Those star ratings again!
I have searched for ages to find out how both Amazon and Goodreads define their star ratings but nowhere is it on their websites. NB Am and GR, please sort. Pronto.
A quick search on ’tInties tells me to hover over the stars. Well either Halpad just doesn’t want to play or the techies haven’t taken Halpads and Halphones into account because I still can’t make that work.
No matter, as there are helpful peeps out there who helpfully explain the difference for ignoramuses like me who have gaily been allocating stars according to my own rating.
Here is how the two big book sites define their star rating, according to other sites, seeing as I can’t find it myself on Am and GR.
5 Stars: Amazon: ‘I love it’
4 Stars: Amazon: ‘I like it’
3 Stars: Amazon: ‘It’s okay’
2 Stars: Amazon: ‘I don’t like it’
1 Star: Amazon: ‘I hate it’
5 Stars: Goodreads: ‘it was amazing’
4 Stars: Goodreads: ‘really like it”
3 Stars: Goodreads: ‘liked it’
2 Stars: Goodreads: ‘it was ok’
1 Star: Goodreads: ‘did not like it’
How crazy is that? Especially given that Amazon bought GR back in 2013.
Perhaps the biggest difference is between the three middle ratings of like/really like, okay/like and don’t like/okay. And who goes round saying they hated a book? It might be rubbish, badly written, total tosh, whatever, but ‘hated it’?
This is why stars are silly and subjective.
But here is how roughseas applies the stars for indie books. I’m not the only one who ignores the Am/GR contradictions as I’ve seen other people set out their criteria.
Note, I don’t need to like a book to give it four or five stars if it’s well written, and that’s what I’m looking for.
This is a (very) good book. This can be for a number of reasons: good use of prose, pacing, tension (where appropriate), evocative descriptions, credible characters and dialogue, character development. Bonus points for imagination and originality. It should be well edited in terms of both prose and proofreading.
Two main categories:
1) As above, but it may need a tightening up on the editing. Otherwise it would be five stars.
2) A good story, well edited, but lacking that extra something to make it five.
Average. Not outstanding but not appalling. Nothing to get excited about, apart from the number of errors.
Poor. In any or all of the following: plot, prose, sentence structure, spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors.
Probably also includes terrible dialogue tags plus adverbs (he chuckled cheerfully – how else would he chuckle? gloomily?), repetition, starting consecutive sentences with secondary clauses that include participles (Running away from the dragon in terror, Miles collided with a tree and fell down … Bearing down upon him, the dragon snarled and breathed ferocious hot plumes of fire … etc), and, cliches, in fact using cliches like hot cakes.
I don’t think I’ve given an indie one star.
So I seem to combine the two sets of ratings. Five and four sound like GR, whereas three and two are more Amazon. I try to be fair to indie authors, and often send an email whether it’s a four star or a potential two. If the potential two replies nicely, I don’t post the review. If they are bad-tempered and defensive …
Probably my biggest problem with the GR ratings is saying an okay book is only two stars. That seems harsh to me given that on a scale of from one to five, three is in the middle. Not good enough to get four or five, not poor enough to drop to one or two.
So most books I review get four or three stars, which I think is acceptable.
Anyways. Here’s a book due out tomorrow (25 Oct 2016):
Caboodle & The Whole Kit by Kevin Cooper
Blurb: Caboodle is filled with relaxing episodes of life, family, love & romance, faith, and even the odd, inadvertent run-ins with some quite unsavoury characters.
The wonderful collection of short stories, poetry, and songs has been grouped together to bring a variety of tales, some of which are based upon true events, people can easily relate to.
The whole kit is designed to ignite a mixture of emotions to bring smile, laughter, and moisture to the eyes.
There is something for everyone in Caboodle & The Whole Kit!
This is indeed a diverse collection of writings with my favourites being the interviews with fictional characters, and some of the poetry, especially the haikus. An entertaining and easy read.
Another author, Paul Handover, is joining in NaNoWriMo next month. He was planning to write a sequel to his book Learning from Dogs but hasn’t had time to do the research so friends suggested he write a memoir instead.
Reading his post reminded me that some time ago I carried out a poll to see what books people preferred, and memoirs was one of the top categories. As I have new readers and some have dropped off the end I thought I would run another one. The wording is changed from last time, so there are different options. It’s still a multi-choice poll so you can tick as many as you want, and add to the ‘other’ option. And, I lied. There are two polls. I’ll also add the results from the one nearly two years ago when I summarise these.
Many thanks for completing as it does inform what books I review on here.