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Suggestions & Questions > Disabling ratings/reviews before a book's publish date

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message 51: by rivka, librarian moderator (new)

rivka | 12299 comments Mod
Amanda (JT) wrote: "All modern books should have ISBNs, so I personally think that should be the barometer for when a to-be-published book is allowed to be added. ;)"

There are books that were never published, and may never be published, that have ISBNs. There are books with a definite release date and known cover art that do not yet have ISBNs.


message 52: by Petra Eggs (new)

Petra Eggs (PetraX) | 5938 comments Amanda (JT) wrote: "All modern books should have ISBNs, so I personally think that should be the barometer for when a to-be-published book is allowed to be added.)

"Should have...", why? ISBNs are just more money to pay out, and if you expect to sell only locally, you probably wouldn't bother to add to what the local (or online) printery will charge to print and bind it. (Some of those books will become available through Abe, Alibris etc.) I don't see how you can say they aren't books and shouldn't be added to the Goodreads database.


message 53: by [ A ] (new)

[ A ] | 222 comments Just my thoughts about the situation. I was under the impression that ebooks were in fact given ISBNs?

And sure, there are always going to be special cases where an ISBN was created for a book that was never published. Or a book that was never issued an ISBN, etc.

Just a thought on my end, like I said, I don't care overmuch about this particular situation and have no problem with books without ISBNs being added to the system.

Though I personally don't own (and have not physically seen in person) any modern books without them. :)


message 54: by rivka, librarian moderator (new)

rivka | 12299 comments Mod
Amanda (JT) wrote: "I was under the impression that ebooks were in fact given ISBNs?"

It varies. A lot.


Amanda (JT) wrote: "And sure, there are always going to be special cases where an ISBN was created for a book that was never published. Or a book that was never issued an ISBN, etc."

The thing is, they're not that "special". They are in fact quite common.


message 55: by Petra Eggs (last edited Mar 07, 2010 03:27PM) (new)

Petra Eggs (PetraX) | 5938 comments Amanda (JT) wrote: "...and have no problem with books without ISBNs being added to the system.

Though I personally don't own (and have not physically seen in person) any modern books without them. :)

And sure, there are always going to be special cases where an ISBN was created for a book tha..."


ISBNs are generally bought in blocks of 10 (it costs the same as buying just one) so its very easy to assign an ISBN to a book that is in the works, whether or not its ever actually published.

Books that often don't have ISBNs you might have seen are Church cookbooks, local memoirs, local poetry society books, small guidebooks to a site of local interest (if you live somewhere small) and books written and illustrated for children and sold only at local fairs.


message 56: by Nenangs (new)

Nenangs | 116 comments I think my concern is a litlle out of topic here. It's not about giving rating/reviews to an unread books (I know some peole do that to a real -already published- book too), but more about the entry of the "unpublished and made up books".

Brooke wrote: "The next book in a series is almost always announced before the author has finished writing it, and information such as the title, book cover, release date, etc. will be available on the internet. Fans will often keep track of this and as someone who follows a lot of series, I think that it's a very valuable tool to be able to do so. Although the two Stephanie Meyer books sound a little more tentative than the normal series situation, I think that generally all the next-in-a-series books will be published eventually and are highly different than someone making up a book entry. I'm not sure what's creepy about it? "

and when the next-in-a-series books (especially those that the writer had not even started to write yet, only fans assumption), by one or other reasons (e.g. the author suddenly died, the manuscript and all it's copies went missing, etc.) never get published, where would that leave us?

and why is it so different than someone making up a book entry? everybody can think of any reasons to enter these kind of book. Like when i hear an author says that MAYBE he/she will write a book about something and titled it "abcde", by the current practice, i should be allowed to enter this "book" to GR under pretense of "highly anticipated" or something along those lines...
I can think up of at least 2 other examples for this...

what gives me the creep? hmm...all these times i see librarians trying to keep the database in GR neat and clean of any "non book" garbage, doubles, false entry, etc., to keep the burden for the server as low as possible. i can't imagine when people start adding any kind of "made up" book into the database...

rivka wrote: "Ralph, I don't know why it would be "voted on". While there is some intermittent discussion about related policies by the relevant GR staff, for now it has been decided that entries like those should be kept. "

so, it is official then.
is it somewhere in the rules or librarian manuals?


message 57: by Otis, Chief Goodreader (new)

Otis Chandler | 4184 comments Mod
Interesting thread! I agree that it's a shame some books have to suffer ratings that clearly are invalid. However I can't think of a way to prevent it, and I didn't see any ideas in the thread either (I did skim though). I hope you'll appreciate that if we just start deleting ratings whenever we feel like it, that we've gone down a censorship road that doesn't take us to a good place.

