OK y’all: I am following up Why the Hate for 3’s? with the 3 Star Follow-Up What I have learned information that I have gathered so far (I will update if I get any more)! This post will be divided into two sections:
1) Just the facts or in this case what people are saying (not sure anyone is for certain what goes on in Amazon’s mind)
2) Brief opinion from me (cause be shocked I have one *smile*)
Just the facts as they have been presented to me
- Most of the 3 Star problem is related to or started by Amazon’s view of a 3. Let me go into that a little further…
- Amazon considers a 3 star rating “bad” meaning it can be counted in the most dependable worst ratings.
- Amazon considers the higher ratings a more dependable product so then they (Amazon) will promote that product more (yes a knife rating and entertainment rating evidently mean the same thing in the Amazon world)
- This “can” (so I have heard but I am not an author) impact an author’s earnings or at least their visibility
- 3 Star ratings on Amazon mean “it’s OK”
- 3 Star ratings mean pretty much the same though (Liked It) on all book centric sites: Goodreads, Library Thing, Shelfari, Barnes and Noble
- 3 Star ratings mean different things to different people (aka the answers I got)….
- 3 stars mean solid but not a reread
- 3 stars mean OK but nothing memorable
- 3 stars mean average
- 3 stars mean recommended with a few problems
- 3 stars mean not going on the keeper shelf but enjoyable
- 3 Star ratings and purchasing (this varied)
- Some readers would not buy or read anything that had less than an average 4 star rating
- Some readers actually use 3 star rating reviews to determine whether to buy a new to them author
- Some readers buy books because they have a solid 3.5 to low 4 star rating with high number of reviews.
- Some readers said it was more about the number of reviews vs the actual star rating.
- Some readers said it didn’t matter what the star was but the content of the review
If you have links to articles or blog posts that you would like me to link up please send them to me! Even if they are opinion. I am a firm believer in more knowledge is power. Readers are smart enough to read everything on the subject and form their own POVs!
I am going to preface this by saying that this might lose me some author friends but I am solidly on the reader side of the fence so here we go…..
- This is NOT a reader problem! It is great information to have if you are so inclined to help your favorite authors out however…
- If rating books is for your own tracking, peace of mind, or because you just have something to say then rate it whatever the hell you want. As a reader I want to see the conversation so go for it!
- It is not our fault that amazon considers a 3 star knife (something I won’t buy) the same as a 3 star entertainment product (which I absolutely will buy because a few hours of my time can often be spent on things that I enjoyed in the moment but won’t necessarily do again)
- You should never be emotionally blackmailed (not saying authors do it but the whole scenario might make you feel cornered) into rating something higher because you are concerned about the bottom line of someone else. It is great if rating higher is what you WANT to do but you shouldn’t feel you HAVE to. To be honest, I feel you are more supportive by being honest about your feelings and rankings. I have always felt reviews/ratings were for readers. I am sure that some authors look at it differently.
- Eventually this will make 4 star reviews irrelevant to the person in the know (they will consider them 3s) because let’s get real that is basically what Amazon is saying. Also, at least in my eyes, it will cheapen the 5. Personally, I HATE THAT!
- I still think posting a 3 star review is better than not reviewing at all…
- It starts a conversation and I still buy 80% of my books based on conversations rather than ratings
- See up there where the number of reviews counts more in someone’s eyes than the actual rating–I believe this to be true. I know if I look at the average rating and it is 4.25 but only has 60 ratings then I dismiss that particular rating average. Why? I just assume it is friends, family, fangirls. It can also get you through the revenge/hater ratings if there are more reviews because higher number generally means general public.
- It gives a different POV and in entertainment I think that is important. We can’t all love everything.
Finally I just want to say while I gathered this information (and it is good to know) it doesn’t change my view of 3 star ratings. It probably won’t change the consistency of which I post them either. I looked at my ratings since 2009 and I am pretty consistently a 4 star giver. My average is 3.66 so clearly I give my fair number of 3s, 2s, and 1s also. I don’t know that I want to lump my 3s with 4s especially since my rating at the Kindle is updated to both Goodreads and Amazon. In the end, I decided for me that I will just continue to rate/review the way I always have. However, I get that this information might change the way some of you rank and that is OK by me too 🙂