Have you ever realized that our brains work differently from each other? Take for instance when I read, I’m focusing on certain elements such as character development, word pictures, and the way the author draws my emotions in. The plot needs to be realistic, but generally that isn’t my main focus.
Through reviews I’ve discovered there’s a wide range of what other people like and don’t like. Some reviewers discount books as being unrealistic if they don’t mention food, because, Hey! You have to eat. Others shake their heads sadly and declare the book a loss because the main character was unlikeable to them. Others squeal about a book being trite. Or cliché. Or boring. Or aggravating. Or having gigantic plot holes.
Even if I’ve never read the book, I can generally get a good grasp on what causes those reactions if I need enough reviews. Then I file it away in my memory bank and when one of those “issues” pop up in my book I’m able to whack it over the head and deal with it right away so my readers don’t have to.
Book reviews also help inspire me. When I see how many reviews are out there being read, I’m reminded that one day, I too, should have a passel of reviews for readers to dig into. Plus, the diversity in people’s imaginations makes me feel as if I have wings to fly on, because I have an imagination, too and that’s a glorious thought.
There are some elements about reviewing books that bother me: The main one being that the system we have only uses five stars. I’m fairly certain the world of reviews would feel like a more fair place if we had ten stars to choose from.
Most of the books I read are three-star reads. It takes a good amount of liking for me to push a book up to the four star range, and it’s almost impossible for a fiction book to reach five-stars. By the same token, though, it’s quite difficult for me to regulate a book to two-stars. It just feels wrong. I don’t think I’ve ever written a one-star review, most likely because I don’t finish books that would garner just one-star.
But this leaves me with all those three-star books, which in reality have hit many different places in my like-the-book-meter. On a scale of one to ten I might inwardly rate Book A at 4 and book Book B at a 7, yet in the star-charting reviewing world, they come out looking the same. It makes my reviewing, and writing, heart sad.
Still, five stars are better than three stars, so I’ll remain a happy little book reviewer.
Today I’m celebrating my book being released in Spanish by hosting a giveaway. You can win either a copy of the book or an Amazon gift card. Enjoy!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Do you think we should have a better book reviewing system? What star-count do the majority of the books you read receive?
7 thoughts on “Book Review Thoughts & Giveaway”
I agree with the five star ratings. I tend to rate most books 3 stars, but when I look at all the 3 star books there's definitely lots of variation on how much I liked those books.
Congrats on the Spanish edition!
Yes! I'm glad someone else agrees. If only we would have had a “writers and reviewers unite” session before five star reviews became popular. 🙂
Okay, I am confused. I thought you were proposing 10 stars?
Oh! My bad. I read Sunny's comment wrong… Sorry for the confusion. I guess I should probably just delete my comment, but then it will make your comment look funny… 🙂
From the rest of Sunny's comment, I think you may have gotten the right idea, and she might have meant to type “10 star”? Anyway, I would jump on board with the 10-star idea. However, Jason's take is that it might make people less likely to post reviews, being paralyzed with indecision, and I think there's something to that too. Odds are that some folks who make more money than you or I will ever see have already researched the matter to death, and concluded that 5 star reviews are best because… they make the most profits for Amazon!
I'm thinking that with most reviews I'll give the book a five star rating, but then also a ten star rating, like I did here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1570305951?book_show_action=false
For example, in the five star range 1 would be 1 on a ten star range, too, but then 2 would go for 2-3, and 3 (in the five star range) would account for 4,5,6, &7, in the ten range since that's my most used rating. Then 4 would be 8-9 and 5 stars would equal a 10. Hopefully that isn't too confusing… And I don't have it nailed down yet, but that's what I'm thinking, just for my own peace of mind. 🙂
Ah yes, I can see how the indecision might be hard for some people… I hadn't even thought of that. Besides, aren't five stars common in a lot of different types of rating?
Actually, your system makes a lot of sense. It makes me think of logarithms, for some reason. And yes, I think a five-star scale is sort of the de facto standard. To me, though, it would make sense to make half-star ratings available, as some sites actually do. Averages show fractional stars, after all, so why not let the users select them, too?