On amateur book reviewers.
In an article in the Globe and Mail titled "How a one-star review can sink a title", Russell Smith writes about amateur book reviews on sites like Amazon and their effect on sales. He suggests that it's not out of line for authors to ask their friends to help improve their star ratings because, you know, their feelings are being hurt.
The amateur reviews are for the most part so idiotic, so ideologically driven or otherwise missing the point, that to receive a low star-rating from them — particularly if one has had excellent reviews from professionals — has started to become offensive and maddening.
"for the most part"? Yes, yes, I know. Only the professionals know whether or not a book is good. Never mind that I've read many books — award winners, praised to the hills — that were pretentious crap. If a review isn't three pages long and if it doesn't compare the book to lots of other books that people only pretend to have read and it if doesn't use words that "regular" people have to look up in a dictionary, then it's worthless. Got it.