Debate: Rating a book without a review…

A few days ago I came across a blog post on Goodreads by an author complaining. The author’s main issue was that a reader came along and left a 1-star rating without a review. Her argument is that people should not be permitted to leave 1-star reviews without at least sharing a few sentences why.

By the end of the post it was established that the author:

  • Feels that a review should always be posted with low-ball ratings.
  • Feels that Goodreads should be regulated so that leaving a rating would also require a review.
  • Low ratings hurt book sales.
  • Wants feedback from readers to help her understand exactly why they disliked it.
  • Feels that because her average book rating is between 4-5-stars, the reader who rated her book 1-star may not have finished reading the book and carelessly left a low-ball rating.

Another author posted thoughts expressing that:

  • People should leave reviews to show that they read the book. A minimum of 20 words should be required.
  • Dropping a rating without a review is a cop-out.

I think it’s the reader’s choice, but I also understand how this can be difficult for authors. I’m not an author, but I do have friends that are authors and know that much time and work goes into writing a book. I also know that much time and work goes into reading and reviewing as well. Here are some of my thoughts…

  • Reviews are considered optional on Goodreads and some people don’t want to express anything negative for fear of being attacked. If a person doesn’t want to leave a review, I think it’s their right.
  • I think for authors this is just something you have to get used to, right? I don’t mean that in a rude way and I’m not an author, but all books are bound to be hated by someone. Best-selling authors even get low ratings. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve rated a book 4 or 5-stars and then a friend rates it 1-star or vice versa. Reviews and ratings are subjective, and we’re all so different. Seeing a few low stars on a book won’t stop me from picking it up.
  • I don’t think Goodreads should be regulated to require reviews. Many people on Goodreads never review and only rate–they use Goodreads to mainly keep track of their books or for other reasons. If Goodreads started requiring reviews, it seems like it would become extremely boring because many people would leave. I also feel that this would hurt authors in the long run. I haven’t been able to find a single book on Goodreads that doesn’t have more reviews than ratings. For example, a book I’m reading right now has over 2,000 ratings but only 177 actual reviews.
  • I’ve rated scads of books and decided to forgo writing a review. Sometimes I just don’t feel like talking about a book or simply don’t have the time. I often struggle to get my thoughts down and writing reviews is time consuming for me.
  • The author doesn’t seem to be complaining about high ratings lacking a written review. How is a 1-star rating without a review any less legit than a 5-star rating without a review?

What do you think? Do you think it’s okay to rate and not review? What about rating a book 1-star and not reviewing it? Is it fair to authors? Please feel free to share your thoughts.

120 thoughts on “Debate: Rating a book without a review…

  1. Interesting topic matey. I gave a book one star on Goodreads for an eArc that I didn’t finish and I posted a couple of sentences about why. The readers were the ones who gave me grief. They seemed to suggest that I was supposed to finish the book because I had gotten an early copy. A handful of them flagged the review. I have also had Goodreads’ readers object to me lesser rating of their favourite books when I do explain meself. I think this is odd since ye can leave a rating with no review. I personally leave reviews for all books I read. I do this for me. I also think that reviews be for other readers. I get that they can be useful to an author but that isn’t what I focus on. I personally love any and all reviews that disagree with me viewpoints. Not every reader is going to love all books. Different tastes and all that. Yer point on how many reviews have a rating and no review on Goodreads be a good one. Lovely post.
    x The Captain

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Your review was flagged? That’s interesting. Was it removed? The author did also express that people shouldn’t be able to rate if they didn’t finish the book. I know we all feel differently about that.

      That’s awesome that you leave reviews for all your books. I’m not sure how I can catch up. 😂 Mainly because of all the years I read books and didn’t use Goodreads. I have hundreds waiting for a review and I’d probably need to reread them!

      I too like all reviews, no matter whether I agree or not. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! 😉

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Ye know I am not sure what happened to the flagged post (off to check). Still there. I do put the one stars reads that I didn’t finish on me abandoned ship shelf so that the crew knows I didn’t finish it. And Goodreads doesn’t have reviews for all the books i have read ever. I don’t remember all the ones that I read when younger. I just have reviews for all the books I have read since 2016 when I started me blog. I don’t think anyone cares that I loved every single Nancy Drew book that I ever read for example! Arrr!
        x The Captain

        Liked by 2 people

  2. starjustin

    I have rated books myself without review, however most of them were 4-5 star ratings.
    The person rating, in this particular case, may not have had the time at the time to leave a review and may be planning a future review.
    And I also agree with ratings and reviews being subjective as you said Mischenko.
    Kind of controlling for an author to expect Goodreads to force rules and regulations. After all, as you said, Goodreads is considered ‘social media’.
    Great post! 👍🏻

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, and this is what I expressed to the author. Often I come back and review later, but some times I don’t and then too much time goes by lol.

