Book reviews and reader comments in the Internet Age: a free-for-all?

November 20, 2014 11:57 AM

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Not long ago, book critics held voice-of-God sway over the publishing industry, offering pronouncements about the value of an author’s work from high atop a literary mountain. Then the Internet stripped away much of that framework. Bloggers, never-published authors and readers could now become industry players online in ways they never could before.

But like so many digital changes that happen at the speed of light, there’s a price. The accessibility of such platforms as Amazon for reader reviews, digital self-publishing for instant author status and consumer-driven sites such as Goodreads opened up “a total free-for-all” in online criticism an...

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