The Nexus discussion

169 views
ARCHIVES > Dear Time-Traveling Goodreads Reviewer,

Comments Showing 1-50 of 122 (122 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3

message 1: by Midu, loves Ratatouille (new)

Midu Hadi | 6726 comments Mod
Our dearest Sheri came across this blog post and pointed it out to me that it'd be good for discussion among our members. John, in his blog post, says that he was inspired by a letter Patrick Rothfuss wrote here on Goodreads.

Check it out.

The letter itself is pretty funny:

"While it's nice to see folks out there giving this book five stars, and in some cases even reviewing it, I'll admit that I'm kinda puzzled.

After thinking it over for a while, I've realized there's only one explanation for this:

Time travelers love my books.
"

"Secondly, I'd like to say if you're The Doctor, and you're reading this, I would make an excellent traveling companion. I know you normally tend to hang out with pretty young women and robot dogs. And honestly? I respect that."

But John points out something more serious in his post. A star or 5 stars might not make much of a difference to established authors but it could mean something completely different for indies.

He says:
"you give an unreleased book that you haven’t read a one star rating because it doesn’t interest you. "

"It’s not fair to the author, to the publisher, to other readers, or to anyone to rate an unreleased book when you haven’t even read it. I’m fine with you showing your opinion in review form as long as you don’t rate the book."

"when readers click on the book, they’ll realize that the reviewer hasn’t read the book and will dismiss the review. I get that. But c’mon; honestly, does a three star rating really make you want to click on the book to find more about it? The answer should be “no,” unless you’re to the point where you’re aware of these time-traveling reviewers. "

Do you think he's right to worry? What can Goodreads do about this? There have already been suggestions about this in the Goodreads Feedback group-Disable ratings for unreleased books.

But Chris (post#38) also raises a good point:

"As someone who reads a fair number of Advance Review Copies, being able to rate books before their release date is important to me... "

What do you think can be done?


message 2: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa Gao (ness428) | 2 comments I cannot agree more. It's just rude and unmindful of people to rate books (especially giving them one star) when they haven't even read it.


message 3: by Ann (new)

Ann Herrick (annh) | 5 comments At least the one-star rating was accompanied by a review--it's the 1 or 2 ratings with no review that leave me wondering. Did the reader not finish the book? Was it just that the reader didn't like that *type* of book, but read it anyway and then gave it a low rating?

As to the question, while I don't know about making it a rule, it does seem that a negative review of a book which the reader didn't even finish should not be accompanied by a rating.


message 4: by Diana Stormblessed (last edited May 31, 2012 12:15PM) (new)

Diana Stormblessed (dashichka) | 372 comments I hate when people give reviews to books that haven't come out, or aren't even in the works yet, because they loved/hated the prequel. That doesn't help me at all in figuring out if THIS PARTICULAR BOOK is any good. So how about you save your star ratings for AFTER you've read the book. And if you have no intention of actually reading the book, DON'T REVIEW IT.


message 5: by Jim (new)

Jim Galford (jgalford) As someone who's received a 1-star rating from someone who hasn't read their book, I can say this happens and it's really annoying.

It's hard enough to get reviews in the indie world, but when people do drive-by starrings based on the cover, the back cover description, etc, it's incredibly hard to overcome.

I know people have initial opinions, but why do people feel the need to rate the contents of a book without reading it? It seems unethical and downright misleading, since it isn't just a review, it also affects the overall status of the book. Yes, on an industry author, one BS review means nothing, but most indies are dealing with 10-20 reviews total. That one 1-star drive-by can really hurt your rating, when it doesn't even reflect reality.

Very annoying.


message 6: by Christie (last edited May 31, 2012 12:21PM) (new)

Christie Rich | 3 comments I think there is a point for both sides of this issue. If a reader is rating a book as a way to say it interests or does not interest them, then this is a flawed system.

