I got the idea for this post a LONG while back(like a year and a half ago, I think) after watching @emmabooks video on this topic. You can watch her video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNBiJ_Pc-fI
So you know how on Goodreads you can rate a book that you haven't read? How you can rate a book you are excited about months and months before it even has a cover?? or a title?! This is harmful for everyone, readers and authors. (Unless of course you are lucky enough to have gotten your hands on an ARC and therefore have a valid opinion.) Let's discuss this using lists, because I like lists. Everybody likes lists. Lists are fun. Lists are organizational.
- It gives a false idea of the book, and creates false hype. For example, if everyone rates Cassandra Clare's new book 5 stars before it comes out, it creates the illusion that people have read it and loved it. All the hype creates high expectations which are most likely going to be dashed to pieces. The reader will then give it a bad rating and review because it didn't live up to the hype. Which was false in the first place.
- When that person gives that book a bad rating/review, they are affecting other people's view of that book, the sales of the book, and thus the author's income. Isn't it best to make sure that the book is given a fair chance?
- The point here is that by rating it before it comes out, you are inevitably hurting the author. And that is not something that we want.
- You are also hurting the reader. They saw that everyone was giving it 5 out of 5 stars, and became super excited and was thinking, 'AW YES I AM SO GOING TO LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS BOOK'. They then wasted ten hours or so to read the book, and the book didn't deliver. How could it? It's impossible to live up to that kind of hype/expectations.
- This can also work the other way around. If a lot of people didn't like an author's other books, they will often go rate the author's new book badly simply because they hated the other books. 'I will never read this book, since their other books was SO BAD!1! 1/5 stars' is something I see a lot.
- Now this REALLY hurts the author. Like, REALLY HURTS THEM. If everyone rates it badly before it comes out, a lot of people aren't going to want to buy it. "I looked it up on goodreads and it had a bad overall rating! Definitely not wasting my money on it." Now that poor author's sales have been affected, causing it to not do well.
- This has happened so many times. A good example of this would be Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven. So many people hated the description for some reason (which makes no sense) and then rated/reviewed badly.
- In conclusion, DON'T RATE BEFORE YOU READ. It's basically a form of lying. Lying is wrong. It hurts people. We're all guilty of it (I used to do it too until I watched Emma's video)
And that is all. COMMENT TIME! WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS SUBJECT? DO YOU THINK RATING BEFORE YOU READ IS A GOOD OR BAD THING?