We constantly get recommendations from friends, relatives, and work colleagues regarding TV shows, movies, plays, and restaurants. Sometimes we keep our ears open to learn of something a person said they really enjoyed and often I am soliciting suggestions so I can try something new or learn if I’m really missing out on something. It would seem the same happens with books. We look to see what others are reading and then ask if it’s any good. But how do we know we can trust in the recommended books of others?
If you look at consumer-generated reviews for anything, you’ll probably find everything averages close to 3.7 stars out of five. How is one to differentiate? Whom do you trust or believe in to tell you what to watch, see, do, eat, or listen to?
You need to review the reviewers and draw some conclusions about who is making the recommendation and why. You may love your aunt but her restaurant recommendations suck. Or you like your friend but she simply has bad taste when it comes to music. We aren’t going to like everything about the people we know or even adore. The key is to know when your enjoyment of one’s friendship also validates them as worthy of recommending things to you. Even then, determine which things you value their opinion on. It will take time, experimentation and risk.
Think about the people you know, like, and value. What will each of them recommend you read? Will you ask 12 people and get a dozen different books recommended? Will you have to really break down these recommendations based on certain criteria, such as:
· What has this person recommended before? Did you like the choice?
· Why do they recommend something?
· Did you cross reference their suggestion with critical reviews or your own independent search?
· What are you in the mood for?
· How smart is this person? Is he or she similar to you in many other ways?
When you recommend a book it can’t just be that you thought it was very good. You have to ask yourself: Will this person like it as much as you? What makes you think that’s so?
I have a general rule with my sister-in-law: if she hated a movie, it must be good, and if she liked something, I try not to see it. We simply have opposite impressions of the movies we see. But I might accept her restaurant recommendation or tips on travel or advice on something else. I don’t accept what she says on everything but I don’t dismiss her on everything merely because she’s a cinematic moron.
Before you give – or take on – a recommendation for a book, think about whom you are talking to – and whether you agree on books.\
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs
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