Lastly, the book review serves several purposes for the reviewers. Publishing a scholarly book review allows the reviewer to contribute to the professional literature by acting as an entrusted critic with the responsibility of informing the readership of seminal works and warning it of inaccurate scholarship., Publishing book reviews is also an exercise of self-education. Many reviewers welcome the opportunity to stay current by reading a newly released text and enjoy practicing their critical faculties. Academic authorities have proposed that writing a book review may be an excellent first publication experience for the novice writer., , , , , , , For experienced book reviewers, however, it may be their altruistic commitment to scholarship and the honor of being asked to review a book that may motivate them.
Thornton, Glenda A. An Examination of the Relationship between Published Book Reviews and the Circulation of Books at an Academic Library. Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of North Texas, Dec., 1993.
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Thank you all for weighing in. I am taking time to think about all the comments. Here’s another question: say the Horn Book Magazine decided it WOULD consider self-published books for review, bearing in mind that they would be evaluated in a manner absolutely equal to the trade books we now consider. Given that the HBM only reviews what it considers to be the absolute top-tier of books (about 500 a year), do you think we would find enough contendahs among self-published titles to make their consideration worthwhile?