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Inspired Wordsmith
BrandieC
Posts: 585
Registered: ‎05-19-2010

Have to Vent About Improper Use of B&N Ratings

I've complained before about those who give a book a poor rating (one or two stars), not because they dislike the book itself, but because they don't like its price or the fact that it was selected for Free Fridays.  Because I don't believe that the ratings system is the proper forum for such complaints, I don't feel it is appropriate to respond to those comments via the ratings system, either, so the only place I have to go to vent is here.

 

Yesterday's NOOK Daily Find was Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead, by Sara Gran.  I was interested in the description and wanted to see what other readers thought about it.  Two of the reviewers gave it one star because of its price; one of those even stated that he or she "would love to order this novel" yet had no qualms about trashing its rating because of its price.  Its price yesterday was $2.99; did these reviewers come back to give the book a good rating because of the terrific price?  Of course not.

 

Grrrrr -

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DCLOVELL
Posts: 205
Registered: ‎05-19-2011

Re: Have to Vent About Improper Use of B&N Ratings

[ Edited ]

I have to second this.  I also have an issue when people say they don't like the formatting of the e-book and rate a good book poorly because of that.  What if they purchased the DTB?  Would they still rate it poorly?  Shouldn't the rating's be about how well the book is written?

:manfrustrated:

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MacMcK1957
Posts: 2,191
Registered: ‎07-25-2011

Re: Have to Vent About Improper Use of B&N Ratings


DCLOVELL wrote:

I have to second this.  I also have an issue when people say they don't like the formatting of the e-book and rate a good book poorly because of that.  What if they purchased the DTB?  Would they still rate it poorly?  Shouldn't the rating's be about how well the book is written?

:manfrustrated:


As a general rule I would be inclined to agree, but....

Last week the new JK Rowling book was released in e-book format with tiny, unchangeable, unreadable typeface.  The reviews on both B&N and Amazon filed up so quickly with complaints about the formatting, that the publisher actually very quickly fixed it.  Some might argue that there are other channels for registering such complaints, but to my knowledge, other channels have never received such a response (or any response at all, often).  Possibly, due to the resulting bad press, both that publisher and others might even (dare we hope?) actually give some thought to e-book formatting in the future, which clearly they have not devoted a lot of effort to in the past.

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DCLOVELL
Posts: 205
Registered: ‎05-19-2011
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Re: Have to Vent About Improper Use of B&N Ratings


MacMcK1957 wrote:


As a general rule I would be inclined to agree, but....

Last week the new JK Rowling book was released in e-book format with tiny, unchangeable, unreadable typeface.  The reviews on both B&N and Amazon filed up so quickly with complaints about the formatting, that the publisher actually very quickly fixed it.  Some might argue that there are other channels for registering such complaints, but to my knowledge, other channels have never received such a response (or any response at all, often).  Possibly, due to the resulting bad press, both that publisher and others might even (dare we hope?) actually give some thought to e-book formatting in the future, which clearly they have not devoted a lot of effort to in the past.


I agree that there should be an outlet that people can use for the poor formatting that is looked at by the publishers and taken seriously. (I know...that may be a pipe dream!) The problem I have seen is this: I have looked at ratings and reviews for the print books and the ebook ratings are blended in.  Now if someone is not specific in the text of their review/rating or do not provide text in their review/rating, the author is the one who may suffer as their book could be one of the best reads ever but yet does not get the sales due to publisher neglect.

Inspired Scribe
kamas716
Posts: 1,479
Registered: ‎09-28-2011

Re: Have to Vent About Improper Use of B&N Ratings


DCLOVELL wrote:

 I also have an issue when people say they don't like the formatting of the e-book and rate a good book poorly because of that.  What if they purchased the DTB?  Would they still rate it poorly?  Shouldn't the rating's be about how well the book is written?

:manfrustrated:


Actually, I disagree with you here.  If the formatting of the book, whether it be eBook or DTB, is bad, it will affect my rating.  Spelling errors (if numerous enough), continually changing line spacing, changing font for no reason and bad OCR work have all contributed to my downgrading a rating I've given.  I explain that in my review as well.  If the formatting takes away from the enjoyment of my reading experience, it deserves to be included in the rating.

 

http://www.goodreads.com/kamas716
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bklvr896
Posts: 4,807
Registered: ‎12-31-2009
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Re: Have to Vent About Improper Use of B&N Ratings


kamas716 wrote:

DCLOVELL wrote:

 I also have an issue when people say they don't like the formatting of the e-book and rate a good book poorly because of that.  What if they purchased the DTB?  Would they still rate it poorly?  Shouldn't the rating's be about how well the book is written?

:manfrustrated:


Actually, I disagree with you here.  If the formatting of the book, whether it be eBook or DTB, is bad, it will affect my rating.  Spelling errors (if numerous enough), continually changing line spacing, changing font for no reason and bad OCR work have all contributed to my downgrading a rating I've given.  I explain that in my review as well.  If the formatting takes away from the enjoyment of my reading experience, it deserves to be included in the rating.

