Originally Posted by GraceKrispy
I totally agree with what ficbot's posted. I think she hit the nail on the head.
How exactly would the reviewers be ranked? I can see that backfiring as well- who does the ranking? Authors whose books may or may not have been reviewed highly? It seems that would actually go the way ficbot is suggesting, where authors figure out who writes the glowing reviews and moves those reviewers to the top. I might be reading that part wrong, but I'd like to hear some clarification on that part.
I don't want to push my reviews on any author who doesn't want them (although I will review books of my own choosing, even if not requested).
I'm also thinking it shifts the workload the way you suggest. Currently, authors generally seek out reviewers, send out an email and go from there. Your suggestion puts the work on the reviewer. Now the reviewer needs to search out the books from the list, find information and decide whether to review. Am I understanding that correctly? I guess I think of it as the reviewer being the one providing the service that the authors desire, so....
Yes I agree with Ficbot too.
Good questions and they should help to clarify my idea a little. Taking them in order:
1. Reviewers could only be ranked by readers. This is tough to control (for instance Amazon don't have this "fixed"), and it may or may not be fixable. One idea I have is that there would be "moderators", perhaps people such as yourself and ficbot, for example, but providing a balanced view. Where a Reviewer's rank is disproportionate: High or Low, the mods could take a look. As you've pointed out, whilst gaming the system is possible it is also very obvious in most instances (for example a book at Amazon with four 5 star reviews and the reviewers have collectively only ever posted 4 reviews).
2. In the system I am thinking of; authors don't get to choose who does the review. A book belonging to a genre is "pushed" to those who review in that genre - no obligations either way.
3. On the work flowing in the right direction actually this should be less work for reviewers because the books will come to them in email. Unless the author fills the form properly the book won't go out for review. If author does fill out information correctly (PG rating, genre, title, word count etc) then the book goes to a queue. Reviewers would be able to turn on/off a button saying Accepting Submissions or not (this button only on the reviewers side).
Grace, partly this idea was inspired by your post Author's Reviewing their own books, Ficbots and JA Konrath's success (largely review driven) around his book Dracula. I had the idea from "blind wine tasting".
An author might be able to "game" a reviewer or two in the system, but not all - and truth will out. Part of the "penalty for gaming" - The Banned Forever List
(that might be a bit harsh but it appeals in its simplicity).
It would take time, but imagine a site where indie authors upload their books, have them reviewed, get a ranking AND the site has the credibility of a reputation for being fair but honest