As for manuscripts or yet-to-be-published books, I have no problem with them being in the database. It's kind of cool to have a record of in-progress books, and I don't think it hurts anything. I do think we'd need to remove any that weren't serious in their intent to be a finished book one day.


message 58: by Petra Eggs (new)

Petra Eggs (PetraX) | 5938 comments Otis wrote: " I do think we'd need to remove any that weren't serious in their intent to be a finished book one day."

I was looking to see when the long-awaited fourth book in Christopher Paolini's Inheritance series was due out. It isn't published yet and two people have rated at 1-star. One of them also shelved it as worst-shit-ever. I wrote to both people, and the worst... ever person replied:


message 1: by Petra X 7 hours, 42 min ago.
Since this book isn't out yet, why did you rate it as 1-star and shelve it as 'worst shit ever written'?

message 2: by Yeahiknow3 - rated it 1 star 7 hours, 27 min ago
It's my prediction. I'm daring Christopher Paolini to prove me wrong. Why how many stars is your guess?


Predictions?


message 59: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 3408 comments Ouch. Yet another reason to avoid even looking at the average ratings, and look for reviews instead. Some people are just, um, different... I know my teen son would never do anything like that.


message 60: by Petra Eggs (new)

Petra Eggs (PetraX) | 5938 comments It had 14 ratings already. One girl rated it at a 5 to counteract the 1-star one. It doesn't actually matter in the context of what will be a huge seller, but if it had been a self-published book with publicity restricted to the author's friends-relations-Goodreads and.. 'enemies', it could be really sad.


message 61: by Andy (new)

Andy (Andulamb) | 36 comments I think one simply has to hope and expect that all of the invalid ratings will eventually cancel themselves out. There's just no other way to deal with the situation. Plus, I think it's true.


message 62: by new_user (new)

new_user | 447 comments mlady_rebecca wrote: "Kristin wrote: "At this point, I'm just trying to defend the general idea that people should only add reviews and ratings for books they've read, since some people seem to be inexplicably arguing a..."

OT, but I would like more characters in the notes section.


message 63: by Petra Eggs (new)

Petra Eggs (PetraX) | 5938 comments What is OT?


message 64: by Jan (new)

Jan (janoda) | 596 comments Interesting discussion.
Couldn't this issue be partly solved by adding a discussion box to bookpages that have a publishing date in the future? Something along the lines of "Discuss this upcoming release!"
It might gather some of the OOOOOHHH I CAN'T WAIT comments, out of the review section.

Additionally, I think it would be handier if future publishing dates would be more obvious (like the IMDB system, which always adds pre-production, in production, post production etc...). Nothing that elaborate, but making the date a different color if it hasn't been published might make that more obvious.


message 65: by Petra Eggs (new)

Petra Eggs (PetraX) | 5938 comments What about all the people who get ARCs, their input is valuable to publishers, authors and potential readers? I don't think anyone would want to disable that. Possibly disable the stars alone and just leave reviews though.


message 66: by Jan (last edited Sep 02, 2010 07:27AM) (new)

Jan (janoda) | 596 comments @Petra: Is this a reply to me? Because I never suggested to disable the stars and reviews. I just think that if there's a official place to go WHEEEEEEE on upcoming releases they might not use the review section for the WHEEEEEING.


message 67: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 3408 comments OT usually means Off-Topic


message 68: by Ralph Gallagher (new)

Ralph Gallagher | 552 comments Petra X wrote: "What about all the people who get ARCs, their input is valuable to publishers, authors and potential readers? I don't think anyone would want to disable that. Possibly disable the stars alone and ..."

