Sharon's Muse.... Let's chat over coffee while I ponder some things

About Me

My Meez


Recent Entries



Interesting Sites




In Stores

Watch mini trailer

Clip of places featured in Again

Need Flashplayer to view. Give time to load.


Short, Short Ebooks

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Book reviews not packing the same punch

There was a time when a positive book review generated sales. That may no longer be the case as readers become more and more desensitived to the glut of "rave" reviews and more saavy about review quotes being taken out of context. In an article at, freelance marketing consultant Damien Horner says that industry shortsightedness has basically rendered the review "fundamentally devalued." Here are some of the reasons listed:

* Consumers know that the real meaning of a review can be changed through judicious editing. A quick look at the reviews posted outside the theatres in the West End is enough to confirm this.

* There are too many reviews in the press nowadays. Consumers know that if publishers look hard enough they will be able to dredge up a good one from somewhere.

* There was a time when a positive review from a newspaper meant something. People had close relationships with their newspapers and they trusted them. Now they are less easily led.

* The explosion of information available to consumers via the internet means they can now cross-reference and check anything to get a more balanced view. The implications are significant. The "Positive Reviews Model" that publishers and retailers have relied on for so long is becoming less and less potent.

So if the power of the review has been basically nullified, then what does sell books? Good ole word of mouth. Horner further states that a recommendation from a friend is "an increasingly powerful factor in book purchases." Because of the influence of friends and acquaintances, book clubs have begun to grow in stature and importance to the promotion of books.

Expect authors to turn to ordinary readers, which is what author John Murray is doing with the premiere of his new novel The Meaning of Night. Horner believes publishers will follow suit and start working more closely with blogs and reading groups to promote upcoming books. They may even begin using focus groups, which is how television bigwigs try to forecast their own hits and misses.

I agree with Horner that the publishing industry needs to revitalize its book promoting efforts and also that reviews are not as influential as they once were. Still, I believe a good review from either Publisher's Weekly or The New York Times is nothing to sneeze at...yet.

Sharon Cullars Coffee Talk at 2/14/2006 05:57:00 PM Permanent Link     | | Home


Layout Design by Hajira Thanks to:Getty Images BlogspotBlogskins