Saturday, 25 October 2014

Collective Discussions | Ratings, Archives and Requests

Nine times out of ten, when I put together a post, it's one solid idea stretched out as far as possible in order to cover as much as the topic as I can, however, today is different. Today, were going combo. Today I have three short and snappy issues that seriously get my back up, and there's no way I can sit back and not talk about these issues anymore. I've got beef with ratings, I've got issues with archives, and I just get really frustrated with review requests, so we're getting in deep, and getting ranty.

Star Ratings vs Phrase Ratings

Most discussions on ratings concern whether we should have them, or whether we pay attention to them in a review, but this one isn't either of this. This discussion is more related to the difference between a word rating and a number rating and how these can both please and frustrate me. Previously on Book Badger, for each star rating, I had word that I felt, on most occasions, matched the book well, so people who prefered to have an emotional reactor word rather than a rating had one, whereas star readers had the stars please them, however, there is another blog that does something similar thing, but does it all wrong.. They have their rating in stars whith the book information, and have a word or two that describes their feelings on the book afterwards, but they don't always match up, and damn it gets on my knickers in a twist.

For example, my 2 star word used to be 'not good' which I think represented the rating quite well. It wasn't quite good enough to really recommend, it wasn't that enjoyable, and if I was maybe in a different mood, there's a chance I might not have finished it, that to me, 2 satsr was 'not good'. This other blogger, they've been known to give a book 0 stars, nil, nadah, nothing, yet still give it a mediocre word such as 'not bad' or 'okay. This throws me completely because if there's no stars, then surely it really was just that bad, and if it wasn't that bad, why rate it so low? If you had a few issues with the book, read some, and then had the leave it, then unless it was literally written like trash and isn't worth the paper it's printed on, surely it deserves some sort of rating, or maybe that's just me?

Some people don't rate books they don't finish and I'm fine with that, but the blogger has done similar things elsewhere. Another example is that they gave a book 5 stars yet only gave it a 'really good' type rating, yet another 5 star book got an 'amazing' type rating instead. I have to ask myself, where's the match in that? THAT seriously confuses me. How am I meant to get a fair representation of how much you enjoyed when you rated it the same, but your emotions were quite different?

This is probably quite a personal issue I have because many people either pay attention to the rating or the word, but it's this issue that means while I will read the bloggers reviews, I don't let them influence me because I don't think their combined rating or judgement makes sense sometimes. I have always done my best to make sure the rating and word I give a book is fair to my feelings, and I hope other people understand that, but if not, my apologies.

Review Archives

Archives are, I think, really important on a book review blog. I don't know about anyone else, but sometimes when I have nothing doing, or when I really should be doing things but for some reason don't, I find myself perusing people's review archives to check when they thought of books I'm interested in. What's the problem Amanda? Well, it's a rare problem but I problem none the less - why do some people not archive their books by title? Can anybody answer me this? I understand that libraries order by author, which is equally as frustrating, but most people, well I assume most people, know a book by title, not by author or publisher or release year and so on, so why give those options and not a title option?

Whenever I look through an archive, the title route is the way I go. I recognise title's, I remember words from the title and can make my way that way, but author? Unless they're a popular or it's a book I'm really interested in, I've probably forgotten. Series? Sometimes this works out okay because some series name themselves after the first book, which also annoys me, SO MANY ANNOYANCES, but other times, the series name has either nothing to do with the titles, or is really difficult to remember, such as The Courier's Daughter Trilogy, or, as people prefer to call it, The Defiance Trilogy, which is both so much easier to remember, but my point is, I'm not going to remember that long series name, so making me search through your HUGE archives aren't going make it any more fun for me. Publisher? Lets not even go there. Seriously, I work with them and talk to them, but remember who's published which books? Only if they are really really really firm favourites will I remember the publisher, so there's literally not point in that either. People's, make sure you have the option to search by title please, it'd make me, and I'm going to go out on a limb and say, it'll make other people really happy too. By all means, have the options, but definitely include by title.

Review Requests

This one may be a little more difficult to understand, but I'm talking about Review Policies and Authors at this point. My current policy states that I am not open to requests, it does say that, in bold, so really, there's no excuse to not be able to read and understand that wonderful fact - I seriously don't have time for your review request because my TBR is tumbling already - so imagine my surprise when I receive a review request asking whether I would review a book which not only does against my policy, but also wasn't even in a genre I accept. What is this? Is this a joke? If it's all done to give me a giggle you failed epically because I'm not impressed.

How difficult is it to read a policy? You check out a blog, you like the blog, you like the person behind the blog and think 'hold up, I like this person, I'll see if they'll accept my request!' Now bare in that my email address is only visible at the bottom of my policy, so you literally have to read through the fact that I'm not accepting any right now, and what I will and won't accept, before you even get my contact details, yet somehow, this author thought 'well that obviously doesn't apply to me, I'll send it anyway.' This is where I get pissed. I read that email and got really angry, not only at the fact this author had done this, but that authors do this in general. We are marketing tools, I understand this, we drum up notice and an audience and can, where possible, get your book more notice in the community, but that doesn't give you the right to think that we will jump at any request you send. I have a policy, I have rules, I have a check-list of what I will accept yet you ignore that thinking you're better than me because you're an author and I'm a blogger, who, according to you, should read my book because, according to you, it's really good. Guess what? I think my Chinese Stir-Fry's are damn good, but I'm not walking up to my nearest Chinese Restaurant expecting a job, it doesn't work like that. Would it be so difficult to be respected for what we spend hours of our lives doing. We are human beings, not tools, don't expect anything from us. If we're not accepting, we're not accepting, no email, bribe, blackmail or abuse will change that status.

Do you get confused with ratings, puzzled by archives and in a rage with review requests?

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