Everyone has their own idea about the reach of reviews. Publishers hope that reviews will hype a book up, bloggers want their reviews to inspire readers, and authors like reviews because it shows them somebody out there is enjoying what they wrote. While it is agreed that reviews are meaningful, who gets the most benefit out of them? Publishers, Authors, bloggers, and readers probably all have different answers and hopes.
Personally, I hope my reviews can reach anyone who reads-whether it be another blogger or just a regular person. Of course, publishers and authors do benefit from this in a second-handed sort of way, and they give us review copies. It’s a win-win situation.
In theory: Reviews will increase publicity for an upcoming novel/get more people to read it.
In reality: Most book blogs see more traffic from other bloggers than casual readers.
However, this isn’t necessary a bad thing. After all, reviews are still getting read. Word is still spread around. In fact, books may even have more buyers and more publicity because you are not only encouraging the average reader, you are encouraging the avid reader: the blogger. The blogger who will post about the book on their own blog, reaching even more people.
In theory: Reviews give critical feedback for authors.
In reality: Author will write what they want to write and how they want to write it.
Sometimes you will see the same mistakes made in one book continue onto the next and the next. For example, I hear Lauren Kate’s TEARDROP has the same cliche romance and weak heroine her FALLEN series did. As for an example I can personally vouch for, I recently read Sophie Jordan’s UNINVITED and the negatives from that series are almost exact copies of those in FIRELIGHT. I’m not saying this to bash author’s in any way, it’s just something I have seen. In a perfect world an author would take reviews into account and maybe use the feedback as a way again. But we are all human and at the end of the day, an author really can write whatever they want and how they want it.
I think other book bloggers benefit from reviews the most in a personal way. In a financial/publicity sort of way, of course publishers would benefit the most, right? I do kind of wish authors would put more weight on reviews, though.