 


I would ave to agree with Kamas.  I would like to know if the ebook s poorly formatted, so I don't waste my money on it.  To me that's a valid point in a rating.  It doesn't matter how well the book is written if you can't read it Because of formatting.

 

i read an ebook onc where instead of the words dancing, the had thee word appointment, as on they were own at the local country western bar line appointment instead of line dancing.  Yet his was all the way through the book and made it almost impossible to read.

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Sandikal
Posts: 207
Registered: ‎10-15-2008

Re: Have to Vent About Improper Use of B&N Ratings

I agree with Kamas also.  If one is rating an ebook, it is entirely appropriate to lower the rating due to poor formatting.  It's terrible that publisher don't put as much effort into proofing ebooks as they do print books and I want to know if the formatting is horrible in the ebook before I decide to buy it.

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MacMcK1957
Posts: 2,191
Registered: ‎07-25-2011

Re: Have to Vent About Improper Use of B&N Ratings

If you had bought the DTB, and pages were out of order, or printing was smeared, misaligned, or otherwise difficult to read, would it be reasonable to put those complaints in the review to warn other potential buyers?  If so, why would it not be equally appropriate to note problems in the e-book?

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DCLOVELL
Posts: 205
Registered: ‎05-19-2011
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Re: Have to Vent About Improper Use of B&N Ratings


MacMcK1957 wrote:

If you had bought the DTB, and pages were out of order, or printing was smeared, misaligned, or otherwise difficult to read, would it be reasonable to put those complaints in the review to warn other potential buyers?  If so, why would it not be equally appropriate to note problems in the e-book?


I agree with that there should be a way to rate the formatting of a book, expecially an ebook.  My main issue is that some people that rate the book may be giving a good book a bad rating because of formatting and then not explaining that in their text.  To me, that's not fair to the author of the book.

Maybe it's time for B&N and others to consider the way they do customer ratings? 

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keriflur
Posts: 6,634
Registered: ‎01-05-2010
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Re: Have to Vent About Improper Use of B&N Ratings


DCLOVELL wrote:
I agree with that there should be a way to rate the formatting of a book, expecially an ebook.  My main issue is that some people that rate the book may be giving a good book a bad rating because of formatting and then not explaining that in their text.  To me, that's not fair to the author of the book.

Maybe it's time for B&N and others to consider the way they do customer ratings? 


I'm unclear on this - how do you know that a person is giving a rating based on formatting, if they're not saying "this rating is because the formatting is bad"?

 

Also, if the book is self-pubbed (as is often the case with the really poor formatting), both the formatting and the quality of the prose fall on the author.

 

Correspondent
BooksOnTheKnob
Posts: 203
Registered: ‎09-03-2009
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Re: Have to Vent About Improper Use of B&N Ratings

I've seen 1-star ratings on Kindle books because the author "couldn't afford a Kindle".
Karen
Books on the Knob
http://blog.booksontheknob.org
Correspondent
BooksOnTheKnob
Posts: 203
Registered: ‎09-03-2009
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Re: Have to Vent About Improper Use of B&N Ratings

Physical issues issues with a paper book often only affect that one (same on commenting on the shipper -- do that elsewhere, not on the book, if buying used). I've had the wrong book inside (same with music, even if the label was correct on the LP or CD), pages mixed up, upside down (just part of the book), missing (entire sections) and extremely bad trim jobs (now they sell that as a "feature" for some books, but I'm talking so bad it cuts off text,, pages are folded together or cut at weird angles, none of it on purpose).

All of those would result in a demand for a new copy (and free S&H to send the screwed up one back).

With an ebook, though - any issue will affect ALL purchasers. If the book can't be read, has sentences switched around, takes several seconds to changes pages (yes, I've seen this in some books, where each page was essentially scanned and loaded as images, often in yet another bad attempt to "prevent piracy", but sometimes just due to a lazy publisher).
Karen
Books on the Knob
http://blog.booksontheknob.org
Distinguished Bibliophile
MacMcK1957
Posts: 2,191
Registered: ‎07-25-2011

Re: Have to Vent About Improper Use of B&N Ratings


DCLOVELL wrote:

 

I agree with that there should be a way to rate the formatting of a book, expecially an ebook.  My main issue is that some people that rate the book may be giving a good book a bad rating because of formatting and then not explaining that in their text.  To me, that's not fair to the author of the book.

Maybe it's time for B&N and others to consider the way they do customer ratings? 


Maybe it's time for B&N, Amazon and the publishers to actually devote some effort to the formatting?  How about providing some mechanism for people to submit issues, that they actually respond to? 

 

A publisher would not ship thousands of physical copies with unreadable type.  Why should we e-book publishers be subject to second-class service?

 

Until there's another way of dealing with formatting issues, one that actually works, the reviews are going to continue to be full of such complaints.

