Wednesday, April 25, 2012

4 or 5 Stars???

My rant for the day:

I hate the star system.  There, I said it.  The star-rating system that many sites such as Amazon, Barnes&Noble, etc. use to rate books stinks.  It's not accurate and gets people upset.  The reason?  Because what reviewer #1 thinks deserves 5 stars may very easily get 3 stars from reviewer #2.  This causes confusion and angst, particularly among authors.

According to the B&N website:

1 Star  = Poor
2 Stars = Below Average
3 Stars = Good
4 Stars = Very Good
5 Stars = Exceptional

I know one reviewer who only gives 5 star reviews.  His reason?  "I only review books I like.  If I don't like a book, I stop reading it and won't, therefore, review it."  Okay, I guess that makes sense.  But again, he gives EVERY book he reviews 5 stars. Exceptional?  Really?  Every book?  Maybe, but personally I don't think every book I read is exceptional.  In fact, a lot of decent books should rate 3 stars.  But alas, many (not all) authors understandably think their books should all be rated as 5 stars.  Many (again, not all) see anything less as a slam against their books.  And believe me, I've seen authors get upset because their book only received 4 stars.  But in my "book," that's a good rating.

It's sort of a no-win/you can't please everybody situation. Yes, if you rate everything 5 stars, readers may start to devalue your reviews.  But that's only if they follow your reviews closely.  Otherwise, how would they know?  Personally, I'd prefer the star system to go away and let the review stand on its own.  What do you think?