How much value do readers place in Reviews?

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Lakelander
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How much value do readers place in Reviews?

Post by Lakelander » 25 Aug 2012, 12:20

For the most part, I believe Reviews are genuine. Only too often however, one suspects they may have been written by the author's well-meaning friends and relations, or by other authors on the principle of "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours". All of which tends to taint genuine reviews with both doubt and suspicion.
In any case, a review is simply an opinion of any one individual reader. For example, the 9000plus Reviews for the '50 Shades of Grey' trilogy, provide a complete spectrum of taste in literature, with the approving Reviews negating the disapproving ones, thereby rendering the whole system rather confusing, if not meaningless to those potential readers searching for a good Romance.
On the other hand, a number of people have in effect said in various Posts, "I don't bother much with Reviews, but depend upon recommendations from my friends". Why? Why only read what friends have already read? After all, the advent of eBooks has led to a situation where most authors now provide, in addition to their Pitch, a free sample preview rangeing from a few pages to the first five chapters, allowing potential readers to make up their own minds as to what they like and dislike.
Perhaps the OLBC could have a section devoted to listing Member-author's eBooks by, say: Title, Genre, Number of pages and Price, together with stating the number of free pages or the number of free chapters in the sample preview. In short, aiding potential readers to more easily make their own choices.

frogfriend
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Post by frogfriend » 28 Aug 2012, 23:04

I never read reviews when searching for new books. I usually just read a synopsis to get a idea if the book is something I would be interesting in. I don't need others opinions since I know myself well enough to know what I will find interesting.

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Fran
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Post by Fran » 29 Aug 2012, 10:14

It all depends on who the reviewer is ... a one off review from someone I never heard of would carry little weight with me.
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Ant
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Post by Ant » 29 Aug 2012, 11:06

Fran wrote:It all depends on who the reviewer is ... a one off review from someone I never heard of would carry little weight with me.
Couldn't agree more, I've had some great reads after recommendations from this very forum ( a great number from Fran herself ) I only use reviews as tips really since most of my reads are from the library, so I tend to pick fairly randomly on the subjects I like, then if it turns out poor....nothing lost. :D

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RuqeeD
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Post by RuqeeD » 29 Aug 2012, 14:53

I tend not to read reviews until I've read the book myself. Then I might check out what others thought of it and it it jibes with what I thought of it. But I love getting recommendations which is the beauty of forums like these. Like Ant, most of my reads are from libraries as well so it's more of a random selection then anything else.

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holsterj
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Post by holsterj » 01 Sep 2012, 19:14

I almost always read reviews when deciding whether or not to purchase a book. If I have already decided to make the purchase, a bad review or two will not stop me. But if I am just browsing and searching for a new book or new author, a few bad reviews may lead me to keep looking.
Latest Review: "One Hundred Percent Innocent" by R.S.Baskerville

freehat5d
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Post by freehat5d » 03 Sep 2012, 07:56

I don't always check reviews, but when I do they can have an impact on my decision. If for example, a book has a lot of reviews, most of them being negative then I might shy away from reading it. When I read free books I generally just take my chances and skip all reviews completely, but when I'm dishing out my own money for a book I like to know what I'm in for at least a little because chances are I'll force myself to finish it even if I don't like it just to justify paying for it. :P
Latest Review: "Almost a Turkish Soap Opera" by Anne-Rae Vasquez

alwaysreading09
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Post by alwaysreading09 » 06 Sep 2012, 20:36

After I get the story base down if I'm unsure then I turn to reviews. But they don't necessarily deter me if they aren't great. My tastes may differ from everyone else.
Latest Review: "3 Days of Demons" by Ed Greenberg

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gothique
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Post by gothique » 19 Sep 2012, 12:01

Reviews are often the way I discover a new title to add to my reading list.
Something else I might point out amidst the recent review scandal of people paying for reviews or authors writing their own, or what have you, a review, for me, carries more weight when it's from Publisher's Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, NY Times Book Review...in other words, known entities I trust.
Having said that, I have a book review site of my own. No one knows me from Adam, but my book review blog shines light on first time authors, not mainstream already-got-it-made ones. I'm as honest as I can be in reviewing, and I list the only qualifications I have: I love to read, I've worked in 3 bookstores and a university library. I feel fully qualified to pass judgment on what is good and what is not.
However, at the end of the day, my opinion is my own and what I think stinks, someone else may think is the best thing since sliced bread.
"Where there's cake there's hope...and there's always cake"
- Dean Koontz

Geneen Karstens
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Post by Geneen Karstens » 19 Sep 2012, 12:15

I have lists of books I find reviewed on this forum. I've found so many interesting authors and wonderful books since joining. Unfortunately, my libraries don't carry a lot of them. On my own, I like to find fictionalized stories of other countries such as Cutting for Stone and Running the Rift. It helps me to understand the conflicts that are happening now.i don't place a lot of value on reviews because each persons taste is different.

Evapohler
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Post by Evapohler » 19 Sep 2012, 12:53

I read reviews and consider them, but I rely more on word of mouth from people I know and trust.

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Sonia Galloway
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Post by Sonia Galloway » 19 Sep 2012, 14:51

'Reviews' are the subjective opinions of a small number of individuals. Sometimes their literary tastes match that of a particular reader, sometimes not. And then, there are reviews that are empowered by advertising, and these are--more often than not--based in lies. This is my opinion.

Jillshure
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Post by Jillshure » 19 Sep 2012, 18:10

Lakelander wrote:For the most part, I believe Reviews are genuine. Only too often however, one suspects they may have been written by the author's well-meaning friends and relations, or by other authors on the principle of "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours". All of which tends to taint genuine reviews with both doubt and suspicion.
In any case, a review is simply an opinion of any one individual reader. For example, the 9000plus Reviews for the '50 Shades of Grey' trilogy, provide a complete spectrum of taste in literature, with the approving Reviews negating the disapproving ones, thereby rendering the whole system rather confusing, if not meaningless to those potential readers searching for a good Romance.
On the other hand, a number of people have in effect said in various Posts, "I don't bother much with Reviews, but depend upon recommendations from my friends". Why? Why only read what friends have already read? After all, the advent of eBooks has led to a situation where most authors now provide, in addition to their Pitch, a free sample preview rangeing from a few pages to the first five chapters, allowing potential readers to make up their own minds as to what they like and dislike.
Perhaps the OLBC could have a section devoted to listing Member-author's eBooks by, say: Title, Genre, Number of pages and Price, together with stating the number of free pages or the number of free chapters in the sample preview. In short, aiding potential readers to more easily make their own choices.
I value reviews that are well written. I also try to read the first few pages of a novel to see if it's engrossing.

MysFan
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Post by MysFan » 19 Sep 2012, 18:54

I tend to pick my own books. But I usually check out reviews too. If the book sounds interesting, I check it out. Often I enjoy the book and differ with the reviewer. Sometimes I wonder if they have read the whole book, or if they have given it a skim as they have so many to read.

I also like certain authors and wait for the next installments in their series, or development of new characters. On ocassion I am disappointed by an author who has chosen to produce mediocre work in order to get the books out and the money in hand. But more often my wait has been worth it. Wish some authors could write faster.

And then there are suggestions from this forum. Before I joined I was just sort of browsing the library, picking up those that sounded interesting. I still do that, but I have added forum members' suggestions with some good luck.

changoora
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Post by changoora » 19 Sep 2012, 19:26

i never read rewiews

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