Inspired Scribe
Nevermore1
Posts: 632
Registered: ‎04-13-2010

Re: Have to Vent About Improper Use of B&N Ratings

[ Edited ]

I think that they need to consider having different categories for the "star" ratings.  On some sites they allow you to give multiple star ratings based on multiple points - for books they could use things such as formatting, writing, how much you enjoyed the story, character/story development etc.  The site then shows an average "star" rating in the header of the review and if the review is expanded then it shows the breakdown of the ratings that made up the final rating.  I will usually not drop the "star" rating based on formatting but I will note in the written part of the review that the book is poorly formatted.  I don't think that the price of a book should be part of a rating, in my opinion that has nothing to do with the quality of the content of the book, a book rating should be on how well a book was written (to include editing and formatting to a degree) and not the price a publisher puts on it especially since the price may fluctuate.

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bklvr896
Posts: 4,807
Registered: ‎12-31-2009

Re: Have to Vent About Improper Use of B&N Ratings


MacMcK1957 wrote:

DCLOVELL wrote:

 

I agree with that there should be a way to rate the formatting of a book, expecially an ebook.  My main issue is that some people that rate the book may be giving a good book a bad rating because of formatting and then not explaining that in their text.  To me, that's not fair to the author of the book.

Maybe it's time for B&N and others to consider the way they do customer ratings? 


Maybe it's time for B&N, Amazon and the publishers to actually devote some effort to the formatting?  How about providing some mechanism for people to submit issues, that they actually respond to? 

 

A publisher would not ship thousands of physical copies with unreadable type.  Why should we e-book publishers be subject to second-class service?

 

Until there's another way of dealing with formatting issues, one that actually works, the reviews are going to continue to be full of such complaints.


I agree publishers should put more effort into the formatting e-books but why would  Barnes & Noble or Amazon or any other retailer need to devote time to formatting of the e-books.  they don't publish the books and more than likely don't have the ability or authority to modify the book.  It's the publishers responsibility, not the retailers.

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MacMcK1957
Posts: 2,191
Registered: ‎07-25-2011
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Re: Have to Vent About Improper Use of B&N Ratings

If I bought a misprinted DTB, I'd take it back to the retailer, not the publisher.

Frequent Contributor
Irishelf
Posts: 242
Registered: ‎07-20-2011

Re: Have to Vent About Improper Use of B&N Ratings


BrandieC wrote:

I've complained before about those who give a book a poor rating (one or two stars), not because they dislike the book itself, but because they don't like its price or the fact that it was selected for Free Fridays.  Because I don't believe that the ratings system is the proper forum for such complaints, I don't feel it is appropriate to respond to those comments via the ratings system, either, so the only place I have to go to vent is here.

 

Yesterday's NOOK Daily Find was Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead, by Sara Gran.  I was interested in the description and wanted to see what other readers thought about it.  Two of the reviewers gave it one star because of its price; one of those even stated that he or she "would love to order this novel" yet had no qualms about trashing its rating because of its price.  Its price yesterday was $2.99; did these reviewers come back to give the book a good rating because of the terrific price?  Of course not.

 

Grrrrr -



I think using the ratings to complain about formatting is a good thing.  That way I know what books to avoid buying.  If  the publisher makes it so you can't enlarge the print of a book, it means I won't be able to read it.  It's bad enough paying ridiculously high prices for basically renting a book (since we don't really own it), but to pay for a book that you then can't read is unconscionable!  Sometimes I think certain publishers deliberately set default font size to make people buy large print DTBs!

Correspondent
BooksOnTheKnob
Posts: 203
Registered: ‎09-03-2009

Re: Have to Vent About Improper Use of B&N Ratings

Yeah, and they would send it to the publisher (as that is who each of you has a relationship with).

The publisher would fix it in the next printing - not the retailer.

Amazon and B&N should spend zero time formatting, but should add tools for customers to report formatting to publishers AND they should remove badly formatted books until they are fixed. Just as they would do with a batch of defective print books in the store.
Karen
Books on the Knob
http://blog.booksontheknob.org
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NikiGunn
Posts: 158
Registered: ‎01-28-2010
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Re: Have to Vent About Improper Use of B&N Ratings

I don't like when people go off topic, which the Free Friday complaintfests are. I also hate when people vote a review not helpful because the reviewer didn't like a book they love. (Or movie on Netflix, etc.) I also don't like when reviewers rate it poorly because they stopped before it was over -- sometimes the ending can change your mind, or at least tell me more about what made you stop, not just it sucks or you were offended. Present your case well is all I want in a review, even if I disagree. Complaining about price isn't presenting a good case.

 

Once I wrote in a review that the ebook formatting was atrocious. However, I mentioned what I thought of the book from reading the print edition and I mentioned other things to make sure I left a proper review, not just "Formatting sucks!" The publisher still hasn't fixed it, and over a year later.

Inspired Bibliophile
Desert_Brat
Posts: 1,734
Registered: ‎12-14-2010

Re: Have to Vent About Improper Use of B&N Ratings

And then there's those reviews where a handful of people seem to engaged in some sort of role-playing game that has nothing whatsoever to do with the book.

 

But something that is also irritating is people who give a bad review based on the description. They don't seem to understand that a book "review" is *after* the book has been read.

A lifelong reader, now may my life be long enough to catch up on my reading!