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Goodreads advice, please

September 16, 2012 by Suzi

So I just joined Goodreads this summer. Yes, I’m a little slow to the game, but I didn’t know exactly what it was about. Now I added all the books I’ve read for 2012, but I haven’t done much more. Haven’t added shelves or anything.

I’ve also only rated a few books. This brought me to the issue I thought I might run into in the future. And I wondered how others handled it.

Do you do book ratings?
Do you rate your friends’ books?
(For this post, I’m just asking about ratings, not reviews.)

Even though I rated a few books, I’m debating whether I want to get into that at all. I am one of those people who would probably only do ratings of 4 or 5 stars. I wouldn’t rate anything if it were a 3 or lower, because I hate to hurt people’s feelings. And also, if I gave a low rating, I’d feel I have to justify it with an explanation. And I hate writing reviews.

As a writer, I’m getting to know all sorts of other writers online. And what do I do if a ‘friend’ has a book that I didn’t like. If it were a 3 or less, I wouldn’t rate it. But then they’re gonna know I think it’s a 3 or less because I didn’t rate it a 4 or 5.

So do I just avoid rating any at all? Do I only rate non-friends books?

Does anyone else worry about this or is it just me? Do authors go to their ‘friends’ Goodreads pages to look up if their book was rated or not?

Do you believe a lot of people rate their friends’ books 5 stars no matter how they feel about them?

Whew, a lot of questions. But seriously, if you have any advice on how you handle ratings, I’d really love to hear it.

Thanks.


8 Comments »

  1. Madeleine says:

    Yes I’ve reviewed and rated books incluidng my blogger friend’s books.

    I think if people don’t like a book they don’t rate or comment at all, while those that do might add more stars for those of authors they have befriended on blogs.

  2. PK Hrezo says:

    I wish I knew the answer. I’m a member of GR but I haven’t really had time to figure it all out. I do add friends’ books when they come out, but that’s about it. Sometimes I feel like I”m drowning in social media, but I still love it! :)

  3. Nas says:

    I’m on Goodreads and yes, I rate books and write reviews. I try to be honest in my reviews and concentrate more on positive aspect of a book rather than negative. But I tend not to say anything about a book if I didn’t like it.

  4. I joined Goodreads this summer too, and have not used it much at all. I think, though, that you can rate whoever’s books you want, so if you make a policy that you don’t rate your friends books, it’s your choice. It sounds like a good idea to me to not rate friend’s books, only because I relate to feeling bad if I give out low ratings. There is so much about social media that gives me anxiety…

  5. Melodie says:

    I do reviews on Goodreads bc I read a lot of ARCs via Netgalley and the publishers like when readers “reward” them with good reviews.

    That said, I ONLY review books I really liked, if not loved. If a book tanked for me, I don’t put it on GR at all. I figure the publishers know that no book is for everyone. But for those books I loved, I do everything I can to promote them. Bc I hope for someone to do the same for me when my turn comes.

  6. I rate and review books, even if I didn’t like them. I feel like I need to be honest, sometimes the book wasn’t for me, sometimes I felt like the writing was weak, sometimes, I seriously hated a character or a scene and it made me give a low rating.

    I think as long as you’re not attacking the person (i.e. Kerry Cohen for her memoir Loose Girl was called a cock-hound, when the person didn’t even read her book), it’s okay to honestly review.

  7. Yeah, this is one thing I seriously struggle with, too. UGH! I try to be honest, but always kind, too. I’m maybe more honest and less kind with runaway best sellers that everyone is raving about, just because I figure those authors can handle my criticism. :) Yes, I do give stars, and I save 5-stars for books that rocked my world and absolutely delighted me. It’s really hard, though. I don’t know if I’ll change if I’m ever published. An author friend of mine only lists that she’s “read” books and then offers a couple of sentences of review in some cases. I think that might be a good way to go because everyone has different opinions about what the stars mean and you really want to be kind to your fellow authors and not completely offend them…. Tough, though.

  8. Janeal Falor says:

    I’m on goodreads, though don’t do a ton with it. Mostly, I just put my favorite books up there with 4 or 5 stars depending on how much I liked it. And no reviews, at least none I’ve done yet.

    I decided a while ago that as a writer I wasn’t going to critique other writer’s books online unless it was something I loved. I know I’m not the best writer, still trying to learn so much, so to publicly criticize others instead of trying to learn from it just doesn’t work for me. I think as long as your honest in a nice way, you can do whatever works for you.

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