I think that in order for a reader to be able to rate or review a book, the reader should have to enter the date they read the book. Once the date is entered then the system would allow them to rate and/or review. This would take some of the confusion away from new members who might not realize that ratings have direct impact on a books ability to sale.


message 7: by Donald (new)

Donald Kirch (storywriter1967) I am in FULL agreement. This is unfair and can lead others, who would enjoy the writer's work, not to even give it a second glance. It's hard enough to get a review, but to have a bad one without so much as a page being turned is wrong, unfair, and shameful.


message 8: by Reena (new)

Reena Jacobs (reenajacobs) | 6 comments 1-stars for unreleased books are hurtful. I'm not sure why someone would be so vindictive as to do something like that. 5-stars for unreleased books are annoying. It elevates a book to a level it has not earned.

When I look through reviews, I don't want them tainted by popularity contests. I like or dislike this author or series so I'm going to tag an X rating to it. I want the ratings to be legitimate, provided by people who actually have knowledge of what's between the cover.


message 9: by Tammy (new)

Tammy | 203 comments I think it's ridiculous to give a book one star just because it doesn't interest you, I've also seen people give unreleased books five stars because they like the author/series. It's pretty simple to me, read the book then rate it :)


message 10: by Christie (new)

Christie Rich | 3 comments Reena wrote: "1-stars for unreleased books are hurtful. I'm not sure why someone would be so vindictive as to do something like that. 5-stars for unreleased books are annoying. It elevates a book to a level it h..."

I couldn't agree more, Reena. Why rate a book you haven't read?


message 11: by Harold (new)

Harold Titus (haroldtitus) I'd like to see at least on goodreads a requirement that a review must accompany a rating. As stated above, ratings are especially important to indie authors. A reviewer should have to justify his rating. Besides being more useful to a prospective reader than just a rating, a review indicates how carefully or superficially the reviewer has read the book.


message 12: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Simpson (phillipwsimpson) | 3 comments Donald wrote: "I am in FULL agreement. This is unfair and can lead others, who would enjoy the writer's work, not to even give it a second glance. It's hard enough to get a review, but to have a bad one without..."

I agree also. My latest book has three 1 star ratings. I know for a fact (on one of those at least) that there's no way they could have read it because it was for the print copy (which wasn't available when they rated it). It's mean spirited to give 1 star to a book you haven't even read. Sure, I get some books won't be everyone's cup of tea but to do that and not even justify it? I thought one of the purposes of goodreads is to promote and support indie authors - not crush them unfairly.


message 13: by Elsa (last edited May 31, 2012 12:51PM) (new)

Elsa Carrion (ecarrion) Yes, agree with Diana. Why rate it even before you read it....it's not fair to the book sales or to the people who are in-between...deciding whether to read or not to read it.


message 14: by Susan (new)

Susan Ashcraft (sashcraft) | 36 comments Christie wrote: "I think there is a point for both sides of this issue. If a reader is rating a book as a way to say it interests or does not interest them, then this is a flawed system.

I think that in order for ..."


This would definitely help. I review lots of books, including ARC's but I always enter the date when I read the book. The one problem with the 'enter the date' aspect is some people would just enter the date and still just rate it 1 star.

I don't understand why people rate books when they don't read them or finish them. It just seems wrong to me.


message 15: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Simpson (phillipwsimpson) | 3 comments In terms of ARC's - It's entirely up to the reviewer as to what rating they think your book deserves but I really think they need to justify it with a review (and not just a rating).


Diana Stormblessed (dashichka) | 372 comments As a reader who highly relies on reviews to pick my next read, it really is annoying when people are rating books they didn't read, on both the 1 star and 5 star ends.


message 17: by Christie (new)

Christie Rich | 3 comments Susan wrote: "Christie wrote: "I think there is a point for both sides of this issue. If a reader is rating a book as a way to say it interests or does not interest them, then this is a flawed system.

I think t..."


