Tuesday, 5 June 2018
Blogs and Book Reviews
At some point, readers become so used to seeing your blog, that they hardly notice it anymore. Usually an advert straight from the pages of Amazon, Goodreads, or some other, for a writer this is very convenient. But, does it work? There are so many books on the internet these days, written by hardworking authors, that the average person is spoiled for choice.
Varying in quality from unreadable, to 'this should be entered for the Booker Prize,' without the support of book reviewers, nobody would know if a book was good or bad. Gone are the days when an habitual reader followed certain writers of distinction, because these days their choice is greatly influenced by the review system. And, it is how this works in practice, that I am addressing readers and reviewers today.
Recently the megalith Amazon has decided two things. Firstly, that a review only qualifies for publication within their book sales blurb, if it has been purchased from Amazon or Kindle directly. Secondly, they have also made it a rule, that any person wishing to publish their review on Amazon, must have spent a minimum of 40 Pounds - in the case of Amazon.co.uk - or a similar amount in the various Amazon web outlets.
Many reviewers are not that wealthy, and cannot keep buying books to review, any more than impoverished writers can send them paid for freebies. Many of the foregoing are pensioners, people who out of necessity have to stay at home, and even some I know of, with disabilities.
Added to this somewhat arbitrary ruling by Amazon, there is the problem of finding people who might wish, during the normal course of events, to provide honest book reviews for writers, but who are inundated with great piles of books to read. Considering the restrictive conditions which are ever present with Amazon - or does the expression tyrannical better fit my blog- then perhaps they might loosen the reigns a bit, and make it easier for those on fixed incomes, or retirees, to contribute to the world of literature.
We need more reviewers, who make honest observations in their remarks, and don't treat the famed art of book reviewing, like a sausage factory. This would improve sales for authors, and probably for Amazon too, but this leaves me with the question, does Amazon care about books, or is it only money?
Patrick Brigham is a long term self published author, who like many other writers, would like to lift his head out of the water, and smell the fresh air!