Rating When You Didn’t Read It…

Here I am thinking about rating books without reading them. I’m beating the dead horse here, but with all the #cockygate drama, we’re seeing it all over again. Scrolling through Goodreads last night I consistently came across 1-star reviews or 5-star reviews for this author’s books and most from people who never read the books. They either feel this author is right for what she’s doing with trademarking the word ‘cocky’ and want to try to stop her ratings from dropping, or they totally hate the idea and they’re lashing out at her by bashing her books and leaving 1-star reviews.

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I remember when this happened with The Black Witch over racist characters last year and it began on Twitter. People read a review using the words ‘this author is racist’ and they retaliated by leaving 1-star ratings on the book. Not long after, it happened again with an author who threatened black magic on a reader for leaving a crappy review. The author threatened to curse him if he didn’t remove the statements he made in the review. Scads of people felt that these author’s needed to be chastised and began rating their books 1-star. I watched the ratings on both of these books drop from 4-stars all the way down to nearly 1-star in just under a week!

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Now, I totally do NOT agree with what this author is doing trying to trademark a word that’s been used for probably 500 years or more. It’s asinine and I think she’s getting some serious backfire. What she’s done simply isn’t fair, but is this really the right thing to do when upset with an author for something they’ve done? Everyone makes their own decisions, but when does is become okay to rate a book 1-star when you haven’t read it or any rating for that matter? After all, no matter what the author has done, isn’t this lying? What sort of message does it send to younger readers when they see this happening?

I have mixed emotions about it, but in the case with #cockygate, I’m truly borderline! Part of me feels like it’s wrong to rate her books based off her actions with threatening other authors, but then I also think this is the only way that people can get their point across with their voice. I’d really like to hear your thoughts. What do you think?

125 thoughts on “Rating When You Didn’t Read It…

  1. When I don’t like an author, I just don’t read their books. I don’t recommend them to anyone but if someone asks, I’ll tell them my honest opinion about the author. I think it’s kind of stupid to rate something you haven’t read no matter which way you feel about an author. I understand the reasoning though that sometimes it’s the only way to get your feelings across. I guess you could always not rate it but leave a review about your feelings. Like, “I’m not rating this but let me tell you about why this author is awful/awesome…” etc.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. I agree. I’ve seen some people just not leave a star rating, but then leave comments in the review section as to why they won’t read it or to simply hate on the author. I think in this particular case, people just want to trash her career for what she’s done. I get it–I just have mixed emotions about it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! ❀

      Liked by 3 people

  2. This whole #cocky thing is a horrendous mess. Luckily the RWA are sorting it out. Some of the things I have seen have made my eyebrows shoot up my head…..bullying from both sides and then you get the 1 stars.

    Apparently Amazon are pulling those reviews. But what if you actually read and 1 starred it. I wonder if they are pulling those too…..

    Liked by 5 people

    1. It is a mess. I certainly have no sympathy for the author, but then I still don’t feel right about the ratings because I think it’s too easy for an author to be ruined in cases when they shouldn’t be, just based off a persons real opinions on one of their books, like with what happened with The Black Witch. In this case it isn’t really about her books, but about the decision she made with trademarking a word, which I don’t agree with. With Amazon, it cracks me up. I don’t really know if removing those reviews helps because are they removing them all? I can totally see removing them if the person stated, “I didn’t read this book”. It’s interesting! Thanks for sharing your opinions. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Totally agree with you. I feel for these poor authors who have been threatened and had to change their titles and covers. I really want to know how a commonly used word could be trademarked. It’s insane!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Exactly! Especially a word that’s been used for ages. I can totally see why people are angry about it. I read the threatening messages she was sending and it’s crazy how people get when they think they have the power to do something. Scary. So I can see why people want to bash her books and ruin her name, but I’m not sure if two wrongs make a right, if you know what I mean.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Yes totally. I watched her video before she took it down yesterday (well not all as it was over an hour long, I lasted 20 mins!!) and tbh she didn’t come across as very mentally stable. Hopefully it will all get sorted out or this starts a very bad precedent.

