Goodreads Authors/Readers discussion

201 views
Bulletin Board > 5 Star Rating - Is It Given Out Too Often?

Comments Showing 1-50 of 137 (137 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3

message 1: by Christine (new)

Christine Hayton (ccmhayton) | 324 comments I have a hard time deciding whether or not to read many of the books on this site. Everything seems to have 5 stars - and I mean everything. I just checked a book that showed three 5 star ratings within 2 days but no comments. There is also a reviewer who listed three different book reviews with 5 star ratings on each one within a few minutes but again no comments. I find I end up going to other sites (usually where they sell books) or I check articles by book critics for their comments and ratings. They are never as high as they are here.

I also do not understand why reviewers, who do include comments, detail the whole book. It feel like I'm reading the dust jacket. I want to know why the reviewer gave the book a specific rating and what parts of the writing (characters, plot, genre, etc) they enjoyed - or - what parts they didn't enjoy.

I have to wonder if this is a misunderstanding by the reviewers or if they feel obliged to support the writers. The rating system becomes useless if all books are given the top rating. It really MUST be an exceptional book to get 5 stars.

What do you think?


message 2: by Sophia (new)

Sophia Grace | 28 comments I think you are right. There isnt one scale that a reviewer can give grades". Every reviewer has his own criteria to give grades and stars..but surly , you are right. There are too much 5 stars.


Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell (neniacampbell) I agree. I rarely give out five stars, unless the book really blew me away. It has to be well-written, original, and unpredictable.


message 4: by Dina (new)

Dina Roberts I personally think...yes! Definitely.

To me 5 stars is for hardly any books besides Harry Potter ones. And I am close to being a worshipper of JK Rowling.

I am almost done writing a book now. I love. I think it's fantastic. But I do NOT think it should be getting 5 star reviews. I wish it would get 3 and 4 stars for the most part.

People feel differently though. I'm not sure why so many books are getting 5 stars. As you say, there could be an obligation to be supportive. Maybe also some people are very enthusiastic? Maybe they love very easily?

I've read and rated some self-published books. I gave them 4 stars and almost felt like the villain because almost everyone else is giving them 5 stars.

As for people putting up ratings quickly without reviews. Could they be importing reviews or just new to GoodReads? They could be adding a bunch of books at once? I'm new here...from Shelfari. I added a ton of books at once, and then went through and quickly rated them.


message 5: by Sophia (new)

Sophia Grace | 28 comments You are right...


message 6: by Christine (new)

Christine Hayton (ccmhayton) | 324 comments Maybe we need to insist on a comment to go with a 5 star rating. Perhaps they would be applied less often if the reviewer was required to explain the rating.

What about the free books offered, or the books traded for the purpose of getting reviews. Are the reviewers expected to provide a 5 star rating??? Are they made to feel guilty, or even harassed, if they rate it lower???

Something needs to be done to maintain the integrity of the rating system or it becomes a waste of time for everyone.

Any ideas??


message 7: by Jen (last edited Apr 26, 2014 04:47PM) (new)

Jen Warren | 446 comments Dina wrote: "I am almost done writing a book now. I love. I think it's fantastic. But I do NOT think it should be getting 5 star reviews. I wish it would get 3 and 4 stars for the most part."

I'm sorry to jump in here but I'm not sure I understand. You wrote a book you think is lacking? You do not believe your own work deserves five stars? Can I ask why? If it's lacking in some way, shouldn't you continue to refine the piece until it IS worthy of five stars?


message 8: by Christine (new)

Christine Hayton (ccmhayton) | 324 comments Jen wrote: "Dina wrote: "I am almost done writing a book now. I love. I think it's fantastic. But I do NOT think it should be getting 5 star reviews. I wish it would get 3 and 4 stars for the most part."

I'm ..."


I think Dina is simply being realistic. Her first book could be wonderful,but keep in mind the rating system covers ALL books. Is she supposed to feel her best work, completely untested, is on the same level as JK Rowling or Charles Dickens.

