I’ve been thinking a lot lately about reviews in all their various forms…
I have favorite newspaper reviewers…or rather, a favorite.Colette Bancroft is the books editor at my local daily paper, the Tampa Bay Times, and as fate would have it, we have “separated at birth” tastes in books. Her reviews are always smart and considered. And often hilarious; her review ofTampa is an excellent example.
I have a bunch of favorite book blogs, among them (and this is far from a comprehensive list) Pop Culture Nerd, BOLO Books,Jen’s Book Thoughts, Jenn’s Bookshelves, Kellyvision, and S. Krishna’s Books. I don’t always agree with all of their reviews, but I do always enjoy reading them.
I like listening to people talk about books on Facebook and Twitter, too.
I avoid Amazon reviews like the plague. The only time I read them is when an author posts an especially hilariously bad one on Facebook.
I read a lot of trade press reviews, but only because I need to in order to do my job properly. I’m always on the lookout for pull-quotes.
And from time to time, I write reviews on my own blog. (I’m woefully behind on this, but hoping to get caught up soon. Of course, now I’ve jinxed it.)
I believe that book reviews are often preaching to the choir. That is, they’re read by people who are avid readers, and who likely share the taste of the person reading the review and are therefore already likely to read the book being reviewed. But there are also at least a dozen books I decide to read each year because of the recommendation of a reviewer I trust.
I find that reviews have a much stronger impact on me when the book has been released. Yeah, I’ll admit it: I’m an immediate-gratification kind of gal. I generally schedule my reading a few books out, but I like to be able to read about a book and then acquire it immediately.
Because I’m supposed to be talking about marketing, I should mention that reviews in all their forms play a role—sometimes big, sometimes not—in all effective marketing programs. I am not a fan of “blog tours” because I generally (with some exceptions) find that the posts tend to be mostly taken up with jacket copy.
So…that’s what I think. What about you? Do you read reviews (of your own books and/or others)? Do you buy books based on reviews? Are you loyal to particular review outlets? Are there any at which you scoff?
I wouldn’t ask unless I really wanted answers, so help me out in the comments, please and thank you!