          Liked by 2 people

        3. I have no clue. I’ve just been seeing them floating around on Goodreads last night and today. Some of them are quite funny actually. I haven’t checked to see if her ratings dropped, but I suppose it’s possible GR will step in? πŸ˜€

          Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s just confounds me what this author’s thought process was when she decided to trademark this word? Did she think it was going to help her out? I just don’t know how she didn’t see this outrage coming or is this what she wanted?
    Having said that I don’t think you should rate a book unless you have read the book, as you said it is too easy to ruin an author, because sometimes it is quite frankly ridiculous, even though maybe not so in this case?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I know. It’s insane. She’s getting what she asked for, IMO. Maybe originally she thought it would get her more exposure, but I doubt it. The ratings on her books seemed to be pretty good.

      I agree though–in this case it makes me question my morals! Her threatening messages were sort of psycho like, “change your titles on your books or my lawyer will deal with it”. How can that not fire up anger in everyone? So, I get that people just want to shut her down.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Exactly! I have no doubt that this will all be worked out in court because I don’t think she has a good reason to TM the word. If someone wants to find her book, I’m sure they’re going to search by author too, and not just purchase the wrong book. I’m assuming that’s why she’s doing it? I have to imagine that by the time this is over, she’ll be ruined and will have to start writing under a different name because people are picking up on this and rating her books low. Even without the low ratings, I think a lot of people just won’t want to read her books because she’s been so nasty. They aren’t my type of books and I don’t really have an interest in reading them, but I have serious issues with people who think “it’s my way or the highway”.

          Liked by 2 people

  4. Just my opinion, the ratings on Amazon needs to be a rating of the book, not the author. I don’t think people should rate a book they haven’t read. I agree with what cupcakesand machetes said; write a review if you want to express your opinion about the author.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I agree with that too because I think if this becomes a regular practice, authors could be ruined for things that aren’t so extreme as this #cockygate situation. With The Black Witch it was people saying the author was racist because her book contained racist characters, but is the author really racist? Totally different situation, but still. Some people decided they wouldn’t rate, and they would just express their opinion in a review. I think this seems more fair and less damaging. In this case, people just want to bury this author for what she’s done. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Angie! ❀

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m in agreement with you 100%. Perhaps there should / could be different kinds of ratings. One for the author’s actual book, then one for the author’s style/personality/openness etc. If they are mean or rude or hurtful, then it may be fair to give them a lower rating to at least show or set apart the GOOD and KIND authors from the GOOD and DIFFICULT (not sure of the word to use)… then people can have a sense of what’s going on… probably too much to even think about!

    Point being, I agree… if you haven’t read it, you shouldn’t rate it. I won’t even rate a book if I don’t read a majority of it. It’s unfair to rate based on a small percent. It’s misleading. But then again, those are by my definitions of what a rating is for. Other people feel differently, and I respect that, but to purposely hurt by lowering a rating (or raising a rating to help when you don’t believe it) is not right.

    Great post!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Author ratings…that’s interesting! I never thought of it like that. It seems that would be much more fair than bashing a book over what you think about the person who wrote it. I suppose it’s no different than doctors who have a horrible bedside manner, but give excellent medical care and knowledge, or eBay with how you rate the product separately from the shipment or the seller. This is an excellent idea and would probably fix the problem. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, James! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I have to say i did it!

    I was angry about the whole situation, and then when it turned out that reviews were getting removed too (and still are i think) because that word was in it, i kind of flipped lol

    I have since gone back and removed my 1 star review, i have however still put in there the reason *why* i did it, and alao why i removed it, i feel better for it, but I’m still seething inside πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, I totally get it! I don’t judge you for it. I was really angry after reading her messages too and can totally understand. LOL ❀ This situation is just totally insane. I think the reviews work as well because people do see it and read it on Goodreads or wherever it's posted. Thanks for sharing your experience with this, V! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No probs, i hold my hands up and say “my bad” it was an instinctive reaction unfortunately, and i think that is what has happened to a lot of people.