      The author just wants a few sentences with low-ball ratings. I just don’t see how a high rating without a review is more legit than a low rating without a review. It’s just as easy to post 5-stars like any other rating, right? Does it prove that you read it? I don’t think so.

      Thanks so much for sharing your opinions! 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Does this author not understand that even a sentence or two could be contrived. I don’t have to read a book to say, “This book was poorly written.” or “This book wasn’t for me.” or “God, I hated this book.” A sentence or two still isn’t going to tell the author any more than the one star rating did. Gosh, there are times I read entire reviews and still don’t know why a person gave a book five stars. Perhaps because everyone else did? That seems to often be the case.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I agree. Who really knows what the reviewer would say, but it certainly wouldn’t be positive and I understand why people just want to keep their mouths shut. As a reviewer of ARCs and giveaways, I look at it as a responsibility to the author, but there are those times where silence seems best and I’d like to retain that right.

          Like

  3. I agree with you. So many more ratings than reviews. Why are good ratings okay without reviews and lower ratings aren’t? Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. When I first started my review blog, it was suggested that I shouldn’t post low reviews because it hurt the rating of the book. I post every review because I feel that keeps the ratings honest. If I had a one-star opinion of a book, isn’t that just as valid an opinion as the five-star opinion someone else had?
    It would be really nice if everyone posted reviews, but that’s unrealistic. So, I guess we’ll just have to be grateful they do ratings.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Right, I feel the same. I don’t see how one is accepted and the other isn’t. Obviously the higher star ratings aren’t hurting the author though. I get that. I know with some people a trigger causes them to rate a book low and they might not want to express why in a review. It seems like it should be the readers choice. I think in this case with this author, the reader who rated low just doesn’t write reviews period. I can’t be for sure though.

      Thanks so much for your thoughts. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with the author on this one! Even as a reader, I see a 1 star rating without a review and I want to know WHY 1 star?? Especially as it could be something that wouldn’t effect my reading experience… But, without knowing the reason I may not read the book just to avoid wasting my time, even though it could porltentially have been my new favourite book!
    I feel like anything 3 stars and up is fairly self explanitory, but under 3 I’d like to know what might be “wrong” with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can understand that too! I’d like to know if there’s a trigger or if the writing was just bad. For me, a few low ratings don’t affect my choice in reading a book though. If I think the book sounds good to me, I’ll still pick it up. If there were like tons of low ratings though, then I might want to know why and question reading it. In this case with these authors–they don’t have tons of ratings or reviews–so the 1-star rating really affects their overall rating which is unfortunate. It really does hurt the less popular authors. What scares me is the regulation and not being able to choose whether or not I want to review.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Nicole! I like learning how other readers feel about this. Hope all is well with you. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I can’t feel too bad about an author being hurt by 1 star ratings… It sucks. But, USUALLY there’s a reason for it and they should learn from it as long as the reason is honest… But, how would they know how to improve and try again if they don’t know what they did wrong to begin with?? … Although, I will say, sometimes you just want to shake that author and scream “how do you NOT know what was wrong?!?” 😂

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes, that’s exactly what she said. She feels that she can’t improve unless she gets some negative feedback with the rating, but most of her ratings and reviews are positive. What hurts the lesser known authors more is that don’t have big numbers so, one low-ball rating can be devastating. She’s basically defending the book based on the reviews she’s received so far. She’s also asking that if anyone reads her book, to please post a rating and review to help her recover from this low-ball rating.

          I’m considering reading it. It sounds like one I might enjoy. I don’t have a clue what this person hated about it, buy it sounds like the author feels that she likely didn’t give it an chance and just DNF’d it.

          😂 True!!

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Which is another dilemma… Is you DNF, do you even have a right to review or rate?? What if the end justified the whole book? It may seem like nonsense, but you don’t know for sure!
          P.S. What was the book, if I may ask? (if you don’t want to post it publicly, maybe you could private message me with the title? I’m curious now!)

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Exactly! I posted about that last year because I was honestly feeling like rating without reading is wrong…you’re basically lying, right? I keep my mouth shut now though, because some people feel it’s their right if they at least tried it and they hated it half way through or what have you. Everyone feels differently about it.

          I’ll send you a message with the original post which links the book. I just didn’t want to go spreading any hate because it got a little heavy… 😉

          Liked by 1 person

    1. That was my first thought–that many would stop using it. The idea of not being able to rate without a review is scary, although a few sentences doesn’t seem like too much to ask I guess.

