Friday, 22 January 2010

A really nice review

Thanks to Google alerts, I came home from work yesterday to read this on the Shelflove book blog. I don't often come across readers who prefer the contemporary strand of Testament, so it was nice to read Teresa's opinion on this in the comments trail.

I understand that some better-known book bloggers - Dove Grey Reader, for instance - are now being quoted alongside print reviewers on book jackets. They are also inundated with review copies of new novels and I notice that, on the Shelflove site, co-bloggers Jenny and Teresa make it clear that publishers are welcome to send review copies.

So, has the day of the independent, amateur book blogger come - are they now becoming as influential as print reviewers where readers (as opposed to the literary establishment) are concerned? The comments on this post would certainly suggest that they are.

Do others have a similar experience?


Tim Stretton said...

Great review, Alis.

While the historical strand was my favourite, that's because of how my imagination works. I'm not at all surprised to see a reader who enjoyed the contemporary strand more: after all, it's equally accomplished.

I agree that the big-hitting bloggers' time has come. The top online reviewers probably garner more attention--and generate more sales--than broadsheet reviews. I think it's a democratic and very welcome development.

Alis said...

Thanks for the kind comments, Tim.
I think democratic is right and to be applauded. I just hope that these independent bloggers can maintain their independence in the face of the inducements that will undoubtedly be put in their way.

Juxtabook said...

I hope you're right Alis! Traditional reviewing has become very stale and incestuous and frankly needed a shake up. I've read lots of excellent books recently recommended by bloggers or by "friends" on twitter but the last book I bought on the strength of a trad print review was Larry's Party by Carol Shields in 1998!

What is nice for authors is that you can interact with the bloggers either informally or overtly as Fiona Robyn has done with her blogsplash.

We'll know bloggers have really arrived when Lynne at Dovegreyreader is asked to judge the Booker! Actually, I really do wish they would ask her. The short lists, long list and evntual winner might make more sense if they shook that judging panel up too.

Alis said...

Hi Catherine! Yes, that ability to interact is a real bonus - for both parties, I hope. And DGR as a booker judge - I think that's an excellent idea - maybe we should start an internet campaign to see if we can make it happen?

Deborah Swift said...

That's a review to die for - congratulations. Yes, I agree that the more reviews are written by ordinary bibliophiles the better. Most of my reading material now comes from word of mouth recommendations, or "word of blog". The advantages of online reviews are that when someone recommends a book you can order it within the next thirty seconds by clicking the appropriate link. Lets hope those reading the review are doing this now! Incidentally I also loved the balance between the two periods of your book, and thought the contrasting roles of two strong women, one hands-on in the medieval period and the other more modern entrepreneurial role worked well. It was also a very moving book, difficult to do when the reader is in two places/times at once.

Alis said...

Thanks for the kind comments, Deborah, they're much apreciated. I'm really glad you enjoyed the book.

Frances Garrood said...

A really lovely, intelligent review, Alis. I hope it reaches lots of readers!

Alis said...

Me, too Frances! I think the fact that Juxtabook's original review has created so much interest in the blogosphere really says a lot about how much weight people (at least bloggers and readers of blogs) are giving to online reviews nowadays. I'm picking up more and more references to the book in the blogosphere now and a lot of them reference that initial review.

Neil said...

Great review, Alis. I think blogged or online reviews (with links, which the trade press seem oblivious to), definitely lead to a higher conversion rate for sales, no questions.