Good point, Susan. I guess if it is a mean spirited person they would be able to get that 1 star in. I just thought it might make it a bit harder to do it and discourage some of the people. I do also agree that a rating should come with a review even if it is simple.


message 18: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Simpson (phillipwsimpson) | 3 comments Fair point. I know I've got 2 five star ratings for the 2nd and 3rd books in my trilogy - and they haven't been released yet. In fact, I haven't even written the 3rd book.


message 19: by Lanie (new)

Lanie Malone | 39 comments I'm sure Goodreads can come up with some way to prevent people from rating a book that hasn't been released yet. Perhaps leave it to the author to authorize those who have received advanced release copies to leave a rating/ review.

Of course, they would also have to make it to where the author can't remove said review once it is posted.

Readers themselves, should think about how their actions may affect others, before casually rating something they haven't even attempted to read. There are plenty of books out there that I could slap a one star rating on, simply because they don't interest me (basically anything by Nicholas Sparks and anything under the self help heading), but these books/ authors aren't hurting me, so why would I want to hurt them?

It's not like I need that little star to remind me that I'm not interested. I don't think the people who practice this are necessarily trying to be malicious. They probably just aren't thinking about the impact that their rating could have. In their minds, they are just keeping track of what they are/ are not interested in.


message 20: by Lanie (new)

Lanie Malone | 39 comments Not a bad idea Christopher, certainly something for GR to at least consider.


Alana ~ The Book Pimp (loonyalana) | 316 comments Vanessa wrote: "I cannot agree more. It's just rude and unmindful of people to rate books (especially giving them one star) when they haven't even read it."

I agree with Vanessa's thoughts, and the writer of the letter; however, in regards to what GoodReads can do about it- or better put what they WILL do about it: nothing. They WILL NOT change, add half-stars, or limit how people use (or misuse) the rating system.


Diana Stormblessed (dashichka) | 372 comments Christopher wrote: "It may be a crazy idea, but why not institute a dual star rating system? Record star ratings up until the point of release, then lock that rating down and display it below the post-release rating, ..."

But then might as well say why not lock the book so that people can't post reviews until it was released. Not sure if that would help either, since people falsely rating books can be rating it at any time w/o reading. I don't know if this is just a pre-release issue.


message 23: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Elswick (wwwgoodreadscomrebeccaelswick) | 6 comments Giving one star to a book you haven't read is like telling someone you didn't like their casserole while it's still in the oven! Ridiculous.


message 24: by Lanie (new)

Lanie Malone | 39 comments Well I certainly wasn't getting my hopes up, Alana, lol. I can imagine it would take a lot of work, not to mention money, to make any major changes to site like this. If it isn't effecting their money, they aren't likely to change anything...kind of like how Amazon does things. :)


Angie ~aka Reading Machine~ (wolffaerie17) | 28 comments I do my upmost to read books then rate them honestly and review them honestly too. I've been doing alot of books in exchange for reviews lately. I read, rate,, and review them honestly because I realize how important it is to do so honestly. People who are giving one star ratings without even reading the book is horribly wrong and judgemental in my opinion. I try to treat all authors fairly by giving honest ratings and reviews.


message 26: by Larry (new)

Larry Seeley (lfseeley) | 4 comments My first reaction is that anything that received one star must be truly awful. I've started to read dozens of books that stopped me cold after one chapter. I knew the writing wasn't going to improve. On the other hand, I've seen five-star reviews for books that don't even merit comment--the last two Lee Child books are great examples. A name author can get five-stars simply because he or she has fans. Most people know that a great review doesn't guarantee a great book, but a poor review is almost certain to be accurate.


message 27: by Susan (new)

Susan Ashcraft (sashcraft) | 36 comments I think for people looking for a book to read, the best thing to do is just read the reviews and ignore the ratings that have no accompanying review (that's what I do)

There is never going to be a perfect system, people will always find ways around.


message 28: by Lanie (new)

Lanie Malone | 39 comments Rebecca wrote: "Giving one star to a book you haven't read is like telling someone you didn't like their casserole while it's still in the oven! Ridiculous."