I kinda like this idea. Allow people to still post reviews, but disable star ratings until release day.


message 69: by rivka, librarian moderator (new)

rivka | 12299 comments Mod
I strongly DISlike it. Why should ARC readers not be allowed to rate books (or have their ratings shown) as much as anyone else? That seems fair neither to them nor the authors.


message 70: by Petra Eggs (new)

Petra Eggs (PetraX) | 5938 comments Cheryl wrote: "OT usually means Off-Topic"

Thanks :-)


message 71: by Petra Eggs (last edited Sep 02, 2010 10:58AM) (new)

Petra Eggs (PetraX) | 5938 comments rivka wrote: "I strongly DISlike it. Why should ARC readers not be allowed to rate books (or have their ratings shown) as much as anyone else? That seems fair neither to them nor the authors."

And I just as strongly dislike the idea that a lot of little twerps could rate books at one star. That seems no more fair to the authors than allowing the stars.

And in the case of self-published authors who cannot expect the large number of reviews, probably well under a hundred, possibly never more than 10 or 20, let alone the tens of thousands that popular books will garner, the 1 stars could really do harm that might never be able to be put right.

I was suggesting a middle ground, no stars but reviews. If it was clear, as Jan said, "Nothing that elaborate, but making the date a different color if it hasn't been published might make that more obvious. , making it obvious it was pre-publication in one or more ways (perhaps by having the button change to PRE-ORDER THIS BOOK), then people would read the reviews to see what readers thought of the book but not be influenced by the twerps who just rate but don't write reviews.


message 72: by rivka, librarian moderator (new)

rivka | 12299 comments Mod
Petra X wrote: "And I just as strongly dislike the idea that a lot of little twerps could rate books at one star. That seems no more fair to the authors than allowing the stars."

Which some can -- and do -- without reading the book after it has been released as well. GR is not in the business of policing whether a user has actually read the book they are rating/reviewing.


message 73: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 9098 comments In my opinion, ARC readers should be able to both review and rate books as soon as they read them.

As far as non-readers rating books with 1 star or 5 stars or any stars, and reviewing them, I admit I don't know of any way to prevent it, and it does happen for long ago published books too, including those that don't have a lot of ratings on Goodreads, and it's not just young people who are doing that. I do feel badly for fellow Godreaders and authors whose books are rated by those who haven't read them, and they usually are 1 or 5 star ratings, but I hope Goodreads finds another way (vs. preventing ratings & reviews to not yet published books) to minimize any damage done by these members.


message 74: by Nikki (last edited Sep 02, 2010 11:43AM) (new)

Nikki  (shanaqui) | 1330 comments I purposefully rate and review books I haven't read completely to the end -- making note of that and of the reason why at the beginning of my review, granted. Even so, that kind of review can be useful.

Knowing what people think before a book comes out can also be useful. If everyone's anticipating a book -- say, a new book by Dan Brown -- and someone stumbles across it and sees that a lot of people have marked it one star and a lot of people have marked it five stars, sight unseen, just because they love or hate the author... that still tells you something, even if you have no idea of who Dan Brown is (you fortunate person, you).


message 75: by willaful (new)

willaful | 826 comments I like the idea of making it more obvious that a book isn't out yet. A simple visual reminder to take reviews/ratings with a grain of salt. I agree that it's unfair (and seems unnecessarily complicated) to disable ratings.


message 76: by Barbara (new)

Barbara | 94 comments I have a different situation that happened to me that might be a reason for not blocking ratings before the listed publication date. The publication date of a book I rated and reviewed yesterday, "101 Freaky Animals" is listed as October, 2010. I received the book in a regular order from Scholastic yesterday, September 1, 2010, and it was not an ARC. I opened it to check the publication date, and it says "First Printing, September, 2010. It is a children's book, and I read it entirely last night. I would not have been able to rate that one either, if it was blocked before the publication date, which was evidently in error or changed by the publisher. I do agree that it is irritating to have a review that is just a put down when the book isn't even available as an arc yet.


message 77: by rivka, librarian moderator (new)

rivka | 12299 comments Mod
Barbara wrote: "which was evidently in error or changed by the publisher"

Both of which happen all the time.


message 78: by willaful (new)

willaful | 826 comments Good point, books are often released before their official release date.


message 79: by Random (last edited Sep 02, 2010 02:03PM) (new)

Random (rand0m1s) | 665 comments Barbara wrote: "I have a different situation that happened to me that might be a reason for not blocking ratings before the listed publication date. The publication date of a book I rated and reviewed yesterday, "..."

