Stars, Stars, Everywhere are Stars

A couple months ago, David Antrobus had a post titled, My God, It’s Full of Stars. His point in this post was that an author (or reader for that matter) shouldn’t get too hung up on the numerical rating of a review, instead focusing on what the review says. He was right for many reasons, not least of which is that one person’s garbage is another’s treasure. At least that’s the only explanation I’ve found for the yard sale signs that spring up every weekend. Continue reading

My God, It’s Full Of Stars!

This week, I’m going to be a little more serious than usual. No idea why. I just am. And I want to talk about star ratings. No, I don’t want to discuss the relative merits of Justin Bieber or Katy Perry, fascinating as that might be; I’m talking about the graded star method many websites use to rate various products, but specifically as it pertains to indie authors, that aspect of the review system used by the mighty Amazon.

Sometimes feeling like I’ve accidentally wandered into a cosmologist convention, I keep hearing my fellow writers discussing star systems, conversations that range from the alleged importance of 5-Star ratings to dire warnings of the career damage caused by 1-Star ratings. There are even dark tales of jealous authors deliberately dropping a single star on the book pages of their competitors… a frankly bizarre behaviour, if true, since my admittedly collectivist-hippie-skewed moral compass informs me we’re less competitors than we are colleagues. My favourite star-related content is our own M. Edward McNally’s regular inclusion of 1-Star customer ratings for classic novels. The ratings, along with their concomitant cluelessness, are hilarious. Continue reading