Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Can Reviews Be Too Good?

Had a captivating conversation during our last board meeting about book reviews. I've been in this industry for five decades and just when I think I've heard it all, I am floored by something new and bizarre.

We have a job opening for a marketing representative for our line of books, and during one of the interviews, the applicant said he'd canvassed fellow authors about the books we publish. These authors went to the usual sites - amazon, GoodReads,, etc. and they said it was obvious that all the reviews of our books were written by friends and family. "They were too good," they said, "to be real."

Actually, not a single one of them that I've ever seen have been by "friends and family" but were third party reviewers. Some were readers or fans, some were hosts of virtual book tours (who are NOT obligated to provide a good review, but an honest one) and others were from legitimate third party reviewers (i.e., Midwest Book Review) but none that we could determine were friends or family of any author.

So, where did this come from?

Are there REALLY authors out there who believe when a fellow author receives five star reviews, they're somehow faking it?

One quote was from an author who said they only believe they're legitimate when someone bashes the book.

And this is an author?

I have to say, this conversation left me with my mouth open.

So, I'm asking you: where do you stand on this issue?

1 comment:

  1. I really hate to say this, Don, but it sounds to me like those authors are either jealous or they are amateurs. Anyone who has been in this business for any length of time recognizes third party independent reviews, glowing or not. I am just as puzzled by those authors as you are...and by the marketing rep applicant who put such credence in what they said.