      Thanks, Colline! ♥️

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I love this topic! My personal thought is that leaving a small review (at least) is better than nothing because it can give context to the review you give. I’m always curious of why people leave 1 star reviews with no actual review and to me, that’s not helpful to give context of your thoughts. If you give some reasons to why you liked or didn’t like it, then that helps people know that you at least read the book and not misjudge your rating. I do agree with Goodreads shouldn’t regulate stuff like that; it would make too much and I do agree that people would leave. Great post 🙂

    Like

  6. Goodreads has been successful to date based on the system in place and just because an author cannot handle a one star rating shouldn’t mean that anything should change. That said, I have seen controversial books being slammed with both 5 and 1 star reviews by people who have not read the book simply based on their ideological or political opinions. I hate when this happens and I think it cheapens and degrades the entire system. However, I also think reviewers who don’t provide truly honest reviews because their publishers won’t give them more free books does the same. It’s a flawed system, one that never can be perfect because it is, after all, based on subjective judgement.If an author does not want a one star review then they should not allow their books to be sold through Amazon and subsequently uploaded for review at either place. Hah! I’ve been a politician and a political speechwriter. Not everything one says or does will be liked – at all. These authors need to grow some balls. That’s all there is to it. “If you cannot stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Good points, Mackey. I agree, I hate when hundreds of people just start slamming a book based on what one person said about it. That can really ruin an authors ratings within a day and people have no issues expressing that they never even read it.

      I know some friends who rate everything five stars. Do they really love all those books? Maybe, but how do we ever really know? Anyone can get on Goodreads and rate a bunch of books they’ve never read. It is a flawed system no different than Amazon or any other. The author feels that requiring a review would help weed these people out.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  7. If it’s OK to rate a book five stars without a review then it’s OK to rate a book one star without a review. Not everyone reviews on Goodreads, it’s their choice, a few lines saying that they enjoyed the book or disliked the book with a rating would be fair but it’s not required on there. Authors don’t have issues with getting a five star rating and no review so, sorry to be harsh, it sucks but they shouldn’t have an issue with getting a one star rating and no review. Worse are the ratings for books be they five star, one star or any in between that haven’t been released yet!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Great thought-provoking post, Mischenko! I think authors ultimately write for readers, right? I mean, I do. So that means readers rule; they are the customers. If a reader wants to rate a book (good or bad) and not leave a written review, totally up to them. Goodreads should not be in the regulation business!!! And anyway, in the social media communities where I hang out, users do a good job of working things out with each other. Now, if an author provides a reviewer with a free book for a fair review, I sort of feel that’s a handshake agreement for at least a rating. On the business side, up front, an author does lose money by giving a free book, but the exchange is greatly appreciated for a rating and the reach (to more readers) that it might bring. (I’m not sure about what the expectations are between a reviewer and receiving an ARC from NetGalley.) I’ve had tears recently over a 1-star review on Amazon (with comment), but after chewing on it, I realized I need thicker skin. First, not everyone is going to like my work. Second, I can only control my efforts to produce a quality book, so that’s where I need to focus. Now… Do I wish for a rating to take into account the scope of my work even if they dislike the read? Sure! Do I wish for a reader to choose kinds words when expressing dislike in a review? Sure! But those are just wishes! I’ve got to deal with reality, stay positive, and keep working hard to do better!!! That’s my job as an author 🙂 And a reader’s “job” is to read, with or without ratings or reviews!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Excellent points, Julia! It’s nice to be able to get an author’s point of view on this. I have to agree with all that you’ve said. Sorry you received a negative review though. Like you say, it happens and you’re accepting of it.

      I always try to be fair and not bash books. I know some people read a book that has a trigger for them and they rate it low. I’m not sure how fair that is especially if you don’t take into account the writing, etc. I can sympathize with authors. Luckily, I haven’t hated very many books at all–to leave a 1-star review is rare.

      The nice thing with NetGalley is that you can now choose to not finish a book and they won’t hold it against you. They just ask why. So if you hate it and don’t want to finish it (or if it has unexpected content), you can DNF it. I was happy they added that feature, because I’m one of those people who don’t like leaving horribly negative reviews, especially on ARCs.

      I love your positive outlook on this…

      “I can only control my efforts to produce a quality book, so that’s where I need to focus.”