Hard work and perfecting your writing is required of any writer, but talent is a gift and that's what makes certain books EXCEPTIONAL - the requirement for a 5 star rating.


message 9: by Dina (new)

Dina Roberts Jen wrote: "Dina wrote: "I am almost done writing a book now. I love. I think it's fantastic. But I do NOT think it should be getting 5 star reviews. I wish it would get 3 and 4 stars for the most part."

I'm ..."


I don't feel it's lacking. I'm very happy with it...minus some further proofreading that needs to be done.

In my personal definition of 5 stars, there are very few books that fit into that. An example would be Harry Potter. I would never expect my books to be that good. I'm a person who has a lot of delusional fantasies and even despite that, I don't imagine my book to measure up to JK Rowling's masterpieces.

There are a lot of other books that I love and I rate them with 4's. I don't see these books as lacking in any way, and I wouldn't feel bad giving my book the same rating.

I will say that when I was on Shelfari I wasn't so stingy with 5 star ratings. I'm looking now. I actually gave a lot of books that score. But then I'd look back at the books, and I couldn't even remember them. If the book was great, why would I forget it?

So then when I came here, I decided to make 5 stars very rare.

I'm not sure which way is best.

Ratings confuse me.

But I'll say if I was going by my Shelfari way of rating books, I'd give my book 5 stars.

If I was going by my Goodreads way of rating, I'd give my book a 4.

Really. I'm lost.

I don't know what's better, the way I was rating books on Shelfari or the way I'm rating them here.


message 10: by Rita (new)

Rita Chapman | 494 comments I agree. I rarely give out 5* except to Bryce Courteney or Kate Morton. Like Dina, I know my first book, Missing in Egypt, wasn't a 5* (I'd probably rate it 3* but I gave it 5* to try to counteract the 1* and 2* I received from people I'm sure didn't even read it) but I've had mixed ratings. So not everyone gets 5* although my second book Winston - A Horse's Tale is doing better. Not everyone can write at the 5* level but does it mean you should stop trying?


message 11: by Jen (new)

Jen Warren | 446 comments Christine wrote: "I think Dina is simply being realistic. Her first book could be wonderful,but keep in mind the rating system covers ALL books. Is she supposed to feel her best work, completely untested, is on the same level as JK Rowling or Charles Dickens."

Hmmm. I rate books at 4 stars if I enjoyed them enough to read them again. Five stars if I can't stop thinking about them. We all have our own methodology. I was just surprised that an author didn't feel her work was good enough for a "perfect rating." Maybe I've just seen too many people prematurely publishing. I don't know. To each their own...


message 12: by Jen (new)

Jen Warren | 446 comments I'll say this: anyone publishing a novel should be producing the best possible work. It should be edited, proofed, and gone through numerous betas. Maybe it won't be a five to everyone, in terms of story, author-style, etc., but the quality in terms of basic readability should be AT LEAST four stars.


message 13: by Dina (new)

Dina Roberts Jen wrote: "I'll say this: anyone publishing a novel should be producing the best possible work. It should be edited, proofed, and gone through numerous betas. Maybe it won't be a five to everyone, in terms o..."

So Jen, are you saying books should be rated by readability rather than enjoyment?

I wouldn't publish a book that I felt was below 4 stars. But that doesn't mean I won't expect everyone to see it as a 4 star book...no matter how many edits and betas I get. I can have a perfect book in terms of readability, and someone might be bored by it. Or they might be offended. It might not be their cup of tea.

Jen, has their ever been a popular or highly rated book that you disliked? And did you give it a lower score than 4? Was it because the book was badly edited and not proofread enough?


message 14: by Jen (new)

Jen Warren | 446 comments Dina,

My point is not that everyone will like every technically correct book. My opinion is rather that every book put up for sale should meet basic guidelines for readability. It should be proofed and edited. It should appear to be professionally crafted.

The issue of enjoyment is moot, as the author's enjoyment of the story should be a given. If it's not, that makes me wonder.

My only problem with your statement earlier was that you are the author, and I'm not sure why you wouldn't believe your own work deserving of five stars...from anyone. Note, you didn't write, "I don't expect everyone to give me five stars." You wrote: "...I do NOT think it (your own work) should be getting 5 star reviews."


message 15: by Henry (new)

Henry Martin (henrymartin) Dina,

Sorry to chime in with this, but . . .

