Monday, May 10, 2010

Mondays Hot Couple without a Smutty Scene Or… What Do You Think of Authors Giving Themselves Rates @ Goodreads?

Again I’ve been away the whole day and since I’m horribly bad at scheduling I don’t have the time nor spunk to pick a smutty scene from the wonderful books and stories I’ve been reading this week. So, you’ll have to settle for just the hot couple pic. I hope you don’t mind. It's inspired by our own wedding anniversary yesterday :)

Besides all that, I really need to ask you a question. I’m an eager user of Goodreads, as some of you may know. A lot of you are as well. I use it to keep track of the books I read, want to read and want to buy. Before I buy a book I always check out Goodreads, not only to see if I already bought the book before but also to look up what other blogger and reader friends thought of the book and what rate they gave it.
And lately it happens more often than before that I notice among the rates for quite some books a rate from the author of the book him/herself. And, surprise, surprise, they rate their own book 99.99% of the time with 5 stars (this is not a scientific number of course, but honestly I haven’t seen any other rates than 5 stars). A lot of authors don’t do the rating thing at all, only the ones who do, give the 5 stars.

Now, is it me, or is it plain weird that authors rate their own books like that? What do you think?


  1. Hi Janna, that's a great "in honor of anniv" pic! Happy anniv to you and yours!

    As a GR author, I'm only half-guilty. I give star ratings to multi-author anthos of which I'm a part, judging on the whole compilation. But my solo books, I simply mark as "read" and don't rate with stars.

    It doesn't necessarily bother me as a reader to see authors mark their books as 5-stars. I just take that into consideration when looking at the total average ranking, and obviously give a bit more weight to uninvolved reader's impressions.

    Good topic, it'll be interesting to see what others have to say!

  2. Funny, I was noticing this last night! And yes, I was on Goodreads until the wee hours of the morning. I don't think it is necessary for an author to rate their books. As a reader I do not place that much value on that type of rating and could potentially turn me off.

  3. @Devon: Thanks for the congrats :)
    I don't think that giving star ratings to anthologies like you do is weird. And probably you don't only give them 5 stars either. So, you're cool *wink*
    I'm with you on taking the author's rate into consideration when looking at the average ranking but I can't help thinking that it's weird and unnecessary even.

    @KC: I think I waved at you this morning over at Goodreads ;) Exactly, it has the potential to turn me off too!

  4. When you have an author page, Goodreads automatically puts the book in your "read" pile. If you don't rate it, then it might look like you are giving the book a "zero" rating (bad). I left my book unrated until someone asked me if I was giving a book a bad rating because it was marked as "read" with no stars.

    You're sort of damned if you do (look like a loser) and damned if you don't (your book looks like a loser). Not sure what the right answer is. I would love it if Goodreads didn't put my own book on my "read" list.


  5. I agree with you! I think that is really kind of weird. I can see why they put their own books on their shelfs but it strange when they rate themselves.

    There's another thing I'm annoyed with at goodreads. Some authors who are(or better said were) my "friends" always recommend their books to me. That is really annoying. Don't you think? What are they thinking?

    SusiSunshine- The Geeky Lover

  6. I'm glad Penny left that comment..I wondered why more authors were rating their own books now then when I started on goodreads 2 years ago. It seems less weird now that she explained it.

  7. @Penelope: I didn't know that! See, I'm never to old to learn something new ;)
    But I think I've seen other authors resolve that by reshelving them to a shelf with the name 'wrote-it' or something like that.
    Thanks for your thoughts :)

  8. @BLIS/Susi: Yeah, that's happening to me a lot too, them recommending their own books. And I agree with you that that's weird too. It makes them look a little bit desperate. Although I understand that it's sometimes hard for authors to survive in this crazy business. There's really not an easy way for them, I guess.

    @Buckeye Girl Reads: I totally agree with you. It explains the increase.

  9. Hmmm...that's interesting Penny. My books aren't in my read or to-read or all books lists on Goodreads. I'm gonna have to investigate more.

