Hey Disciples! Your time is valuable, right? You don’t want to waste time on a book that got lots of hype on Goodreads, but turns out to stink. Let’s talk about reviews. Many people check goodreads to get information on books. Its great because you can get SO MUCH information-versions, reviews, author info, other books in the series, reading order, and more. Its also great for helping you remember and track what you read (because after awhile, I totally forget I read a book). But, like any user generated info, reader beware. So, here are some things you should know so you can be an informed user!
First, anyone can create a book or version of a book in Goodreads. Its kinda like Wikipedia in that sense. However, you can only put in certain info (title, author, series, pages, synopsis) so for the most part, these are usually correct. But, if you are looking at the “other editions” and see a bunch (like 5 different audio versions or 21 kindle books) then its usually because a user, not the author or publisher, has created an entry. Its not that this is a bad thing-but, it could contain incorrect info.
Second, you can rate a book without reviewing. You can rate/review before the book releases. So, a person could create a book by an author the moment they hear about it, then rate it 1 star. Always look at the number of actual reviews with words! If 80% or more of the rate/review are just ratings with no explanation, be suspicious. This goes both ways-authors will have their street teams go and 5 star all their books to get the rating average higher and they don’t say a thing about the book. Or, authors have asked their street team to go 1 star all their competitors books (yes, this has really happened). My recommendation is to always look for more REVIEWS and not just RATINGS.
Third, reviews from your “friends” on goodreads always appear first! If you have like minded reading friends, this can be VERY helpful. However, if you (like I used to) accept friend requests from randos, this might not be as helpful. I have culled my friend list in goodreads and tried to find other people who read romance. I find that these reviews are much more helpful to me and I think they will be more helpful to you too! Use the “compare books” features to see if you are literally matched!
Bottom line: Like most websites, be mindful of the limitations or lack of oversight. Goodreads has some cool tools if you know about them and if you understand the ways people manipulate the site, you will know what to look for!
And, the best person to follow on goodreads? Well, me of course! If you want a trustworthy friend, hit me up!