Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Weighing Amazon book reviews

One of the things about the modern world is that anyone can express their opinion of a book, movie, TV show, music album, etc., and everyone with an internet connection can read it.

(The rule I am about to suggest applies to my reviews also. I just happen to post my book reviews some place other than Amazon. I think that my book reviews are slightly less biased...but that is probably just my ego talking. Plus, I openly admit my identity and material connections, as per government regulations.)

For instance, you can go to Amazon, punch in the name of a book, and read reviews that people posted on the product page.

Unfortunately, you do not know how many reviews on Amazon are written by the author, their spouse, their friends, and their furry children hiding behind random customer names. Another unknown is the number of reviews which are posted by enemies and stalkers of the author.

So how do you figure out what reviews to listen to, and which ones to ignore?

Well, here is how I do it. I look at the other reviews that the reviewer has posted.

If you are a regular buyer of certain types and genres of books, odds are that you will have read some of the other books that the reviewer has reviewed. Remembering the books that you have read, do these reviews match the books?

Here is the kicker. Often someone who hates all your favorite books, movies, TV shows, etc., is actually an useful reviewer. My mom used to watch this one movie critic because she knew that if he hated a movie, she would actually enjoy it. I also have a few reviewers that I watch; I know that if some book makes them foam at the mouth, then I should really get it because their enjoyment meter is the polar opposite of mine.

So if you hate my reviews, keep reading them...I am a good gauge of what you like once you remember that I am on the opposite side of good taste.

And if you love my reviews, bless your little heart.

1 comment:

Nick Farrell's Blog said...

The reviews are usually loaded or insulting to the author. A lot of masons assumed I knew nothing about masonry and wrote a lot of upset reviews claiming I didnt have a right to make a comparison between masonry and the GD.
In fact I was a mason in an esoteric lodge for nearly ten years.
In a review of my novel one review complained I had no credibility writing about Bulgaria when the passages were based on my living there for seven years.