Book review ponderings

Over the past couple of days, I've been looking at a wide variety of book reviews around the Internet, in part for recommendations and in part to think some more about how I'm currently handling reviews and if there are better ways of doing it.

The main things that I'm missing compared to most other review sites (other than quantity, which will come with time) is more metadata; right now, my reviews have basically no metadata other than author and title, and at least an ISBN code would probably be useful (although is its own headache in other ways).

Some of this (like ISBN) would be pretty straightforward to include, although in some cases a bit hard to add retroactively. Page count would probably also be useful; I'm not sure if there's any other metadata that's particularly interesting to people, with the exception of cover scans.

One thing that I discovered in looking at other collections of reviews is that I really do love having the cover scans included. They don't necessarily add anything in particular to the review, but they give it a certain character and often I'll recognize the book more readily (and sometimes will not recognize the book when I should, which is also interesting).

However, I have no idea what the legal issues are surrounding cover scans.

It looks like I can reuse Amazon's images obtainable via their web services interface, which is rather neat, except that their list of terms and conditions is incredibly long and intimidating. It also would appear to require that I link to Amazon for purchases, and I'd actually rather recommend Powell's or some other independent bookseller. Hm.

I'm wondering if there is some other source of small cover art pictures (I don't want full-sized scans even if I could get them) usable explicitly for book reviews out there that I'm not seeing. I know that I can get this sort of information from places like Muze, but then of course I'd have to pay for it; their target market is on-line booksellers.

If anyone out there knows anything more about this, what other people do, or where to look, I'd be very interested.

Posted: 2004-05-03 16:41 — Why no comments?

Only one thought -- it would be nice to have all of your reviews linked in one place sorted by final rating, so that when looking for a recommendation, the reader doesn't have to flip through all the books ever reviewed.

Posted by Jeffrey M. Vinocur at 2004-05-07 10:52

Last spun 2013-07-01 from thread modified 2013-01-04