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Are Online Reviews of Books By Customers Fair?

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Comments (4)
  1. Nancy Ellis says:

    I read the book reviews provided by our library consortium’s plug-in: Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly, among others, and find them impartial for the most part and definitely geared towards giving the reader just a taste of the book and a very brief summary. Otherwise, I steer clear of reviews unless I want a good laugh. The review you quote at the beginning is a good case in point! Silly waste of space.
    It’s too bad that Amazon and other online shops ask customers for reviews. I think that’s a job better left to folks who review books for a living.

  2. I much prefer to read book reviews on book blogs, where the reviewer at the very least has some accountability. That isn’t to say that they still won’t trash it, but nearly every review I have read on a book blog has been honest yet fair, and the reviewers always make a point of acknowledging their own biases.

  3. You both sound sensible to me!

  4. Joe Waynick says:

    Diane, excellent article as usual. I had the occasion once to have someone write a highly negative review about one of my books, yet the reviewer admitted that he never even read it! He was simply upset that so many others have rated me highly and thought the positive reviews were fake—they weren’t.

    Fortunately, I was able to convince Amazon to remove the inappropriate negative review; as should all authors do when harmful, inaccurate, and unwarranted reviews are written about their work.

    It’s one thing to read a book and not like it, and then share your reasons why in a review. It’s another matter entirely when trolls scour online marketplaces looking for opportunities to do damage for kicks.

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