Debbie's Spurts finds a way out of the rabbit hole: Maybe we're all petitioning the wrong sites for the wrong things...

Reblogged from Debbie's Spurts:

I think it might better defuse indie author versus readers tension if amazon and goodreads weren't petitioned for anything (except maybe to hire more staff to handle removal of actually abusive content quicker and without regard to who posted it ).

 

Instead, petition the advertiser and discoverability sites (like eReader News Today), awards and review publications to ditch their minimum average star rating requirements.  That should lesson the importance of the average star rating.

 

I'm not sure goodreads or amazon needs to show an average star rating anyway.  Get rid of it completely (or in amazon's case possibly only count verified purchaser star ratings in the average).  Not like all readers use the star ratings the exact same way or even use the suggested ratings scale.

 

Get rid of any site features currently gamed to where drama and bad publicity are preferable to book getting no notice.  

 

Get rid of any "top" anything based in number of likes or "helpful" votes including top reviewers.  Not get rid of the top lists or top reviewers lists, just the like/vote quantities being used to determine.  Because they aren't the most liked/helpful but rather an indication of who had the most social media followers during the like/vote campaigns.

 

On Amazon, don't display reviews by order of most helpful (seriously, how much time for reading and writing would be freed up for some if they didn't have all those voting campaigns to manage?).   No objection to displaying verified purchaser reviews first.

 

Goodreads should not search,  display or recommend books in descending order of number of ratings—they do because they equate the number of ratings/shelvings to equal book popularity.  If they want to really display by popularity, weight the star ratings so that all the one star ratings indie authors act up to deliberately get doesn't:  (a) have a book with 78 one-star ratings displaying before a book with 60 four- and five-star ratings or (b) display the indie book so their 1-star average book shows above books not rated by anyone in features like search — don't let that drama work.

 

Ditto for shelving; weight that display order so that shelves users want included in book recommendations move book display up the display—don't let a book shelved "favorite author" be considered less popular than books shelved "not for me."  Otherwise the butthurts just keep agitating to be added to lots of shelves then scream about how readers setup their book catalogs.  

 

Many of the problem authors deliberately behaving badly are doing so for the attention (particularly when they have a new book dropping, have has no activity no existing books in a while  or when tagging along on someone else's publicity).  

 

Get rid of any opportunities for bad behavior to be rewarded, to increase book discoverability, to game the system, or to get people believing their melodramatic screams that they are being bullied by a reviewless 3-star goodreads rating on the product they are selling toconsumers   (the equivalent of a 4-star review on amazon by suggested ratings scale) so anyone against bullying needs to come running to their defense ...