Wednesday, April 22, 2009
What makes a good review? talk to me.
We all review differently, some of us are chatty, others serious and formal. As reviewers we have different flavours and tastes but it seems that there are good reviews and not-so-good ones. Right? I think we all have reviews that we are prouder of, and it isn't necessarily because we liked the book a whole lot better but because the review written is really good. I have been thinking about this and wondering what you all think. (I did promise a non-negative discussion, and this is it!)
What would you say completes a good review? I mean good as in high quality, not as in a positively raving review of a book. Is a good review a positive one? Is it a balanced portrayal taking note of the good and bad? What about spell check? HA! Should the reviewer do some research and find important links or key things the reader may be interested in?
What about the 'bore factor'? Are reviews that are more academic and 'boring' better or worse maybe it depends on the book? Oh, I'd say by far worse, at least for me. Maybe they are suitable for an academic journal of some sort...but I don't read those for fun. I like real reviews, personal reviews. How about length? Humor? Can a review that is too long turn off a possible reader? I think so, my attention span is short so a long review, well lets just say I usually don't read the whole thing.
I know, a review belongs to the reviewer and all reviews are different, but there should be some key factors in every high quality review. Would you agree that these should be key factors in every review?
- the use spell check!! (Amen and AMEN!)
- learn about the author (do your homework)
- include links to interesting things related to the book/author
- if you hated the book, don't skimp at review time!
- picture of author, of book cover....of something! (I am a visual person so this is a must have for me, but it may not be for you)
What do you think a high quality review should include? What do you think it should NOT include? What do YOU say, are there key elements or not?? If there are good reviews are there also bad reviews, how are they bad?