      It’s true that you can’t make people do what you want them to do no matter how hard it is. ❤ Thank you.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Nel

    I’m with you and can see both sides. I understand and author puts hard work and sometimes their soul into a book but the reality is when you get into this business you need to expect to have critics and you have to take the bad with the good always. Shaming a reader for leaving a 1 star review using their profile that they created is just wrong. That kind of behavior doesn’t encourage more reviews in the future and in fact could hurt you in the long run cause readers hate your attitude so much they boycott your books simply on principle. I agree with above that if the author gave an ARC for free then it’s unspoken agreement that you’re probably going to leave a review but even then I’ve gotten grief for leaving a low rating with a review so it seems like a lose lose for the reader all around. If your sales are hurting, that is in no way a reader’s fault. That means you need to reevaluate your career choice if you ask me. Lastly, in regards to sales, if a reader bought your book and rated it low that’s 100% their right. You happily took their money whether they left a review or not so you absolutely cannot get mad later unless you plan on giving then a refund cause they didn’t like it?
    I love the point you made about ratings vs. reviews. I just looked at a book today that had 32 thousand ratings but only 2400 reviews. So it happens all the time. That’s just the way Goodreads is. It’s social media. Readers do what you want. Authors either just don’t look or grow a thicker skin and some balls like others mentioned above.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree, Nel. All good points! You do have to take the good with the bad. Unfortunately, at times it will be unfair as others have said because of the flawed system. I don’t think Goodreads regulating would help much though. Also, I never looked at it from a purchasing standpoint. Regardless, I always try to be honest with reviews, but I can totally see how some people just don’t want to say anything negative these days no matter what.

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it! ♥️

      Like

  10. I rate and not review sometimes as I don’t have words to express.. There are books which have confused me so I can’t put in a review.. And sometimes I don’t want to say the book is crap so I put in a rating without a review. Sometimes I can’t finish the book, hence there is 1 star rating and nothing much. Sometimes I review but don’t rate.. It is my prerogative.
    If goodreads starts becoming like Amazon, people will stop putting reviews everywhere. The authors will lose out. And I think authors should understand that all of us are not robots liking all the books all the time. We are humans we have lives and we also have days where we don’t want to write reviews. Authors should develop a thicker skin. So I will keep rating without reviewing and will write reviews without rating

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Me too, Shalini. Sometimes I just don’t have what it takes to write a decent review for whatever reason. We obviously all want to be fair though. I think you’re right that it will hurt authors, especially the ones who are really in need of ratings and reviews. Thank you for sharing. 😉

      Like

  11. First, Goodreads is for readers, not authors to monitor reviews. As much as I sympathize with a writer’s curiosity for knowing the “why” behind a rating (should have equal interest in the high ones), this isn’t the platform for it and a good editor/publisher should be able to answer those questions. Goodreads policy is to allow readers the freedom to use the rating system as they see fit and while I take issue with with readers rating a book they haven’t read, so be it. But no good comes from authors trying to gain insight from these ratings. They are subjective and the community is too diverse to have a one size fits all belief system.

    My advice to authors…don’t read these reviews let alone demand that readers rating a book low justify it. That’s just unprofessional. FYI, I review every book I read and defend the right of others on Goodreads not to do so.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Someone had stated on the OP that Goodreads is for authors and readers. I guess I’ve always looked at it being more for readers, and of course so that readers can connect with authors as well. One of the author’s main complaints was that Goodreads is reaping the benefits from giveaways and what not, while doing nothing to make it a better/fair place for authors.

      I feel like rating without reviewing is wrong, but would still never tell someone what to do. I got really opinionated last year about it and realized that we all feel differently about it and people were offended. It just seems unfair though and I don’t practice it. I just won’t rate it and I’ll say why.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jonetta. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In the About Us section of the site, it says the following:

        “Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. Our mission is to help people find and share books they love. Goodreads launched in January 2007.”

        There’s space for authors but the site is for readers. Knowledgeable, experienced authors already know this. Those who assert they have equal rights to readers are misguided. Not my opinion, just the facts as they relate to Goodreads’ mission.

        I opened a suggestion long ago about requiring a reader to not be able to rate a book without reading and they politely, and succinctly, explained that it was not against the Terms of Service for readers to do this. No matter how I feel about it, it’s not a violation of policy for a reader to do so. Bugs me but I’ve moved on.

        Just wanted to make a distinction between what people think Goodreads is versus who they claim to be. It certainly provides context and perspective for setting author expectations. It’s not designed to serve their purposes.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Wow, I obviously never read the About Us section. That’s interesting! Thanks for sharing that.

          It doesn’t surprise me that they would say that about the ratings after what happened last year when people were admitting right up front that they didn’t read the book, yet the reviews weren’t removed. What’s interesting to me though is with Goodreads being owned by Amazon, how is it that they are so less strict? Because it’s social media? I’m amazed when Amazon just removes reviews and then blacklists people like me because they say I violated their rules.

          Thanks for all your input. I appreciate it! 😉

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Well, Amazon is a marketplace, which subjects them to a different set of rules than a book social media site like Goodreads. I only place reviews on Amazon these days for books I was given for review. They bounced one of my reviews last year, accusing me of potentially plagiarizing some other, unnamed review. I’ve written over 1,000 reviews so why would I crib someone else’s??? One analyst reversed the decision and then the supervisor overruled that decision, without explanation. It’s too nasty out there so I stopped sharing other than as earlier described. I don’t need the aggravation.