        I said before in another thread that even though us readers may be quiet, piss us off an you will hear us across the world lol 🌎

        The romance community is tight and fierce and they will protect their own quite rightly if someone is not playing by the rules.

        If she had TM’d the series name “Cocker Brothers of Atlanta” this would never have happened, and authors would have been plugging the book for her (maybe) but unfortunately she has (as we say in the UK) pissed on her chips πŸ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, and ruining their ratings is an easy way to be heard! I totally agree because what other choice do people have? It’s a simple and effective way to get your point across and it makes people feel like they’re dishing out justice. I totally get it and I understand why people want to do it because in this situation it is so very tempting with the way the author executed this. I’m glad that there’s a support system in place for romance authors cause if I were an author in this situation, I would be so very angry. It doesn’t affect me like it does them and this is why it still makes me feel on the fence as to whether or not it’s right to bash her. I surely have sympathy for those directly impacted by this.

          Excellent points you made! Thank you. πŸ™‚

          Like

  7. I definitely think that if you haven’t read or finished a book then you can’t rate it, if you have tried to read it then you can comment on what you’ve read but I don’t think you can give a rating if you haven’t experienced the whole book.

    That being said I can understand why people are doing it, I don’t know what possessed her to do something so ridiculous! I’m looking forward to any potential backlash from trademarking someone else’s property (i.e the font) because I’m pretty sure that will be the bigger kick in the teeth for her if the designer decides to step in πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kate. It seems to be the consensus that rating without reading shouldn’t be allowed. It is definitely going to be interesting to see what happens with all of this. I have no clue how she didn’t see this coming. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. “I have mixed emotions about it, but in the case with #cockygate, I’m truly borderline! Part of me feels like it’s wrong to rate her books based off her actions with threatening other authors, but then I also think this is the only way that people can get their point across with their voice.”

    This ^ is how I feel to a T. However, the part that feels “it’s wrong to rate a book you haven’t read” is being bullied by the part that says “this is what I think of your trademark”.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly how I feel! I’ve always said no,no,no to rating without reading first. In this situation, it’s thought-provoking because I personally feel that this author is wrong for hurting others. It’s hard to be rational. ❀ Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. In the past, GR would boot people for doing that sort of thing, no matter how justified. They did it to a good reviewing friend of mine. You couldn’t even post a “Nope” tag and a silly nope gif if you included any info about BBA behavior in the review space but I guess they’ve changed their stance on that or didn’t like the bad press that came with the kicking off of long-standing members.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Wow, I have heard of one person getting kicked off GR because of all the negative attention they were getting on their review of The Black Witch. I can’t remember if it was for that exact reason though. I certainly didn’t know it was a regular thing that GR used to do because I questioned last year why they weren’t doing anything about these viral 1-star ratings on books. Thanks for sharing. ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Okay. Keep in mind I’ve somehow been in another dimension because I didn’t hear about #cockygate until yesterday. In my humble opinion, while what this author is doing is to me anyway, deranged, I don’t believe in rating a book that you haven’t read. Absolutely leave a comment voicing your opinion regarding her actions, but don’t give a book a 1 star rating unless you’ve read it and found the story itself atrocious.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. Nel

    I can’t say that I’m all that conflicted. I mean you read my post about all this from yesterday but in the case of leaving 1 star reviews on people, to me it’s like leaving a one star review on a service that was done poorly. I’ve left maybe 1 star review in my entire Goodreads existence and it was on a book I DNF’d. I felt I’d read enough to know that the book was bad enough and I shared my thoughts detailing the reasons why. I read DNF reviews sometimes and honestly, occasionally, they provide more insight for me than detailed 5 star reviews. All that being said, I won’t write a review for a book I didn’t even crack open to read but I think, in this instance, this is in a way of rioting peacefully against something that people don’t agree with. I don’t agree with threatening her life or her family or anything like that but if it sends a message peacefully and shows unity in the community that this type of behavior won’t be tolerated, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Just my two cents though.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Nel

