I am still thinking about my visit to the Poe Museum earlier this week. Poe made himself unpopular with the literary establishment of the day by being brutally honest in his criticism of other writers.
Poe railed against writers who got their friends to write them glowing reviews. He probably would embrace Amazon book reviews. Gregory Ferenstein wrote in May 15, 2012 TechCrunch article, “Amazon Killed The Book Reviewer Star.”
“Authors no longer have to impress stodgy English majors to get their book a quality review: new research from the Harvard Business Review shows that the aggregate rating of Amazon reviewers are every bit as good as professional book critics.
Professional book critics, on the other hand, suffer from nepotism: critics give more favorable reviews to their colleagues, authors who agree with their ideological slant, and if the book has been given an award by other critics. The result, implies this new research, is that Amazon has democratized the book reviewing process, with consumer reviewers less beholden to special interests and more representative of the book-reading masses. Perhaps most importantly, it rebuts critics who have claimed that Amazon is nothing more than a cauldron of corrupt and uneducated opinions.”