Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Posing a question about publishing and reviews:

I've been seeing a lot of posts lately about negative vs. positive reviews, and while everyone seems to have a brilliant argument for or against them, the subject has left me with a question...

I have not seen any of the posts in question, so I don't know if the initial complaint was against readers who receive ARCs and leave negative reviews, readers who give negative reviews to books they've purchased, or both. So my question may or may not relate to the debate at hand, but here it is:

I've been blogging about books for less than two years and I confess I don't know very much about the publishing industry as a whole. When the publishers send out ARCs for review, I assume they want a true opinion of the book; they're not just looking for a nice quote to put in the author's next book, right? Does the publisher look at all the reviews and give the writer feedback? Things like, "readers didn't care for a circus clown as a heroine", or "telling a love story from the neighbor's poodle's POV didn't go over well". Or, are they just trying to see where trends are going ("the readers wished the vampire was a gay robot cowboy")? Or... do they just go by sales numbers when they make their decision as to whether or not to continue a relationship with a writer?

I don't know if there is one answer or if every situation is different. But...I am curious!


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