          If they’ve blacklisted you, blacklist them back. It’s a different atmosphere out there regarding reviews and you don’t need them. You’ve a GREAT blog and in a safe space on Goodreads and other social media sites. It really bugged me when my situation happened but it was my wake up call to leave them alone.

          Great discussion topic!

          Liked by 1 person

        3. You’re kidding? That is crazy! I’ve never heard of Amazon doing that. I’m surprised they would even consider reversing their decision. I called and called, emailed, and even used the chat system to no avail.

          Thanks so much for your positive comment. I personally have given up on Amazon, but it’s really hard when authors are consistently asking for reviews there. It seems to be the place that matters most. I appreciate all your info! 😊

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Great post, I think that if you want to leave a one star rating then that’s fine, personally, I would always try and write something at least as constructive criticism but sometimes if you really don’t have anything nice to say then what’s the point. To be honest the author could have been more upset if the person wrote something because who knows what the reviewer would have said.

    However, I have to say I do not at all agree with rating a book that you haven’t finished, if you want it to count toward a challenge goal then absolutely write a review saying “did not finish” but I think it’s unfair to assign a rating if you haven’t managed to get through it.

    I also read on twitter today, which could be somewhat related, an author saying that someone had given their book a one star rating as a means or remembering which books they wanted to read. Which is ridiculous because there are shelves for that, but maybe this is something the author in question should consider, that actually someone is (like an absolute idiot-sorry just my opinion) using the one star as a place holder.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree…I feel like the review could be really negative and I don’t see how that would help at all. If I’m rating a book that low, I doubt I could say anything positive about it. I personally don’t agree with rating and not reading either and don’t do it.

      Who would do that? I can’t believe that someone would use the rating system for that. That is insane. I need to read that post! Thank you for sharing. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

        1. That’s crazy. I would love to hear what other readers have to say about that. I imagine that person has no clue what the ratings are for or they simply don’t care. Thanks for sharing. 😊

          Liked by 1 person

  13. In the past when I have posted one of two star reviews, I have been publicly slammed or unfollowed on social media by authors. So now when I give low star ratings on GoodReads, (only if I’ve read the book in its entirity) I don’t leave reviews and pop them on the ‘Not My Bag’ shelf. Safer all round I find….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, sorry to hear that. It’s only happened a few times for me, but it’s no fun. I agree that its safer and some people don’t want to leave negative reviews on their blog ever. I can understand that. ♥️ Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. If you are going to put your self and your book out there for the public, you better have a thick skin. The petty fights and name calling on GoodReads is horrible. I once had an author email me and ask me to change my rating. Obviously I blocked her. There is no perfect system and there will always be dishonest people. But if you have all 4 and 5 star reviews I wouldn’t worry about the lone 1 star.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, I’m surprised they would ask that! I had an author ask me to reread after they rewrote parts, but they didn’t ask for a new rating. That seems so wrong.

      I agree, and this author still has a good rating. It’s just so damaging when authors don’t have a high number of ratings.

      I appreciate your thoughts! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m one who doesn’t review every book that I read and never will simply because I don’t have the time or most of the time have no idea what to write. I struggle writing the reviews that I do write, so there’s no way that I’d pressure myself to writing reviews for over 200 books a year, and I feel like that should be my prerogative. I do understand the author’s wanting to understand the 1-star review though, but I think that wanting Goodreads to require a review with a rating is a bad idea. If that happened, I’d just stop using Goodreads and go back to keeping track of what books I read and date in a notebook like I used to do long before Goodreads existed. I do feel that rating a book you DNF is wrong, but I can’t tell other people what to do so that’s just my opinion for what it’s worth. Great discussion, Jenn.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Me too, Steph. I appreciate you weighing in, especially with your expertise. I’m still always so surprised to hear you say that you struggle writing reviews! They’re always so beautiful and well put together. You’ve always inspired me.

      I would likely leave as well and I LOVE Goodreads. I spend more time there than anywhere else. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. ♥️

      Like

      1. Aww, thanks Jenn! I’m not sure how much my opinion counts, but it’s just how I feel. I hate seeing anything regulated that doesn’t have to be or ends up hurting people.

        You’re too sweet! I’ve got a backlog of 10 reviews to write because I have no idea what to say, and it took over 4 hrs just to figure out how to write the one I posted today. Some come easily (2 hrs or so to write which is still insane), or its taken me days to write one review. That gets frustrating and is why I could never review everything I read lol. Thank you so much for the compliment though. It makes me want to keep at it when I feel like it’s too much at times.

