Monday, August 22, 2011

"Driving Straight" & Amazon book reviews

In a new Cornell study, Trevor Pinch, professor of sociology and of science and technology studies and author of 14 books, and Web entrepreneur Filip Kesler conducted an online survey of 166 of's "top 1,000" reviewers, as identified by Amazon. The reviewers write about everything from obscure books and mainstream films to such products as the ThighMaster or a dog brush. 

Just who are the Amazon reviewers? The study reveals some of the secrets. 85% of the reviews are written in  exchange for free products - including books. Also, 70% of reviewers are male, and 40% are professional writers.

Pinch said
 " styles range widely, from tongue-in-cheek to stream of consciousness to "extremely well crafted. The quality of the writing can be surprisingly good. These are no slouches."

The English edition of my autobiography, "Driving Straight on Crooked Lines" so far has 23 reviews on Amazon. Full disclosure, I did send one (used) copy to a blogger who sometimes deals with the book's topics and asked for a sincere review. She obliged. You can read her review here (it's not on Amazon). 

Three "activists" with regard to the LC controversies requested a free copy of the book. They approached me - I did not contact them. None of them reviewed it., although one of them ( a well known writer) e-mailed me very favorable comments. I guess my experiences were not considered to be "negative" enough.  If my book had "thrashed"  the  Legionaries and the Regnum Christi movement, I have no doubt it would have received a lot more "publicity." Frankly, I preferred to stick to the (always subjective) " truth" of my personal experiences even though that is not a popular position with those who - despite the Pope's on-going support - see no good whatsoever in the beleaguered congregation.

If you have read the book and would like to leave a short review on Amazon, I would much appreciate it. If you are not up to writing your own review, I would also appreciate it if you would "like" the reviews on Amazon that you agree with. Every little bit of input helps! If you want to see a "compendium" of reviews (including some that never made it to Amazon) you can check them at the "Driving Straight" website.

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