Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Do Reviews Matter ? (Or How to Manipulate a Market)

Currently reading - Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

One of the first things I was told by a published author when I joined RWA-Ignore your books' reviews. The bad ones only depress you, and the good ones give you a false sense of greatness. The real story lies in your books' sales numbers.

Normally, I don't read them myself. I rarely have the same tastes as the reviewer anyway.

But what happens when a bunch of people trash your book because they don't like the format? This happened to Michael Lewis on Amazon recently. His publisher opted not to produce a Kindle version of Lewis's THE BIG SHORT, and in retaliation, approximately eighty Kindle users (as of this writing) gave Lewis a one-star review.

What exactly do these people think they are accomplishing? If their methods hurt anyone, it's Lewis. Have any of these people e-mailed or written to the publisher, W.W. Norton Company? I doubt it. This is a perfect example of the wrong way to protest.

On the other hand, are these one-star, pro-Kindle reviews actually hurting Lewis? He's received 62 five-star reviews, many in retaliation for the one-star review.

I think the worst part of this is the biased reviews are against Amazon's own policy. Has the company removed them? No. The most likely explanation is their financial stake in Kindle.

After this and the Macmillan fiasco, Amazon's heavy-handed tactics may end up backfiring in the long run.

1 comment:

  1. Pretty much kills any ideas I ever had about buying a Kindle!!