The mss apparaisal company told me the name of the appraiser my work was assigned to and the kind of work/writing he or she appraised and her/his credentials. Friends/relatives are not a good idea, neither are book groups or forums. I don't think the size of the appraising company matters but whether you feel comfortable with it. As for book reviews, well, one man's meat is anther man's poison. One's bound to get fiercely opposing views but that's what it's all about and you just have to develop a skin like a rhino and accept the brickbats with the bouquets.