Before I arrived at Paperight, there had been an attempt to make book reviews a regular thing to post on the blog. When I stepped into the ring, I fully intended to bring them back from obscurity.
Having worked in a bookstore, I know that book recommendations are incredibly valuable when it comes to making the decision to buy a book. Customers rely on experienced ‘readers’ giving them advice on what they already believe should be good reads, and that opinion is already made on what they have heard from friends and read in newspapers or magazines. There are so many titles out there that most readers rely heavily on instruction.
I started with a review of the GetSmarter Digital Photography course manual due to my personal interest in photography. At the time I happened to be taking a part time, manual photography course and I needed some further instruction when it came to capturing the perfect image. The fact that the title tied into a personal interest made the review so much easier.
My second review was for the Manga Shakespeare series from Self Made Hero. Inbetween campaign prep tasks for the #textbookrevolution, I made my way through Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. With beautiful drawings and a distilled version of the story, they were enjoyable to read and I made sure to emphasise that in my review.
Both reviews have been published on the Paperight blog. However, I envisioned that one day, these reviews would be seen on the Paperight.com home site, along with the opportunity for customers to review titles they have bought, too.
Apart from this, I also attempted to review a GetSmarter Marketing course manual, but I couldn’t strike the right tone in the piece so it was never released. This review highlighted the biggest problems with the reviewing process:
- There often isn’t enough time to focus on reading a new book and reviewing it too.
- It is much easier to review a title that you enjoy.
I would definitely advise having more than one person reviewing titles because one person’s chore is another person’s choice read. This also spreads the task around and makes it less difficult to produce many reviews over the same amount of time. If I had a perfect system, I would make sure that Paperight publishes at least 4 reviews a month, totalling 48 reviews a year. This may be a small number, but with a small team, this number is achievable and will grow exponentially as the team grows and the catologue of books grows. Just a thought! As much as Paperight has tried to distance themselves from ordinary bookselling practices, I think that this practice is absolutely essential to building regular customers.