      Meant to add too, especially when the author is being a complete bitch about it all to readers and authors alike, it’s karma; freedom expression and speech, however you want to phrase it, she has to take what she’s been dishing.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Great points, Nel! I can understand your thoughts on rating a service, but was the book written poorly or did the reader not like it? These people don’t know because they haven’t read it which is where I start to wonder if it’s fair leaving the one stars because these ratings aren’t about the book then, it’s about something the author has done to upset people. On the other hand, I think what she’s doing is wrong and I feel like she should have to deal with all the repercussions now and yeah–she’s getting what she deserves so to speak. I think rating without reading seems wrong in general, but with this situation, it really puts me on the fence. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nel

        Right. That’s what I mean when I said it’s like rioting peacefully. I think maybe these people feel as if they’re supporting their fellow readers and authors alike by showing solidarity on this issue even though they didn’t read it.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I totally agree with your sentiments, Mischenko. When someone addresses a wrong with ANOTHER wrong (like rating without reading), well that’s like fighting fire with fire! All you’re left with is an inferno that benefits no one. I think if an author misbehaves (like the whole #cockygate thing), the best medicine is to move on to books from authors whom the reader wants to read. If enough people do this, the author will begin to understand that the whole reader-and-writer relationship is symbiotic–depending on one another. But leaving nasty grams and low ratings on something not read only brings the reviewer down to that level. And that makes for a hot mess where no one’s hands are clean πŸ™‚ Again, your article was very thought provoking! Thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I completely agree that the review should be about the book, NOT the Author. Also, I only review books I have read, EXCEPT for the “preview review” of Sean Penn’s book – acknowledging I didn’t read it, and only discussing the ad that the Publisher took out extolling the bad reviews. I took pains NOT to dissuade anyone from reading the book, and admitted that the unique publicity plan was intriguing, and I wasn’t reviewing the book, rather the ad…so, once again I say review the book NOT the Author

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for sharing this! I think that was very decent of you to do things that way. Saying that you didn’t read the book is probably best because then others can see that you are basing your rating or review on something totally separate from the book. I suppose the only hurt would be for the people who don’t read reviews and only view the ratings if a low rating is given. Great advice! ❀

      Liked by 2 people

  14. I think it’s ok to leave a short comment/review on your opinions, but I don’t agree with rating a book 1 star because you don’t like something about the author. If you don’t like them, don’t read the book. I just don’t think it’s right.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. I can see how people (including myself) feel slightly conflicted on this topic, because in some ways I think it’s comparing apples to oranges. The situation with The Black Witch was inherently quite different from the situation with Cockgate or that author threatening to cast a black magic spell on a reader for a poor review, because 1 is about a book being unfairly targeted due to its premise, and the other is an author being targeted for being a shady person.

    I absolutely feel like what happened to The Black Witch was unfair – I read it and rated it 5 stars. I absolutely think that an author who threatens their readers or attempts to squash other author’s creative expression sort of deserves the negative ramifications of their behavior. The Cockgate author will be lucky if she has a career after this debacle, and the other author who threatened a reader had to pull all his books off of Goodreads and Amazon completely. It’s the quickest way to destroy your career as an author: do something that alienates you from the very community you’re supposed to be a part of.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, I agree with you! They were different situations, but all due to how people felt about the author, right? I remember seeing readers bash the author of The Black Witch by calling her racist. Then, the black magic author was called out because the reviewer shared his messages and everyone got upset and started bashing his books because he threatened his reviewer. So, I guess I lumped them together due to the fact that readers were upset with the authors in general and at the end of the day, rated the books without reading them. With that said, I too feel that this author deserves the backfire and agree that what she did was wrong. It isn’t right and I certainly don’t stick up for her, I just don’t know if I can totally agree with rating without reading. That’s what I’m asking opinions about. It’s difficult to justify it and when does it become okay to rate without reading? Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Bentley! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I wish more people knew that Goodreads allows you to “review” something without actually leaving a starred rating, expressly for this sort of purpose. I’ve left comments on books (the black magic author) I reviewed his book and didn’t leave a star, but called out his behavior. I think that’s an appropriate step to take, because we can’t be complacent when authors behave badly. But I definitely agree with you that there’s a fine line to walk there.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I feel that way too. I see a lot of people doing that now. At least you can still speak your mind, but obviously in this case people just want to ruin her rep. After reading her messages, it’s so tempting lol. I’ve just noticed the viral 1-star ratings when situations like this come up, but I think it happens a lot more. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts, Bentley. You make awesome points. 😁

