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message 1: by Will (new)

Will Moore | 7 comments What is the Goodreads etiquette regarding re-posting reviews of my own book? I had a good review from someone on Amazon, and I would like to copy it to Goodreads, but I don't know if that's a no-no!




message 2: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Beverly (writesistah) | 41 comments Yes, you need to get them to post it.

message 3: by Edward (new)

Edward Wolfe (edwardmwolfe) I've seen people put reviews from others in their own review space, but that might be frowned upon.

I found myself on someone's hate list under an either/or category of "Author attacks/In review space."

I don't attack people, so I guess I offended someone by providing information about one of my books in the review space. It's impossible to say what's okay on this site and what isn't. Just be aware though, if you provide the review, it carries less weight than if someone else provided it.

I also wouldn't over-estimate the power of a single review. Many people say they're the key to selling your book, but they're not. A good cover to attract attention, then a good description to get the reader's interest, and then a great, well-written story to clinch the deal - irrespective of the reviews, or lack thereof is what it takes.

message 4: by Miss M (last edited Jul 31, 2014 05:35PM) (new)

Miss M | 84 comments That actually goes beyond just an etiquette question - reviewers hold copyright to their work just as authors do and unless you've been given express permission, you don't really have any right to re-post anywhere (except, perhaps, for a fair-use excerpt.)

Aside from that, reviews on sites such as GR and Amazon are consumer reviews, meant to be posted by the actual consumer, not a third party. On Amazon, if you have the reviewer's consent, I believe you can post third party reviews in the editorial review section of the book page.

message 5: by Will (new)

Will Moore | 7 comments Thanks for the advice. I'll ask them to post it here.

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) It will get removed if added to the book description/synopsis. Even if put in an end section labeled "praises."

I don't think it's a problem to note on your own review of your book that you really enjoyed or appreciated the review it got at whatever-link. Some bloggers prefer a link to their blog; others will have a section on their blog explaining their preferences and things like submission guidelines.

I'd ask to quote a review before doing so even if on a site where the only way to do so is ask in the publicly viewable comments section.

There's always a chance you can be taken the wrong way (lots of issues nowadays and both readers and authors who are jerks) but if someone unsolicited read your book and gave it a rave review -- probably they already like you. And you're not trying to push your book at them or asking them to alter their review. Or interrupting a conversation not about your book. So you should be able to have a pleasant conversation. And discreetly throw in there somewhere how you always appreciate getting reader feedback particularly on sites like ....

message 7: by Karen (new)

Karen | 9 comments I have a complaint about people who join Goodreads and immediately post a multitude of ratings. One person joined last winter and on the same day posted 50 ratings: 48 of them one star, but no text reviews. Really? The first of August this year two people joined who posted ratings of my first book. One of them posted 49 ratings in one day and gave me one star. The other posted 571 ratings in one day giving my book 3 stars. I don't mind a lower rating if there's an explanation, but I don't think anyone can remember that many books in one sitting well enough to give that many ratings.

message 8: by rivka (new)

rivka | 562 comments Karen, sounds like they are most likely importing stored review/ratings from another site. Many new users do so.

message 9: by Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) (last edited Aug 06, 2014 10:10AM) (new)

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) Maybe you should suggest over in the feedback group that readers not be allowed to import or sync data files. Even if they want to do something like import 50 or 5,000 ratings from LibraryThing, amazon or Shelfari. Or that they have a daily limit set on them as to how many books they can rate in a 24-hour period (even if a brand new account setting up their book catalog).

Or, if you think there really is suspicious activity (which doesn't necessarily mean negative or 1-starring), report them to goodreads staff via email to or by the "contact us" under help screen since not allowed to point fingers in forums.

(Admittedly, I take a different view because with the existing goodreads bug randomly adding books and ratings [oddly usually rating as "okay"] to my bookshelves—I am a reader that sporadically re-imports their goodreads ratings and don't find that suspicious.

I just reimport until the bug hits again and I remove again rather than investigate thousands of books and try to remember which ones I actually cataloged/rated vs. which ones bug dud. I usually don't get my account reported by authors as suspicious activity because my average rating is equivalent to 4.98-stars on the amazon scale and is 3.98-stars on goodreads although individual 1-star ratings get reported or draw comments—it's the 1-starring readers who get reported by authors even when it looks like they sorted by ratings and were first adding 1-star, then 2-star, 3-star then ... books. Without understanding gr's current review policies, I don't usually re-import my actual reviews.

