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Amateur reviewers get kudos

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Who’s more valuable – amateur or professional reviewers?

Well, it depends on who you ask, but according to this article in the LA Times, amateur reviewers – especially on Amazon.com – are on the ascendency. And one author explains why:

[W]riter Beth Lordan took to heart the HarperCollins winners’ opinions on her new novel, “But Come Ye Back.” She listens to professional critics, but “I wanted to know from readers who aren’t doing literary analysis: Does the story itself hold? Do you care about the characters?

“I was literally in tears that all these people in the middle of regular, ordinary, demanding lives took the time to read the book and respond to the characters and then say so. And they said, ‘This is a good story.’ It’s not about networking, or you give me a good review, and I’ll give you a good review. It leaves all the parts that are a little bit tainted out of the mix.”

Shows what a role Blogcritics can play too, yes? And the rewards, while not monetary, can be a pile of books – look at Amazon’s #4 reviewer, Rebecca Johnson, who:

gets 40 to 60 free books a month, along with checklists from publishers asking her to mark the upcoming titles she’s interested in receiving at no charge.

Encouraging thoughts to encourage Blogcritics – and a sign that Eric’s vision is proving true. The reputation of Blogcritics is growing, and with amateur reviews the current trend, there’s nowhere to go but up. Now, excuse me while I go write a review.

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About Susanna Cornett

  • Eric Olsen

    Thanks Susanna, I think you are right and certainly appreciate the support. We just have to keep plugging away and good things will just keep happening.

  • Publishers are always glad to send a box of books to anyone who has access to an audience and is willing to praise a book to the skies. And of course that author was crying tears of joy — strangers were saying the very things she longed to hear them say. Is she going to be so bloody grateful to “people in the middle of regular, ordinary, demanding lives” who say she sucks?

  • Exactly, Rodney. It would be more interesting to ask a writer whose book has been thoroughly trashed on Amazon. She would not even able to accuse her ‘reviewers’ of unprofessionalism-:).

    Amazon’s reviews are often not reviews at all. If I had a $100 for every one of them I’ve seen by persons who did not even read the book, but feel a duty to comment on it, I could buy myself something very nice.

  • John Mudd

    Book reviews sell books. I used to place them for author clients of mine when I was doing PR. The more reviews you have, the better. It’s always good to have a sample of expert reviewers as well as regular-reader reviewers, as both reviewers tend to target a different audience, allowing the publisher and author to sell more books. I’ll be reviewing a couple of books in the near future that a publisher sent me to review, but they’re a relatively new genre for me. Reading review copies is always fun. I hope publishers send me more to review. I would also enjoy reviewing music CDs, as well.