Last Call: Online Ratings

Just one more post on the topic of online ratings. It’s not all fraud and sock puppets and pay-for-lies. Cases in point? Recently on Amazon a reviewer compared one of my books to one I hadn’t heard of called ‘How Starbucks Saved My Life‘. When I went to look at the Goodreads page for that book, I noticed a wide range of ratings and reviews, settling down somewhere in the middle. The ratings bar chart is very similar to several of mine, revealing what happens when a genuine cross-section of people go about reviewing and rating a book. A lot of books – genre books especially – attract the attention or a narrow band. Romance books attract romance book readers. Slasher books attract slasher book fans. Rocket-ship books attract rocket-ship readers. But when a book is picked up by all sorts of readers outside of its niche, you can expect to see all sorts of reactions, and the average ought to be more or less in the middle. (Even ‘Bleak House’ averages out to 3.95!)  The reviews in such a case also tell you a lot about the reviewers themselves, making them more interesting than the average bear.

How Starbucks Saved My Life, by Michael Gates Gill

Snapdragon Alley, by Tom Lichtenberg


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