Quinn Dalton's recent book, Bulletproof Girl, has apparently received a negative review from Kirkus (home of the you pay, we review, policy) and while she understands some might not jump up and down, hailing her work as one for the ages, she wanted to understand more about the reviewer as he/she had particular issues with repetitive domestic aspects of her stories. The problem Quinn encountered is Kirkus doesn't state who the reviewer is. Quinn's response can be found at MediaBistro, as she did a substantial amount of research into articles about anonymous reviewing.
For the past five years plus now, I've been writing book reviews for each book that I read - first emailing them to a list of readers, and then eventually adding them to a website, and even more recently, also adding them to this site. I have been approached by around a dozen people over that time asking if I'd like help and I've always said no thank you for the same reason - I wanted my site to be one that readers could visit and after reading my reviews of four or five books they've also read, come to a conclusion about my tastes.
Not everybody agrees with me in regards to what makes good writing, storytelling, etc. I know of at least four people who are in my network, specifically to make sure they stay away from books that I describe liking for certain reasons. But, I'd like to think that I have a consistency that allows somebody to come over and find lesser known authors and see that I've said similar things about their work, as better known authors they already know they enjoy.
When I read certain book review pages, I look for that same consistency. The name James Wood pops up frequently in the Lit. Blogosphere - for some positively, and others negatively, but there seems to be an agreement between the two sides that he has a vision of good writing and he follows it in his reviewing from book to book - once you understand his vision versus your own tastes, his writing become very valuable.
So, I suppose I'm piling on to the beatings Kirkus is already receiving, but I do not like anonymous reviewing at all, and don't read them.