Friday, August 5, 2011

Going Starless

I've decided to follow the example of a writer I greatly admire, YA author Janette Rallison. Janette mentioned a while back that she was going to stop giving stars on Goodreads reviews. I see another author I greatly admire, Annette Lyon, is also going starless (is that right, Annette?). I totally want to be like Janette and Annette (even though my name doesn't rhyme with theirs), and I'm going to try the star-free system too.

I have a lot of friends in the writing industry, and I'm always super conscious of not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings. Going starless will free me up to leave a lot more comments, because if I want to make a positive comment about a book--even a book that I didn't love--I can do it without being hampered by the need to rate it. Sometimes ratings are complicated--what if I thought the book was really well done, but personally didn't care for the story? How do you rate that? Or thought the story was great but didn't care for the writing? Or loved this aspect but not that? Without stars to worry about, I can just comment on whatever I want to comment on, not comment on whatever I don't want to comment on, and have a lot more fun on Goodreads.

Why am I posting this on my blog? Because when I start posting reviews sans stars, I don't want anyone thinking that the lack of rating means I didn't like the book. I just want to feel free to comment without giving an overall rating.

Any other authors out there going starless?


  1. I give stars hit and miss; sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I don't often make comments on Good Reads, I save them for my Meridian reviews, but occasionally I can't resist. I agree with you that without feeling a need to rate each book, I might comment more. However, once in a while a book is fantastic enough that I want to give it five stars to tell everyone how great it is, unfortunately the converse is also true. Perhaps I'll adopt your style and totally refrain.

  2. So, Stephanette, how does it affect the ratings on a book, on average? If your book has 50 reviews, and 30 of them are starless, do the 20 with star rankings get divided by 20, or 50? It just seems like it could hurt authors you might have given at least a 2 or 3 to.

    In the end, I guess, you should have fun with the tool, otherwise it becomes work. =)

    (When my books come out, you'll give them 5 stars, though, right?)

  3. I love getting starred reviews, so I feel like such a hypocrite when I don't want to give them. But I'm with you guys--I just don't like doing the star rating thing.

  4. Here I am responding to the comments very late, since I was at girls camp all week :)

    Jennie, I have the feeling that sometimes I might break my policy and give a book five stars when I love it so much that I want to share :)

    Jon, I don't think starless reviews affect the rating at all. And Don, I agree--I also love getting starred reviews, but it's complicated as an author trying to give them!