Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Ebook Reviews, Are They Worth The Paper They’re Written On?

The subject of reviews, and their influence with readers, is a discussion point that always manages to make it’s way into various group lists. Do we trust them? Do they effect what book buying choices we make? What are they for, apart from either stroking an author’s ego or sending said author straight into therapy, after reading a bad review on one of their offerings. Probably the very same book that they shed, blood, sweat and tears over whilst writing it.

As you can probably tell, I'm very cynical when it comes to book reviews, there's been too many reviews that I have disagreed with in the past for me to take them seriously.

With the e-book community being as incestuous as it is, it makes it even harder to trust reviews and reviewers. This is mainly due to reviewers interacting with the very same authors that they will probably have to review at one point or another. How do I know that I am getting an objective unbiased review? Well, I don’t.

As human beings, it's hard to criticise someone you personally like, and to do it in a public arena is even worse, so I do think that from time to time it’s almost inevitable that objectivity would become a huge issue for some. I say this because I have read some work that was truly awful, both technically, and plot-wise, that were given high plaudits, and when you find out or know, that that reviewer happens to be on the authors group list, it sure makes you wonder...