[Speaking as a reader here]

1) rating your own book, no matter how, makes me not want to read it.

2) Reading your own review where you point out errors and shortcomings, makes me not want to read it.

3) Posting about not deserving the ratings you received, makes me not want to read it.

To be honest, I have no idea what your book is about. I only looked at the ratings, the first review (yours) and the post here. that was enough for me not to read more. Please consider that more people may have the same reaction.

Now, speaking as a writer:

If you know there are errors, have you considered fixing them?

I went through many, many beta readers, a couple of editors, and a proofreader. A couple of readers with very sharp eyes still found an error or two. I fixed those right away. Please consider doing the same.


message 16: by Christine (new)

Christine Hayton (ccmhayton) | 324 comments Jen wrote: "Christine wrote: "I think Dina is simply being realistic. Her first book could be wonderful,but keep in mind the rating system covers ALL books. Is she supposed to feel her best work, completely un..."

I don't think this is a "to each their own..." situation. Readers are being asked to rate books for other readers. There's an inherent responsibility to be honest and fair with those ratings since other readers are depending on them.

I write and try as I may, I'm not perfect. I would never put my work in the same category as Rowling or Dickens. I respect my readers and can accept their reviews - good or bad. I would never think of rating my own work - let alone giving myself 5 stars - so I guess Dina's not alone.

I think we all need READERS to take that responsibility seriously and understand how the ratings should be applied. Too many times ratings are compromised to promote books. The ratings should be our incentive as writers to get better at what we do...


message 17: by Dina (last edited Apr 26, 2014 06:11PM) (new)

Dina Roberts Jen wrote: "Dina,

My only problem with your statement earlier was that you are the author, and I'm not sure why you wouldn't believe your own work deserving of five stars...from anyone. Note, you didn't write, "I don't expect everyone to give me five stars." You wrote: "...I do NOT think it (your own work) should be getting 5 star reviews."


I think I might understand your point. And maybe I wasn't expressing myself well.

I think my book, for the most part, deserves a 4 star rating. Now if there's someone who is very generous with their ratings, I would hope my book is worthy of 5 stars.

If someone goes by my rating system though, I would expect mostly 4 stars, then some three stars, and two stars. I can imagine that my book might cause strong reactions in a MINORITY of people; so I would expect to get a few 1's and a few 5's.

But for the most part I think my book is a 4 star book. And for me personally, that's not in anyway saying I don't have faith in my book.

I was curious and looked at some of your book ratings. For the books you gave 4 stars (Like Divergent), do you think it wasn't ready to be published? Do you think it's below standard? Would you have been offended if the author rated her own book that way when she published it?

OR is this about you feeling a writer needs to have very high self-esteem and self-confidence.


Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell (neniacampbell) Speaking as an author myself, I do agree with Dina in the sense that publishing a book without any expectations means that positive reviews are a pleasant surprise and not something that I feel entitled to. I wouldn't rate my own books five stars, because I know my book will NEVER sync up with my own imagined ideal and ridiculously high standards. That's something every author has to make their peace with, I think.


message 19: by Jen (new)

Jen Warren | 446 comments As I said, every author should enjoy their own work. Otherwise, what's the point? For an author to doubt they deserve five stars...well, the only reason I could imagine for this would be a suspicion of technical issues.

Again, not everyone will love every technically correct book. HP was well-written, but I wouldn't give all seven books five stars. I questioned your statement ONLY because you are the author, and you should love the story. Your lack of confidence made me curious as to why you might believe others would find it lacking.


message 20: by Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ (last edited Apr 26, 2014 06:20PM) (new)

Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell (neniacampbell) I respectfully disagree, Jen. I think an author who enjoys his or her work too much falls into the entitlement trap of thinking, "Oh, I'm so great! Why are these people rating my books negatively? They must be troll-bullies!"

Not that I think an author should hate his or her works. I don't. I think it's wonderful to be proud. I certainly do when I reflect on my accomplishments. But a realistic approach is necessary if one expects to go anywhere in this field. I am aware of my shortcomings, and as long as I never think of myself as a five-star author I will always, always have something to aspire to and improve upon. :)


message 21: by Dina (new)

Dina Roberts Julie wrote: "I find reviews matter less and less for me in what I choose to read. I tend to just throw the whole star rating out anymore when making my selections. It's all about tastes and that is about all it..."