I've also run across a number of situations where the Published date was months (and sometimes years) before the book's actual publication date.

If the data isn't accurate, its difficult to accurately enforce policies based upon that data.

We could also run across situations where a librarian might modify the data just so he/she could rate/review (or allow a friend to rate/review).


message 80: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 3408 comments The suggestion in msg 77 seems to make enough sense to me.

Fyi, my 2 cents - I avoid giving stars to books I don't finish. I do however write reviews explaining why I wasn't able to finish them. For an example, see my review of the Twain's Feast giveaway: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/77...


message 81: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 9098 comments I also agree with what Nikki says in message #76.


message 82: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 9098 comments I'd love it if the read shelf showed in popular shelves.

And, that would help with this problem.

If there were 1,000 ratings but 5,000 to-read, 10 currently reading, and only 100 read, that would give some useful information.

By the way, the Group Rules box is popped up right now. This is not my first post in this group! ;-) Ha!


message 83: by Petra Eggs (new)

Petra Eggs (PetraX) | 5938 comments Lisa, I think the unread books would still pop up in th read shelf.

I'm conflicted about ratings on unreleased books. On the one hand I think that its irrelevant anyway with a book that is going to get a lot of ratings and anyway, any ARC readers are going to give informed ratings and reviews. On the other hand, from experience on GR, I know that a personally-unpopular author can garner a lot of 1 star ratings and unpleasant reviews that really could do a lot of damage, as well as the those who write comments as in message 31 above.


message 84: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 9098 comments All that can also happen after the books are published. In fact, if ratings weren't allowed until publication date, there could be a ton of 1 star and 5 star ratings then, and some of those by members who hadn't read those books.


message 85: by Petra Eggs (new)

Petra Eggs (PetraX) | 5938 comments Lisa wrote: "All that can also happen after the books are published. In fact, if ratings weren't allowed until publication date, there could be a ton of 1 star and 5 star ratings then, and some of those by memb..."

Yes that's true. There isn't any way of ensuring ratings are by people who've read the book anyway, so this really is a moot discussion. I just hate to see people out to spoil things for someone who may have no way of fixing the problem.


message 86: by Petra Eggs (new)

Petra Eggs (PetraX) | 5938 comments Lisa wrote: "By the way, the Group Rules box is popped up right now. This is not my first post in this group! ;-) Ha! "

This new Group Rules box is popped up now as I type. It only goes away when my cursor is outside the comment box area. Is this perhaps not overkill of reminding people of the rules?


message 87: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 9098 comments Petra, I think it's a bug.


message 88: by Andy (new)

Andy (Andulamb) | 36 comments I find that the best solutions to problems are the ones that account for rather than fight human behavior.

Like, I hate going to, let's say a zoo, where there's a nice big statue that looks like it would be great fun to climb on, but there's a fence around it and signs that say "please do not climb on the statue." If you put a nice climbable statue at a place where there are lots of kids, you should be okay with kids climbing on it. Conversely, if you don't want kids to climb your statue, don't make it climbable. Better yet, don't put a statue there at all.

So I like the idea of having a separate "prediction" rating in addition to the "review" rating, and the idea of having discussions for each book in addition to reviews. Some people want to predict a book's quality and want to talk about it before they've read it. Fine. That's okay. Instead of putting up signs that amount to saying "keep off the statues," simply give them places to do the things they want to do.


message 89: by Luann (new)

Luann (AZbookgal) | 422 comments Lisa wrote: "Petra, I think it's a bug."

See this thread starting with message 7.


message 90: by Petra Eggs (new)

Petra Eggs (PetraX) | 5938 comments Luann wrote: "Lisa wrote: "Petra, I think it's a bug."

See this thread starting with message 7."


