Saturday, 11 February 2017

Should you Trust Other's Book Reviews?

See the play on book lips in this image. Clever.

How appropriate is the above statement?  Quite relevant I think now that Amazon has come under attack from readers and authors alike for its draconian policy in retention of scathing book reviews. If goods are downgraded, and books are tradable goods aren't they? And if Amazon is there to profit from sale of goods why does it allow people to walk through its virtual doors and post virtual DON'T PURCHASE THIS ITEM reviews? If I were a bookstore owner and random people walked into my bookstore to place memo-stickers with claims this book is garbage I would be sorely pissed off. My bookstore would be there to sell books and for me to make a profit. So when I stop and think about that equation it makes me ponder the sanity of a bookstore where the owner allows stick-it memos to prevent sales. Amazon is littered with damaging memos in the form of book reviews and comments and it's utter insanity for any store to adopt this type of ludicrous policy.  Can you imagine Cornflake fanatics going to the local store to post anti stickers to a rival product and what other customers would think in seeing those stickers? Yes. They'd think a lunatic was on the loose.  Say no more.                


  1. There's nothing wrong with an honest review, maybe one that includes a bit of constructive criticism i.e 'good story, could do with a quick re-edit to pick up the few typos though', but why do people have to put those awful 'hated this book' comments - especially if they don't also include a reason for hating it! Even worse are the one star 'reviews' stating 'book didn't arrive' or 'pages were torn' etc.
    My 'best' one was 'too much detail about about battles' well, er, yes, the novel was about the Battle of Hastings...*laugh*. Can I add a quick plug for a new review site for Historical Fiction? Discovering Diamonds (just google the name, it will pop up) We don't give poor reviews, we try to be constructive - as you say we want people to find and read good books and want to support good authors, so what is the point of being negative?

  2. Thanks for dropping in Helen. Nice to meet you. Hmmm, yes, honest criticism and the old love hate marmite trope. Least said best mended on typos and suggestive re-edits. Not read an Indie book yet that couldn't do with a re-edit in whole or parts and the downside authors think proof reading is enough. It isn't. Good editors spot glaring plot defects as with other anomalies which can and do spoil reader enjoyment. Authors in general are the worst kinds of editors as noticeable in books edited by authors for authors. Authors are better off sticking to the writing side of books.