I off/on sync my amazon, booklikes, and other accounts to cross post here depending on whether I do or don't have ratings/books here. I only star rate ( no review) directly from my kindle device and often click through a few screens of books on the kindle rapidly starring because I hadn't got around to in a while but like it to share in my facebook and twitter accounts.

Feel perfectly free to flag my account activity as suspicious when I decide to rate/review again on goodreads; I can take it. Staff can tell I synced or imported data plus it's been done before ...)

message 10: by Karen (new)

Karen | 9 comments D.A.-bully victims suffer more than a ★ on their commercial product wrote: "Maybe you should suggest over in the feedback group that readers not be allowed to import or sync data files. Even if they want to do something like import 50 or 5,000 ratings from LibraryThing, a..."

There's a lot here I don't understand but I would just feel they are more valid if they had to post text reviews with them.

message 11: by Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) (last edited Aug 06, 2014 02:39PM) (new)

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) Honestly, an account making a flurry of 1-star or 5-star ratings could be suspicious. That's why I say report it to goodreads staff if you suspect that is what is going on.

When you joined the site, did you start cataloging the books you read? Or at the very least the ones that made a big impression on you because were your very favorite or most hated books? Or did you just join to market a book to goodreads readers?

Did you go through and quickly rate enough so your book recommendations would be accurate? Did you carefully write a review for all of those rated even if read 30 years ago where you barely remembered anything other than favorite/hated book by favorite/hated author?

Do you immediately review books when finished (particulalry if reading on kindle or other ereaders) or quickly click a star rating and think about it or wait until back to a real keyboard versus typing on a device?

Do you get reminded of books you read but forgot to rate or shelve here because you see it in a post from friends? Then quickly star to come back later to review?

If you are new here and have a few thousand books you want to add and rate (particularly if doing so so the book compare works and you can find like minded readers or so your book recommendations are accurate) — will you review each and every read if required to also write a review? Or will you decide "screw it, goodreads is too much work."

Do you always know what to say in a review?

Goodreads has a lot of different members. Some neither rate or review. Some review without rating. Some rate without reviewing. Some are just cataloging their books and might star rate to mean anything from "reading first" to they are "first" on library waitlist or to borrow from book club friends.

Current policy is to let readers use star ratings however they want despite suggested rating. Probably because it would drive away many reviewers and anger too many readers to be told they had to write reviews (plus you'd get those lovely ones saying things like "I either read, tried to read or just noticed this book there is that enough of a review or enough words to count?").

There are more than a dozen threads in the feedback group discussing changes wanted, including requiring ratings to be accompanied by a review or to not be allowed on unpublished books—feel free to start a new one or join one of them if you want that policy changed.

And always do let goodreads staff know I f you do think there is suspicious activity (often a quick google or other search on the reviewer or the author will show why it might be suspicious). But, rating without reviewing is allowed and not considered suspicious in and of itself. There are patterns (like someone creating a new account to game the system so that authors who gave them a bad rating get a bad one in return; some reader or author campaigning up/down voting crap on the blogosphere ... It does happen) and other indicators goodreads no doubt takes into consideration -- but, seriously, a new account with a lot of new activity is not always suspicious. And ratings without reviews are permitted.

message 12: by D.C. (new)

D.C. | 198 comments I frequently post a lot of ratings at once because I'm playing around in recommendations and I run into things I've read. I bet I'm not the only one either, and frankly I'd be bored and frustrated if I had to post a review. I will also review without rating if I have a strong opinion of something I haven't made a good faith effort to read. All completely acceptable under TOS, and probably not very uncommon.

