This post, by Robert Jackson Bennett, originally appeared on his site on 8/27/12.
The weekend has not brought joyous news in regards to online reviews.
For many writers, online reviews are the primary pulse they can apply their fingers to, because writers receive very little actual feedback regarding their books. So, they have to go online to feed their voracious doubts, like – is my book successful? Is it liked? Does anyone get it?
As we’ve now learned, a lot of the feedback we see online is not trustworthy – some writers can, essentially, buy reviews and attention. This is kind of weird for me, because I treat online customer reviews with the same wariness as I do the comments on a news article – the odds of anything intelligent being said are very low, but the odds of reading strung-together swears and racial epithets are very, very high.
Yea, verily, the internet has become marvelously efficient at bringing frustration right into our homes and pockets. And online reviews are definitely a source of some frustration for writers. After a few years of watching them, trends emerge.
So let’s take a stroll, and discover the breeds of online reviews that slowly and steadily shave off numbers not only from a book’s ratings, but also from writers’ life expectations:
The Poor Packager
This book arrived quite damaged. There were water stains on the box, and some of the water got in the box, and it got on the book, and that’s bad, because I don’t want water on my books. Also, the mailman was very rude and I think he went to Auburn (boo Auburn).
Cannot wait to read the book.