So a few random thoughts~
My writer's board is discussing Amazon.com reviews. Someone on the board had gotten a bad one and felt horrible. Truth be told, I stopped reading Amazon reviews quite a while ago, when a reviewer said I was sick and disturbed and should never write another book! (Sorry, I've got news for you, honey: I'm well into the next one, so you might want to don your earmuffs and blinders, and go hide in the cellar...)
Rather than being offended by the review, though, I actually have rarely laughed so hard in my life!
Then there's that lunatic on Amazon who's been bothering Colleen Curran, filling up her page with the most vitriolic garbage, calling her a sinful slut, or words to that effect. But Colleen and I have gotten just as many reviews that said the exact opposite, so the only conclusion is that both novels are books that push buttons. Which I already knew. Conclusion? Amazon Reviews=Not To Be Taken Seriously. Long story short, I stopped reading them. When I did an interview with Colleen at Beatrice, she said she doesn't read them anymore either.
The problem with Amazon's review system is that it runs virtually unchecked. Any yahoo with a computer (even one from the library) can write an Amazon review. In the case of Colleen's book, it's really clear these reviews were almost all written by the same person.
A few years back, I used to write Amazon reviews for the friends who asked me. I found myself praising their books as if they were the best books I'd ever read in my life. Sure they were... they were by friends. It was a funny feeling, though. I also began to worry a lot about whether what I'd said was nice ENOUGH. Had I praised the book enough? Would the person still be my friend? And what if someday it came out that I WAS the person's friend? Remember the Dave Eggers brouhaha about HIS Amazon reviews for friends?
In addition to what happened to Eggers, some friendship fallouts and some other events caused me to reassess my Amazon reviewing habits. To wit: I no longer write them.
However, I doubt it matters much. Most people I talk to don't pay a ton of attention to these reviews anyway. After all, as they say, consider the source.... And most writers understand this when I explain to them why I don't write (or read) Amazon reviews anymore.
See you tomorrow for Tactical Tuesday!