Friday, September 19, 2008

Sticking their fangs in

Whatever else we might think of it, That Global Online Bookseller (and everything else-seller!) has certainly played a big part in giving readers a voice when it comes to reviewing their purchases. Sometimes the reviews are gushingly over-the-top, others are very thoughtful, and at others hilariously brutal.

Take this one (some names omitted to spare anyone’s blushes): ‘[this] series has never been great-- it's been sloppily-written, almost plot-less, and incredibly cheesy-- but it's been a guilty pleasure. Or at least the first book was. [Book 2] was bad, [book 3] was worse, and now [book 4] is the cherry on top of the really horrible sundae. It rapidly goes from unintentionally hilarious, to awful, to leaving the reader wondering how it ever got published.’

Despite reviews like this—and this one is by no means an isolated example—and growing calls from disgruntled fans for a mass consumer return, this book has been the biggest thing since sliced wizard, selling in the millions. Will quantity win over quality? Or will fan-based communities really shape the way we publish and sell into the future?

On that lofty though, my dears, I bid you adieu.

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