I completely agree with you. I think the best thing for us to do is describe the book. Then people can decide if the book MIGHT be something they like.

The other day I saw a book with high ratings and good reviews. I didn't add it to my to-read list though because people described it as being action-packed.

Their description was more helpful than their rating and praise.

.


message 22: by Jen (new)

Jen Warren | 446 comments Nenia,

There are problems on both sides, either too much self-confidence or not enough. I was curious based on the tone I got from Dina's initial post. Authors should, of course, accept that not everyone will love their book...but they should also believe in its quality.


message 23: by Dina (new)

Dina Roberts Nenia wrote: "I respectfully disagree, Jen. I think an author who enjoys his or her work too much falls into the entitlement trap of thinking, "Oh, I'm so great! Why are these people rating my books negatively? ..."

I think that's a good point. Too little confidence can be a bad thing, but so can too much confidence.


Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell (neniacampbell) @Jen: Ah, okay, I see. This is a tricky topic so I'm a little wary when I see people making decisive statements like that. But I see your point as well. Thanks for elaborating. :)


message 25: by Christine (new)

Christine Hayton (ccmhayton) | 324 comments My point had nothing to do with how writers feel about themselves. Ratings are what READERS think of our work.

Whether our egos tell us we're the best or the worse is not relevant. It's what our readers think. We can be insulted or surprised - our aim has to be to write the absolute best we can.

I'm asking the readers to give us a fair unbiased assessment of that effort.


message 26: by Christine (last edited Apr 26, 2014 07:47PM) (new)

Christine Hayton (ccmhayton) | 324 comments Julie wrote: "Christine wrote: "My point had nothing to do with how writers feel about themselves. Ratings are what READERS think of our work.

Whether our egos tell us we're the best or the worse is not releva..."


I understand your point, but my original criticism was how often reviewers gave 5 star ratings. Your concern deals with getting bad ratings. I really think writers need to get reviews that make sense, from readers who are willing to assess the work honestly.

Then writers can improve based on honest input and readers can depend on ratings to be reasonably accurate.


message 27: by Shari (new)

Shari (WindWalkr) | 2 comments As a reader, I'm one of those that pay more attention to low reviews than high ones. Lower ones are more apt to be honest where often 5 star reviews are sometimes/often bought. I look at the low ones and decide if the problem the reviewer had with a book is a problem I would have.

Going by the Goodreads star rating system I don't think I have rated any book a 5-star yet as most books leave me wanting something more (I'm never completely satisfied).

I'm also a person who hates cliffhangers and the lower reviews are more likely to tell me a book ends on a cliffhanger (I wish the book/author would make that known themselves). Same thing with books that might be considered preachy.


message 28: by Sarah (Presto agitato) (last edited Apr 26, 2014 08:55PM) (new)

Sarah (Presto agitato) (mg2001) | 92 comments Christine wrote: "I don't think this is a "to each their own..." situation. Readers are being asked to rate books for other readers. There's an inherent responsibility to be honest and fair with those ratings since other readers are depending on them."

The Goodreads rating system is inherently subjective. The guideline Goodreads gives is this (and this is just a guideline anyway, not required of anyone):

★ - Did not like it
★★ - It was ok
★★★ - Liked it
★★★★ - Really liked it
★★★★★ - It was amazing

This guideline skews positive, since the only truly negative rating is one star. The statements for the star ratings are left to the interpretation of each reader. One person's "amazing" may be someone else's "ok." Even on this thread there are several different opinions as to how to interpret these ratings. For me, technical competence wouldn't be sufficient to get four stars, but for someone else it might be. I can't imagine how you would get everyone to use the star system in exactly the same way.

Christine wrote: "Then writers can improve based on honest input and readers can depend on ratings to be reasonably accurate."

There is no requirement on this site that readers rate for anyone else but themselves. I'm not sure how writers are supposed to change what they write based on knowing that an individual "really liked" their book instead of thinking it was "amazing."