        I hope Goodreads has enough sense to leave its members alone and let us rate,rate and review, or whatever as long as we are not breaking rules. I enjoy GR, but I’d be mad if they started dictating my actions since I follow guidelines. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You’re welcome! Honestly, I’m sorry that you struggle too, but it does make me feel a little better knowing that I’m not alone.

          I don’t think Goodreads will regulate, but I guess we’ll see. They’ve made some big changes with giveaways and not sure what the future holds.

          Have a great week, friend. Thank you so much for weighing in. Your opinion is very important. 💗

          Liked by 1 person

  16. I understand both sides; however, ratings and or reviews are optional. They are not required and really are a courtesy. Some readers ONLY rate (never leaving written reviews). Others do both immediately, and still others read for weeks/months and then rate or review once they’ve marinated with the stories a little. Which way is right? All of them!
    I get that the author is ticked that the reader didn’t like her book, but is she going to re-write it for that one person even if she did get to know why the reader didn’t care for it? Not likely, so it’s a moot point. I think the author should just appreciate the 4 and 5 star ratings and reviews that she does get.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I think it should be the reader’s choice. Reading is a personal experience for most and though Goodreads is a public place, I don’t think a person should be forced to share their thoughts about a book. I see Goodreads as a place to express oneself and placing a rating without a review is a way to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Excellent post and I completely agree with you. Yes that 1 star rating would hurt but as one of your readers commented above, a line or 2 is not going to make them feel better. I’m guilty of leaving ratings without reviews occasionally. I don’t have time to review every single book that I read. We are restricted enough with most review sites and add more would make readers just not bother anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. It does take time and that’s time that we sometimes have to spend doing other things. It takes a lot of time just to read the books as it is.

      Thanks for your thoughts! 😉

      Like

  19. I’m definitely against requiring a review. A rating is sufficient if that’s what someone has time or ambition for. That said, I don’t finish books I’m not enjoying, so I also don’t typically review or rate them, so that may make me feel a little differently on the matter? I loved reading your thoughts, M! ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I agree with all your points about why it shouldn’t be regulated and it being up to the reviewer. Because the flip side to that coin is that you rate it low AND write a scathing review. I did that on a book that I truly hated and people seemed to agree with me (many came to argue or yell at me) and you know what? It’s the first review that pops up for the book now because like or hate my review, it has the most likes of any review on the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I see what you mean. I feel like honestly is always best, but some people just don’t want to deal with leaving a negative review. I think it’s okay too. I’ve seen people say they’ve read books because of a negative review too. Thanks for sharing your experience! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I completely agree that a reader can leave a review in that circumstance or not. I can understand why an author would be upset, though. It’s like getting ghosted by a love interest–it’s clear the person doesn’t like what you’re offering, but it would still be nice to have an explanation and some sort of closure. It’s tough getting rejected! But at the end of the day, the reader doesn’t owe the author anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right! I feel bad for her that she has to wonder why the reader has done this, but I don’t like that she automatically thinks it might not be a legit rating without a review. I don’t feel that we should always be responsible for leaving reviews if we can’t–for whatever reason–whether it be time or because we aren’t comfortable. Thanks, Lorilin. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  22. What an interesting post – much food for thought. As someone who reads (as well as writes) reviews, and uses reviews to help me buy/try I have to say that starred reviews (of whatever provenance) irritate me. i’m not sure why anyone would bother to rate anything without explanation. But then, I’m a bit pedantic. Not to mention, both highly opinionated and interested to discover other people’s opinions. Reviews which say ‘great’ or ‘dreadful’ are instantly dismissed by me. Tell me WHY But then – I write reviews both for my own pleasure/enjoyment/help me remember the book AND in the hope of communicating something about the book which may help in someone else’s decision to think ‘well I might like this one, even if this person didn’t’ /well I don’t think I’d like this one even if this person did.

    I read far more these days than I review – lack of time to do both. So there are many books I never rate, because I haven’t written a review.

    I can understand the author feeling irritated. Unfortunately, reviews can’t be compelled, though they might be wished for by those who always want to know ‘why did you like/dislike it’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great points and very interesting! I agree that it would definitely help the author and other readers to understand why, I think for me it’s just not wanting the regulation. I’d like to still be able to rate without writing a review. I appreciate your thoughts very much! 💗

      Liked by 1 person

  23. I really disagree with this author and think that it should be the reader’s choice for sure. Like you said, a lot of people don’t use GR for reviews (I know I don’t) but to keep track of the number of books they read. Besides not everyone has strong opinions and a lot of readers might not be comfortable stating their thoughts. I think given how some people engage with reviews on GR (ie getting very vocal and argumentative) I think it’s actually harsh to force people to write reviews there. Imagine being forced to be vocal on any other social media platform? (like mandatory tweeting or facebook posts)
    Anyway great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree and excellent points! People might be afraid or just don’t have strong feelings. There are many reasons.

