Jen Minkman - YA Paranormal and Dystopian Author: Sometimes, I don't understand the way Goodreads people rate...

maandag 11 mei 2015

Sometimes, I don't understand the way Goodreads people rate...

I think I may have written a blog post about the 4-star requirement that a lot of promo sites out there use sometime last year. As some of you may know, if an author wants to make his or her book more visible these days, it's a jungle out there and nobody is going to find your book unless you advertize, so that's what authors with a bit of money to invest do. And many sites such as EReaderNewsToday, BookBub, The Midlist, and other sites ask that you only submit books with an average rating of four stars or more for their consideration. Just so they don't taint their name and promote rubbish.

Now, don't worry, this is not another rant about the unfairness of judging a book's merit based solely on star ratings. It is, however, a little piece of my mind about how truly unique voices in literature aren't rewarded the way they should be. Not if Goodreads opinions are anything to go by.

Take, for example, Marcus Sedgwick. I'm reading one of his books right now (Midwinterblood, which I highly recommend) and the man is an effing genius. I'm going to buy the rest of his books ASAP, take my word for it. Imagine my shock and unpleasant surprise when I went over to Goodreads to check out his work and saw that NONE of his books have a rating above 4 stars. None of them. In fact, his author profile has an average rating of 3.67 stars. And the same goes for Nova Ren Suma, who is another literary mastermind. Her books (I've read all of them now except her latest creation) are so evocative and magical and a pure pleasure to read that I'm jealous I didn't write her books myself. Guess what HER average rating is. 3.53 stars. If these authors were self-published, no one would want to promote them. Maybe it's because the crowd on Goodreads isn't what it used to be, or maybe their books aren't palatable enough. I don't know, but I'm shocked.

You know, a lot of self-pubbed authors think that the traditional publishing world is in its death throes and nobody needs a publisher anymore, because nowadays, readers have the power and they decide what sells and what doesn't, but I'm kind of happy that the Big 5 (or 6?) are still there. I shudder to think what would have happened to Mr. Sedgwick's and Ms. Ren Suma's books otherwise. They'd never have found their way to my ereader or bookshelf, because they'd never have been picked up by promo sites and in all probability I'd have never come across them. I'd have missed out on a beautiful reading experience.

So, yeah, sometimes I think it's pretty awesome that publishers still get to decide which books should see the light of day. :)

End of rant!

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