It occurred to me last night, as I worked on a book review on Goodreads, that my rating system might be a bit confusing for people who don't understand the way that my mind works, or the way that I review books. My full policy isn't up yet (I'll get to it soonish), but I wanted to cover this ground with you because I think that it's important to understand and important for reviewers to understand the way that their review affects such things as the author's sales.
I generally review books on several sites, but always make sure to post a review on Hubpages, Amazon, and Goodreads. Soon I'll be adding reviews to my blog as well. This is a lot of work, but I do each of these reviews for different reasons.
The reviews on Hubpages are written as a message to the author and to potential readers. These are very detailed reviews, the purpose of which is to analyze the novels that I read and break down what I liked, what I didn't like, and why I liked or didn't like these different things. They are usually written from the point of view of the person I'm recommending the book for, so that I can instruct other people that even though x didn't bother me, it might bother you. I review on Hubpages on a generous 1-5 star scale, meaning that if I liked a book, I generally give it five stars. It takes a lot for me to give a low review on Hubpages.
On Amazon, I review books in order to help the buyer decide whether or not the book is worth buying. I review on Amazon in order to help out the author, and I review on a 1-3 star scale (using one, three and five stars in order to make my point). If I think that a book is worth someone buying, I rate it five stars. If it's iffy, I rate it three stars. If I think that it should be avoided or is really bad, I rate it one star. (Note that this is a new policy that I am implementing for my reviews, so if you're looking at my older reviews on Amazon, you're not going to see this as a trend).
And on Goodreads? That's where I'm honest. It's on Goodreads that I really lay it all on the line, what I liked about a book, what I didn't like about a book, and whether or not I want to risk recommending it to my friends when they might not like the book that I enjoyed. I rate on a brutal 1-5 scale, where only the best books get my five star rating and only the worst get a one star. These are the books that I recommend to my friends, the people I really know and care about.
(By the way, is Goodreads down for anybody else?)
So since it's Monday, I figured that I'd do the It's Monday, What are You Reading? thing.
It's pathetic this week. I'm still reading Beautiful Creatures. I ought to be finished with it this week though (like, tonight) so Divergent is up next on my list. If I manage to finish that, the next one up is Before I Fall. Are you noticing a book-to-movies theme here? Well there isn't one, at least not exactly. I got these books through recommendations, then found out they were being made into movies!
Image is credit to Andrew Xu on Flickr..