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.