          Liked by 1 person

  16. From what I understood, she trademarked the word Cocky in a specific font. (A font which had a no trademark clause, but that’s another issue, lol). And she trademarked Cocky as a series title. So, really I have a feeling that others using the word Cocky in any other font will be fine through the eyes of the law. You can’t trademark a book title. But, I guess we’ll see how that plays out.

    As far as the down-rating goes, I hate that. I hate it for a multitude of reasons, like how am I as a reader going to be able to judge Goodreads rating system when I know that people use them as a retaliation tactic? They pretty much become useless, and not a great way to pick your next book read which is what it’s really supposed to be for. This authors poor choice to try and trademark formats of the word ‘cocky’ doesn’t mean her books aren’t good. Anne Perry helped murder her friends mother, and she’s a best selling author, lol. But I guess it’s the times. What would have happened between two authors and their lawyers is now happening in front of everyone on social media, and us fans can be rabid.

    I also hate it because what usually follows are the bullying tactics among readers. There’s a pressure to go out and do the same, which isn’t just down-rating unread books but there’s an expectation to go back and down-rate books you did read that you liked. It’s happened with many authors recently, and reading the tweets and the Goodreads messages demanding people do the same is a bit startling. There’s almost a witchhunt feel to it, which feels icky whether or not the author deserves it.

    Unfortunately, I’m not sure how Goodreads would/could ever stop this from happening. I’m not sure how they would limit star ratings to only people who’ve physically read the book. Especially without excluding books you read before joining Goodreads. It’s a quagmire, that’s for sure.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes, I agree with everything you’ve said! In a way, Amazon worked through it by only allowing reviews to show up on the main section if it was a verified purchase, but that doesn’t really fix the problem. Clearly, there needs to be a better system because having a faulty rating system just doesn’t work. I rely on ratings for all products, not just books. On Amazon, another issue is that people are rating low because of how the shipper shipped the product! That has nothing to do with the product itself and should be left under packaging/shipping feedback, but nothing is being done. Instead they blacklist decent reviewers like me who follow the rules. Sorry for ranting… πŸ™‚

      I don’t know how Goodreads can fix it really. I guess if someone used the words “I didn’t read the book” the rating could be removed, but a lot of people don’t say they didn’t read it, they just bash it with the rest of the group or use words like “Nope, not reading it”. It’s a difficult situation! I’m glad that people are sharing their thoughts on this and thank you for yours. ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s nice that only verified reviews show up on the main page, but those down-ratings still affect the overall score of the book, which is where I generally look first, lol.

        It’s serious a tough situation, and I love that you’re tackling it. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes, you’re right! It does still change the rating. Plus the review is still there but only on the side. With Goodreads being an Amazon company, you’d think they would’ve figured this out by now. I mean that in a good way. πŸ™‚ Thank you!!

          Liked by 1 person

  17. Great post!

    Personally, I ALWAYS think it’s stupid to read a review of a book you haven’t read. In this particular case, you are reviewing the BOOK, not reviewing the author. If you want people to not read it, you can write a review explaining why without giving it a rating. (still dubious to me) Goodreads also has a discussion place now, which would be a perfect place to write about how the author is making poor choices and you recommend against supporting them. But I think rating a book you haven’t read just to get back at the author makes the whole rating system on goodreads go down.

