Amazon and the evolving world of book reviews

Item1: Historical fiction author Debra Swift (@swiftstory) tweeted a Guardian UK blog post by Robert McCrum in which McCrum argues that professional book reviewers are better than amateurs.

Item2: Historical fiction survey participants overwhelmingly rank online reviews in blogs and social media sites like Goodreads as their preferred source of book recommendations. Amazon was hardly mentioned as a preferred source.

Item3: Amazon sends me a request to review a recently purchased book called Hit Lit by James W. Hall.

Where is all this going?

  • Is Amazon attempting to counter accusations that reviews on their site are exaggerated or written by friends of wannabe authors or submitted by companies offering reviews for very small sums of money?
  • Will professional book reviewers resurface as the preferred standard of reliable opinion?
  • Why would someone spend time producing a quality review for Amazon without any remuneration?
  • What criteria does Amazon use to send a review request?

No answers. Just musing.