For those that have no idea what I’m talking about, in the “book world” there has been an apparently ongoing issue with people reviewing books on Amazon that aren’t basing their opinions on the actual book. Instead, some writers are paying people to write reviews of their book or having their friends and family write reviews. Perhaps even funnier are the people just writing blind reviews because they have nothing better to do in their lives. The NY Times contains an article about Amazon removing many of these reviews and in their zest sweeping away many legitimate reviews, and the fallout Amazon’s actions are causing. It all makes me laugh.
I have never, ever, ever purchased (or not purchased) a book based on what any reviewer has ever said.
In fact, I can’t even recall the last book review I read. I find most reviewers on sites like Amazon to be nothing but attention whores. I post on a forum that’s attached to Sue Grafton’s site, and in the “off topic” section where we post about other books we’ve read there’s one pompous gentleman that prides himself on being one of Amazon’s top reviewers. Well buddy, around here that and $1.07 gets you a coffee at McDonald’s. What’s funnier is he always gives glowing reviews to writers that send him free books. And that’s reason number one why I don’t read reviews.
Now for the record I have written some book reviews. Each time it was because one of the book review sites asked me to, and despite not liking to write reviews I begrudgingly do them. I also occasionally write blurbs about books in my “random book thoughts”, but nothing that I consider approaches a “real” book review, and it’s the same information I’d give if someone asked me about the book. When I want to know if a writer/book might interest me, I read the back of the book. If that doesn’t sell my on buying it I will ask some of my friends if they’ve read it and what their thoughts are. That’s the same for movies, video games, whatever.
Word of mouth is the best advertising money can buy…unless you’re buying Amazon reviews, apparently.