Libraries, booksellers, and publishers have long relied on advanced book reviews in professional publications to help make decisions about what to stock on their shelves or how to launch a book’s publicity campaign. While these reviews were somewhat longer and not aimed at the general reading audience, Victoria Sutherland, publisher of the widely respected review magazine ForeWord Reviews, has seen the interest in more in-depth reviews shift to the reading consumer now that the increasing numbers of books, both traditionally and independently published, are making discoverability more arduous.
For its part, Barnes and Noble will be helping consumers access great titles by stocking the quarterly ForeWord Reviews in its 350 brick-and-mortar locations, acknowledging that it is not just the industry professional who appreciates a guidebook to great reading. Jennifer Szunko, digital marketing services director for ForeWord, spoke to Good e-Reader yesterday about how this will potentially impact the reading community.
“It’s amazing how many books are out there, and how many are being produced,” said Szunko, referring to the titles that ForeWord has reviewed in its fifteen year history. “At the time, we were really the only ones who were reviewing books from independent publishers and the smaller publishing houses. It feels like there are more books being produced, especially from the smaller publishers, and it feels like there’s just a greater interest from the typical reader in discovering those books.”
ForeWord has altered its reviews slightly to give it more of a consumer feel, giving readers who truly want to browse a knowledgeable source the opportunity to locate books of interest as well as read a notable review prior to investing in the book. Within the next few weeks, Barnes and Noble will be stocking the printed review magazine in order to offer its customers the opportunity to discover new books and new authors.
“Suddenly, the average reader is trying to discover the next new author. We’ve had librarians and bookstore owners for years who would present a new author to their audience, and now I think there are readers that will be coming into libraries and bookstores asking for a little known author.”
ForeWord Reviews also offers the converse alternative to the discoverability of new books and new authors from foreign language markets by representing English-language books at trade shows and publishing events around the world, providing a discoverability for foreign consumers to find these English-language authors.