    Take Brandon Sanderson. Last year half of twitter decided to boycott him because his religious beliefs are not in favor of gay marriage. If you don’t give a flying rats bottom about his political opinions and you just want to read a good book, the rating system is no longer giving you an accurate idea. I’ve heard of authors including sensitive material, especially prejudice, in their novels to make a point. But when a reader misses the point and takes it the wrong way, all of the sudden a whole bunch of people who might could LEARN something aren’t reading the book because it has such a low review.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, Katie. I’ve seen people do this without rating which seems better because then you aren’t making an inaccurate rating on the actual book. How did I not know that about Brandon Sanderson? That’s interesting and a very good point. I like to hear what people have to say, but I really use ratings a lot too. I appreciate your thoughts! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  18. starjustin

    I believe it’s unethical to rate a book if one hasn’t read the book. How can you rate something you know nothing about? On the other hand, this particular author (cockygate) is bullying other authors and that is not an ethical way to do something to the community you work with daily or to your readers.
    Still, in all, if we are talking about rating a book , the person rating it should read it first to be fair. πŸ¦πŸ“™

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It seems like it, doesn’t it? I think what makes this situation different is that the author has really upset the community which is what put me on the fence about it. I totally don’t agree with bullying either and think what she’s doing is wrong. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Seems a little silly to me that people will honestly be so opinionated on something that they didn’t actually read. I mean, I can see NOT reading it because you don’t want them to get paid for your purchase. But, if that’s the case then don’t rate it either.

    I think people who do this might as well be holding a neon sign over their heads that says, ‘Hey everyone look at me! I’m proud to be ignorant and immature… because it’s trendy right now!”

    A bios review can go both ways good or bad… To rate a book without reading it seems a little ‘cocky’ to me lol

    Liked by 6 people

    1. It seems so, but the author has angered so many people. I think it’s like ‘no holds barred’ at this point because she’s threatened authors and people believe she deserves whatever she gets. I’ve always been so against rating without reading because like Katie mentioned above, it is inaccurate, especially when everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and bringing the ratings down so low, like what happened with the other books I mentioned in the post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Didi! I really enjoy hearing what authors have to say about this and appreciate you sharing your thoughts. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Why can’t we let the lawyers handle it? I agree that leaving a comment, tweeting putting it on facebook etc, but to rate a book you did not read is wrong no matter what. I don’t agree with what she is doing and the trademark office needs to have their head examined because this should never have happened.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think you’re right, Carla. It’s one thing to share your thoughts online and I’m all for freedom of speech, but still don’t feel right about rating without reading. Thanks for sharing your opinions on it! ❀ Hope you are doing well this week. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  21. michaelamclellan1

    It’s the old “two wrongs don’t make a right” thing for me. I can’t see any legitimate justification for rating a book you haven’t read, regardless of what the author has done.

    Liked by 5 people

  22. Madam Mim

    I hadn’t heard about this, but I’d have to agree that it’s wrong. If you don’t like the author, don’t read the books. Tell them what you’re problem is, if you must, but you can’t rate a book based on your opinion of an author. The guy that wrote Alexandre Dumas, asshole. Guy humped everything that moved until he got syphilis and died crazy pants. Not my personal cup of tea. I do think that kind of behaviour is ok. However. Three Musketeers is a great book and one of my favourites. I personally do not think David Walliams should be writing books for children, while hosting men only events where the hostesses and told what underwear to wear and groped by his rich and powerful guests… so I don’t read his books.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have to agree. You just brought a few things to my attention that I wasn’t even aware of! You learn something new everyday. Someone else suggested the same thing, just steer clear of the books. I personally wouldn’t read this author’s books anyhow, but rating them just to ruin the ratings I personally couldn’t do. I can see how the anger makes people want to do it though. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! ❀

