Is it actually worth chasing reviews? I have been a bit twitchy on the subject for quite a while now (and not just because I rarely get any, negative or positive). I know from years of reading stuff by and about writers that a bad review can spoil your whole week.
I do like, on occasion, to seek out reviews of a book I’ve been enjoying, just to see what other people think of it, but that’s quite often a shortcut to drowning in a sea of total guff. Now we have the interweb and anyone can be a critic, a reasonably high-selling book can get over 100 reviews, 90% or which will be something like ‘It’s OK, I quite liked the ending’ and nothing more.
At the more niche or independent end of the market, though, so many reviews seem to be either by well meaning friends, authorial sock-puppets or out-and-out paid-for that it feels impossible to assess from them whether the book’s any good – or whether the author is just a nice sociable soul whose feelings no one wants to hurt.
Reviews on blogs are perhaps the way forward – at least one gets the impression that the person hosting and posting on a dedicated erotic fiction site as least has some idea of what makes good/.bad bedtime reading, but even then, the same old problem of how to attract attention in an overcrowded market needs to be overcome.
I don’t know if there are any answers. And I don’t know whether or not adding a book reviews section to the Dirty Sexy Words site is a solution, either. But watch this space.