LOL, exactly.


Alana ~ The Book Pimp (loonyalana) | 316 comments Harold wrote: "I'd like to see at least on goodreads a requirement that a review must accompany a rating. As stated above, ratings are especially important to indie authors. A reviewer should have to justify hi..."

I would venture a guess that a majority of people on GoodReads just flat out don't write reviews. Period. Admittedly, when I first joined I was one of those people. I wouldn't have wanted to be required to give a review in order to rate a book. I'm not in school anymore, don't give me homework. But, now that I've met and befriended several Indie authors, and have joined review programs, I generally write something for every book. Even if it's just one sentence. But if I had been told when joining GoodReads that I HAD to write reviews in order to rate- I would have left and never had the opportunity to get exposed to the Indie author world. I was struggling to find good recommendations just in 'big name' authors that I could find at my local library.


message 30: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 22 comments Both ratings and reviews have to do with people's expectations. Sometimes people get frustrated from the first line, and nothing that follow can change their minds. But rating and/or reviewing a book you've never read based on, say, your previous experiences with an author who has failed to provide you with the reading experience you longed for? It's a bit petty and mean-spirited. Yet, I doubt there any writers out there who haven't encountered this kind of behavior. I can only influence myself and not do that kind of thing.


message 31: by Larry (new)

Larry Seeley (lfseeley) | 4 comments I agree with Susan, but have one question--what constitutes 'reading' a book? The first chapter? The entire MS? Remember, when you submit to an agent or publisher, they usually ask for the first 50 pages. That's a valid criterion to judge a book according to current standards.


message 32: by Lanie (new)

Lanie Malone | 39 comments I just came to GR a few months ago and I still have not added every single book I've ever read. I don't plan to, it would take far too long. But I did get roughly two hundred up. If I had to post an actual review with every star rating I provided, I wouldn't have added a single book.

I have considered going back and adding a review for some, particularly those that I own and tend to read repeatedly, but I'm with Alana, don't give me homework. Writing a review should be more for the reviewr's pleasure, rather than the author's. If you make it forced, it won't be any where near as fun.


Alana ~ The Book Pimp (loonyalana) | 316 comments Larry wrote: "I agree with Susan, but have one question--what constitutes 'reading' a book? The first chapter? The entire MS? Remember, when you submit to an agent or publisher, they usually ask for the first 50..."

That's a great point- friend of mine have had debates over rating an unfinished book... although disliking something enough not to finish is a pretty bad mark in my 'book'


message 34: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 22 comments Larry wrote: "I agree with Susan, but have one question--what constitutes 'reading' a book? The first chapter? The entire MS? Remember, when you submit to an agent or publisher, they usually ask for the first 50..."

Professionals look for different things from a book or a manuscript than the average reader who reads for the fun of it.

It's true that one can get a pretty good picture of a writer's type of writing pretty soon into the book. But the style is hardly everything a book has to offer.

When a reader starts, if he/she knows he/she is going to rate/review it, shouldn't there be at least the expectation of seeing where the story goes? To not judge the whole thing by the cover, i.e. the first few pages.

Maybe that's just me.


message 35: by Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey), thinks midu and nikki are the coolest! (new)

Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey) (mybookboyfriend) | 953 comments Mod
If you haven't read the book, don't put a star rated review on it.

If I stop reading a book midway because it doesn't interest me or I don't like it, I don't rate it. How can I? I'm not sure if the book remedemed itself in the end. However, if the book is just unreadable in it's current form and I give up, I may rate it. It's happened exactly one time (halfway through). And I posted a review to explain myself.

My ratings are generally 4 or 5 because I read books that I like. Those I don't finish because I don't like, I don't rate. So I have a high rating average. But that's just me.