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  23. I seem to have missed hearing about this story. I’ll have to Google it. Whatever this author may have done, he or she doesn’t deserve to have his or her book trashed by non-readers. If you don’t like what the author said or did, leave remarks on his or her blog or social media sites. It’s never right to lie about reading a book.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. I don’t think I know enough about the situation to truly weigh in, but I enjoyed reading your level-headed thoughts on this, as I always do, and I wanted to say thank you for your sweet message on my review earlier today AND for your incredibly supportive message yesterday. πŸ’— I am hanging in there and will write back soon.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. Thanks for your post! I am out of the loop on the “cocky” thing too. I just found a link to a video she made so I’m going to watch that and do some googling πŸ™‚
    I came across the one-star thing recently with “Good Luck With That” where the author was being attacked for writing a book that some felt was “fat shaming” etc. The reviewer read part of the book and left a one-star review (I guess at least she read part of it). But after that, a bunch of people left one star that hadn’t read it. In my opinion completely unfair.
    This is a great conversation, Misch!! ❀

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, Deanna. Wow, I haven’t heard of that book situation. I guess it happens a lot. When it goes viral though, it’s crazy, and its not fair no matter how you look at it. What this author’s done isn’t fair either though.

      I haven’t seen a video or anything. I’ll have to look for it. Thanks for sharing! πŸ’™

      Liked by 2 people

  26. mrsnnnlight

    Unfortunately, this type of behavior is nothing new in the book world. Sigh. As for #cockygate, I find it hilarious. Did you know it costs thousands of dollars a year to trademark something? The author is just wasting her money in my humble view.

    As for me, I have NEVER (nor will I ever) rate a product I haven’t read or tried. It’s just plain lying.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah, I suppose it happens a lot more than we know too. People don’t seem to care though. It’s a way for them to get back at the author.

      I honestly think what she’s doing is dumb. I don’t see why she even needs to do it. There are like tons of books with same titles. People aren’t stupid and they’re going to be sure they buy the rigjt book by author and not just by title, right? That’s the only reason I can think of why she’s wants to TM the name. We all have our own thoughts and ideas, but this is just selfishness on her part. I was shocked when I read her bullying messages, so it’s no wonder people are doing what they can to ruin her reputation with the 1-star ratings, but yes, it’s lying and this is what my issue is with the practice.

      Thanks for weighing in, Mrs. N. I appreciate it! πŸ’–

      Liked by 2 people

  27. I think it’s totally unethical and unfair to rate a book you haven’t even read it. As you said, it’s deceiving. I also understand you’re borderline – that’s what I am in this situation.
    But personally, I wouldn’t read – purchase for that matter – the book let alone leave a review to get my message across. If I was truly furious with something, I don’t want anything to do with it. Period. I’d stay away from the author and see how it eventually turns out.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s how I feel too, but when I see people doing it and lashing out at this author, I feel less strongly about it. I’ve always been so against it though and it’s just unfair and dishonest to rate when you don’t have a true opinion to share because you didn’t read it in the first place. I’m sure it’ll all work out in the end anyhow, but I’m assuming her books will be 1-star by then. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Noriko. πŸ’œ

      Liked by 2 people

  28. I guess I’m out of the loop — I have no idea what the current scandal is about — but at the same time, I do believe that it’s wrong to review books you haven’t read. I value Goodreads reviews as a way of gaining insights from other readers. I just don’t think it’s fair to the author or to the reading community to use a review forum as a place to vent feelings that aren’t about the actual book. (It also drives me bonkers when people leave 5-star reviews for pre-release books because they’re excited to read them.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That seems to be how most people feel about it. I think it’s tempting in these situations. I like how many have suggested leaving reviews that don’t include a rating. So you can still speak your mind. I see a lot of people doing this.

      Exactly! I’ve seen people say, “I’m going to go ahead and rate this five stars because I know it’s going to be awesome.” I’m like? Makes no sense.

