What Is a Review

Glossary > Review

đź’¬ Definition of Review:

Reviews are evaluations of recently published works. They present the text overview, assess strong and weak points, and appraise the style and structure.

Related questions about reviews:

What are the main types of book reviews?

There are four types of reviews: 

  • Endorsements. Readers buy books more confidently when they read reviews first. Before publishing a book, it is helpful to handpick reputable writers to send an ARC (advance reader copy) to, asking for reviews that can be further used as blurbs or for marketing purposes.  
  • Trade reviews. These are reviews written by industry experts. Only a few offer such assessments, including Publishers Weekly, BlueInk Reviews, and Kirkus Reviews. Reviews are penned on a fee and are not guaranteed to be positive. 
  • Readers’ reviews. Readers write these as personal opinions. These reviews can be positive or negative and may come from anyone. Amazon has strict rules about who can comment to keep these comments as accurate as possible. Paid reviewers or ARC reviewers are required to mention this status upfront. Goodreads is less rigid than Amazon about commenting procedures. 
  • Editorial reviews. These are third-party reviews written as articles or blog posts. These, too, can be paid, but before committing to a fee, see how the reviewer’s audience overlaps with the book’s intended readers. Editorial reviews can be positive or negative, depending on your reviewer’s opinion. 

What is the purpose of a review?

Reviews offer an expert or informed opinion that gives readers filtered, useful information. Generally, it includes a summary of the book’s main topic and a critical view of the themes, style, and other elements for readers to decide if they want to read the book. 

What are the elements of a good review?

A good book review offers a balanced opinion, referring to the work, not the author. It is written in a way that reflects the fact it is a subjective opinion because while some may not appreciate the content or style, it may be an absolute favorite to other readers. It focuses on the writing, the theme or topic, the setting, the evolution of the characters, and the plotline.

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