I hate Goodreads reviews

#21
He's making a mistake engaging in discussion of her review, regardless of who's 'right' here. He's an author of the book, and what he's doing is counterproductive.
Reviews are there
1) as personal opinions - she's just a person somewhere, not a professional reviewer getting payed.
2) as a resource for other potential readers to decide on whether they should read a book

I see this and I come to 2 conclusions.
She hasn't learned what it means to be concise and to the point and is a big fan of rambling. He is incredibly unprofessional arguing with his reader on why they have the wrong opinion on his book.

At this point it doesn't even matter who's wrong or right. I just see petty internet squabbling, fragile egos on both sides. So basically same as 90% of internet discussions.
Yeah, I would never post anything back if I was an author.

Especially to someone who is batshit crazy/attention seeking
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#22
Especially to someone who is batshit crazy/attention seeking
There was a big kerfuffle a while back started by a literary critic who I have to say is an embarrassment to his profession when he posted this just after Terry Pratchett died.
https://www.theguardian.com/artandd...g/31/terry-pratchett-is-not-a-literary-genius

The editor who ok'ed this embarrassment to be published should be ashamed. But the reason why they probably published was clicks i.e attention seeking.
So in this world of ours you have professional critics who don't read what they critique.

His words:
It does not matter to me if Terry Pratchett’s final novel is a worthy epitaph or not, or if he wanted it to be pulped by a steamroller. I have never read a single one of his books and I never plan to. Life’s too short.


Not even professionals act professionally anymore. Everything's a joke.
 
#23
There was a big kerfuffle a while back started by a literary critic who I have to say is an embarrassment to his profession when he posted this just after Terry Pratchett died.
https://www.theguardian.com/artandd...g/31/terry-pratchett-is-not-a-literary-genius

The editor who ok'ed this embarrassment to be published should be ashamed. But the reason why they probably published was clicks i.e attention seeking.
So in this world of ours you have professional critics who don't read what they critique.

His words:
It does not matter to me if Terry Pratchett’s final novel is a worthy epitaph or not, or if he wanted it to be pulped by a steamroller. I have never read a single one of his books and I never plan to. Life’s too short.


Not even professionals act professionally anymore. Everything's a joke.
If you write a normal book these days you're sexist. That's what I've learned from Goodreads,
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#24
He's making a mistake engaging in discussion of her review, regardless of who's 'right' here. He's an author of the book, and what he's doing is counterproductive.
Reviews are there
1) as personal opinions - she's just a person somewhere, not a professional reviewer getting payed.
2) as a resource for other potential readers to decide on whether they should read a book

I see this and I come to 2 conclusions.
She hasn't learned what it means to be concise and to the point and is a big fan of rambling. He is incredibly unprofessional arguing with his reader on why they have the wrong opinion on his book.

At this point it doesn't even matter who's wrong or right. I just see petty internet squabbling, fragile egos on both sides. So basically same as 90% of internet discussions.
I don't have a Goodreads account. But your first sentence is spot-on. I do write Amazon reviews and I have had authors comment there. I once got into an argument in the comments on one of my reviews with an MD, the author of a health book, because he was unwilling to draw any actual conclusions from data. He would present multiple studies with seemingly contradictory results and then not make a recommendation. I mean, you are the expert, you have the degree, and like why write a book if that's how you're going to be? He came off as really unprofessional based on his comments. I also sometimes get comments from authors thanking me for my review. I don't respond to those. It seems a bit desperate, especially if the book is a few years old -- like why are you hanging around, checking all your book pages for new reviews?

So yeah, authors, don't engage in review comments.

Sometimes negative reviews can be a selling point. If the person who wrote the review hates it because it has too many 4-letter words or anti-religious themes or something, I might still be interested, as an example. I don't know that the review under discussion is a selling point, but neither is it a review I would actually read in its entirety (and I WRITE long reviews, but that fixates on one point for entirely too long -- we get it, move on, or use it as a subject for a paper in your women's studies class or something, and I am not knocking women's studies classes -- I took a few in college and thought them to be an interesting combination of economics, sociology, political theory, etc.).
 
#25
Lol good reads emailed me to say that my account was closed because of not agreeing with other reviewers.....meanwhile women can argue with authors and call other people beta cucks etc.

Triggered reviewers are triggered!
 

