Thursday, September 14, 2006
Here are answers from some BGs. A review is . . .
One person's written opinion of something in particular, usually a form of media.
'This book sucks because...' or 'This book is yummy because...'.
Contains a teaser about the book as well as the reviewer's opinion of why they did or didn't like the book. There will also be a sprinkling of strengths and weaknesses if you're on a site like epinions.
An overview of the book/cd/movie/video games/comics/insert your own item that will, hopefully, entice the reader/listener/movie goer/gamer/comic book reader/anyone else that's left to research the featured item on their own and make up their own mind about said feature.
A few interesting summary paragraphs telling an opinion about a product.
An informed opinion that examines the strengths and weaknesses of a product and informs a interested consumer on if the product of interest is worth spending their money and time on.
An opinion of the strengths, weaknesses, and likeability of the product.
A critical report of a media , art, or product that is intended to help a consumer decide whether or not to spend money and/or time on the reviewed item.
An opinion. Period.
A judgment of the author's ability and the quality of this particular story, as well as enough information about the plot to know if this story would appeal to the reader.
One person's recommendation to readers based on the reviewer's analysis of the work's strengths and weaknesses.
A catalyst that makes others read to see if they agree. Now that's probably more like it. Just enough information about a book to stir the reader's interest without giving away any important plot points that might spoil the read.
I agree--an opinion. Period. And I try to mention that when I review. This is my opinion, not necessarily anyone else's. But I do say whether I recommend it or not.
An opinion-colored analysis of some form of artwork.
Like a refrigerator. Some cheap and unworthy, full of sour milk, some with bells and whistles and T-bones.
Yes, a review is all of the above. One person’s opinion on a work. A recommendation—or lack thereof—based on how the reviewer reacted to the book. And true, some reviews are written well; some are not. But what comes before all of this? What’s at the foundation of a review?
A review is a marketing tool.
How do most reviewers—whether professional or volunteer—get the books they are to review?
From the marketing/publicity departments at the publishing house, or from the authors themselves. These books are FREE.
Why do the publishers/authors agree to pay for this?
Because a review is publicity. It gets the name of the book and author in front of people.
How are the reviews used by these marketing departments/authors who send out these free books?
They are edited, then used in advertisements/publicity for the book and sometimes future books by the author. How are they edited? The positive statements of the reviews are used. The negative statements are not used.
What is the point of all this kafluffle?
To persuade people to buy the book.
So—if you give a nod to the fact that a review is an opinion about how well a book is written, yet understand that fundamentally the whole review process is used as a marketing tool, how might this change your view of reviews as a reader/consumer? As an author of a reviewed book? As a reviewer?
(By the way, reviewers out there—don’t throw your tomatoes just yet. More tomorrow.)
Read Part 3