As an avid reader and lover of books I find myself trying to convince many people of the joys and wealth of knowledge they can experience through them. A difficult subject in today’s world as this industry has been advertised to be as convenient as possible for any person to consume; I refer to the advent of e-books etc.
Asking myself why it has become such a specialized field to market in I have come to the conclusion that in order to relate an idea to someone you need to actually speak in terms they can make their own, this of course applies to many spheres in life but in the context of books it simply means comparing apples to apples or if you prefer oranges to oranges.
I’m not talking about, listening to your mom about your particular choice of clothing or life partner but in the case of being able to relate, or compare, something you would know the viewer has experienced to something they haven’t.
When offering a review or feedback of a book its best to engage the audience in the way of reviewing several books to create a sort of scale in which the person listening can gauge the standard of the reviewed book in question. Creating a standard or “measuring stick” through the use of a simple point based system is an effective tool for such purposes. An effective example of which can be found of the SIFT Study Guides which give a comprehensive list of guides ranging from large publishing houses to private and lesser known companies highlighting book series that are well known such as “… for DUMMIES” series and the “Learning Express” series. Providing not only the best to find but also the worst to find, ensuring standard of quality in that specific field as well and maintaining a satisfied user base.
While the world of written word is advertised in the majority for entertainment purposes there is a much deeper requirement for academic reviews in this sense. As SIFT Study Guides reference by MilitaryFlightTests.com demonstrates simply giving the book title and a short “description” is not an effective converter of sales and potentially drives interested parties away from investing the market. A negative feedback loop which is currently only forcing lower and lower quality into the production of these types of materials.
It is in this realisation that if we poorly review and relate books even in the context of Study Guides that we end up diminishing the value of a culture that has moved our society forward since the first published book in 1455, albeit a simple step forward from the advent of written language.
At the end of the page –
The case for engaging and effective reviews is a matter of being able to keep the culture of books alive, one that as the above example simply demonstrates both the value of accurate feedback and marketing to keep it alive.
Providing this service I believe then is a responsibility as well as a favour to you as a player in the industry, growing both yourselves in the industry as well as the actual industry in its entirety.