Having been a small press for less than ten years (I’ll be at 7 in April), I use to think that getting reviews were one of the most important parts of the book promotion process. That was also at a time when competition for a reviewer’s time and attention were fierce. Now, that a book review can be purchased the review serves a very different purpose. If I could get a titled reviewed in the N.Y. Times, LA Times, Foreword Review, Book Pages or Midwest Review I think jackpot! Because a review in any of these journals (whether good or bad) can generate more attention, we in the business call it “buzz”. For a publisher “buzz is what we want. It means people are talking about the title and more coverage maybe forth coming. It also means book buyers; think B &N and distributors will consider giving up shelf space in their establishments. Times have changed however.Why not try this out: kirja-arvostelut
The word of a gifted book critic can no longer out pace the “buzz” that the new word of mouth can do for a title, (think book clubs, blogging, twitter, Facebook and oh yes Oprah!). Winning book awards is also another way out distances a review in a jump in sales almost over night. I have to say the major thing that I have found that really impacts on a books selling power is author motivation. The author continues to promote long after the publisher has to move on. Unless you are a Stephen King, Toni Morrison, Dan Brown, or any author in that league. But even these authors are constantly out there meeting their readers and maintain a mastery of their craft that keeps the fans loyal and the movie producers busy.
With regard to Amazon, they provide a vital service to the publishing industry. They keep titles available. If a reader has access to the Internet and a book is registered, it can be ordered. Even if it is out of print. Here is were reviews still make a difference. If comments are posted then an interested party can read what has been said about the book. Amazon is doing a pretty good job in making access by authors and publishers to update and add information regarding a title. As far as booksellers compare with Amazon the reason there are fewer of them as Amazon grows is the same reason some authors have success and others don’t. They stop making a connection with the audience they want to buy from them.