A “Friendly” Undeserved Rating


Shining StarLate­ly sales have been close to nonex­is­tent. Eh, I wish I could say oth­er­wise but that’s the way it is. I’m still in the process of extri­cat­ing myself from Xlib­ris but once that’s done and set­tled I will reeval­u­ate whether or not I want to sign back up for Amazon’s KDP pro­gram.

Of late, my atten­tion has been on my WIP, hence pub­li­ciz­ing AUW has tak­en a far back seat in the clut­ter and lack of time that is my life. Despite this, and lag­ging sales, from time to time I check out how my title is rank­ing on Ama­zon and also to see if I have any new reviews. I also occa­sion­al­ly check to see if AUW has any new reviews on Goodreads.

Today I noticed some­thing very curi­ous. At some point in the recent past I was award­ed a five star rat­ing, sans review, from one of my Goodreads “friends”. Said “friend” will remain name­less. I found this curi­ous because although I don’t real­ly know this per­son, I am fair­ly cer­tain this per­son has NEVER read AUW. In fact, if I was the gam­bling type, I’d bet every­thing I own that this is the case.

So, why would this per­son, my “friend”, give me a five star rat­ing?

I think I know why. A cou­ple of months ago this “friend” pub­lished a book and dove full steam into a pub­lic­i­ty blitz that includ­ed mass friend­ing on Goodreads, form emails offer­ing a favor if and when the need arose (we’re talk­ing Goodreads friends, not life­long since we were wee pups in the cra­dle friends, so it seemed kind of icky weird), a free eBook down­load of the new­ly pub­lished nov­el, and the oppor­tu­ni­ty to win a free auto­graphed copy, among oth­er things. The email was, well, kind of weird, most­ly because I don’t know this per­son, and also because who offers strangers online an any­time favor? But I saw it for what it was, an attempt to gain expo­sure and to sell books. I didn’t respond and I sort of for­got about it until today.

I’m of the opin­ion that my five star rat­ing was one of those self­less favors meant to, at the very least, endear me to the author and at most, oblige me to rec­i­p­ro­cate.

I can not.

I tried to read this person’s book a while back but couldn’t com­plete it. I just couldn’t. The writ­ing was, well, suf­fice it to say, 4% was all I could take. If I can’t turn off my inter­nal edi­tor when I am read­ing a book then that’s a sure sign its chock full of writ­ing flubs, gram­mar errors, incon­sis­ten­cies, edit­ing night­mares, and plain old WTHs. Despite the major issues with the writ­ing, this book has a num­ber of very impres­sive reviews on both Ama­zon and Goodreads, so per­haps I’m wrong or being too harsh a crit­ic.

In light of my unde­served five star rat­ing from this author/“friend”, I won­der how many of this author’s five star reviews were because the author is a good writer with a com­pelling sto­ry as opposed to a self­less “friend” will­ing to do favors. Of note, the author has also rat­ed their own book. Want to take a guess?

My per­son­al opin­ion of self rat­ing is that it should not be done. Besides tacky it is whol­ly unbi­ased.

My opin­ion on “friend­ly” rat­ings based on any­thing oth­er than the opin­ion of one per­son who has actu­al­ly read my book, is that I don’t need them nor do I want them. It lacks integri­ty. It makes me feel like a cheat.

I don’t need friends or rat­ings like that.