Discussion About Book Reviews

Over at Char’s Book Reviews and Writing News is: Review: The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, which is a review of a book about book reviewing as well as part of a Blog Book Tour for the book.

I assert that book reviews (and music reviews) are irrelevant these days.

I also added to that thinking in a Comment (which I must quote in full since I can’t find a way to link directly to it):

See, the thing is, before the Net, you’d read a review in paper. Then you’d have to make a real effort to order the book or buy it at a bookstore or go to the library.

These days, you can quickly sample a book via the Net.

Thus, there’s less need for the kind of reviewing that was done in the past. Instead of a “bullhorn” review touting something, a gentle tap on the shoulder to make someone aware of something is all the effort needed today, I think.

Go there and join in the discussion.

Explore posts in the same categories: Books - Nonfiction, Reference - Writing, Writers - Living, Writing

3 Comments on “Discussion About Book Reviews”

  1. zoewinters Says:

    I think also, that all a review is really is a recommendation. And people trust their friends more than they do strangers, even if those strangers are “official book reviewers.” And so blogs have pretty much taken over there.

    Blogs, Amazon reviews, and allowing people to sample a portion of the book, or all of the book for free in ebook form.

    It’s been brought up that indie authors can’t get reviewed in the major review sources. But, so? What does that have to do with anything, when you have the internet and direct access to your audience, most of which have their own blogs or livejournals where, if they like your book, they’ll spread the word.

    Of course the reverse is true, if they hate it, they’ll spread that too.

  2. thedarkphantom Says:

    Booksellers and librarians will mostly look at the major review publications for ordering books. They don’t have time to search online for reviews. I’m referring to publications like Library Journal, School Library Journal, Booklist, and Publisher’s Weekly. A positive review in one of these publications could result in hundreds (sometimes thousands) of quick sales to booksellers and librarians. So it does have to do with something.

  3. mikecane Says:

    @thedarkphantom: We don’t actually disagree. The journals you cite will be important for those markets. With eBooks direct published by writers, the booksellers are obsolete (unless they become like FedEx-Kinko’s; POD printers, which case reviews *won’t* matter, they’ll print what a customer wants to pay for). As for libraries, they’ve always been special cases and I know they rely on those journals. But even there, exceptions do happen:
    https://mikecane2008.wordpress.com/2008/10/22/direct-publishing-ftw-urban-fiction/

    To clarify, I mean reviews in the sense of those that address the general public.


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