Cephalophore

A farm boy with a sword
#26
Has anyone noticed the 'top' Goodreads review for A Game of Thrones? It's a long and pretentious one star review. If you look at what else the same user has reviewed, he's also left similar reviews for The Lord of the Rings, The Shadow of the Torturer, The Anubis Gates, etc... He's obviously got some sort of axe to grind about what the fantasy genre 'should' be!
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
#27
Hmm, I'm not sure.

For example, check out the 50 Shades of Grey reviews on goodreads ... mind you, I haven't read the book (and don't plan to), mainly because I guess that those reviews are likely pretty spot on. And yes, there is one glowingly positive one for every 9 that bash the book among the "most useful" community reviews - which is fine, as there are surely people out there who like those books.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#28
Has anyone noticed the 'top' Goodreads review for A Game of Thrones? It's a long and pretentious one star review. If you look at what else the same user has reviewed, he's also left similar reviews for The Lord of the Rings, The Shadow of the Torturer, The Anubis Gates, etc... He's obviously got some sort of axe to grind about what the fantasy genre 'should' be!
I didn't notice it, but thanks for pointing it out. I am now going to read it. Did you notice the top 3 reviews are all 1 star? Very remarkable for a book that has a 4.44 average rating.
 

Cephalophore

A farm boy with a sword
#29
Did you notice the top 3 reviews are all 1 star? Very remarkable for a book that has a 4.44 average rating.
I could be wrong, but I think the GR reviews that generate the most discussion get pushed to the top. So it stands to reason that the most controversial ones will be at the top of the page!
 

Ryan W. Mueller

Journeyed there and back again
#31
From what I see it's the ones with most likes, not with most comments.
Often, 1-star reviews seem to get the most likes. I think people who hated a book like to troll the book's page for some strange reason, and when they find a 1-star review they like, they make sure it gets to the front page.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#33
I think a lot of the hate the book receives is due to frustration because the books are released at such a sluggish pace. A sentiment I can understand.
 

Vasher

Helped Logen count his fingers
#34
Goodreads is the main way I find new books to read, and I read a lot of reviews there. I generally don't have a problem with them. At least they come from an honest place the vast majority of the time. Amazon is full of paid reviews and completely useless garbage by people who barely grasp the english language and are reading a book for the first time since high school. I'll take genuine fellow book lovers who have a tendency to overhype things or rate things one star because they are a bit of a pretentious git any day. Do I roll my eyes when some of the female reviewers use gifs in their review? Sure, but that doesn't automatically make them unintelligent or what they have to say worthless. I know some very smart women who do that. Some people are never going to see reviewing a book in as serious and sacred a light as other people do and just want to have some fun, and that's fine, imo.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#35
Can anyone give me some examples of the tells of paid reviews. I always read reviews of books I'm interested in buying and can't recall ever feeling sure that a particular review was a paid one. But I'm very interested in being able to identify them.
 

Vasher

Helped Logen count his fingers
#36
Can anyone give me some examples of the tells of paid reviews. I always read reviews of books I'm interested in buying and can't recall ever feeling sure that a particular review was a paid one. But I'm very interested in being able to identify them.
I'm not proud of it, but there was a period of a few months where I wrote paid reviews. I was young and I needed money, it is what it is. The unfortunate thing is that there aren't always obvious tells. They'll typically be short, but so are many genuine reviews. They typically won't mention character names or go into very specific detail, but so do many genuine reviews. What I will say is that in all that time I was never asked to review a book anywhere other than amazon. Amazon is what people are willing to pay for, because that's the point of purchase. Goodreads is an entirely separate site, you can't buy books there, so it never even seems to cross people's mind to spend money on goodreads reviews. Personally I don't even look at amazon reviews for books anymore, they're completely useless.
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#37
Can anyone give me some examples of the tells of paid reviews. I always read reviews of books I'm interested in buying and can't recall ever feeling sure that a particular review was a paid one. But I'm very interested in being able to identify them.
Be skeptical if (especially if a few of these arise in combination with each other):

(1) The reviewer says something like "I never read fantasy but..." and then proceeds to give the book 5 stars or compares it to something obvious like LotR or ASoIaF (because, as we know, all fantasy is NOT like those two series). (1 star and saying something is a copy of LotR is a little different, though. Like I would say that about The Sword of Shannara. But no one would pay for a 1 star review of a book from 1977, either.)

(2) Low levels of detail as mentioned by @Vasher.

(3) Click on the reviewer's profile. If they don't have their reviews hidden, check out some of the other reviews. Are there a whole bunch of reviews of self-published books by the same author and not much else? Lots of reviews written on the same day or not much reviewing history at all? Is everything 5 stars (or maybe 4 stars)?

