Blogger: Rachel Zurakowski
Location: Books & Such main office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
Readers often do research before they buy a book, and reviews factor into purchases more and more.
The trend in reviews is changing rapidly with the change of technology. Because magazines and newspapers are losing popularity to the Internet, fewer professional reviews are being circulated. To find a professional review for a book, requires an online search more often than not.
For an example of the decline, check out this article about the Washington Post. According to the article, there is only one remaining stand-alone book review section in the country, and that’s the New York Times Book Review.
Blog tour reviews and reader reviews on sites like amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com far growing in popularity. They are more important each day because of the jump in technology. Amazon and Barnes & Noble have smart phone apps that allow a reader to snap a picture of a book cover and search for it. The search will pull up the book on the web, and the app allows instant access to reviews, descriptions, price, etc. You can read about the Amazon app here. The feature that allows you to snap the picture and search is called Amazon Remembers. Here’s a link to the Barnes & Noble app. I doubt it will be too much longer before the only cell phones available are smart phones. Soon just about everyone will have access to these cool tools.
Kindles and Netbooks also provide quick access to these reviews. Plus buying books online is an upward trend; so more readers are given a chance to check out reviews before a book purchase.
When you buy a book, do you read reviews first? As a reader, how often do you write a book review?
Personally, I find myself looking at the online reader reviews more and more before purchasing a book, but I rarely write a review. Knowing that reader reviews are growing in accessibility and importance, I’m going to start reviewing books more frequently. Reliable readers who write trustworthy reviews should step up to the plate!
For those of you who have published books, how does the growing accessibility of the reader reviews make you feel? Have the reviews had a positive or negative affect for your books?