Ángel González has written an excellent and insightful article in The Seattle Times, which looks at the way Amazon’s team of book reviewers work, and how their reviews of literary works influence readers and the types of books they end up buying.
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“Within the highly automated folds of Amazon’s online bookstore, there’s a small team of literary types whose main job is rather old school.
They read books, write about them and rank the works according to their qualities, helping readers sift through thousands of offerings while also planting the tech juggernaut’s flag in the world of literary culture.
In an engineer-driven company ruled by algorithms and metrics, the Amazon book editors are rare birds. Once in a while, they’re misunderstood by authors and publishers who retain a deep suspicion of Amazon.com after years of clashes over the book industry’s future.
The editors produce Amazon Book Review, an online offering similar to literary supplements newspapers have been putting out for more than a century. They also put together frequent lists of recommendations prominently displayed on Amazon’s bookstore.
The current team was assembled by Amazon editorial director Sara Nelson, a renowned publishing veteran.
Nelson, however, is leaving after a four-year stint to become executive editor and vice president at HarperCollins, one of the big New York publishers.
Even as Nelson departs, evidence is clear that Amazon intends to leave its mark in book culture as much as it wants to sell books.”
Read the whole article here.
This is a great example of good old fashioned human intervention coming together with some fancy computer algorithms.
Image credit: Pixabay[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/hv1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of eBooks India. He is also a prolific eBook writer with over 25 titles to his name.[/author_info] [/author]