I've been researching series orders and connected books, and have noticed a few times the author on GoodReads or elsewhere giving her own book five stars. I'll be honest: I pretty much always roll my eyes when I see an author giving each of their books a five star rating, not the least of which because it's disingenuous.
But I also ask myself (every time I see this happening), would I give my own books five star ratings? Would I rate every example of my own writing five stars?
Nope, probably not. Definitely not.
I probably should, because as the author or co-author I should be the best emissary for my books. But in each case, and this goes for books published elsewhere and entries published here, I can see things I would change or do differently, things I wish I'd known when I was writing them that I know now. I can't read entries on the site without wanting to make edits and rearrange paragraphs. Books are subject to the same wish to continue to revise. But I can't. It's done. I can't find every copy in every store and make changes or fix things, so I let it go. It's not something I have control over. I still want to edit things, though. Constantly!
So would I give them 5 stars? No, probably not. I have 5 star amounts of pride for each one and I can explain what each book is about and who it might appeal to, but is each one absolutely five-star perfect? No, unfortunately. I always look at my own writing and think of all the ways I can do better next time.
So when authors give each and every book they've written 5 stars, I confess to being very confused. Is that a promotional rating? Is every book they've written 5-stars-of-awesome? I honestly have a hard time believing that a writer might feel that way about every book. Not even the most talented writers can get it perfect every time.
I'm guessing it's the expectation that an author is the best representative of her work, and therefore must promote each one as the best. Promotion doesn't make a lot of room for self-evaluation or self-criticism. It's not effective to say, “This isn't the best one of my books but I hope you buy it.”
When I see five-star self-evaluations for each book, I look at it from the perspective of having written books, and whether I could do the same. When I see the five-star lineup when I'm book shopping, I ignore it. What about you? Would you give everything you've written or done 5 stars? Do you have any reaction when you see an author giving herself top ratings for each book?
Thank you to BigStock for the image!