RIP Harriet Klausner, Well Known, Controversial Amazon Reviewer

Harriet KlausnerHarriet Klausner, the prolific Amazon reviewer, passed away October 15. She was 67, and at her time of death she had no less than 31,000 reviews at Amazon.

Apparently she was a speed reader who could read between 4-6 books a day. She once said: “If I can make it past the first 50 pages, that means I like it, and so I review it”.

Her passing must have happened very fast because her last Amazon review was dated October 12, as shown on her Amazon reviewer profile.

Many book authors and book reviewers knew her, some loved her, others not so much.

While I’ve never met her in person, I do remember her name popping up very often at Amazon. All her reviews had 4 and 5 star ratings and were extremely positive. As you can imagine, many authors loved her. However we all know that not every book deserves a 4 or 5 star rating, that is statistically impossible because book authors come in all forms, shapes, qualities and experiences, along with various degrees of talent. Not every book deserves a 5 star rating.

Despite all this, I do consider Harriet an important part of the book publishing industry. With her name known all around, she was an influential conduit for bringing new, unknown authors to spotlight, giving them that needed visibility, knowing just how ruthless the competition – regardless of book genre – is.

In 2012 Amazon cracked down on fake reviews and Harriet Klausner suffered a hit in this major overhaul. Her reviewers no longer featured as the most useful ones and many book readers who were perusing reviews for ideas for a new book to read would simply ignore hers.

What sparked the most controversy, however, was the fact that many of the free review books she received from book authors and publishers ended up on sale on her son’s Half.com’s account. With around 50 free books received per week

As a comment on another blog post so aptly put it:
“I know there was much controversy about her, but, as a beneficiary of her intent to bring lesser known writers without big publicity to the fore, I always appreciated her kind reviews”.

Despite of all the controversy around you, RIP Harriet Klausner. No matter what anyone says, you loved books and you showed it to the world the best way you could.

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