Giveaways


Winners Choice
ends 5.31

November 3, 2013

Gush and Gripe: DNF or Low Rating


What is the lesser or two evils, getting or giving a DNF or a low rating?

I guess this question is aimed at authors than us readers. The impact of these unsavory feedback are more felt by our writer friends than us reviewers. We're already aware of the 3-star debate, personally I don't think that's bad and I get turned off by authors and tours that would ask for 4 or 5 star reviews only. That's censorship and if one doesn't want medium to bad reviews, then they shouldn't be in the business of writing books for public consumption. But let's save that for another conversation. 

On to the topic at hand!

If I were to choose, I think a DNF (Did Not Finish) is kinder than a low review. To me, giving a book a DNF stamp is straightforward; I didn't like it or it's not for me. Then I would share why it didn't work for me and hopefully I was/am constructive about it. I also don't give ratings to books I didn't finish to be fair to the author and to avoid hurting their average rating. After all, I didn't read the book in its entirety therefore my experience about the story is incomplete which makes me unqualified to give a holistic opinion. To me I just think it's a good compromise. 

As for low ratings, I do agree that it's unavoidable and maybe even necessary sometimes. I can be a masochist and torture myself to reading a story through even if I know that I won't like it. Case in point, the last Sookie Stackhouse novel, Dead Ever After. For that particular instance, I know that I will be disappointed because the last couple of books leading up to it were mediocre at best but I needed closure so I plowed through. Overall the trainwreck analogy applies to books that I gave low ratings to, sometimes it's so unbelievably bad I can't fathom how it got printed and released for public consumption in the first place. 

So that's my opinion on the matter, I'd rather get/give a no-rating DNF than a low rating. Now I'd like to pose this question to current and/or aspiring authors, which is the lesser of two evils IYO?






20 comments:

  1. If I DNF a book I do not rated it, I simply post on GR and to publisher why it did not work for me. If I finish book and it had issues I will rate it honestly. Even a two star review will have some positive attributes ..since there was a reason i finished it. I loath that people think a 3 is a bad rating..it makes me crazy. It means it was an ok read. gah!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I still rate a book I DNF if I made to 75% because at that point I already know I won't like it if of I continue. I don't always though, cause like you, I don't believe in rating a book I don't finish. These would be my 15-60% read books.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm not a writer so my opinion is from reviewer perspective. I'm not sure which is less attractive from an author's perspective. Either way, there is something indelibly wrong if an avid reader puts a book aside and can't finish it. I suppose if this action is spared anyone's notice by not being posted as such an author would consider it better than getting a one or two star review, but if it is posted as a DNF then I don't think they would consider it a better thing. I know in my mind I see DNF almost worse than a two star because usually a two stars offer something good about the book where DNF says its not even worth that much. IMHO I haven't had a DNF yet, but I've only been reviewing for two years so maybe that will change as I do it longer. I have had to give a few books two stars before and I spent three times as long on the review trying to be fair and kind because I felt bad even when something in the book might have irritated me to death.
    So that's my two cents. Thanks for the chance to discuss.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've had one or two DNF since I started blogging, I don't believe I rated them, but I could be wrong. I'd be interested to see how far reviewers actually read before they call it DNF.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've become more of a fan of DNF'ing books lately. It's not that the book is horribly stiffen and deserves no more than a 1 star review, it's just that it's "not for me". Such as Sylo. Great premise, but it seemed too "boyish" for me and it just didn't hold my interest. It wasn't a poorly written book by any means, just not my taste.

    When I DNF a book, I don't rate it. I don't think 1 star is fair just because it wasn't my type of read. We can't love them all, right!? :)

    There are just too many books that I'm anxious to read. If I'm not interested in a book, I put it aside. No harm done. Someone else will probably love it... That person just isn't me.

    Great post! Thanks for sharing! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well, if I don't finish a book, I don't rate it. It's normal because how can I rate a book if I haven't read it in a whole? Well I can't and I don't review them either. But if I finish a book I rate it wether it's good or not and I review it. I just try to explain in details my problems and for now even if it's for the author I never had a problem, they understand. I even tried the sequels for some to see how it is and sometimes it"s better, sometimes not and I stop.

    For a rate of 3 stars, well it's not that bad for me, it's just OK. at last it's not under 2.5/5, so it's ok. I'm surprised to see some tours refused for you to post a review like that. Well I had tours where the person told me to post it later but I could post it. It's really not normal if you can't, it's your choice! But I was surprised last time, I asked for a book in a big publisher and when I was granted, they told me that they would look at my rate to see if they would approve me later. WTF! it's my review, my rate, my choice. And well, it's not because they say that, that I will change it. I have a friend who had the same problem. But the publisher (big one) told her to keep her review if she didn't like it.

    But well back to DNF book, it's really rare when it happens I confess. I had one this year I think, and well it's really bad when I stop in the middle of a story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh fluck! Can you tell me which publisher this is? Juicy!

      That is unfair because you won't know if you actually click with a book until you've read it right and that is censorship. Maybe you should just drop them LOL

      Delete
  7. I find it hard to DNF a book, but I also don't want to push through a book that I am truly not enjoying. I don't rate it on Goodreads, and if it is from a publisher, I just send and email stating that I was unable to finish it, and thank you for the opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hmmm... I've had a few DNFs. When that happens, I don't rate it, and I don't post about it. Sometimes I contact whomever sent me the book, but I don't even do that all the time. My reason is that just because I didn't like it doesn't mean someone else won't, so I don't give it bad press. I don't do 1 star, and I think I've only done a couple 2 stars.