      I was just informed by a friend that this author who’s complaining has actually done the very thing she says is wrong…multiple times too. I just confirmed myself by checking it out. Not sure I even want to consider her thoughts on the topic anymore. I was actually considering reading her book. Such hypocrisy. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 💜

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh gosh- it actually surprises me that she did that and then went and said this. Like you said, it’s realllly hypocritical (and totally lacking self-awareness AND so uncharitable to everyone else that might have done it- when she doesn’t even hold herself to such standards!) No worries! ❤

        Like

  24. I agree with you on reader’s choice. Also note the non complaints on 5 stars….honestly this author seems like the kind that would ask for honest feedback on a 1 star and then argue with the reasons the person rated it so low.
    I also understand them wanting more info but it’s up to readers imo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, exactly! Plus, like I mentioned above, she’s done the exact thing that she says is wrong by rating 1-star or 2-star without reviews–multiple times. Why is it okay for her to do it but not others? I don’t like leaving bashing reviews. I think I’ve done it once or twice and just flat-out don’t like it. I agree with you that it should be the readers choice.

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  25. I agree absolutely with every single one of your points Jenn. I would add that we should be careful with obligatory reviews – it will end up like Amazon, and you of all people know all about that, just as I do – I recently had a review removed for no reason whatsoever, and no useful responses to my request to have that looked at. Goodreads is already getting a bit too big for its boots – let’s not give them more power to control what we do and think.

    Of course there are those who rate books without reading them, but it’s their right to do so and, in my opinion, pointless to complain about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Was your review removed on Goodreads or Amazon? I’m assuming Amazon. I’ve heard of it happening more and more.

      I appreciate you sharing your thoughts, Renee. It’s interesting that most authors feel that it’s up to the reader and you’re accepting of low ratings as well. I agree that it doesn’t do any good to complain. Take care. 💗

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was on Amazon and it wasn’t for a book either – It was for my washing liquid 😉 They also said that I had had my quota of ‘unverified purchase’ reviews for the week – I never review something I haven’t bought. They wouldn’t speak to me and I wasn’t going to expend my energy fighting with stupidity, so I left it at that.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Nobody wants to receive a one star review, but that’s life and we authors have to live with that. Sometimes we get them because our books are no good, and sometimes because someone got out of bed the wrong side one morning. There is no book that everyone will love.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I really like your look on it. I suppose you’re always going to get some unfair reviews and it’s wrong, but no use complaining about it. Probably healthier to just let it roll off your back too. This is something I’ve had to learn to control myself. 💜

          Like

  26. This is a great question, and I’m all over the board because I can see so many sides to it. I try to leave a review on everything I read. Like you, I don’t always have time and sometimes just not much to say on a bleh book. At the same time, I also do like to let others/authors know what it is that I don’t like about a book, because how do they improve and it’s always subjective anyway. Sometimes I actually read books with low ratings, because I am curious and end up loving them. So, who knows? I don’t let it bother me if an author doesn’t like what I have to say, but I don’t bash and try to mostly say my positives about the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, we have similar feelings. I usually try to stick with the positives as well. I was actually considering reading this author’s book after seeing her post (especially after she expressed that she’d appreciate help recovering from this 1-star review) until it was brought to my attention that she leaves 1-star ratings without reviews a lot. She’s not practicing what she preaches.

      Thanks so much for sharing your feelings on this. I appreciate it!

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Fantastic post! I don’t think I’ve ever given a 1 star review as that’s normally for books I don’t finish and if I don’t finish it I don’t think it’s fair to give it a review. It’s really interesting to read what other people do though! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Even a book blogger, I don’t review every book I read, so I wouldn’t expect a regular reader to put in the effort of a review, especially for a low rating. And frankly, I get super frustrated when I come across the very rare 1 or 2 star book, and I would have a hard time writing a constructive and polite criticism of the book to explain why. Plus, these days, I’d DNF a book that bad long before finishing it, and I don’t rate books I don’t finish. That feels unfairly punitive to me. However, I *might* leave a comment (not a review!) about the fact that I couldn’t finish it and why.

