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Review Interview



This Interview was originally given to a student in Taiwan 

to help her complete her Master's degree. 


Also see: The Reviewing Journey 

& Tales from the Amazon



1. What is your occupation? What makes you post your reviews on Amazon?

I am a writer and the author of Seasoned with Love: A collection of best-loved recipes inspired by over 40 cultures. I post my reviews at Amazon to bring awareness to the books I love and to also meet new people with an interest in cooking, psychology, spirituality, etc.  


Personal Background: Lived in America until I was 7, then moved to Africa for 12 years. Returned to America
to attend college. Currently reside in Washington State. 

Education: Master of Science in Educational Administration, 1992
Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, 1991

Interests: Cooking, Food Writing, Building Websites, Reading, Reviewing, Walking for Fitness, Photography.


2. What is the meaning of review or reviewing for you?

Reviewing is a brief summary of a book. Normally under 1,000 words. A review should tell you liked or disliked or tell something about the book which caused your life to change or how the book affected you in a unique way. 


3. Do you have any rules of writing the review?

Yes, I try to be fair to the author and to the reader. If the book is completely not worth reviewing Ė I donít normally spend the time. It would not benefit anyone and why should I bring awareness to such a book? There are exceptions.  


A good review should include: 


A Description of Content - just enough to wet the reading appetite and yet doesn't ruin the work for others who have not
read the book or viewed the movie, etc.

A description of delight or dissatisfaction - Or maybe even mediocrity. I want to know if a work changed a life, 
moved someone to tears or brought a smile to their face. Something personal that makes me want to buy the item so it will enhance
my life. I'll also buy items to see just how bad they could possibly be.

The reason to purchase the item.


4. How do you think about anonymous reviews? Fair? Skewed? (note - we can no longer write anonymous reviews.)

You can tell when an anonymous review is meant to hurt an author or artist. The negative reviews are a little hard to take if you personally liked the book or CD. 






5. What do you feel about Amazonís reader reviews? Useful?

Yes, I love them. The reviews have  helped me make many decisions. I try to take the good and the bad and then make my own decision. Many times it encourages me to buy the book so I can see what everyone is talking about. 


6. How do you think about professional (editorial) reviews and customer reviews?

Customer reviews have a life force behind them telling how this book affected a life. 


7. Do you ever get to know other customers by writing reviews?

 I find reviewing to be very rewarding. I think the Internet makes people more social on a cognitive level. Amazon is a community, not just a store. It is a great place for people with similar interests to meet. I have met some great minds at Amazon.



8. Would you cite some examples about the response you have received to your reviews?

Yes, a girl who was 24 wrote to me and asked me for more information on the Narnia Series, see my review about C. S. Lewisís books. I loved them as a child but she was wondering if she was too old for them. Funny enough, a man who is 46 wrote to me and loves them too. She purchased the set and has also given me advice on how to build websites. 


9. What makes online reviews unique?

These reviewers are telling you how it really is. I think it is just the best thing that has ever happened to reviewing. Amazon is the ultimate book club!



10. When did you post your first review? 
April 3, 2000 is the first record of my reviews being posted at Amazon. 



11. Do you receive feedback from your reviews. 

Yes. I will often post the comments at this site. 



12. What do you get in return for the effort you put into reviewing? 
A sense of satisfaction. I feel I'm helping readers find great books. 



13. Why do you prefer writing your reviews for Amazon? 
I love the site. It has a friendly community feel. I can find any book I want to read and buy it with one click! The reviews are better at Amazon and I find them to be very honest in general. There are exceptions. 


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