    I won't rate my own books and I won't send out suggestions for people to read my books. That's one bit of promo I just can't do. I look at it as spam of sorts. I have asked bloggers for reviews, but that's as far as I can go with asking someone to read my book or rate it.

    But I'd feel really weird rating my own books or sending out mass messages suggesting my book to people on my lists. I have enough issues with people on Facebook doing that kind of thing.

    BTW, love the couple at the top of the post. The naked man and the woman in the wedding gown...something very naughty about that. (Damn, now I have an idea that I must go explore).


  10. @Lissa: I really respect that! I think I'm with you that it's sort of spam. But I'm cool with the asking bloggers for reviews, that's not of the same order as sending out recommendations to a group of Goodreads friends! :)
    Coincidentally I checked one of your books out at Goodreads last weekend, Sweet Caroline, and it wasn't part of my 'scientific findings' no ;)

    Oww, now I'm curious about what that naughty idea is going to turn into! I hope you'll eventually share it ;)

  11. Janna--thanks for the idea about reshelving it to "wrote it"--I just did that on my goodreads page, but it still won't let me take it off the read pile. So, now it's on the read list with a zero rating. Sigh. I'm just leaving it there.

    I don't mind if people send me recommendations or promo stuff (contests) on goodreads...sometimes I check it out, and sometimes I ignore them. I think the important thing is not to over-do it.

  12. I do not mind it since if I wrote a book I would love to rate it 5..of course knowing me I would give it a 3 or 4 ;)

    As long as they rate it under their real name I am cool with it

  13. @Penelope: Hmmm, I think you'll have to make the 'wrote-it' shelf exclusive too, in order to be able to move the books from the read shelf... But, don't feel obligated by my 2 cents on this topics ;)
    And you're right, sometimes the recommendations or other promo stuff are worth checking out, I do that too and ignore the rest :)

    @Blodeuedd: Lol re your 3 or 4 stars ratings! :)
    You have a good point there. Using their real name is better than an alias so at least you know they don't intend to mislead you!

  14. Is that chick cheating on her man on her wedding day with naked boy o is he a "naturist"? That's one wedding I'd like an invite to. Happy Anniversary to you.

    I disregard author's ratings of their own books. You really can't win with me, if you give you own book 5 stars I think "yeah right, of course you think it's amazing", if you give it three stars I think "What, you don't even like it and you wrote it?" I usually only check the ratings of people I'm "friends" with and even then I rarely check a book before I read it. I usually buy things by author's I know or that someone has already said is good. Sometimes I go out on a limb but you have to take chances.

  15. thanks, Janna, that worked! you are a goodreads wonder!

  16. @Tam: LOL! I'd put my money on the naturist ;)

    So, authors can't win with you. How about not rating their own books at all?
    I love your taking chances attitude! :) But I'm not that brave, I usually check the books with the highest average ratings out first. I know I'm a chicken, lol!

  17. @Penelope: *beams* I'm glad I could help ;)

  18. I like the idea of exclusive "wrote-it" shelf. When I see that authors have rated their books 5 stars, I think less of them. I wouldn't give an author not rating their book a second thought.

  19. Well, if adding the book as "read" to an author's list negative affects its average rating, then I guess I can understand why an author would rate his/her book. Like Tam, I just ignore the rating.

    I know for a fact that there are a few authors who have created ghost accounts or aliases to rate their books or to make comments on reviews. I have no patience with that. It's manipulative and dishonest. I can understand him/her giving the work 5 stars under the author's account, but I don't like falseness.

  20. @Chris: I probably should catch some sleep, before trying to understand what you're saying here. ;) But do you mean that authors can't win with you?

    @Eyre: I had my suspicions about the ghost accounts and aliases... I agree with you that it's manipulative and dishonest. I think authors take such a big risk when they do that, it's bound to be discovered.

  21. LOL! That's not what I meant to say - just that I feel authors are better off not rating their books than rating them.

  22. Okay, that's more like it ;)
    Thanks for clearing it up.

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. Lovely picture and Happy Anniversary!

    I rarely use GRs info to buy a book. I rely more on a blurb, what I know of the author's prior books and reviews on other blogs. Occasionally I will check out GRs if I'm still undecided.

