Interesting take on online reviewers taking the place of professional book critics…and being just as accurate in their assessments.
Authors no longer have to impress stodgy English majors to get their book a quality review: new research from the Harvard Business Review shows that the aggregate rating of Amazon reviewers are every bit as good as professional book critics.
Professional book critics, on the other hand, suffer from nepotism: critics give more favorable reviews to their colleagues, authors who agree with their ideological slant, and if the book has been given an award by other critics. The result, implies this new research, is that Amazon has democratized the book reviewing process, with consumer reviewers less beholden to special interests and more representative of the book-reading masses. Perhaps most importantly, it rebuts critics who have claimed that Amazon is nothing more than a cauldron of corrupt and uneducated opinions.
Despite the strict editorial firewall between writers and commercial interests, “reviewers may not always have the incentive to provide objective reviews,” explain
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