Citation Squires C (2020) The Review and the Reviewer. In: Baverstock A & Bradford R (eds.) Contemporary Publishing and the Culture of Books. Abingdon: Routledge.
Abstract ‘The Review and the Reviewer’ addresses the role of both the review and the reviewer within the wider framework of the circulation of books, assessing their roles and relationships to publishers, authors and (prospective) readers. The chapter does so both within the context of an historical overview, but also concentrates upon the review and the reviewers in the twenty-first century, including in the now thoroughly digital period. In so doing, it examines key themes and aspects of the historical development of reviewing, its role in the circulation and reception of books in a variety of market sectors, and in gatekeeping and constructing cultural value. It also considers the economics of reviewing, the review as form, and its role in the marketing and publicity of books. In addition, the chapter addresses the sometimes problematic positioning of reviewing with regards to a range of identities (both of the reviewer and the reviewed). The chapter concludes with an examination of the changes being brought to reviewing by digital technologies in their enabling of widespread, ‘amateur’ reviewing across a range of platforms, and their concomitant role in building communities around reading practices, and in creating data for algorithmically-led marketing processes. The chapter’s focus is predominantly upon the reviewing environment in the UK, though it brings in examples from across the Anglophone world.