Posts Tagged: book reviews

Will Buzz for Books

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Crown Publishing Group has been rolling out a marketing program hoping to leverage the power of social media. The program, Blogging for Books, offers free books to bloggers in exchange for book reviews. Ideal participants generate buzz by posting comments to social media and online bookstores, and including marketing materials like book trailers alongside their reviews.

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Amazon bans Authors from posting book Reviews

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If you’re an author on Amazon, your days of posting book reviews may have come to an end.

Amazon’s new book review policy classifies Amazon authors as competitors, and competitors cannot review each others “products.” At Jacket Copy, Carolyn Kellogg asks, “Why is Amazon deleting writers’ reviews of other authors’ books?”

“That is hardly a rarity; most authors know other people who write books.

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The Death (and Rebirth?) of the Book Review

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Why review books? At The Awl, Jane Hu takes a historical approach to answering that question.

Quoting writers from Alexander Pope to Jonathan Franzen, Hu argues that the apparently ever-progressing “death” of the book review is perhaps a more nuanced process than it first appears:

“Perhaps a large problem in the decline of good criticism is that readers no longer know how, or where, to find critics, and, more importantly, how to define what makes it Good.”

Hu’s essay is in some aspects a continuation of the narrative established in Elizabeth Gumport’s 2011 essay “Against Reviews” for N+1, an impassioned argument for a complete rethinking of the form and its uses.

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The (Optimisitic) State of the Book Review

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Book reviews sections in newspapers and magazines began shrinking a couple years ago, or being folded into other sections, even disappearing altogether.

In 2007, a band of culturally dedicated authors started the National Book Critics Circle’s Campaign to Save Book Reviewing and now “we remain a nation of passionate readers—even during a time when movies can be streamed on demand and countless distractions are built into every smartphone and tablet.” Nowadays, the number of books published per year is growing.

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Book Blurb Clichés

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Ever get sick of the stifling language that book reviewers use for their blurbs? There is indeed a “professional jargon” that is readily visible on the front and back of any novel, and there are more and more clichés to choose from these days.

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In Defense Of Negative Reviews

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“A book arrives that in the opinion of the reviewer outrages a principle of politics or philosophy or history or art, and will lead its readers into error or illusion, and will coarsen discourse or experience—for such are the stakes in books, the power of books, and the real nihilism is to deny it.”

Leon Wieseltier at The New Republic defends his own frequently “negative” criticism, specifically of Franzen’s Freedom.

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The Rumpus Books Sunday Supplement

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supplement2To bring in the New Year, we had one helluva week at Rumpus Books. Steve Almond confronted “Katie Roiphe’s Big Cock Block,” Joshua Mohr asked why we write reviews in the first place, and Dubravka Ugresic talked about myths and the former Yugoslavia.

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Reviewing The Reviewers

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“Criticism and reviews are both meta-forms–if they don’t in some way amplify or complicate the subject of their focus, then they shouldn’t exist.  So much of what passes for reviews or criticism that I read online seems not simply to fail to contribute to my understanding of the work under review, but actually to disrupt that understanding, or worse, to degrade the work.”

It’s still “Mean Week” at  HTMLGIANT as Justin Taylor wonders whether book reviewers need to be held to higher standards.

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