As for rating for other readers, I don't see how you can ensure accuracy or how you would even define it here. Right now 1984 has an average rating of 4.09 and The Hunger Games has an average of 4.42. Is The Hunger Games a better dystopian novel than 1984? I personally don't think so, but why should the rating matter to me as a reader? All that reflects is that Goodreads users ranked it higher, for whatever reason.

As to your original point, I agree that in some cases five star ratings seem to be given awfully freely. But then there are also people who say they won't ever rate anything less than three stars. And some people who would only give five stars to a hypothetical best-book-ever-written. These are all valid uses of the site, as is using the stars in a completely different way entirely. This comes up in the Feedback group a lot, and the powers-that-be don't seem interested in changing that policy.


message 29: by Christine (new)

Christine Hayton (ccmhayton) | 324 comments Julie wrote:The waters are so murky as to where reviews are even coming from, why or if they were paid for or whether someone has an agenda....

I never thought I would say this, but I think you are correct. The whole rating system is useless. Another side effect of the self-publishing trend.

Sarah - I didn't realize they had their own rating system and it is definitely skewed in favor of positive review. I naively thought it was the same as other reading and selling sites. Daah!

I currently choose the books from Amazon by the number of reviews and the overall average. Published work I want 20 reviews with an average above 3 stars. Self-published I don't trust so I don't buy them.


message 30: by Jen (new)

Jen Warren | 446 comments Christine wrote: " I really think writers need to get reviews that make sense, from readers who are willing to assess the work honestly...Then writers can improve based on honest input and readers can depend on ratings to be reasonably accurate."

Beta readers provide this type of feedback for the sole purpose of helping a writer improve their story. Book reviews/ratings, on the other hand, are like any customer product review. They're meant to be subjective.


Sarah (Presto agitato) (mg2001) | 92 comments Julie wrote: "I currently choose the books from Amazon by the number of reviews and the overall average. Published work I want 20 reviews with an average above 3 stars. Self-published I don't trust so I don't buy them."

Everyone uses these sites differently to help choose books. I know that of course a lot of people use the rating averages, but I was never much aware of them until I started paying attention to all of these rating/review controversies recently. As for reviews, while I sometimes use them, especially if I'm on the fence about a book, I often like to read them afterwards to see what I agree or disagree with.

I think the real strength of Goodreads isn't in the validity of any particular rating number, but in how you can use the social aspects of the site to organize the reviews. If you are friends with/follow people whose opinions and reading tastes you respect, it can be much more useful than depending on arbitrary numbers that can be influenced by people gaming the system (or people who have really bad taste in books :-)

You see your friends' reviews first under any book, and of course see their reviews in your feed. You can talk to them to find out more about what they liked and disliked. Those are features I definitely use. My to-read lists are longer than I will ever be able to finish, but I have found and continue to find a lot of great books using the system here, many of which I never would have heard of otherwise.

I know that authors, particularly self-published ones, care about ratings because they are used to get onto sites like BookBub, but I think sometimes they worry too much about them here. It may be that people who aren't here much and use the site more as an advertising platform than a social site aren't aware of how it's organized, which is very different from Amazon.


message 32: by J C (new)

J C Mitchinson (JCMitchinson) Creating something of a 5 star level is just not that common. Its great to be proud of and like your own work but you have to be realistic. If everyone wrote at the absolute top, there wouldn't be an absolute top! The majority of stuff I read is about 3 stars but its entertaining, fun, a great passtime. However, I do think that if you are selling at a professional level, your book should be 5 stars in terms of spelling, grammar, formatting etc.

As for reviewing and rating, the book world isn't the only place to struggle with this. Reviews of things are often overly positive, overly negative or overly descriptive. End of the day though, if someone wants to give 5 stars then that's their right, and perhaps they genuinely feel it is the top of the top. Its all very subjective.


message 33: by Rita (new)

Rita Chapman | 494 comments Well put Glo!


message 34: by R.A. (new)

