Coming to Terms With Ratings

My book received a new rating on Goodreads yesterday. Three stars.

Goodreads Rating Scale

5 = It was amazing.

4 = I really liked it.

3 = I liked it.

2 = It was okay.

1 = I did not like it.

While three stars isn’t a bad rating, it still hit me hard. I can’t help it. Anything less than four stars pushes my self-critical nature into a tailspin and my mind into overdrive.

After seeing this particular rating, questions flooded my brain for a good 15 minutes.

  • Why didn’t this reader include a review?
  • What didn’t she like about my book?
  • What is this person’s average rating on Goodreads?
  • Does she normally read books like mine?
  • To what other books has she given three stars?

Craziness, right? Don’t worry. It was only temporary insanity.

When the reader in me finally spoke up, I started to come to my senses.

  • Maybe she didn’t have time to write a review or maybe she never writes reviews.
  • Maybe the main character annoyed her. (Chloe Thompson is unnecessarily picky at times, you know.)
  • This person’s average rating is completely irrelevant! You have given plenty of three-star ratings, and your average is currently 4.14.
  • Whether she normally reads books like yours doesn’t matter either! You read all sorts of books, and genre never influences your ratings.
  • No two books are exactly alike. HONESTLY. Let. It. Go.

image

And when this entire thought process came to an end, I reminded myself that most of my favorite books have gotten three-, two- and even one-star ratings. All of them. Even books like The Hunger Games, Cutting for Stone and Charlotte’s Web.

I wonder if Suzanne Collins ever obsessed over a less than perfect rating.

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