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. πŸ’–

      Like

    1. Thank you. I have to agree that even though people feel the author should be punished, this isn’t the best way. As one commenter mentioned above, it’s fighting fire with fire. 😊 I appreciate your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  29. I completely DO NOT agree with rating a book based on the actions of the Author. This is ridiculous. I understand that she had her little melt-down and such and it’s the talk of the town, but it has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the writing itself.
    It’s exactly the same as rating books that you didn’t finish, or rating books that aren’t even out yet because you’re “anticipating it”. I know that the saying is “everyone has a right to their own opinion” but… YOU DIDN’T READ THE BOOK!!!
    I’m not defending her, and I’m definitely not defending her writing, but if you didn’t read her book and you’re just trying to bring her down then just DON’T BUY HER BOOKS! There. Problem solved.
    It’s funny that she’s even complaining, this is free publicity for her! I had never heard of her until someone sent me her melt-down video recently and I found myself looking at her books! People are probably getting them now because they want to see what all the fuss is abut! So, she should be HAPPY!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s my thinking too. It’s basically being dishonest, but in this situation I was totally borderline about it only because I think what she’s doing is so wrong. To me though, it’s just not a good practice to rate without reading no matter what. Also, If never heard of her either until now, but her books aren’t really my type. She’s getting a lot of attention now for sure. Thanks for sharing your feelings about it. I appreciate it! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Great points! And you got a TON of responses! (none of which I read so I am sure I am just repeating what other people said) The author that caused #cockygate is ridiculous and I think her books should be boycotted, but I don’t think people should rate them without reading them. I am in a little bit of a gray area because she probably deserves it, but still, I can’t bring myself to think that rating a book you haven’t read is the right thing to do. Two wrongs don’t make a right! (But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel good haha)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with everything you said! It’s so tempting because of what she’s trying to do. It’s no surprise everyone just wants to shut her down by hating on her books. Thanks for expressing how you feel about this matter. I appreciate it. ❀😁

      Liked by 1 person

  31. I really agree with you- I can’t stand what this author did (and I personally think it was bullying) but *no matter what* the principle is that people should only rate books they’ve read. Like you said, it’s a form of lying to rate it otherwise. I get where people are coming from with this- but just cos someone has done something wrong doesn’t mean it’s right to do this.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can’t stand what the author has done either and I get that she deserves to learn a lesson, but it does seem wrong to rate without reading no matter what the author has done. I don’t think it’s a good practice and it seems to happen quite frequently. I don’t even remember hearing about that situation with Brandon Sanderson and his religion either. It’s crazy!

      I just really hope in the end this all gets sorted out. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 😁❀

      Liked by 1 person

  32. I must always be off reading when these things happen because I never hear about them until someone does a post. LOL But my opinion on trying to “punish” an author if you disagree with them personally is to just ignore/unfollow/don’t read etc. Not sure what down rating their book will achieve in the long run since it’s pretty obvious when it’s done in this context. Now those that use Goodreads to run around and rate covers or whatever it is they are doing giving every book a 1 or 5 is a whole other topic. LOL

    Liked by 2 people

  33. I agree that there should be a difference between rating a product and endorsing the producer but leaving 1 star reviews, even without reading, is one way to make sure the protest hits where it hurts most. I hope the trademark request is withdrawn. It all sounds inane to me.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Wow! I hadn’t heard about this whole cocky trademark thing. That’s nuts, but I do agree that you just shouldn’t rate a book if you haven’t read it. By all means, say what you want to say about the author, but you can’t honestly rate something you haven’t read. Even if there was an author I simply could not stand, I wouldn’t leave them low ratings on their books unless I’d actually taken the time to read it and disliked it. Interesting discussion point. Thanks for bringing it up! πŸ™‚ It was interesting reading through the comments, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It is a tough situation for me for sure because I was caught between both sides really. At the end of the day, I just can’t justify rating without reading though. That’s my personal choice. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with everyone! πŸ™‚ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  35. No matter what’s going on with an author I think a book should be rated on content alone. Period. And if an author develops a bad reputation then don’t read his/her books. πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ

    Liked by 2 people

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