Diana Stormblessed (dashichka) | 372 comments Alana (aka ◘Whiplash◘) wrote: "Larry wrote: "I agree with Susan, but have one question--what constitutes 'reading' a book? The first chapter? The entire MS? Remember, when you submit to an agent or publisher, they usually ask fo..."

Agreed. I usually try my hardest to finish books, even the ones I'm not enjoying but never have those books changed my mind. I try to give the book an honest shot, but if I'm more than half through and I really don't like it, there's rarely anything the book is going to do to improve that. Unless it magically turns into another book.


message 37: by Mel (last edited May 31, 2012 01:08PM) (new)

Mel (soireb) Midu wrote: "What do you think can be done?"

Here is my take, I'm a blogger and I review books, some of them are Advance Reading Copies of said books that get to my inbox (most of them ebooks) before the release day. I read and review them; and if I do it before the release day, I don't want to have to wait to be able to post them or be penalized in some way because I did read it.

Yet, I do find the tendency of rating a book based on excitement level only, without even reading the book ludicrous; my honest opinion. But people use the ratings for so many different reasons that it also be unreal to try to force them to rate books according to others POV. Everyone has different ways to see and use different functions.

However, I think that there is a way to fix this debacle, and in theory is quite simple (in reality, it can become a little messy, I know programming is no walk in the park). But, two types of meters would work to everyone's benefit. One could be exclusive for the book's rating and the other for magnitude of other uses that users come up with. Example:

Book's Ratings:
From ★☆☆☆☆ to ★★★★★ according to your opinions after reading the work.

Excitement Rating: (or whichever name suits it better)
From ★☆☆☆☆ to ★★★★★ depending on whether you are excite to read it, don't want to read it, are assigning it a reading priority withing your shelves, etc...


message 38: by Sheri (new)

Sheri Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey) wrote: "If you haven't read the book, don't put a star rated review on it.

If I stop reading a book midway because it doesn't interest me or I don't like it, I don't rate it. How can I? I'm not sure i..."


I agree with Terri. I hate it when I see a low rating and then...I didn't finish the book. Maybe it gets better, maybe it doesn't, but you can't know since it wasn't finished!


message 39: by Larry (new)

Larry Seeley (lfseeley) | 4 comments Terri is right. If you stop reading, don't rate.


message 40: by Michael Cargill (new)

Michael Cargill Cargill (michaelcargill) | 92 comments I don't think a great deal can be done other than stopping people from rating unreleased books.

This is something that effects films and computer games as well.


message 41: by Sylvia (new)

Sylvia Hester | 3 comments I have found that it is sometimes done in error. I have done it in error when trying to add it to my to read shelf or when I am entering a giveway. I think the way to stop this is to disable the rating until a review is made and then the rating will show up.


message 42: by C.M. (new)

C.M. Gray (cmgray) | 19 comments Rebecca wrote: "Giving one star to a book you haven't read is like telling someone you didn't like their casserole while it's still in the oven! Ridiculous."

I love that! So true as well.
Personally I can't stand romance novels... Would it be right to go through dishing out ratings based in that alone? No, of course not, I think we can all agree on that. So how about a system where you can't leave a rating unless you leave minimum 500 word review... or 300, at least something to show you are basing your rating on something and explaining it.

Good subject thread.


message 43: by Ian (last edited May 31, 2012 01:26PM) (new)

Ian Loome (lhthomson) | 21 comments Larry wrote: "Terri is right. If you stop reading, don't rate."

I disagree. If I choose to stop reading someone within five pages because their prose is utter crap, I have every right to rate them one-star. The rating matches the experience.

To the contrary, if you manage to struggle all the way through something that is pretty bad, the mere fact that you managed to finish it could rate it above a one-star.

I'll agree that quality is relative. But prose — the use of syntax, grammar and spelling to achieve fluidity of language — can be so far off the mark as to make the plot and intention moot. As a self-pub I'll be the first to attest it's not that uncommon these days.

