The Jane Doe Novel Experiment

Creating Two New Novels. Writing One Chapter Weekly. Podcasting As I Go. Welcome to The Experiment.

Ask Jane: What Determines a 1-Star Rating? A Five?

Hey Jane,

What do your ratings mean for your book reviews? How many stars are possible?

Good question! I should have thought of explaining this long ago. 🙂

1 Star =

I stopped reading. I stop reading a book if I feel it’s badly written and there are glaring errors both creatively and technically.  “Good writing can save a bad story, but a good story cannot save bad writing. – Jane It’s rare that I stop reading a book based on not liking the story line. In the rare case a story truly holds no interest for me, I do not rate the book. Why say a burger tastes bad when I’m a vegetarian?

2 Stars =

Writing quality wasn’t bad enough for me to stop reading, but at the end of the journey, I kind of wish I had.

3 Stars =

This is a good book! Interesting and well written, but something was lacking. Usually, it is plot development. I enjoyed reading to the end, only to find that the end came too quickly or didn’t resolve/match what I read prior to the ending.

4 Stars = 

Basically flawless! Well developed characters that touch me. A plot that is fully filled out and captivating. It doesn’t reach 5 stars because there are two or more major points where I struggled to suspend disbelief.

5 Stars =

Flawless! Not only did I suspend disbelief all the way through, fiction became my reality. Characters became my best friends, plots affected me as if I were in the situation and let’s not forget an author who clearly owns his or her craft. The author shows true skill both from the creative aspects to stringing sentences together so beautifully that I’m anxious to read each and every word.

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2 comments on “Ask Jane: What Determines a 1-Star Rating? A Five?

  1. Vero
    July 18, 2012

    This is a really nice explanation of the subjective perception of the five star rating system. It’s exactly how I see it! 😀 Thanks, Jane.

    • Jane Doe
      July 19, 2012

      Glad you like it, Vero. I really think it would help give readers a better understanding of how to rate a book on Amazon, Goodreads, Smashwords, etc. (aka, don’t lower a books score based on the book being a paperback instead of hardcover. ^.^) Also, I think we as writer can learn more from detailed reasoning versus, “I liked it,” or “I didn’t like it”. A standard rating can help us learn why.

      ***I’m not saying my reasoning should be that system. 😉 But someone should come up with something!

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This entry was posted on July 18, 2012 by in Ask Jane and tagged .

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