Review guidelines

It's about you and the book

By their very nature reviews are subjective things. We all have different tastes, interests and attention spans. When it comes to books (as opposed to toasters, say), especially fiction, those differences come to the fore. The most important thing to keep in mind when writing a book review is that the review is about you and the book.

A review is a reflection of the way you experienced a book, so tell the reader the things about you that might have influenced your opinion. Did you enjoy the Time Traveller's Wife because you too are a time traveller, and empathised with Henry's plight? Is The Hobbit your favourite book because you've got hairy feet? Do you have a fear and loathing of wizards which means that you can't abide Harry Potter?

In other words add some personal context, where appropriate. We're looking for you to provide the reader with a clear, concise and coherent argument as to why they should, or shouldn't choose to read the book themselves. But we also want them to make up their own minds from the review. A combination of your review and rating should allow the reader to judge whether they will enjoy the book, or find it useful.

Be colourful, be fun, be descriptive, find your own voice and your own writing style, and don't simply state whether or not it was a good read. Tell people how the book made you feel; if it adds to the review, tell the reader where and when you read it, too.

Some information about the author can be useful too. For example how does the book compare to their other works, or is there something interesting about the author's background that comes through in the book? It may take some research on your part, but this sort of information will enrich your review and make it a more interesting read.

Length

Revish reviews should be at least 250 words in length, and probably no more than 1000: ideally we're looking for reviews between 400 and 700 words long. If your review is too short we'll tell you so. If you just want to write a brief note about the book then please use the note facility in your reading history - you can always write a full review later.

Synopses and spoiler

Depending on the subject of the book, and whether it's fiction or non-fiction, you may choose to include some form of plot synopsis. Perhaps give a flavour of the main characters' personalities, or the era or landscape (physical, political, or emotional) the book takes place in. Do not under any circumstances include plot spoilers. Reviews which contain spoilers will be suspended.

Quotes

By all means include quotes from the book, they can be evocative and provide a real flavour of the author's style. For non-fiction books consider including an excerpt - a recipe from a cookery book, for example. For poetry reviews consider including a sample poem.

One last thing

These guidelines are provided to help you to write the kind of book reviews we want to offer our readers at Revish. You may choose to ignore them - they are after all only our views on the subject - but we may in some rare circumstances exercise some quality control. That means either editing, suspending or removing a review - but we will always tell you when and why we do so. If you'd like to help us improve these guidelines please contact us - your feedback can only make Revish better.

Need more help?

You can email us at team@revish.com, use the online contact form or (if you're signed-in) send us a user message.