A Goodreads user
A Goodreads user asked:

Why does a book that is not even released have 95 ratings?

To answer questions about Oathbringer, please sign up.
Prince Atul I think these people are from future. As they have done both build time machine and read this book, so they are giving reviews. It might indicate how good this book is going to be.


P.S:- Can't we ask goodread to provide rating option only after a book has been released.
Leah Steele Gotta go with the OP here. Pet peeve of mine. If you haven't read it, don't rate it. Period.

And I've read series with four books I could rate 5 stars, then the final installment earned a 2 star rating from me. Your enjoyment of an author's previous work is no guarantee you'll love the next one.
Frank Church I don't blame the fans. I blame GoodReads. Why have an ability to rate a book that isn't released yet? It makes zero sense.

Fans sharing anticipation and excitement IS a good thing. But not thru rating. That's asinine.
Van Reese Good grief! Book #10 already has an average rating of 4.65 with 23 reviews. I can understand Marty McFly and Doctor Emmett Brown might be able to legitimately pull off a review ten years in the future, but who are these other time travelers? Really, folks. Save the reviews for books you actually read.
Santiago Draco The Goodreads system shouldn't even allow ratings for an unpublished book. This invalidates the entire rating system.
Reborn Not released? According to his website, not even 50% written! I do wish people would hold off on rating books they haven't read. It's ridiculous.
GaiusPrimus Unfortunately, it's not just this book. I wholeheartedly agree with the OP's feeling about this practice, regardless if the book/author is/will be good or not.
Michael Giving a rating or review before a book is released should be restricted to verified reviewers and critics.
Jumper RBK Blame goodreads for creating dumb rating system that allow unreleased book to be rated
Britney (BookDrunkSloth) While I feel on principle that you shouldn't give a rating to a book that you haven't read, I already know that I will at least give this book a 4 star rating. If you have read Sanderson's work before, you'll see that he is absolutely brilliant and never disappoints. So even though I have not rated this book yet, I can see why other fans might have already rated the book.
piranha Goodreads is owned by Amazon. I hope nobody here thinks that the user experience is what matters to them past keeping users on the site -- Amazon cares about its bottom line first and foremost, and a highly rated book will increase that. That's why Goodreads doesn't give a hoot that users are upset at prematurely inflated ratings (and also why they don't give us half points; most people round up, so it's better for marginal books not to give us more nuance). Unless users leave the site in large numbers, Goodreads doesn't even need to care much about how they feel about the site.

I've long stopped paying attention to ratings here, except at the bottom end -- if a book is rated poorly it probably really is dreck. But top ratings are only meaningful when it comes to unknown authors where there is no major hype about their book (even there you need to be careful because they might have mustered a coterie of relatives and friends to upvote the book). Find a few people who read a lot in your genres whose reviews are interesting for you, and follow those; reliable and honest reviewers are worth much more than ratings.
Kev I'm calling BS Stan. Brandon didn't finish his 3rd draft until this month. 2 years ago, when this question was asked, he hadn't even started his first draft. You can't get an advanced copy on something that doesn't yet exist.

Now there are over 600 votes as well. I'm pretty sure he hasn't sent out over 600 advanced copies. Not to mention, where are the reviews, which are part of the obligation of receiving advanced copies?

People on this site vote on books before there is anything simply because they like the authors previous works or books in a series.
Jared You can read the first 15 chapters on TOR.com right now. I'd be giving it 5 stars from just those!
Michael Greene While I generally agree with you, Sanderson did release some early chapters of Oathbringer, so it's possible that people could be rating based on that.
The Reader Because it is Brandon Sanderson people just assume it is going to be the most amazing book the world has given us. It is so stupid. It is basically like seeing a movie poster before the movie is released and saying "That is my favourite movie."
Emily So it's not the case with this book, but many reviewers get ARCs (advanced reader copies) of certain books (though generally not ones from as established an author as Sanderson) to read, rate, and review ahead of time. So the rating option needs to be open before a book is released. The average rating of an unreleased book that is not a sequel can be useful.
Not that a don't completely agree that people should only rate books they have read.
(Also, good luck getting Goodreads to listen to user comments. If they haven't changed to allow half-star ratings by now, I don't think they're listening.)
Tyler Luko Probably due to the previous two books in the series. They were magnificent! When I started this series I found it hard to put it down. If this one is anything like the other two it will be an excellent read.
Robert Cohen OK, let me put in my two cents. I agree that this practice pisses me off. But we're not talking about ratings only. Abbi Waxman's new book I Was Told It Would Get Better will be released in June of 2020. As of April, 2020, it has 42 ratings and get this, 24 reviews. How the f**k do you review a book that doesn't even exist yet? I have some favorite authors, too, and I eagerly anticipate their next book, but how in hell would I know what to say about a book I haven't, and could not possibly have, read? P.S. There can't possibly be that many ARCs around that just happen to fall into the hands of selected Goodreads members. I call B***S**T on this.
Tom OBrien Not sure if it's the same with this book, but a lot of publishers give out ARCS (Advance release copies) that are not fully edited and can come out up to a year in advance of actual release date. Usually distributed to press, industry and some fans.
Christopher Elsberry You can actually read part of the book on https://www.tor.com/series/oathbringer/ before the book is fully published.
Jingizu Goodreads shouldn't allow a prepublication book to be rated at all.
Quinn Gerber Because it's going to be awesome.
Colleen Tor releases chapters before the release. You can read them online already. And it's pretty good so far...:)
Erika I can't speak for people who were reading it 2 years ago, but there are preview chapters available prior to the release!
Anastasia Two reasons. Pre-release copies are often given to people who then rate it. And people can review books before they are released. (Probably for the reason above.) *shrugs*
Judy librarians get early releases.
Stelios Andreolas What's the matter with that? I really do not understand.
Joseph Vanucchi And how is it that one of those ratings is from me? (And I only saw this because i thought "how can this be a finalist?")
Adam Kartchner Because a.) the series is really good and b.) the first 32 chapters have already been released on the publisher's website (tor.com/series/oathbringer)
Marat Beiner Getting an ARC obligates the reader to write a honest review,
So, I think that Goodreads should restrict users before a book publication to rate a book without a minimum amount of characters.
It will prevent from majority of people to vote, as not everyone will know about this rule, and people will be too lazy to write a review of a certain number of characters just for fun, and not because they read actually the book.
Dev Null It doesn't. It has 767. *sigh*
Brandt Same stupid question every fucking time..
Stan Johnson It's because of something called "Advance Review Copies" ("ARCs" for short).

It's a very common practice, these days, actually, and it what's used to generate all the praise you see on the covers of newly-minted books the day they hit the book stores.

Publishers ensure books are done *long* before they ever go on sale; that's what gives them latitude in marketing and in choosing release dates, and helps ensure there's a finished product ready to sell by the advertised date.
David Dunnagan Some people use ratings as a kind of tiered "to-read" shelf. It's dumb, but these people will defend their system to the death.
Image for Oathbringer
by Brandon Sanderson (Goodreads Author)
Rate this book
Clear rating

About Goodreads Q&A

Ask and answer questions about books!

You can pose questions to the Goodreads community with Reader Q&A, or ask your favorite author a question with Ask the Author.

See Featured Authors Answering Questions

Learn more