The original post is going after people who rate one-star without having read the book at all, not those who started it but were smart enough to not finish it.


message 44: by Lanie (new)

Lanie Malone | 39 comments Terri also made another point:

"But people use the ratings for so many different reasons that it also be unreal to try to force them to rate books according to others POV. Everyone has different ways to see and use different functions."

Everyone is so ready to point the finger and assume that the people who are posting these pre-release ratings are trying to hurt the author or book, but did anyone stop to consider the fact that perhaps these people simply aren't seeing the bigger picture. Perhaps they don't believe anyone else will take that rating into consideration. Maybe they don't even really understand how the system works.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have enough faith in my fellow man to believe that these are all done in ignorance, but unless you live and breath this world every single day, the odds of having a real, complete understanding of how it all works is very low. For every author and book blogger on GR, there are, undoubtedly, many more people who are readers, and only that. To assume that the average reader knows, understands, and more importantly, cares about the inner workings of the rating systems, is just as ignorant.


message 45: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 22 comments Lanie wrote: "Terri also made another point:

"But people use the ratings for so many different reasons that it also be unreal to try to force them to rate books according to others POV. Everyone has different w..."


Often the ratings/reviews are based on the mood of the reader right after reading. If you're really mad at not getting the reading experience you hoped for, your rating will reflect this. I'm not saying it's wrong, but it's not very well thought out either.


message 46: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Herfst (stephen_herfst) | 34 comments I had my first dnf for my book and I liked it. First of all, no score was attached and she still went to the trouble of pointing out a few things she liked and didn't like and I appreciate constructive feedback like that. If all DNF's are like hers, I'll be quite happy to receive them.


message 47: by ceeeeg (last edited May 31, 2012 01:40PM) (new)

ceeeeg | 26 comments jumping in...

publishers are always going to want unreleased books reviewed; it generates advance sales and gets the ball rolling...

as a reader, i rarely put something down without having read it in its entirety anyway, so if i am reviewing it, i've read it...

also, i think as an advanced reader with a critical eye for style and content, if i feel i have to put a book down because it is that bad, it likely is not going to get any better...and i do not think it should prevent me from rating a book and saying so...

as a ratings follower for many things, i rely on ratings to tell me if something is worth my time, effort or money, and in that capacity, even bad ratings are helpful and are, ostensibly, what publishers are after, an overall view of whether to expect a title to do well and in what demographic or particular reader base it might, etc...

because it is a money business, end of the day...if advance reviews indicate it may not do all that well, they will likely limit to one printing, unless the money pans out in contrast to the advance review indicators, and will be better able to target audiences with advertising to promote sales...

so, while i would always endeavor to give a book a fair and full reading, if i can not bear to go on with one, i will say so and explain why to give fair and balanced feedback to the publishers as well as future potential readers...


message 48: by Peg (new)

Peg (pegrobarchek) | 14 comments Netflix offers a "not interested" option, which conveys a completely different message than a 1 star review.

The issue seems not so much about whether a book receives a review before release (which is perfectly legitimate as writers hope for and encourage reviews in advance) as it is about readers who have not read a book feeling the urge to get in on the rating action. Goodreads readers need to be better educated about the purpose of the rating system and about the importance of their own integrity in participating in a good-faith rating system.

Ultimately we can't legislate good motives or good judgment without harming the people who already have both.


message 49: by Lanie (new)

Lanie Malone | 39 comments L.H. wrote: "Larry wrote: "Terri is right. If you stop reading, don't rate."

I disagree. If I choose to stop reading someone within five pages because their prose is utter crap, I have every right to rate them..."


I agree. If I paid for it, and it is so awful I can't finish it, it generally gets one star.

My electricity is now out, and I hate posting from my phone like this, so ta ta for now!


message 50: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 22 comments Peg wrote: "Netflix offers a "not interested" option, which conveys a completely different message than a 1 star review."

Now here's an idea worth putting into practice.


« previous 1 3
back to top