I don't feel like being long winded today. All of you know I can certainly be that without much effort. But not today. I will be short and to the point.
I am also a noted problem solver. Many of my friends would tell you that. Because of that well earned reputation, they seek me out for advice, which I am happy to give if I think I have something of value to offer.
In the above link, the blogger discusses the reviewing process of books and other art (but mostly books) and how everyone is just about terrified to give a bad review to anyone because of any number of reasons. Mostly, because they think their will be severe backlash to them and their books and they will be then excluded from the online clique that forms because this mutual admiration society. Today, the bulk of reviews of novels and books, especially online, come from fellow authors. The days of pure book reviewers are pretty much gone.
I see only one way to rectify this. Have books reviewed blind by the faceless and nameless. How would we go about that?
Simple. You have a book or chapter you want reviewed by someone viewed as competent. You simply forward it through a clearing house and they forward that piece of work, without an author name attached, to people who will review it and submit reviews without their names attached to the reviews. In that way, you review the content only and the reviewer will be judged only by the criticism and not who they are. This takes away the prestige and possible friendships on the front end and the fear and quid pro quo on the back end.
It would be great if we were all brave and grown up enough to not have to resort to this, but it appears to me that almost all are not. I see 5 Star reviews being given out like bones to a good dog and that has basically cheapened the meaning of them to the point that they are worthless. This seems the only solution to that issue.