Bitch stole my post

Recently I provided the break down for the past year in reviews over at Three Dollar Bill Reviews. The average came out to be rather high (IMO) at 3.7. Kris went through her ratings and talked about how she’s perceived as a tough rater with an average of just about 3. The breakdown for her stars seemed not only appropriate but dead on. Yet she’s seen as a “tough” reader. Be sure to read the comments where other reviewers break down their system and averages as well. Great stuff.*

Since of course I’m seen that way – lately reiterated when Wave interviewed me here – I wondered what my breakdown would be. So for those interested (mostly me), here it is!

I’ve rated 1397 books as of today with an average of 3.07.

5 star books = 73

4 star books = 418

3 star books = 508

2 star books = 283

1 star books = 94

Clearly 3 is the main rating I give out but interestingly I gave out almost 30% more 4 star ratings than 2 star ratings. I give out 3 and 4 stars the most and only a fraction more 3 stars than 4 stars. My 5 and 1 star ratings are pretty close with a slight tipping to the 1 star which is no doubt what helps weigh the average closer to 3 stars.

While I’ve never really disputed the “tough” reviewer tag I’m associated with, looking at this breakdown I’m not sure that’s necessarily true. Perhaps being a critical reviewer is seen as tough but when 3 and 4 stars make up the majority of your ratings, that’s tough?

Again I don’t really dispute or honestly care if I’m seen as a harsh reviewer. I try very hard to be fair above all and based on feedback, I’ve mostly succeeded. I just think this points to a very dangerous trend in reading and reviewing where 3 has become some sort of “mean” rating.

I don’t believe now or EVER that 3 is a bad rating. It means good, average, of interest to those in the genre. While no doubt every author wants the 5 star DIK special snowflake award, getting a 3 star rating or review is not a bad thing. At least I personally don’t think so and I lobby very very hard about this all the time.

I’m not going to rant on and on about why 3 stars is good (I’ll leave that to another post, one I’m sure you all can’t wait to read) but more so this is the breakdown of a “tough” reviewer. Take away what you will if you even care. Personally I realized I’m nicer than I thought!

*btw I totally stole this post idea from Kris’ previous post. I figure she won’t mind but you should know I didn’t make it up on my own. Although Kris, I did do TDB’s first so does that count? *grin* Post thieves unite.

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13 thoughts on “Bitch stole my post

  1. Tam says:

    I don’t have a rating on my regular site, but on Good Reads my average was 3.38 or something like that. Maybe 3.4? Close. But I have no 1 star ratings there because if it’s that bad I’ve not likely finished it and I dont rate DNF because I figure I can’t give a rating if I didn’t read the whole thing. I suppose if you added in a few more of those my average would be a bit lower. And I tend to think of myself as a more easy-going rater. I’m not all that fussy and can live with a lot that makes other reviewers crazy. Now if GR had a half star 😉 I’d likely have a higher rating because some I give 4 I would like give 4.5 but I won’t give out a 5 unless I REALLY feel it merits it. I might upgrade a 3.5 to a 4, but not a 4.5 to a 5.

    If I look at BE, I’ve reviewed 69 books and the breakdown is:
    A+ 2
    A 1
    A- 3
    B+ 10
    B 15
    B- 15
    C+ 12
    C 9
    C- 1
    D+ 1

    It seems Jen and I are pretty similar, we’ve only had one D+ and one D so far, most of ours fall somewhere in the C+ – B+ which would be 3.5 – 4.5 I suppose.

  2. Hehe, I feel like I’ve already replied to this over on Kris’ blog. I’m only posting four and five star reviews now – it isn’t worth alienating other authors over anything less (even though as far as I’m concerned, three is good enough).

    Reviewing doesn’t half get political sometimes…

    • Don’t feel the need to comment if you already have (I stole this from Kris so I urge ppl to see her post for responses too). I do think you’re very smart to only post positive reviews as an author. Tricky, tricky slope for you.

  3. Kassa, I’m totally with you on 3 stars being a perfectly fine rating. I was pleased to receive a few of those over at Goodreads. I know that many authors will wig out about the perceived effect of a 3-star rating on their books in that all of us readers are pressed for time and will of course flock to the 5-star rated books. But from a statistical standpoint (as well as an artistic standpoint) 5-star books (and 1-star books) are going to be much rarer and most will be 3-star efforts. If everything were rated 5-star, the whole rating system would be meaningless. I’m still struggling over how to reflect this on my Amazon ratings, which mostly are 5-star right now. I’m also conscious of the situation Josephine mentioned about alienating the authors. On the other hand, the authors may wig out no matter what … ha, ha!

  4. I don’t think of you as mean – I think of you as realistic. 🙂 And hey, mine’s 3.29:

    5 6% 153
    4 34% 760
    3 40% 896
    2 14% 325
    1 2% 53

    But yeah, I think you’re right – lots of speshul snowflakes apparently leading to grade inflation…

    • I do believe it’s time to revisit the 3 is a fine rating argument since so many of us are average yet seen as “mean” somehow. You’re right on the money and fit in with Tam, myself, and Kris.

      So you consider yourself realistic? Nice? Generous? Mean?

  5. I think that’s the thing which got me the most when looking at the breakdown of my ratings, Kassa. How can I – or you for that matter – be considered to be tough raters/reviewers when our percentages are pretty much on the average??

    If it is the fact that 3 stars is somehow perceived to be a mean rating, than, yes, this should be highlighted and questioned and the speshul snowflakes told to get the fuck over themselves.

    I can’t wait to read your post about it. 😛

    Bitch stealer.

    • I do believe that may be on the schedule soon.

      I think your question is perfectly reasonable to ask. How can we be seen as tough when we’re so perfectly average.

      I think we need a bitch stealer av.

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