A few months back, about when the finalists for the Dragon Awards were announced, my good friends over at ChinaMike’s House Of 770 Vile Aromas decided that the true measure of a book was the number of its ratings on Goodreads.
I don’t link to that Chinese Bot infested website, but the headline went something along the lines of “Have the Dragons Heard of Goodreads?” or words to that effect. The point was that some of the finalists were merely in double-digits in ratings while others were in the triple and quadruple-digit areas.
The problem with Goodreads is this: Anyone can leave a rating and anyone can have multiple accounts and Goodreads does nothing to prevent unscrupulous readers – and in many cases publishers willing to pay employees to create and oversee multiple accounts – to help inflate the numbers on certain books.
Don’t believe me? Allow me to prove it happens.
You see, earlier today I was engaged in a conversation on Twitter when some person flew in from out of nowhere and dropped a profanity-laced aimed at me. Here was my reply:
Her response was to head over to Goodreads and, mind you today was the first time she had ever heard of me in her life, dropped 1-star reviews on five of my books. Shown here:
If there is one thing that disappoints me is this: If you are going to troll me, do it right. Hit all 13 of the books on my GR dashboard, not just the first five. Show some dedication to the cause, Lyn.
Needless to say, I have pointed out her silly trolling to Goodreads and provided more than enough evidence that she never read a word of the books she rated. So now it is on Goodreads. If they do not remove the fake ratings and delete her account then they are giving their silent consent and support for this kind of attack on authors.
But the next time you hear someone say if the book isn’t highly rated on Goodreads then it probably isn’t worth reading, just remember that you cannot trust the numbers on Goodreads as long as they allow this kind of trolling to go on unpoliced and unpunished.
In the meantime, check out Escaping Infinity if you are looking for a truly good read. Not only was it a Dragon Award Finalist, it also earned two awards that were adjudicated by industry professionals and not voted upon in a popularity contest.