Saturday, March 01, 2008

Our reviews--veinglory

There are two general types of review.

A promotional review is provided largely to help the author push their book to readers. This would include short endorsements from other authors at the same publisher, author-paid reviews, reciprocal reviews with other authors and many websites that gather reviews from volunteers but require a certain up-beat tone. An author may want this kind of review to use as part of their advertising, its main quality is that it is postive and pithy--it is quotable.

An analytical review is provided largely to help readers decide whether to buy a book. This would include book review magazines, enthusiast websites and blogs, and peer-to-peer reviews. An emphasis is placed on honesty and a degree of discussions as to the basis of the reviewer's opinion. Did they like the book, and why--do they recommend that other people should buy the book?

Promotional reviews have a place. But readers can generally identify a promo review and they tend to treat it with understandable skepticism. It is, after all, an advertisement. Analytical reviews, especially peer-to-peer reviews are much more influencial. So if the book is 'recommendable', that is of a book is good, analytical reviews are more effective. Hell, even if your book is bad but in an interesting way....

Frequency of Book Review Ratings on POD People

Are self-published books good? You know, to be perfectly honest a random sample would probably suggest that they are not. However the kind of books that are submitted for review, or bought by reviewers with their own money, tend to be the better books. Looking over the 83 reviews posted at POD People I see that 89% rate average (5/10) or above. Self-published books are good enough to seek out honest reviews by and for readers, as a basis for making purchase decisions.

So that is what I want them to get here.

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