So what does a three star rating mean for me? When I rate a book, I consider two things: how good the book actually is and my personal enjoyment of the book. These put together form my rating from one to five stars. When I give a book three stars it can mean one of two things:
- It's a really good book, but I just didn't enjoy it that much
- The book itself is not that exciting but I loved it anyway
In my quest to write perfectly balanced reviews I try to incorporate both my own opinion and the facts. If I would give a book that has bad editing and consistency problems a rating only based on my personal enjoyment (which could be up to five stars) I would feel like I am misleading people. Five stars indicates that the book is near flawless and amazing.
I know quite some bloggers that don't use a rating system for various reasons. Some don't like to put a label on a book. Others just can't decide how to rate a book. I'm a big fan of rating systems - I love to be able to see in a single glance what the reviewer thought of the book. Did they love it, or did they hate it? Sometimes I specifically search for bad reviews of a book before deciding on buying it. Low ratings help me to find these.
So should authors be worried when someone gives their book a three star rating? Well, of course not. Three stars doesn't mean your book is bad and we hated it all. For most bloggers it means that they liked the book. They didn't want to put it on a shelf and honour it for the rest of their lives, but they didn't feel the inclination to ritually burn it either. Sometimes you just like a book. If you exclusively receive thee stars, you might want to reconsider if there is something missing in your work. That something that makes your book special and engaging.
Overall, I think three stars is a pretty damn fine rating.
I would love to hear from you guys on this subject. What do you expect of a book when it gets three star ratings in reviews? And what do you think of a book when you give it three stars yourself? Or are you team No-Rating? Leave a comment below!