To answer the original question, I'll generally post a link to the review, rather than the review itself, usually under general updates, sometimes through my blog.

message 13: by Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) (last edited Aug 06, 2014 04:46PM) (new)

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) I will also do a batch of books if reminded because they were nominated or won a current award, ALA or NPR put them on a reading list, showed up on the Leafmarks community challenges, saw when checking out a new friends' goodreads bookshelves, read one or more author or publisher's recent posts, new group's bookshelves or reading challenges or BOTM polls, newly promoted via prime or kindle firsts at start of every month, new month on the monthly release calendars I follow ...

message 14: by Mellie (new)

Mellie (mellie42) | 618 comments Karen Musser wrote: "I would just feel they are more valid if they had to post text reviews with them. "

Please don't come to Goodreads and try to dictate how readers rate and review or impose your standard of what is/isn't valid. Ratings and reviews are for other readers NOT authors.

message 15: by Karen (new)

Karen | 9 comments Wow. Didn't expect to be bashed for voicing my opinion. I certainly do write reviews when I finish a book, especially if I give it one, two or three stars. I feel the rating is only helpful to readers AND authors if I explain what I didn't like. I'm not trying to dictate anything to anybody. I don't go back and do books that I read before I joined Goodreads. I base my reading choices on text reviews that interest me, not recommendations. Have a nice day.

message 16: by Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) (last edited Aug 07, 2014 03:31AM) (new)

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) Karen Musser wrote: "Wow. Didn't expect to be bashed for voicing my opinion. I certainly do write reviews when I finish a book, especially if I give it one, two or three stars. I feel the rating is only helpful to read..."

I think it was the "had to" phrasing "...they had to post text review" that set them off (after you started by saying you had a "complaint" about a new account just rating ...).

Personally, I took the complaint post to just mean you found that mass activity suspicious or were unclear on goodreads rating and review policies. That!s why I tried to give examples of why maybe it wasn't suspicious activity fur a new account. The followup "had to" and your other remarks, unfortunately, even to me did sound like you were saying everyone should be prohibited from rating without reviewing. And that reviewless ratings were all wrong no matter how many years goodreads has allowed or how many readers here choose to use.

message 17: by Karen (new)

Karen | 9 comments It isn't a question of "wrong" or "right." I am saying that because of what I have seen as an author--48 one star reviews posted on one day, the star ratings by themselves have no value or validity to me as a reader or a writer.

message 18: by Mellie (new)

Mellie (mellie42) | 618 comments Karen Musser wrote: "the star ratings by themselves have no value or validity to me "

Then you need to understand how people use Goodreads. As others have already explained there is nothing inherently suspicious about a large number of books uploaded to a reader's account at one time. Some people do bulk imports, others scan bar codes. I know I tend to do it in batches.

If a star with no review means nothing to you then scroll over it. Readers don't have to rate in a way that is meaningful to you - that rate in a way that is meaningful to them. Heck some readers rate a book in their TBR pile based on how eager they are to purchase and read a book, that is still a valid use of the rating system.

I find it ironic authors will complain about 1-star ratings with no reviews, but I have yet to see one complain about a 5-star rating with no review...

message 19: by Karen (last edited Aug 07, 2014 12:15PM) (new)

Karen | 9 comments I get it. You are saying that the rating system is used in a hundred different ways and really has no value to a reader who is trying decide if he or she would like a book. As if some teachers graded students based on their work, some on their clothing styles, some on whether they liked their names, etc. To sum this all up, the ratings only have value to the person who did the rating.

And regarding your last comment, I always felt as a teacher that I needed to give more comments on a paper with a lower grade than one with a higher grade. Just me I guess.

Sorry I started this--I didn't realize people are so sensitive about it.

message 20: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Aug 07, 2014 01:09PM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 135 comments I think that's a bit of exaggeration. Most users of this site have friends here, whose ratings and reviews come first in the listings, and we're far more likely to know what a rating from a friend is likely to mean. (And, of course, if we have additional questions, we can ask them! Wow!) I rarely look at general reviews for books, for example, unless I have no friend who has read them.

Some of us are "so sensitive" about your comment because this subject has been hashed over quite a number of times before, and our reaction was mostly "oh no, not this argument again!" (It comes up repeatedly, for example, in the group GR Feedback.)

message 21: by Karen (new)

Karen | 9 comments Sorry. Came late to this group. Outa here.

message 22: by Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) (last edited Aug 07, 2014 01:56PM) (new)

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) A.W. wrote: "...I find it ironic authors will complain about 1-star ratings with no reviews, but I have yet to see one complain about a 5-star rating with no review... ..."

I actually have; but, it's rare and it's usually just a question, a brief mention or cracking a joke unlike some of the crazy drama some of the 1-star complainers generate repeatedly. A 3 here by the suggested rating scale means "I liked it" but on amazon gets put in the critical review column rather than the favorable review column so we've also been made sensitive by drama over authors complaining about their book being rated "I liked it" ...

