To avoid further complaints and controversies about review "stuffing" and other efforts to manipulate sales rank numbers, will now screen all potential reviewers before clearing them to post their remarks. Please complete this questionnaire

The author of the book I am reviewing:

a) Is a friend of mine

b) Is a relative of mine

c) Is my employer/colleague

d) What are you, a cop?

If author is a member of family, please specify:

a) Child

b) Parent

c) Spouse

d) Sibling

e) "Uncle" (organized crime members only)

f) Not a family member, but I call him "mommy"

On average, I read:

a) 5—10 books a year

b) 10—15 books a year

c) 15—20 books a year

d) Any book that contains the word "throbbing"

The most important element of an effective book review is:

a) Cogent plot synopsis

b) Measured yet constructive criticism

c) Thoughtful references to other literary works

d) Gratuitous references to the word "throbbing."

I feel compelled to write this review because:

a) This book inspired me

b) This book enraged me

c) I enjoy the free exchange of opinions in an open forum

d) I wasn't satisfied with the first 20 sycophantic raves I wrote for this book

Oprah's Book Club is the single most influential thing to happen to publishing in the last decade because:

a) It stimulates mass sales

b) It stimulates mass readership

c) It shines a spotlight on undiscovered authors

d) It exposed Jonathan Franzen for the pompous putz he is

e) All of the above except d) (answer available to Jonathan Franzen only)

The ideal length for an online review should be:

a) 50—100 words

b) 100—250 words

c) 250—500 words

d) A four-minute downloadable audio version featuring the voice of the babe who puts you on hold at the Victoria's Secret catalogue.

e) I don't know. It depends on how many times I decide to end a sentence with "like, whatever...."

Perusing online reviews from other readers:

a) Helps me decide whether to purchase the book

b) Occasionally makes me reassess my opinions about the book

c) Even if it doesn't change my opinion, it makes me appreciate how perception can vary wildly and that no two individuals view a work of art the same way

d) I'm sorry, I wasn't paying attention. Did you say something?

Which of these e-mail/text message terms is inappropriate for an Amazon review?

a) imo

b) lol

c) btw


The way I first learned about the book I am reviewing was:

a) through word of mouth

b) in a newspaper/magazine article or ad

c) from a display at my local bookstore

d) because the author and I share the same summer house

e) because the author and I share the same DNA

Posting my full name and e-mail address with my review:

a) Is a safeguard against filing multiple reviews

b) Violates my right to privacy

c) Insures 10—20 additional e-mails per day with subject headings like "More NEW recipes for Viagra"

d) Makes it easier for you to get in touch with me when my credit card on file has been used by a former Amazon employee to buy a farm in France.

Have you ever wanted to give a book more than five stars?

a) Yes

b) No

c) More than five stars? Who are you, Steven Hawking?

d) What answer will get you to end this questionnaire?

Have you ever wanted to give a book less than one star?

a) No

b) Yes

c) Speaking of less than one star, ever see the panel on The Jimmy Kimmel Show?

d) I love that crack about Jimmy Kimmel, and I apologize for wanting the questionnaire to end.

e) Like, whatever....