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Amy Sorokas' Weblog a blog about community, code and stuff

There has been a long thread of discussion on some of the lists regarding the quality of book reviews in the community.  The discussion has commented specifically on some reviewers, reviews and styles. 

Here is what I have to say on the subject (many of you know I am the Public Relations Manager and sender of many review copies at Sams Publishing and Que Publishing). 

I appreciate reviews no matter what they say. Obviously, the reviews that get the publishers in a funk are those that are completely unfounded or just simply wrong. Most of those can be found on Amazon and are often wiped out rather quickly by Amazon because they too want to maintain credibility of their review lists.  We do appreciate constructive criticism and take it into account for revisions, planning and other decisions we make on what, when and how to publish. 

Personally, when I send out a review copy I hope for some kind of meaningful feedback.  Believe me it is not always positive.  My goal is to get some kind of comment back from the review copies that are distributed. 

That said, I will briefly comment on the discussion concerning the reviews that published are usually glowing and for 'the best book ever'. I think that silence speaks volumes and our best selling books are those that get reviewed.  If no reviews show up for a book then take that for what it is not saying. If you think that it is the reviewer being nice, maybe that is true but I really believe that the reviewers in this community are not afraid to speak up when something is wrong with a book.  And I take a lot of pride in the fact that the review copies sent out from this building are expected to be reviewed truthfully with no expectations from us to be anything other than honest, fair and constructively critical. Isn't that what a review is?

Posted on Friday, December 12, 2003 7:20 AM | Back to top

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