I was sent this article after informing you all I used to be a snail mail paper book reviewer. I see lack of reviews are a common dilemma for lots of authors. It’s a serious enough issue for the American Scholar to write an article on it.
As I said before, I spend a lot of time away from the computers and simply did my writings without computer influence due to family concerns. And when I was first begin being introduced to the public 90% of my marketing was done in person. Seeing this situation at hand, I am glad I started out meeting and greeting readers in person. Or it would’ve been much harder to get my work out there.
I have seen well-know authors books sitting with scarce reviews.
I guess the old snail mail kind of reviewing doesn’t exist anymore. Well, I have not done it in years, so I wouldn’t know. I hadn’t realized the reviewing market had changed so much.
Some are blaming Indie publishing for this plight but I don’t think that’s the case. I have read many Indie authors who wrote very intriguing books.
Before she started studying book reviews, Phillipa Chong once worked to procure them. Chong interned at a Canadian publishing house during college, and quickly learned that book reviews were everything. “There was a sense that if you didn’t get a book review, your title was going to die on the vine,” she told me.
By the time she finished her doctoral studies in 2014, the landscape for book reviews had changed. Just as Rotten Tomatoes and Yelp did for film and restaurant criticism, Amazon and Goodreads democratized who could review books. “Suddenly, the debate was about whether we needed critics at all,” Chong says. “It was such a stark difference from my experience with critics during my internship. I wanted to figure out how those two storylines fit together.”
But to go back to the idea of authenticity and trust, this is just as much if not more of an issue for reviews on places like Goodreads and Amazon. Who is booklover123? Is it the author’s aunt? Agent? An ex-student who feels he deserved an “A”? Remember in 2004 when Amazon accidentally listed the identity of anonymous posters? It turned out that many reviews were generated by people using fake identities to boost or depress the ratings of books, something called “sockpuppeting.” There are personal and professional consequences to critics that actually facilitate a particular professionalism and integrity. Yes, it may be surprising to some that worrying about how other writers will respond to their reviews is part of how critics write their reviews. But it’s also this sense of “peer policing” that keeps most critics on their toes about producing good and work. Though it doesn’t always work …
This maybe the case but why punish the entire industry for the actions of a few. I had to look up what Sockpuppeting was. It is when one person uses an alternate account to pose as a separate person. It’s a form of deception where one person pretends to be others, often to push an agenda or troll an audience.