Book Reviews – Types and Why They Matter
If you’ve been working on a book for months, even years, getting it reviewed can be scary! The world of book reviews can seem very daunting. However, there are ways that you can face that world with a little bit more confidence! The best way is to educate yourself about how the world of book reviewing works. This will equip you to tackle this aspect of being an author with conviction, setting you up for success.
Firstly, let’s take a look at the different types of book reviews out there:
1. Reviews from your Readers!
These are the reviews authors are often most nervous and excited to read. However, once your book is out there, reviews from your readers often come in quick and fast, which can be overwhelming. Something to remember is that it can be difficult to separate the genuine reviews from the not-so-genuine ones, so bear this in mind.
2. Trade Reviews
These are the reviews that people within the industry pay the most attention to. Unfortunately, you usually have to pay for these reviews, with no guarantee that they will write favorably about your work. However, this might be a risk worth taking because trade reviews often dictate which books make it onto retail shelves.
3. Endorsement Reviews
These are especially useful if your book is non-fiction, as the clout of a good review from a well-known person in that industry can be very influential in making other people buy your book. An endorsement review essentially entails contacting someone who you would like to write a review of your book so that their words can be incorporated into the cover design, for example, to help sell the book.
4. Editorial Reviews
Similar to endorsement reviews, editorial reviews can be great for encouraging people to read your book. But, again, a positive review is not guaranteed. Something to consider with editorial reviews is the readership of the site or newspaper where the review will be published; you want to ensure the people reading the review are likely to be interested in the genre you write for.
A professional book review has a basic structure: it is usually around 1,500 words long, containing a summary of the plot, the reviewer’s opinions on the book, and their recommendation to the audience (whether they should or should not read the book themselves). There is a lot of room for creativity within this structure, meaning that book reviews can vary a lot depending on the author. Some reviewers have a unique style, making it important to carefully select who you ask to review your work for an endorsement or editorial review.
Finally, it is important to remember that reviews are, in their very nature, subjective. When reading reviews for your own work, it can be easy to ignore many complimentary ones and focus on more critical reviews. The reviewing process can be a very stressful part of the book-writing experience, but try to learn from every criticism and enjoy the good reviews!
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