Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Do we need a new book rating system?

This blog is set up to measure if writers need a new system to rate books from the old five star system. There are four polls on the right hand side, choose which you feel appropriate for a new system, or suggest new options for rating.
I aim to have just four options if that’s possible, so the system can be evenly and easily divided into 100.
When there are many votes I'll tabulate them and post the results, and we can take it from there.

Looking at the current rating system, I've had a good think about what they mean and if they are useful for potential book buyers and writers. On Amazon you will see something like this below.
Borrowed with thanks from the Travelling Type

This is just an over all rating system. What if the book rating system were designed like the way we rate wines? This type of rating gives points for individual characteristics such as, nose, palate, and colour. We could do the same for books. We could rate books by originality, dialogue, plot, and such.

We could divide each rating category into a percentage of 100, so if we were to choose say just four aspects of a books content to rate it by, we could have, out of 25 for originality, out of 25 for dialogue, out of 25 for plot and out of 25 for development. Therefore, a books rating could look like this

Originality             21
Dialogue              19
Plot                       23
Development     20
Total 83 out of 100

We might want to extend this rating system to cover things like the book cover; we could rate its marketing campaign, the quality of its advertising and other areas of its non-text attributes.

Would this be more useful than a 1 to 5 stars rating system? Would a new rating system increase or decrease a books potential sales? Let me know your thoughts.


  1. It's an interesting idea, Rob, but a potential outcome I think is missed here is that a more complicated rating system, one that requires more thought and input from the reader, will attract fewer responses. That's a major consideration as reader-input is so hard to come by in the first place.

    Apple, for instance, won't allow me to just rate an app, I have to write a short review, too. It's the only reason I've never rated an app. I can be bothered to give it a star rating with a single click, I can't be bothered to do more than that.

  2. I can see your point Steven; one thing in its favour would be, a hell of a lot of writers buy books, so they would probably all use the new system.

    This could onlt benifit us and potential buyers. Thanks for the comments. Rob