Hyperpat\’s HyperDay

SF, science, and daily living

The Grapevine in Action

Posted by hyperpat on August 15, 2007

Apparently, some book, game, and CD publishers are finally getting hip to the fact that the online community of reviewers are a valuable resource, and that the reviews such people post are often  as good or even perhaps better than those written by ‘professional’ reviewers (though not always – there are quite a few pretty atrocious ones out there too). Evidence for this is a new program from Amazon, which they are calling ‘Vine Voices’, where those who are members of the program can get free advanced review copies of some works in return for writing honest, unbiased reviews of same – which is basically the same deal that professional reviewers have gotten for many years, and this program is obviously being supported by the publishers. I’ve signed up for this program, and ordered up as my first choice under this program a new book by Michael Chabon, Gentlemen of the Road.

There have been at least a few instances of the book publishers using quotes from some of these ‘amateur’ reviews as back-0f-book blurbs, and there is now a fair amount of evidence that decent reviews on places like Amazon can have quite an influence on book sales. With many newspapers and magazines cutting down on the space they allocate for reviews, for many books online reviews may be the only recognition a book gets.

For a long time, many of the ‘professional’ reviewing set have denigrated these ‘amateur’ reviews as poorly written and/or ineffective. It looks like at least a few are waking up to fact that this is not true.

5 Responses to “The Grapevine in Action”

  1. fencer said

    Hi Hyperpat,

    That’s great… your reviews should be supported in that way.


  2. Peter said

    I was invited to join the Amazon program – but missed the cut to get anything to date. You have to be quick before they run out of copies.
    Personally I have bought many books based upon community reviews in Amazon – quite a few by you as a matter of fact!

  3. hyperpat said

    Always nice to hear that my reviews are actually read by someone! Just hope that what I’ve influenced you to get have been good for you.

  4. Peter said

    Yes indeed – I picked up the Cordwainer Smith collection based upon your review – and so far it has not disappointed.

  5. heliologue said

    Distributed anything tends to be effective in the long run. The only problem, as we all know, is sorting the treasures from the brick-a-brack. Glad to see you’re getting notably separated from the brick-a-brack!

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