Online Review Wars

November 30, 2006

Recently, the blog world has been heating up over a debate about the merits of online reviewers–specifically those on Amazon.com. Literary critics who write for print journals seem to think that online reviews are given more consideration than they deserve, affecting book sales with “wrong” opinions.

You can read the back story of the main debate here.
There are links to the past scuffles that have led to that article in the first line, so read those first.

Really, this all seems pretty ridiculous. As far as I know, you don’t need a special degree to review books, and you can never have a wrong opinion. If some reviewer on Amazon is well known, and people find that they agree with their taste in books, well it makes sense to listen to them! If it drives sales up or down well . . . clearly the author isn’t writing an appealing book!  And really, I wouldn’t trust the review of any literary critic to fit my tastes at all–just think what they would say about the books I review here!

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2 Responses to “Online Review Wars”

  1. sulz Says:

    i don’t really rely on reviews before buying a book, simply because i don’t buy any book until i’ve read them by borrowing it first. that way i don’t waste money on a book i hate. so reviews are pretty useless to me since i’ll read anything as long as it’s free. 😀 or a minor fee is ok too, like if i rent a book from the book rental store. that said, yes, book reviewers don’t need any degree of sorts. just like journalists and celebrities, if you’ve got it, you’ve got it.

  2. paperbacks Says:

    I read reviews if its a reference book–like when I’m looking for a book to practice french with, I’ll see whose posted, and how many different books they compare it to.
    For novels, well, I generally just judge those by their covers 😀

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