Only, not necessarily for the reason that popped into your mind. I have an idea, but it’s not something I can do. It’s something an author, any of us, cannot do. So? I’m looking for a few good readers…
There’s a crying need for book reviews. Yes, Amazon, but also no. Not Amazon. We need diversity, and putting up reviews on book sales sites is important. It’s also a fragile ecosystem. We’ve all heard the stories, if we haven’t experienced it ourselves, of the ‘Zon or social media or… deciding that this review, this post, this whatever opinion, is not worthy, and making it vanish. What is needed is something more durable.
I’ve been trying to coax my mother into blogging book reviews: she is a voracious reader, and has a blog, and it would be really helpful. Not to me, so much, as there’s an obvious bias! but to other authors out there. Besides which, it would be great if there were a site with reviewers that readers could build up a trust relationship with. Honest reviews, that could be relied on as indicators of ‘I’d like that, too!’ are a vital part of marketing, and it’s something money can’t buy.
Seriously, this is… does anyone know of a reliable book review site?
Yeah… there are review sites. I can name a couple offhand. One is… um, very much not my genre, the political tilt button started blaring a few years back, and now I don’t go there even though I used to visit just for the snark. But that odor of ‘political correctness’ pervaded their reviews, and I found I could no longer trust that they were putting forth an honest portrayal of a book, or if it was skewed towards activism. And I don’t care which side of the political spectrum you’re on. Activism in fiction is never fun reading.
Relying on word of mouth is a great way to find books. We’ve been doing that over in the Book Club with Spikes with recommendation threads, or folks just dropping in a link to something they read and enjoyed. And this is great, but it’s ephemeral and not at all publicly searchable. That’s why I’m thinking there needs to be a blog, or a website, for reviews. They don’t need to be long literary critiques (please, no…). They don’t need to be terribly witty (although funny is always good, snarky is good too) on days the reviewers aren’t up to that. I know readers are not writers, but some of them can be.
It’s nothing I can run myself. Terrible conflict of interest. But perhaps I can plant the seed that could grow into something wonderful.
Readers? Toss a coin to your authors?