My First One Star Rating

This Wednesday as I signed on to Goodreads to add a friend’s book to my TBR pile. I noticed that somebody had rated Dangerous Curves Ahead. My first rating ever, I thought. Cool! But when I clicked on my author dashboard to see who left the rating I saw that it was only for one star. My heart sank a little. One star? One star! Really!? I knew I was going to have to let it go, part of being an author is getting reviewed and rated.

But then reality smacked me in the face. How could a person rate a book that they never read? The book isn’t out yet. The ARCs haven’t gone out and yet this person rated my book with one star. I thought maybe it was just an accidental mouse click. But when I clicked on his name I saw that this person, this man, had rated thousands of books, and when I looked more closely I noticed that the only books he rated with one star were romance novels. Authors like Julie James and Jennifer Ashley were rated with one star. While JD Salinger got five glowing stars. I’ll freely admit that romance novels are predictable, the plots can be a  little clichéd, their writers are a little wacky and can seem a little sex crazed by people who aren’t in the know. BUT we write books, great books, that make people happy and sell millions of copies.

So why all the hate? Why take the time to go through hundreds and hundreds of books just to rate them with one star? Who has the time for that? Who really cares that much? Maybe the guy had his heart broken by a romance novelist, maybe his wife spent more time reading our books than she did with him. Maybe the only way he can exact his revenge is to bring down all of our average ratings? I don’t know. I shouldn’t even care. I’ve got enough crap to think about without having this man’s motives on my mind.

What do you think? How would you have reacted to that? Why do you think romance writers don’t get no respect?

PS. My one star rating was taken down. I still have one rating by someone else who I know didn’t read my book but this time it’s five stars. 🙂


21 thoughts on “My First One Star Rating”

  1. First, thanks for sharing this with us! So what a curmudgeon. It’s seems he definitely has it out for romance writers. It’s hard enough to write a book, get it published, then tough it out to put your work out there for others to read and critique, and then to have someone like this individual just bring your work down with a one star because he has some grudge or whatever against romance novels. Well, at least, we know he has some other motive and probably never read your book 🙂 We must all develop tough skins. My books comes out July 15. I’m toughing it now 🙂 Take care!

  2. Sugar, there are people out there that are just plain mean. Maybe he is a frustrated romance writer who never sold, who knows? If it’s Amazon, in the “did this review help” click no, and it will end up at the bottom of all the 5 star raves your are going to get from Dangerous Curves. I’ve pre-ordered your book and I know I’m going to love it.

  3. Although seeing those kinds of ratings sticks in your craw for a bit, it’s best to let it go and move on. Good reads readers are notorious for giving lower ratings than average, giving ratings to books they clearly haven’t read, and freely bashing books that often don’t deserve it. I don’t spend much time there for that reason. All of my books which have 4.5 star average ratings on Amazon and BN run at about a 3.8 on Good reads because of this phenomenon. I don’t get it, but since there isn’t anything that you can do about it, just move on and look forward to those 5 star reviews YOUR readers are going to be heaping on!

    1. Why do they bash books? I don’t understand the point behind it. You have to be a sad lonely loser to sit around and bash others all day.

  4. know exactly how you feel…but I want to tell you to IGNORE IT. (I know, impossible to unsee it, right?)

    I have gotten random reviews like that, too. There was one with a garbled nonsense review on B&N for me. I reported it and asked it be taken down because they were just random letters–not a single actual word–but I think they never removed it.

    Oh, well. I ignore it.

    Someone once told me that people use stars anyway they want. They use it to rank the books they’d like to read in a particular order, rate how much they’d WANT to read it, rate them according to what time of the day it is, etc…COMPLETELY SUBJECTIVE and sometimes extremely random.

    Cheer up. It’s the written ones that count. Even if someone writes an unflattering review, it could be that it just wasn’t for them, that they just didn’t get it, or that the book just didn’t hit the expectations they set for themselves. I once had a negative review because one of my books didn’t have enough romance. It wasn’t a romance novel. I got over the review. )

    You can, too. Your star rating might not be as high as it deserves to be, but a quick look at the popular books in our genres show plenty of non-five star total ratings and they do just fine.

    Have a hug. You’ll feel better. *squeeze*

  5. There’s a special place you-know-where for the petty and vindictive people who do things like this. You can go hunt him down (fun!) or ignore him and have a nice girly cocktail then go treat yourself to a new pair of sandals (funner!). Your work will speak for itself, Sugar, and it will say: I’m awesome! Buy Me! Read Me! Tell All Your Friends!

  6. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that ANYONE would bother rating a book they never read?! That’s just weird. Is there some crazy techno-algorhythm reason to do so (by sabotaging some books you help bump others up) that we just don’t know about? Before I started writing, I probably didn’t give as much thought to ratings or reviews. I wonder if this guy is a writer or just a reader/fanatic. Anyway, sorry you had to deal with it, but at least it wasn’t a real review! Glad it got deleted!

  7. I just got my first one star today too. It’s a bummer, but I know my book isn’t for everyone. Although, I’ve noticed there’s been a trend towards retaliatory reviewing. I try to shrug it off under the “mean people suck” mantra, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt a little. Some people just have an ax to grind. But on to great news! I can’t wait to read your book. It’s also possible that the 5 star got an ARC or got it on Netgalley. 😀

  8. Maybe I won’t even try to publish my book. Nooooo . . . not after all this work. Serving the public has never been a simple trip to grandma’s house, the wolf is never far behind. Everyone’s advice is so good here. “Ignore it.” If it was only a push of a button for a not yet released book, who is kidding who. Help reviews are better, so if it has some kind of editorial with reasoning that would be helpful, it would make some sense. Best of luck Sugar.

  9. Don’t even look at the reviews. That’s gets you away from being vexed about not getting good reviews, because, frankly it’s going to happen. I think it’s dumb that someone reviewed the book and couldn’t have seen it. But from the other point of view, I’ve also given one star reviews myself, and now it sometimes scares because authors have such nasty meltdowns over it.

    1. If you really didn’t like a book and give a thoughtful review then I think it’s fine to give a one star rating even on my books. I’m just not sure why people go out of their way to review something that haven’t read.

  10. After getting nothing but five star ratings on Amazon for my book Hotter Than Ever, and comments such as “hilarious,” “laugh-out-loud funny,” and “I almost wet myself,” I also received a one star review from a reader. Obviously, not understanding satire when she reads it, (come on, does Stephanie Plum REALLY blow up all those cars, and has any woman on earth ever spent as much money as Becky in the Shopaholic series?) this reviewer said my situations were outrageous and my writing bored the pants off her. I understand that we each are entitled to our opinions, but if what she says is true, outrageous situations aside, I hope she wasn’t reading my book in public, and if she was, she was wearing underwear.

  11. Screw it. Just take your favorite books and look them up on Amazon. You’ll be shocked at how many nasty reviews there are. It’s worse on Goodreads!

    E.L. Farris, Author of Ripple

  12. I got two words for you. White. Men. Somebody needs to free them. Not all of them. But they are prisoners of their own privilege, and lockstepped into conformity.

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