Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Bad Book Reviews -- Bad PR

In keeping with yesterday's theme (about whether any book promotion is bad book promotion), I'd offer up two bad book reviews from today's Boston Herald. If you'd rather not read the entire article, I'll offer up the title, anyway: These words of wisdom are more likely to make you laugh. I think you get the point. In the event you want to see the reviews for yourself, click here.

Talk about a roller coaster for authors. First you get the good news from the Boston Herald's book review editor ("your book is slated for review on Wednesday"), and then you click on the review and -- wham! The reality may be that not many readers will rush out to buy a self-help book at which everyone is snickering. Or, if they do, they won't be excited about reading it in public for awhile.

Which brings us back to the question of whether any PR is bad PR. In the case of book reviews, I'd have to believe the answer is: yes. A book review can go a long way toward convincing readers that someone, somewhere, is taking your book seriously. That's a good thing.

On the other hand, a scathing book review can have the same effect on book sales that you'd expect an awful movie review would have on ticket sales. Have you run into anyone, besides a long-suffering movie reviewer who had no choice in the matter, who actually caught Ben Affleck's flick, "Gigli?" Me either.

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