View Full Version : Why are BOOK RATINGS lower on Goodreads than Amazon?

August 24th, 2017, 08:03 PM
I've read that book ratings for the same book tend to be LOWER on Goodreads as compared to Amazon. For my 2 books, that is true (4.6 and 4.4 avg ratings on Amazon, but only 4.0 and 4.0 ratings on Goodreads). I also did a quick check of the last 10 books I read/rated and this statement seems to be consistently true from what I can see.

Does anyone know WHY Goodreads users tend to give lower ratings than Amazon users? My initial thought was that perhaps Amazon ratings have many more users who received free ARC or ebooks and they are more likely to give higher ratings, but I don't think that is a fair statement b/c lots of authors (including me) give free books to Goodread users through their book give-away contests. What do you folks think?

Jack of all trades
August 24th, 2017, 10:36 PM
Does one have whole numbers only, and the other allow halves? That might account for a difference.

Adding --

Possibly in their effort to sell more, and make more money, Amazon is dropping lower reviews.

I just checked on a book that was published last September. Back then, it had a mix of 1 to 4 star reviews, and a single 5 star review.

Now it has only 4 and 5 star reviews. The chart lists a single 1 star review, but the system can't find it to show it.

Personally, I trust Goodreads more than Amazon reviews.

Sorry. Not good news.

August 25th, 2017, 01:28 AM
Thanks for the reply. Actually, Goodreads also uses fractional numbers to show the average, so that's not the difference. As far as reviews, both Amazon and Goodreads occasionally drops certain reviews/ratings without notice or explanation. I've had 3 of my books' Amazon ratings disappear this summer and at least two of my Goodreads ratings disappeared too. Again, no notice or explanation. The Amazon reviews that disappeared left my overall rating about the same. When my Goodreads reviews disappeared, my avg. dropped a little.

August 28th, 2017, 02:15 AM
Goodreads gives a legend for their reviews that doesn't really match what I think most people would associate with the numbers. Like, according to me in my own world, a two-star book is pretty crappy, but on Goodreads, a two-star rating means "it was okay". (one star means "did not like it", three stars is "liked it", four stars is "really liked it" and five stars is "it was amazing).

So if I read a book I thought was okay, I'd probably give that a three-star review on Amazon. But according to the Goodreads system, I should give it two stars. So... lower ratings at Goodreads, at least for those who follow the Goodreads codes.

August 30th, 2017, 09:56 PM
Thank you! Your explanation makes perfect sense to me. I never noticed the different rating system used on Goodreads until you posted that. Thanks again!