    However, I do always, always rate books if I finish them. Because, as a reader, I always look at a rating, but I don’t always read the reviews (*gasp*). And though I’m a book blogger NOW, I’ve been on GR since WAY before I started blogging, and I actually write my reviews with the benefit of the potential reader first and foremost in my mind. As a book reviewer/blogger, I think it’s important to be honest so that your audience (other readers) trust what you write about a book, while being fair to the author. If I’m always blowing smoke up the author’s rear because I feel beholden to them (because galleys), my reviews are meaningless to the readers, and no one benefits. Conversely, if I give a low rating and no review, and the author really wants feedback, Goodreads offers the ability to message people, and my blog link is included in my profile, so…

    I feel the author’s pain, but low ratings and bad reviews are part of the job. If it’s a good book, there will be more positive reviews/ratings than negative, and hard though it may be, they should focus on those instead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent thoughts, Myndi. We pretty much feel the same. Truly, this author’s rating is still good and you’re right that the negative reviews will likely be much more rare if the book is good. I also look at ratings more than reviews.

      So true that honesty is best with all books, including galleys. I couldn’t agree more! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. 💜

      Like

  29. I think that would be absolutely insane if Goodreads required us to write a review to leave a rating. I like that it’s optional. I don’t always have something to say & some people may just enjoy reading & not writing. I also don’t think you have to exactly finish a book to rate it either. Sounds like the author who was complaining is just a little butt-hurt!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’re right, Hunida. I just left a rating the other day. I still plan to review, but if O don’t get to it, then I don’t get to it. Not everyone likes to leave reviews like you say.

      Have a great week and thanks for sharing your thoughts! 💗

      Liked by 1 person

        1. My mom is the same way. She rates the books she reads all the time, but because she doesn’t like writing reviews, she rarely does. I don’t see a problem with it and honestly, a rating seems better than nothing!

          Liked by 1 person

  30. I like the debate, as an indie writer I do not have any problems with book reviews, it is normal that somebody will not like what I write. There are a lot of readers who have only rated me, but also those who have set up a review of my book. Reviews help me correct some mistakes in my writing, and with the book’s rating, I only know whether the book liked or not. But the most important thing is that people read my book and express their opinions. As a reader for the books I read before I came to Goodreads, I only set the book’s rating, and for the books, I’m currently reading I set up a review of the book. I honestly never rated 1 for the book. If I do not like a book or story, I’m trying to explain why, but I always say it’s my opinion. Perhaps other readers would love book whatever I did not like.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this, Stjepan. I’m very pleased to get an author’s perspective on this topic. I’m the same as you and haven’t reviewed all of my earlier books either. It’s so true that we are all different with our tastes. I like that you’re accepting of receiving negative reviews if they come. Thank you! 😉

      Like

  31. Good old devilreads. Still attracting shit heads like a dead bloated cow carcass attracts flies.

    Any writer (and I use that word instead of author, because there is a difference) who wants to restrict/regulate what other people can write, or not, can step in front of a bus. In fact, I’ll gladly volunteer to give them a hand. Just because I’m such a helpful guy 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😂😂😂 I appreciate you sharing your opinions. It does seem crazy that an author would complain. To me what’s even worse is how an author can complain about people doing this when they’ve done it themselves.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I originally left back in ’13, when the whole censoring thing begin and the rules were randomly enforced due to who knew who.

          I’ve tried to go back 3’ish times and every time I’ve had my reviews reported, flagged, hidden, etc, etc and so I’ve finally given up on it.

          As for interaction, you’re absolutely right. You have a built-in group to interact with on GR. The thing is, if you focus on wordpress, you can build up that level of interaction, but isn’t as easy. I guess it would depend on WHY you are thinking of leaving GR.

          I’m all for people leaving GR and striking out on their own. I use librarything for my cataloguing needs but all my social needs are through wordpress. Obviously I’m pretty biased and opinionated, which just doesn’t work on gr…

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I see. I hear people talk about the flagging often. I don’t think I’ve had that happen…I mean, obviously they notify you right? That’s interesting.

          The issue for me is keeping up with everything. I just don’t have the time to comment on every post here and there (in addition to social media) although I’d like to. It’s just too much. I need to let something go, and I’m not sure what. Because I’m paying for WP, I’ve thought that maybe this is what I should be letting go. I work hard to interact with people on WP, but many have no interest in what I’m reading, so I put more time in and try to support others while often getting no interaction in return. I hardly ever get a person on WP that says, “Hey, I read this and here’s how I feel about it.” Whereas on GR, I get much more book talk. This has just been my experience.

          Something I do like about GR is that I don’t feel as pressured to write wonderfully…lol. 😂 I’ve always hated my writing and struggle to get my thoughts down. Many of my reviews on GR I would never put on WP because I don’t feel like they’re good enough. That’s a subject for a different post I suppose! 😁

          I’m on librarything.com too, but I don’t really use it much. Thanks for sharing your story and thoughts. I love hearing what works for others and will consider it. I appreciate it.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. If having a shared experience over a book is what is important to you, then I suspect gr is your best fit. WP definitely seems to be for those who are more lone-wolf oriented or have a LOT of words to get out 😀

          Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s