Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What do readers think?

Blue Rose Girls pointed me to this extremely interesting article in the NYTimes,"The Greatest Mystery: Making a Best Seller."

This line from the story jumped out at me, because I realized how true it was.

“Before Amazon, we didn’t even know what people thought of the books,” she said.


tanita✿davis said...

It seems a lot of attention is being paid to what people think of books -- now Simon & Schuster lets people vote on whether or not they think a book will sell, in order to guide S&S/Penguin Putnam in their choices on that matter. I daresay book discussion groups and word of mouth existed before Amazon; if people didn't LIKE a book, they wouldn't buy it... it's all so very surreal now that people expect that what is written online is gospel truth... Unless they don't. On the vastly opposing side of that spectrum are those who look at what is online as the most frivolous nonsense and worth nothing. Can't win, here!

David T. Macknet said...

Are Amazon reviews true, though? Or are they like listening to the loudest kid in the class, rather than the class as a whole?

Camille said...

I think the Amazon reviews are interesting in that they offer opinions from regular folks (and sometimes PR people.) They are helpful only up to a point. If you have ever checked out reviews for kitchen gadgets or technology items you know half the people will express their enthusiasm and the other half detest the item. So in the end I often end up as confused as I was before.