Thank you.


message 91: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 3408 comments Good idea Andy. And if we made it clear that predictions were actually welcomed, and possibly even made it a place where people who don't ever want to read the book can say something anyhow, then we should get (slightly) more representative ratings in the main review section.

Meanwhile we still need to remember that ratings are extremely subjective, and that we need to read (and write!) reviews...


message 92: by willaful (new)

willaful | 826 comments Andy's idea seems promising.


message 93: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 9098 comments Luann wrote: "Lisa wrote: "Petra, I think it's a bug."

See this thread starting with message 7."


Thanks. I jut saw it, and posted there. I actually knew about that option; I don't think it's that new.


message 94: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca | 2048 comments Luann wrote: "Lisa wrote: "Petra, I think it's a bug."

See this thread starting with message 7."


Thanks for pointing that out. I skipped that thread since I don't use the mobile site and don't have a kindle.


message 95: by Petra Eggs (new)

Petra Eggs (PetraX) | 5938 comments Yes, thanks. I don't use the mobile site or have a kindle either so its not a thread I would have thought of checking.


message 96: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (Newtomato) | 389 comments Sadly, my bug report in that thread has gotten derailed. Hopefully not unnoticed, though!


message 97: by Luann (new)

Luann (AZbookgal) | 422 comments Sorry about that, Cindy! I didn't mean to help hijack your thread! Suddenly seeing the group rules all the time had been bugging me, and when someone else commented about it, I couldn't keep myself from replying to them. And then Rivka jumped in and answered the question, so of course I had to strictly follow the Group Rules since it says we can say:, "I don't like this idea." :)

Yikes, and now I'm helping to hijack THIS thread as well! Back to talking about ratings before the publish date! (And we can take this Group Rules conversation over to the thread I see has since been started.)


message 98: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (Newtomato) | 389 comments Nah, I don't mind thread hijacks - it was a very valid question since it had just changed.

There's also a very good chance my bug report wasn't clear.


message 99: by Maria (new)

Maria Elmvang (Kiwiria) | 377 comments rivka wrote: "I strongly DISlike it. Why should ARC readers not be allowed to rate books (or have their ratings shown) as much as anyone else? That seems fair neither to them nor the authors."

I agree. I'm an ARC reviewer, and it's not unheard of that I get books 1-2 years before publication.

I don't think there's any good solution - the best I can think of is disabling stars/reviews if a book is on your "to-read" shelf (and perhaps "currently-reading"), but that won't stop people from putting unpublished books on their "read" shelf and rating them anyway.


message 100: by Hirondelle (new)

Hirondelle | 385 comments I realize there is no imminent danger of system being changed but for goodness´s sake, don't change it. The online seller I buy most of my books gives great discounts for pre-orders, so I really like early reviews. Though somethings to keep in mind:

- Early reviewers are often more favorable - I guess fans and friends of authors are more likely o get ARCS or even manuscripts to read, and publishers are more likely to send ARCs to people who write long non-confrontative and neutral (and boring) reviews. But reading one you can have an idea of personality of author and if it might be a reviewer whose taste works for you.

- You got absolutely no way to distinguish random stars from real ARCs being read but where the reader did not want to leave a review. I would be interested in the number of stars given to a not-yet-release book by people I follow, even if they do not see fit to leave a review.

- People assigning the stars to books they have not yet read are probably just using the system differently. They might be fanboys ( but then again fanboys might very well be fanboys even for non published books), they might use for some sort of want priority. The star system is really subjective, it is impossible to make everybody use it the same way. But for a large enough number of data points (users) the statistics can be interesting and have meaning. Say lots of people are leaving ratings for books not yet published - and comparing that it can measure how eagerly a book is wanted, how many people are likely to read it, what are the expectations for that book. I dare say that can be very useful, and in professional ways to some people!

- Publication dates can be a bit elastic. First publication date might be on a different country than country with most users. Saw A Dance with Dragons ( probably the most wanted of wanted books) will likely be published first in the UK. UK readers and readers who buy the book directly from the UK will be jumping in with reviews and ratings as soon as it is finished. Readers waiting the US release might be leaving ratings or even reviews without reading the book - how on earth could you separate that? No way.

- Other thing about publication dates, there is just not the matter of ARCs but that embargo dates are not always closely followed.


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