    I simply ignore the author's own rating.

  25. I think I've rated an antho I've been in. I'm not really good with the whole Goodread thing. I finally figured out how to be an author on it. lol I don't even post books. I wait until an update comes through from people I follow and if I've read a book, I'll rate it.

    I love the picture and happy anniversary! :)

  26. I can't imagine people rating their own books, esp. by creating ghost accounts! The latter seems to unethical and deceptive.

    @BookLoversInc -- I DETEST it when people push their books to me. If I wanted to know about their release schedules, etc. I would've signed up for their newsletter and/or follow them on Twitter. It feels very spammy to me. I may unfriend some people precisely for that b/c they're becoming very obnoxious.

  27. @Lily: It's not that I use Goodreads to decide if I buy a book so much. I use it to keep track of the books I already bought, read and wish to buy in the future (I have shelves for that).
    And it's a place where I can find all that information you mentioned (back blurb, other books by this author, reviews of other bloggers) in one place. A lot of bloggers add the reviews from their blogs to Goodreads too, I try to do that as well (although it might take me some weeks before I do sometimes). So, Goodreads functions as my 'extern memory', because I can't remember all that by myself ;)
    It seems that a lot of people ignore the authors' ratings. It doesn't make it less weird for them to put one up there, it seems unnecessary.

    @Jambrea: LOL! That so sounds like you :) I heart seeing which books you liked and loved! The 'reader side' of an author, what books they read and like, tells so much more about a writer than the rate they give to their own books. :)
    Thanks for the congrats, hon!

    @Nadia: It's hard to believe, isn't it? I'm glad I don't know which authors and aliases Eyre is talking about, because I think it would make me think twice before I would read another book from them.
    About the book pushing: I haven't encountered an obnoxious one like that yet. As Penelope stated the important thing for authors is not to over-do it. But as soon as they do, I think I'll unfriend them as well. So far, I haven't felt the need to do that :)

  28. Happy anniversary and I love the dress! Goodreads...A friend actually built me a profile on Goodreads without me even knowing about it. When she told me, I visited and tried to figure out how things work. I ended up rating a book of mine without intending to because I had no idea what I was doing. I was just trying to figure out how to rate books and I thought it would be better to experiment with my own first. When I realized that I had actually rated my own book, I tried to remove it, but the site wouldn't let me. There is probably a way to remove a rating, but for the life of me, I couldn't figure it out. Boy, did/do I feel stupid and embarrassed.

  29. @Julia: Thank you! :)
    LOL, that's so funny! It just proves what I already knew of course, that not every author has ulterior motives with these weird ratings ;) Don't feel stupid or embarrassed about it, Julia, it just makes you human and amiable! :D

  30. Wow, some very interesting comments here Janna. But you have a very interesting post here. One that I think deserves some looking into. I really do not check out goodreads that much. But I guess I would hope that an author would rate themselves as top notch. Then I would be wondering why did you write the book in the first place.
    But everyone made valid points. A very well deserve round of applaud here for everyone's contribution!

    Janna... Happy Anniversary honey!!! And I love the picture.. nudist wedding... I wanna be invited! LOL!!
    Hope all is well honey!

  31. @Cecile: Thanks for stopping by, hon! :) Of course, I hope the same about an author and that they only release a book that they consider to be the best there is, or that they could write at least. That's why the rating is superfluous imo, I already assume they think it's worth 5 stars. Ah well, it's not a big deal, maybe it's typical Dutch to think that expressing your own greatness is weird ;) We rather leave it to other people to do that for us, lol!

    Thanks, sweetie! Hope all is well for you too :)

  32. Happy anniversary Janna! I love the photo!

    Perfect timing. I just had an author on GoodReads (whose friend request I accepted) recommend her books to me (like BLIS said)...and they only ratings were the author's...and tey were five-star ratings. I have to be honest, I felt really uncomfortable about that.

  33. Thanks orannia! :D
    Aww, that has the potential of becoming annoying, especially when the recommendations keep coming. Sorry to hear this happened!


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