I read an article in the Huffington Post recently about book ratings. The article talked about how easy it was for authors to cheat the system, how they could log in under different names and leave themselves higher ratings to boost their books popularity. Not something I had even thought about before but hey, whatever floats your boat I guess.
It also talked about how the rating system can negatively affect the author too, if people leave bad ratings, sometimes just because they can. Someone at one stage was rating all indie books with one star just because they didn't like independent authors.
I recently had a conversation with some fellow authors about this, some had received 1 and 2 star ratings from people who obviously hadn't even read the book. Ok so you didn't like it personally and didn't even bother to read past the first chapter, so how can you actually rate it, you don't really know if the book was any good if you didn't actually read it.
But the part of the article that really drew my attention was the comment about books with only high ratings. The article claimed that you should beware of these books. Either it was a sure sign that the author was manipulating the system, of if there were only a few ratings, then the book had only been read and rated by the authors family and close friends.
So that annoyed me! Guardian, at this stage only has 4 or 5 star ratings. In total at time of writing 4 x 4stars and 23 x 5stars. Of all those ratings only one was posted by a friend. A few of the reviewers have since become quite good Internet friends but only one was a close friend who knew me prior to me even writing Guardian. I hate being lumped in with a generalization.
I keep expecting a bad rating, it has to come eventually, but I didn't want to feel like I should look forward to it.