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Discussions about books > Some Reviewers Cheating

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message 1: by Kasi (new)

Kasi Blake (kcblake) | 64 comments I have a writer friend who listed her book on here a month before it was actually available. A few people put reviews up and gave her one star for something they could not have read. I wonder how often this happens. As far as my friend could tell, she thinks these were other writers wanting to build up their books somehow by taking down other books.


message 2: by ♥Meagan♥ (new)

♥Meagan♥ (fadedrainbows) | 29 comments I have heard that people rate for anticipation of the book aka how much they are looking forward to reading it. This seems just as weird to me.


message 3: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Well, people don't use the star ratings the same (or even as ratings at all). A lot of people use them as anticipation levels. I know someone else who breaks their reading into segments. 1* = read in the first section, 2* = read in the 2nd section, etc. I even know someone who rates stars as to what week in what month they plan to buy the book.

Of course, that doesn't count beta readers and people who review from ARCs.

It could be other people being mean and petty...but I usually look at the other options first.


message 4: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Goodreads allows books to be added to the database as soon as they are announced or planned, or whatever. There are many, many books here that are not yet released but are expected (they even added expected publication date options on the book page for just this scenario).

As Goodreads doesn't control how users are allowed to rate books, or when, pre-release ratings are going to happen. Some DO use it as a way to prioritize upcoming books on their to-read lists. It may skew the average rating for a while, but it generally works itself out eventually. And I'm not much of a fan of trusting the average rating anyway... I don't know what anyone else's rating scale is, so I always take it with a nice big grain of salt...


message 5: by Isabella (new)

Isabella (isabellaamaris) | 2 comments Could they have reviewed ARCs (advance review copies) sent out by your friend/her publisher prior to the book's release?


message 6: by Donna (new)

Donna Royston | 64 comments A small percentage of an online community where you can be anonymous will fill in forms and give ratings simply out of idleness and boredom. I.e., for no reason, but just to be doing something. You have to learn to ignore these things.


message 7: by Kasi (new)

Kasi Blake (kcblake) | 64 comments Well these people actually wrote stuff on my friends book as if they had read it, so Goodreads removed them and kicked them off the site because there is no way they could have gotten the book.

That is weird, rating on expectation. I have never heard of that. Then they probably change the rating later after reading the book. I hate the rating system and wish they would just do reviews. Some people have told me they won't read a book unless it has a certain number of stars. And I want people to give my books a try, not go by what someone else said. Even the people who talk it way up make me nervous. I don't want people going into reading my books with too high of expectations or too low. I just want them to make up their own minds.


message 8: by Red (last edited Jun 05, 2012 07:11AM) (new)

Red Haircrow (redhaircrow) | 14 comments I've seen it happen too, in some genres more than others, where supposed reviewers downrate a work for some reason they rationalize. It's hard to ignore sometimes, it just seems so senseless and childish. There are even some who gather their friends to downrate authors work for again, some perceived offense or something they rationalize.

It is some people being mean and petty, no other way to call it, in some situations: not all. I hope your friend can get over it and I wish her well, and you also. Having been there myself, it's not easy, but it's possible. Just wait until you get those tags that say, "Do not read author." I have some of those.

At the same time, you have those who do the same in an opposite way, they rate 5 stars not having read a work or only because it is their friend or a friend said they should.

One interesting point a reader and fan of mine told me about this "phenomenon" is that they actually are more likely to read a work that has a wide range of ratings: 1 vs. 5 stars, because they feel it will be a more complex work.


message 9: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (last edited Jun 05, 2012 07:08AM) (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments K.C. wrote: "Well these people actually wrote stuff on my friends book as if they had read it, so Goodreads removed them and kicked them off the site because there is no way they could have gotten the book.

Th..."


I don't pay attention to stars. I wouldn't worry about it if I were you. I base my reading on my personal tastes, first. One great example is A Game of Thrones. I hate gore...but 99% of my friends love and rater this book very highly. Me? Not going to happen. There are tons of books I avoid based on my personal taste. The same with loves. My favorite author is Andre Norton. Most of my friends don't care for her writing style...some even DNF the books. *shrug*

People aren't lemmings and we don't get that swayed by others opinions. It's all so very objective that I wouldn't let it worry me in the least.


message 10: by Kasi (new)

Kasi Blake (kcblake) | 64 comments I have never gotten a Don't Read Author note on any reviews. That is weird. If they don't want the author to read it, it must be really bad. It would make me want to read it all the more.

