Everyone’s a (Good) Critic

Although the study points out that there is “virtually no quality assurance” in Amazon’s consumer reviews, which can also be “gamed” by publishers or competitors submitting false reviews, they found that, nevertheless, experts and consumers agreed in aggregate about the quality of a book.

It turns out that the book reviews regular people like you and me post on Amazon pretty much line up with those of the professional reviewers at establishments like The New York Times, Washington Post, and the Guardian, according to a study by the Harvard Business School. So if you’re buying a book based on customer reviews, continue to do so!

One difference is that we like to give more positive reviews to new authors, while the pros like to give more good reviews to established, prize-winning authors — which seems a little lazy, doesn’t it? Oh, the guy or gal who wrote all these really great books, just wrote another really great book! Hey professional book reviewers! Tell me about the authors who aren’t CAREERS from the districts where all the good books are already being produced.

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