(4) Anything at all about product testing in the profile description. These are the coupon club folks who are willing to give 5 stars to any shoddy electronic device or sketchy face cream or questionable supplement out there, even though the practice of receiving anything other than books for a review has been disallowed by Amazon. Some of them have taken to reviewing books, as well.

(5) Now that Harriet Klausner has passed away, be skeptical of any review by Grady Harp. But he mostly reviews stuff that wouldn't pop up on the radar of folks here.

(6) Anything that sounds like it was copied from the book blurb. Or that actually was copied from the book blurb.

Don't worry so much about:

Lots of no-detail reviews for the same book (great, loved it, etc.) right after publication, if it is from a major publisher or well-known author. These are probably people who bought and read the book on their Kindles and then actually typed something in that rating pop-up screen after finishing, even though they have no business posting useless crap like that. (I always exit out of the screen and write something up at my leisure later on. I think some people don't realize what they put there posts as a review.) They're useless (even more so since Amazon dropped the 20-word limit for reviews), but they're unlikely to be paid for.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#38
I'm not proud of it, but there was a period of a few months where I wrote paid reviews. I was young and I needed money, it is what it is. The unfortunate thing is that there aren't always obvious tells. They'll typically be short, but so are many genuine reviews. They typically won't mention character names or go into very specific detail, but so do many genuine reviews. What I will say is that in all that time I was never asked to review a book anywhere other than amazon. Amazon is what people are willing to pay for, because that's the point of purchase. Goodreads is an entirely separate site, you can't buy books there, so it never even seems to cross people's mind to spend money on goodreads reviews. Personally I don't even look at amazon reviews for books anymore, they're completely useless.
Nice reply Vasher, quite informative since you've actually done it.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#39
Be skeptical if (especially if a few of these arise in combination with each other):

(1) The reviewer says something like "I never read fantasy but..." and then proceeds to give the book 5 stars or compares it to something obvious like LotR or ASoIaF (because, as we know, all fantasy is NOT like those two series). (1 star and saying something is a copy of LotR is a little different, though. Like I would say that about The Sword of Shannara. But no one would pay for a 1 star review of a book from 1977, either.)

(2) Low levels of detail as mentioned by @Vasher.

(3) Click on the reviewer's profile. If they don't have their reviews hidden, check out some of the other reviews. Are there a whole bunch of reviews of self-published books by the same author and not much else? Lots of reviews written on the same day or not much reviewing history at all? Is everything 5 stars (or maybe 4 stars)?

(4) Anything at all about product testing in the profile description. These are the coupon club folks who are willing to give 5 stars to any shoddy electronic device or sketchy face cream or questionable supplement out there, even though the practice of receiving anything other than books for a review has been disallowed by Amazon. Some of them have taken to reviewing books, as well.

(5) Now that Harriet Klausner has passed away, be skeptical of any review by Grady Harp. But he mostly reviews stuff that wouldn't pop up on the radar of folks here.

(6) Anything that sounds like it was copied from the book blurb. Or that actually was copied from the book blurb.

Don't worry so much about:

Lots of no-detail reviews for the same book (great, loved it, etc.) right after publication, if it is from a major publisher or well-known author. These are probably people who bought and read the book on their Kindles and then actually typed something in that rating pop-up screen after finishing, even though they have no business posting useless crap like that. (I always exit out of the screen and write something up at my leisure later on. I think some people don't realize what they put there posts as a review.) They're useless (even more so since Amazon dropped the 20-word limit for reviews), but they're unlikely to be paid for.
Thanks Sneaky, I was glad to see you responded as you are one of the illustrious top 100 reviewers, you're so prolific and your reviews are always very informative. I like how Amazon puts your reviews on the first page no matter when you get around to reviewing something. They get a lot of value from your contributions.

I'll be watching for all your suggested tells, and I will say that the "I don't usually read fantasy..." is one I've assumed is a tell of a paid review. I stop reading at that point. And yes, these two word reviews that are obviously from the end of the book on the Kindle are just worthless. I wish they would end that function.
 

Nuomer1

Journeyed there and back again
#40
Amazon is what people are willing to pay for, {. . .} because that's the point of purchase. Goodreads is an entirely separate site, you can't buy books there,
Actually . . . Someone please check me on this, but I seem to remember a bit of fuss a couple of years ago when Amazon bought Goodreads? A lot of regulars and reviewers disappeared from Goodreads forums at about that time. Some of them have returned.