Five stars, all the time? Tenacious Ink posted that's exactly what she does on Goodreads. And I'm pretty much in agreement, although my standard is a 4. If the book totally amazes me, I'll go with the 5.
But now, I'm considering erasing all my ratings, like Teralyn Rose blogged about doing on her post.
You'll notice I rarely post reviews on my blog. I've interviewed authors, which I really love to do. But I don't normally review their books. Here's why: everybody has different tastes, and I shouldn't be telling people whether to like a novel or not. That's up to them. Plus, there's this bone-chilling story of the author who sued. And the author who probably earned more from her lawsuit than from sales of her book.
So, when I was asked to do a review for a blog tour, I hedged. Instead, I posted some of what I just said, about not wanting to take my subjective opinion and influence someone before they had a chance to form their own opinion. I opted to just give a general overview about the book. Ratings free. And learned something very interesting in the process.
One, ratings and reviews often have motives attached to them. And two, I probably should be careful about offering to review books and join blog tours. After all, there's no way of knowing whether I like the book before I read it, and if the goal is publicity for the author and book, I'm stuck with whether to back out (as I was asked to consider -- instead I deleted the explanation above about not giving ratings, which the blog host called a rant) or compromise my ethics/own chances at publicity. Apparently, the blogosphere maintains a blacklist for folks who are honest, as the blog host also pointed out, as she warned that I should not include anything controversial on my blog for fear of offending potential readers.
Frankly, my books might offend a potential reader or two. Not everyone will love my books. And some readers will adore the stories, and be glad I took risks to write about topics that speak to them and reflect certain truths in their own lives.
Other writers have other truths to express. I might not like them, but it's not my business to dissuade readers away from discovering these.
What is art for, after all?
Writers are supposed to pour themselves into their stories, not just pop out bland little fluff muffins that couldn't possibly bother anyone. Yes, I know, this is a business (for some people). But the truth is, very few authors really make a living at this business.
Why sell your soul in the process?