be read.

But the other reason I wanted to highlight "Yelp Help: How to Write Great Online Restaurant Reviews" is because there's more here than just how to write a one-paragraph review that isn't inane. Hanna goes into insider information on what goes on in restaurants, how to develop your writing voice and how to craft information that goes beyond the "I hate this restaurant because I don't like chicken" reviews that haunt too many crowd-sourced reviewing sites and online comments.

If you're a food fan, you don't even have to write online reviews to find it interesting. It might help you experience restaurants differently and hone in on why you like a place or why you don't, even if the review doesn't go any further than your own thoughts.

It's $2.99, it's smart and it's fun. Take a look at the sample at