If I was smart, I would stop reading reviews of my books. It doesn't matter if I have fifty that loved it, my mind wants to zero in on the one that hated it. Then sometimes I don't feel like writing. But some reviews can help a writer. I know in my case a few people have pointed out the same problem again and again, something that I did in the book that didn't make sense, so I went back and fixed it. Stuff like that is super helpful.


message 11: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments K.C. wrote: "I have never gotten a Don't Read Author note on any reviews. That is weird. If they don't want the author to read it, it must be really bad. It would make me want to read it all the more.

If I ..."


The "don't read" shelves are for Authors Behaving Badly moments. I don't use shelves like that exclusively. I have a shelf that is for any book that I've researched and decided not to read. I try to make a note to myself as to why I don't want to read that book. One good example is a Book Club selection. The book chosen has a plot based on love at first sight based on beauty alone and sex/love for revenge. Two plots I hate so I passed and shelved the book with a note.

When I do use my no thanks shelf for an author (vs a plot point) its based on public behavior of the author. Something that I personally have read for myself.

Personally, I can see the catch-22 here. Goodreads gives authors access to more information about the author's reading public than they ever had before. The problem is that gives authors access to more information about the author's reading public than they ever had before. So...a lot of the shelves are based on what readers really think of your book. I'm sure that must be a real shock to some authors. The unvarnished truth. It can be painful.

Some authors get mad at the way their book was shelved by a GR member and feel that it should not be allowed. But in truth what is happening is that authors have a way to look over someone's shoulder into their personal library. That can make things uncomfortable sometimes, I can bet. It's almost like ease-dropping. You eventually hear something that's not flattering that you would normally never have known.


message 12: by Becky (last edited Jun 05, 2012 12:07PM) (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) MrsJoseph wrote: "But in truth what is happening is that authors have a way to look over someone's shoulder into their personal library. "

This is so apt. It's like the author is looking in peoples' windows and seeing their book... either placed on the top shelf, or being used as tinder in the fireplace.

Either way, it's the readers' opinions regarding the value of the book, and the author has to live with it. If they can't handle seeing what people think of their book - they shouldn't peek in the window.

Author have their chance to speak to the reader - that's what their book is. The more an author tries to defend their book against a reader who didn't get it, or didn't like it, or whatever (whether it's "politely" disagreeing with a reviewer or outing them on their blog and calling them ignorant), the less I think their book is worth in the first place, and the less likely I am to want to read it, or anything by that author. If it was good enough to speak for itself, it would. *shrug*

Regarding the whole "getting their friends to downrate" books - let's not pretend that readers are the only one with this power. I've seen authors and publicists manipulating voting on Goodreads to get positive reviews of their books pushed to the top, and downvoting reviews on Amazon for the same reason.

Let's also not forget that talking about books is what readers do. If I don't like your book, I'm going to say why, and I'm going to say it probably a lot, depending on why I disliked it. This is my right, and kinda the point of Goodreads. Word of mouth opinions between friends who likely have similar interests and tastes, are not the same as getting a gang of people to rate your book 1 star.


message 13: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Becky wrote: "Let's also not forget that talking about books is what readers do. If I don't like your book, I'm going to say why, and I'm going to say it probably a lot, depending on why I disliked it. This is my right, and kinda the point of Goodreads. Word of mouth opinions between friends who likely have similar interests and tastes, are not the same as getting a gang of people to rate your book 1 star. "


OMG! You just reminded me of the word of mouth that happened for Jill Scott's first CD. I had no clue who she was...not a commercial or a single could be found. Then one of my friends showed up with a promo copy and he played it for us. *sigh* Total Eargasm experience. I waited on pins and needles for that damn CD to come out, lol.


message 14: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Exactly... it works both ways. I've been in the same position where I hear about a book and then absolutely have to read it. Soulless was one of those. The book didn't interest me one bit until my friends started talking about it, and then I bought it and loved it, and own the entire series.

It's funny to me how there's such a double standard. I see authors in the Feedback group all the time requesting a pre-release 1 or 2 star rating on their book be removed... but they will not say a word about the 4 or 5 star ones. Those are OK, because they are good, but the 1 or 2 stars shouldn't be allowed, apparently.


message 15: by Kasi (new)

Kasi Blake (kcblake) | 64 comments I actually had a four star review removed because when I read it I found out it was for another book. The person had accidentally rated my book instead of someone else's. Some writers take all of this too seriously. Reviews on Goodreads are not going to make a break a career. It's how the writer handles reviews that will do that. Like Nathan Bransford (former agent) said once: When you get a bad review, you might want to say something. Don't. If you really want to say something to that person, give it a day or two. Then, don't.

Good advice.


message 16: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) K.C. wrote: "Like Nathan Bransford (former agent) said once: When you get a bad review, you might want to say something. Don't. If you really want to say something to that person, give it a day or two. Then, don't.

Good advice. "


Fantastic advice.


message 17: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Agreed.


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