R.A. White (rawhite) | 361 comments Since I read fiction for fun, I rate based on how much I enjoy a story. I'm not looking at things from a literary criticism point of view, and I don't think people who read the books I read will be either. Typos can be a BIG turn off for me, but if the story catches me and carries me a way in spite of that, then I may still give it four stars. Even five, if the typos were few or easy to ignore. In contrast, the last Terry Brooks novel I read was typo-less, but the characters were dry and it had huge leaps of logic and predictable resolutions that really took me out of the story. So I only gave it three stars. But that's just my way of doing things. As was stated several times already, it's all subjective. As long as people believe in the ratings they're giving, I think they should give them. And I appreciate when they explain why they chose their ratings because it helps me when I'm searching for books. If they don't explain, then the rating means nothing to me.


message 35: by Christine (new)

Christine Hayton (ccmhayton) | 324 comments R.A. wrote: "Since I read fiction for fun, I rate based on how much I enjoy a story. I'm not looking at things from a literary criticism point of view, and I don't think people who read the books I read will be..."

You are doing exactly what you should do - being honest. Base your rating on what you like or dislike because it is only about YOUR experience with the book. It's about how you feel when you finish that last paragraph. It obviously is a subjective decision.

My original concern was the amazing number of 5 star ratings. I found the excessive number of these ratings hard to believe. But the rating system is skewed and many reviewers are compromised, so expecting honestly and integrity is a mistake.

The agenda to manipulates ratings is out there, but is already being recognized for what it is - a ploy to sell books.


message 36: by Raymond (new)

Raymond Esposito | 148 comments I look at the star less as a statement on the book and more as the reader's feelings about the book. It sounds the same but it's not. Like the Netflix rating the stars are I hate it to I really loved it but the key term is "I." I usually compare the low to the high and see what is consistent in both. I'll avoid a book with an average 2 star rating but I won't buy one just because it's 4 or 5. The decision will always be based on genre, blurb and the look inside. As a writer I'm pretty sure the star rating was mostly invented for my ego...and I do love five star reviews lol


message 37: by R.A. (new)

R.A. White (rawhite) | 361 comments Christine wrote: "R.A. wrote: "Since I read fiction for fun, I rate based on how much I enjoy a story. I'm not looking at things from a literary criticism point of view, and I don't think people who read the books I..."

It IS a concern that so many reviews seem to be fakes, whether they're good or bad, and I imagine that most of the fakes are good. It's especially frustrating to people like me who DON'T cheat the system, not because I don't have as many positive reviews as other people, but because I wonder if people will look at my reviews and ratings and think they're probably fake. Though really, if I was going to fake reviews, I'd fake hundreds, not eighteen :). But people should be smart enough to realize that no matter how many positive reviews you have, if your book isn't any good, it's only going to sail on fake reviews for so long. You can fake reviews, but you can't fake fans who tell their friends how much they loved a book, and THAT'S what really sells in the long run.


message 38: by Christine (new)

Christine Hayton (ccmhayton) | 324 comments R.A. wrote: ...if your book isn't any good, it's only going to sail on fake reviews for so long. You can fake reviews, but you can't fake fans... and THAT'S what really sells in the long run.

That really is the bottom line - the quality of the books will be the real determining factor.



message 39: by R.A. (new)

R.A. White (rawhite) | 361 comments Christine wrote: "R.A. wrote: ...if your book isn't any good, it's only going to sail on fake reviews for so long. You can fake reviews, but you can't fake fans... and THAT'S what really sells in the long run.

Tha..."


Although there are some VERY popular books (that I will not name) that make me question my own statement. But again, it's not a matter of literary quality as much as it is do people enjoy reading the story. If it's popular, there must be something about it that a large segment of the population finds compelling, even if there are obvious flaws or downsides.


message 40: by Gregory (new)

Gregory Napier (gregorynapier) Perhaps the star/numerical rating is more than it should be. I think a 3 star system works better with: did not like, was okay, really enjoyed. Even still, there are holes in that dynamic. The best system is the written review, so just ignore the stars and see what people are saying about it.


message 41: by Henry (new)

Henry Martin (henrymartin) Julie wrote: "Maybe I am just a cynic, but I find reviews from authors from the same publishing house or from an organization that I know allows reviews to be bought a turn off. Really I don't care if a book is ..."

Well said.


message 42: by Christine (new)

Christine Hayton (ccmhayton) | 324 comments Julie wrote: "...it HAS to be stellar on making me forget I am reading words and not actually there myself.