I confess I once accidentally rated a few books 1-star via cell phone typos (I corrected immediately back at regular browser and actually wasn't attacked or anything), so I very much ignore ratings without reviews unless they are from friends whose ratings I know how to interpret.

There really have been some very nasty dramas here over ratings/reviews/shelves not to mention out in the blogosphere, twitter, facebook ... even NYT and CNN have posted articles about some of them (usually just an interview with the author with no reader/reviewer input).

With a certain book actually publishing in October (that when it was announced generated a lot of drama over evil bully gangs on goodreads organizing to fraudulently and cowardly attack authors by putting a star on their commercial products and saw major news coverage) -- we're really expecting to see lots more drama to come. Usually peaks a couple of weeks before and another month after the release date but so close to holiday season it might linger; then will rear up again when the paperback edition is released ... The PR potential has just proven too useful for them to not keep doing it just like they have for decades.

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) You might feel better about ratings or reviewless ratings if you visit popular similar book pages with many ratings. The review-less ones from non-friends really do sift down to the bottom and generally get ignored.

It is very obvious and in your face when your book only has a handful of ratings, though.

message 24: by Sophie (new)

Sophie (notemily) | 22 comments The Goodreads average ratings are basically just an interesting bit of trivia. They don't actually predict the quality of the book and I don't think they were ever meant to.

message 25: by Jon (new)

Jon Etheredge (jonetheredge) | 495 comments Sophie...brief and accurate!

message 26: by Sophie (new)

Sophie (notemily) | 22 comments Jon, thank you, but after posting this I read about the "nine standout books of 2014" and that their place on the list was partially determined by the average rating. Goodreads seems to be contradicting their "you can use the ratings however you like" stance by using high ratings to promote those books.

Even if Goodreads reversed their position and said that the ratings had to be used as suggested, though, they would still be largely irrelevant in predicting a book's quality, if the "quality" of a book is something that can be numerically quantified at all.

message 27: by Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) (last edited Aug 09, 2014 10:09AM) (new)

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) As near as I can tell, that announcement is the first time ratings have mattered on any goodreads feature. Totally unexpected. Although, they did change the book recommendations this year to stop recommending books based on books you yourself rated one-star ...

Using the bannered sitewide announcement to spotlight high rated books is something I found totally out of the blue.

They've never done that before. In fact, the sitewide announcement at top of page banner has usually been a very rare thing used for some pretty important announcements (new features, outages, policy changes ...) or time sensitive stuff like the goodreads awards process (even a change in policy leading to members getting shelves deleted from their book catalogs was not considered important enough for a sitewide announcement).

Welcome to bookseller ownership I guess.

But it's still odd to see announced like that and could just be a one-off sort of thing (August really strikes me as an odd month for best-so-far-in-year announcements, you'd think it would be monthly, quarterly, every six months or something if they were going to start using the site-wide announcement banner to promote books...)

message 28: by Sophie (new)

Sophie (notemily) | 22 comments It is pretty random that they'd suddenly decide to start promoting books in a site announcement, especially with all the bugs that still need fixing and the high demand for certain features... I'm sure those are different departments, but still, it makes me wonder what their priorities are.

message 29: by Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) (last edited Aug 09, 2014 03:53PM) (new)

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) Sophie wrote: "It is pretty random that they'd suddenly decide to start promoting books in a site announcement, especially with all the bugs that still need fixing and the high demand for certain features... I'm ..."

Well, to be fair, site-wide banner announcements aren't usually used to state what bugs are being worked on (or what feature requests are or are not being taken into consideration), either.

So it just struck me as rather odd. And oddly timed.

message 30: by Sophie (new)

Sophie (notemily) | 22 comments I'm just saying I'd rather see a site announcement that says "introducing: re-reads!" :P

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) Sophie wrote: "I'm just saying I'd rather see a site announcement that says "introducing: re-reads!" :P"

Not likely to be announced on the banner one; most new features are announced just on the announcement thread of this group only to members of this group.

Except, I think they did banner announce the goodreads/kindle integration and called it the most requested feature. Maybe they did the banner for the ability to now link your amazon account (with corresponding book purchases), I'm having trouble remembering. The sitewide announcement feature itself was broken for almost a year so those two plus the goodreads awards and one planned outage are all I remember from the past year.

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