I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to the whole notion of an author star rating and/or reviewing their own books. As a book reviewer, I not only write a lot of reviews, but I read a lot of them too. I’m interested to know what other people think about the books I’m reading, and sometimes, reviews are so well written, sitting down for a while with a cuppa and Goodreads open can be quite relaxing, as well as entertaining. It’s also a part of my role as Historical Fiction Editor for The Australian Women Writers Challenge, reading reviews so I can write a monthly editorial roundup. I often get carried away and keep reading beyond those written by our challenge participants, which is how I’ve come to notice this trend.
The most common is the five star review of an author’s own book. Of course, Goodreads identifies this and puts ‘review from the author’ in brackets, which I’m very glad for. A variation on this is those authors who have multiple Goodreads profiles and star rate their own book more than once under their various profiles. It’s still quite obvious it’s them, there’s always a tell tale sign linking the person as the author of the book in question, even if they think there isn’t, trust me, I can tell.
Some authors go a step further and actually write some commentary about the book in the review field. I’ve seen quite varied messages here that range from thank you’s for purchasing, requests for reviews – I know! A request for a review within a review! – comments on an aspect of the book, and even, wait for it, arguments at large as to why some of the reviews listed below are wrong and should be ignored.
Ummm…ok then…I’m totally taking you seriously now as an author.
Said no one ever.
Clearly, as you might have guessed by now, just by the mere fact I’m writing this post, that I think star rating your own book is very poor form. Reviewing your own book is worse. And I’m coming at this in all seriousness now, as a reader and as a reviewer.
You risk damaging your reputation by doing this. You risk looking unprofessional. You risk your credibility. You risk earning readers. And if you’re thinking now of popping over and adjusting the five stars down to four, don’t! Because this is worse. Who rates their own work less than five stars? See the dilemma? Just delete it. Let other readers star rate. Let other readers write up the reviews. And if the rating is less than you want, chalk it up to experience. It happens to all authors. If someone writes a review you don’t like, don’t reply. Don’t write a review yourself to counter theirs. Just move on.
Really. It’s not a good look.
This is of course my own opinion, which is quite allowed here, on my own blog. I’d love to know your thoughts on this matter. I promise I won’t review your review in the comments below with a comment from another person that is really me trying not to appear as me for the purposes of review.
Sorry. I couldn’t resist. Enjoy your evening!