Goodreads Ratings (and why you can’t trust them)

As an update to my earlier post, Beware of Fake Book Reviews, here’s what Goodreads had to say about those one star ratings that sometimes show up even before books are published. (In my case, a one star rating popped up on The Beggar’s Opera before it was available even in galley form.)

“Goodreads policy actually allows users to rate a book as soon as it is listed on the site. While most users use the star-ratings to review a book, some like to use the rating system to indicate interest or excitement in an upcoming title. We view this as a valid use of the site. Please keep in mind that when users rate a book that has not yet come out, other users tend to take the rating with a grain of salt.”

So there you go. Anyone can post anything about a book on Goodreads, even if they couldn’t possibly have read it, good or bad. Caveat emptor.

Update: Here is a link to a discussion group on Goodreads from March, 2011, demonstrating that this is not an isolated event.


Check out my new author website and check out the fab  book trailer for The Beggar’s Opera!

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10 Responses to Goodreads Ratings (and why you can’t trust them)

  1. Yeah, and can I tell you about my latest GR troll?

    They WILL take sock puppets down, but not, apparently, people who haven’t read the book and plagiarize reviews from other sources.


  2. Vicki says:

    Sigh. Now why doesn’t that surprise me?

    All my books have been hit with drive-by 1-star reviews. The ones I’m talking about are those whose only review (then and since) is the anonymous 1-star review on my title. And I’m no exception. Even a smidgen of success will bring out the trolls.

    Peggy, just take heart that readers aren’t stupid and can usually see the troll reviews for what they are.

    Happy New Year! It’s going to be an amazing one for you.



    • Peggy Blair says:

      Seems like everyone has a story about getting these drive-by slams. Disappointing that Goodreads thinks that’s a legitimate expression of interest. Thanks for the support, and Happy New Year to you too!


  3. Karen Opas says:

    A friend had something like that happen on Urban Spoon–within the first week of his restaurant opening there were several negative reviews (all from people whose only review was of his restaurant). I suppose it is a hazard of any online rating site.


  4. I want to remove my book entirely from Goodreads because of bad reviews. My Amazon reviews are good. Is it possible to remove it?


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