    What really gets me is that on Goodreads a star rating is not equal to the same star rating on other sites (like Amazon), so if people aren't paying attention, the stars are useless anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I just let a book go quietly into the sunset if I was face planting all the way through what I could read of it. Sometimes I beat myself up or I feel like a crash test dummy by the end . I just let it ride off into the sunset. My time is valuable like the next person and if a book us under 3 stars for me I don't write a review. I only write a review for 3 stars up because I put a lot of time and energy into my reviews , like the next blogger and I want to spend it on the like and above books. I sometimes feel sad for the author and don't want to hurt their feelings, so I personally would rather spend my time on the ones 3 stars and above. Plus I might not dig the book, but somebody else might. I have been known to chat to an author and explain how I felt , if I feel strongly as sometimes quiet feedback stated politely is a learning thing for the author :D

    Mich

    ReplyDelete
  10. If I really have nothing nice to say about the book I'll usually DNF over reviewing it. Sometimes my reading preferences and the author's writing style are just so far apart that there's no middle ground. I don't usually post reviews lower than 3 stars and even if I DO finish those books they might as well be DNF. Every book is someone's baby and I can't stand badmouthing something so precious to someone to that extent. It's just... mean.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The three star being negative or not allowed on tours drives me crazy too. That is a Liked it in my book, but alas.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have gotten better about DNF books I just can't get into. I actually have a post started on why I would DNF a book, so I won't go into all the reasons why :) Now, I don't post DNF on my blog because in reality if I can't tell you why I didn't finish it then I shouldn't just express it. Sometimes in my weekly summary I will put a brief explanation of my DNF, but I don't make a big deal out of it. Usually I will DNF a book so I don't even get to the end to give it a rating. If I continue to read, then more than likely there is something I like enough to give it a better score than 1 star. But I have been known to love a book all the way to the end and something happens then that totally ruins the book for me. So I have to give it the low score. Well I am rambling here, but I generally only finish books I am enjoying because I have tons of books to read and if one doesn't work, then I can always pick up another.

    ReplyDelete
  13. In my opinion it depends on why you DNF. If the book was a train wreck and you just couldn't take it anymore, that would probably be worse than the 1- star review. Cause at least then you were actually able to finish it. But if you DNF just cause it wasn't your thing and it wasn't keeping you interested then no harm done. Can't like everything, you know? I actually DNF a lot. And I mean, A LOT. Easily 5 books a month (bear in mind I read an average of 20 a month), but it's simply cause I have no patience if the book isn't keeping my interest, and I am a bit ADD so it's hard to start with to keep me interested through the whole thing. I of course don't rate them and sometimes don't even mark them down as DNF on GR. I only post them on the blog when the problem was keeping my interest and the book was a review book. If not, I usually don't bother.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I dont rate DNF booka either but I will say why I didnt like or what didnt work for me. And sometimes I'll post a dnf..sometimes I wont. It bugs me out that folks dont like a 3 star rating and it irritates me that folks dont want it posted because I feel like you do. Everyone isnt going to feel the same...the bad should be taken with the good. As lonf as the reviewer is able to say in a constructive way what didnt work for them...there should be no problem.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Makes me feel better we more or less have the same views on the topic. Thanks for weighing in, guys!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I can see your point, Braine. But if I spent the time to read it - the whole thing - then I'm probably gonna review it. What do you do if you're reading a book for a tour, and you don't like it? I have yet to DNF one - although I've had to do promo posts rather than reviews. I really don't like doing a low-rating review...really don't like it.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This year is the first year I've started feeling a lot more comfortable to DNF books, however I'll still rate them and I'll explain why.
    One book I did not finish because it glorified rape far too much and to me that is a big no no so it ended up with a 1 star, the other book I did not finish because I needed more information on the larger series it was a part of, I still enjoyed what I'd read but I felt a lot was getting lost on myself so I gave it 3 stars because I intend to one day pick up the series from earlier on.

    I haven't had many DNFs so maybe when/if I get more I'll understand the struggle.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I miss this when you posted, but thank you for the twitter link-
    As a writer, I do prefer a "DNF" over a poor review, especially if the book is not a genre the reviewer would normally enjoy, or if the plot or tension moves differently than one prefers. A "not for me" doesn't hurt ratings for what seems like personal tastes; and I love the critic that suggests who the book might appeal to, or passes it on to another reviewer who might be more likely to finish it.
    As a reader, I appreciate the warning of a low rating on a book with bad writing or grammar, or an inconsistent plot or characters, especially on a traditionally published book that I'm expected to pay more money for.
    As a reviewer, I do judge self-published books on a different set of criteria than trad-pubbed. When I go to the local handmade pizza joint in the neighborhood, I don't complain when the crust is a little lumpy, or the sauce has a stray chunk of tomato. I'm looking for a fresh unique taste and the rustic service adds to the experience. If I'm driving "uptown" to the four star restaurant, I expect the linen tablecloth and the fancy garnish. And yes, I've cancelled the entree and left if the appetizer was awful.
    Excellent question!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your feedback, Kira! It would be a big let down to read a book full of errors published and currently on sale, self or traditional. Thanks for your post, I left a comment. :)

      Delete

My reviews are subjective & does not reflect that of Talk Supe's followers.

Also I LOVE commenting back so if you're checking out a post, leave a line or two and I promise to visit your blog back. Let's feed each other's blogger soul!