Very well explained. It's all about the story and the way the reader feels about it - I totally agree. As for the star rating and reviews - they have become unreliable and in my opinion are useless in selecting new books to read unless the reader does the research to determine if the reviews are legit.

Self-published books can be excellent, I agree, but finding the few good ones buried under the false reviews and bad marketing takes more time than I have.



message 43: by R.A. (new)

R.A. White (rawhite) | 361 comments Christine wrote: "Julie wrote: "...it HAS to be stellar on making me forget I am reading words and not actually there myself.

Very well explained. It's all about the story and the way the reader feels about it - I ..."


One of my favorite ways to find good indie books is to follow good review sites or reviews of people I trust to steer me right. It's been working so far, at least.


message 44: by Christine (new)

Christine Hayton (ccmhayton) | 324 comments Julie wrote: ..major publishers are guilty of producing bad crap and marketing under inflated reviews too. In fact, there seems to have been a marked rise in it over the last 5 years or so.

I think we have to remember self-publishing has flooded the book market. We live in a supply and demand society. When supply is this high, prices drop across the entire market. Publishers are dealing with the deflated pricing and must work on much smaller profit margins. They have to compete and are just as likely to use unethical tactics.

How can they take risks on new writers and ideas in a terrible economy. Any business in the same situation will always go with proven 'brands' that make money and avoid risks that could be costly.

Most new writers do not understand the economic impact of the current flood of books into the marketplace - prices and quality drop because the demand can never meet the huge supply. There is no profit anywhere to support growth. The readers are the victims.



message 45: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) Christine wrote: "I have a hard time deciding whether or not to read many of the books on this site. Everything seems to have 5 stars - and I mean everything. I just checked a book that showed three 5 star ratings w..."

Everyone has a different methodology for doing their reviews. I detail mine here: https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog...

I don't pick up books that sound like they will be boring to me, first of all ... so every book starts out at 5 stars. What happens after that, in my opinion, is up to the author.


message 46: by Annie (new)

Annie (iliveandbreathewords) (iliveandbreathewords) | 14 comments For me, if I give a book 5 stars it's because I love it. You may think 5 star reviews are given too often (and maybe they are, in a way) but I think it's great when I see a 5 star review. I like to hear about people enjoying books. :D


message 47: by R.A. (new)

R.A. White (rawhite) | 361 comments Julie wrote: "Christine wrote: "Julie wrote: "...it HAS to be stellar on making me forget I am reading words and not actually there myself.

Very well explained. It's all about the story and the way the reader f..."


I know that's true of several authors I used to follow. One, Janet Evanovitch(sp)actually said as much. Why change a format if it sells? And so you end up with largely predictable plots and characters who are stagnant. So I've been looking for new favorites and I've found a few. Not only are they fresh, but their books are 2.99 and under instead of 6.99 or higher. I can get over some technical mistakes (even though they irk me) if the story hooks me and I like the characters. In my opinion it's better than professional appearance with a lack of substance.


message 48: by Charles (new)

Charles Ameringer (cda1) | 85 comments This is an extremely important discussion; one that is most helpful to readers and authors alike. My own views have already been stated in an essay that I wrote for "Authors Helping Authors" in April 2013, available at the following link: http://authorshelpingauthors.wordpres...


message 49: by Dina (new)

Dina Roberts Julie wrote:Does the book have to be Jane Austen quality to get a Goodreads 5 star from me? No, but it HAS to be stellar on making me forget I am reading words and not actually there myself.

Beautifully said! I love this.

Maybe that's how we should rate books.

1 star-my eyes were reading, but my brain was elsewhere.

2-I was reading words, but wasn't there.

3- I was there most of the time

4. I was totally there

5. I was totally there and very reluctant to leave. I want to go back!


message 50: by R.A. (new)

R.A. White (rawhite) | 361 comments Dina wrote: "Julie wrote:Does the book have to be Jane Austen quality to get a Goodreads 5 star from me? No, but it HAS to be stellar on making me forget I am reading words and not actually there myself.

Beau..."


'Like'


« previous 1 3
back to top