Don’t rate your own books!
That’s the advice from most people, but then I’ve never been much of a rule follower. Oh, I follow rules that I agree with or even the ones I think questionable but I understand the rule-creator’s purpose. I really do try to avoid “naughty” words with my high school students, although a “hell” slips out every once in a while.
However, rating your own books hardly seems like a great sin.
What is the harm of rating a book? I suppose some would say it skews the statistics. Well, so does the one-star rating I have that berates me for on-page underage rape in Desert World. 1) There’s no on-screen rape. 2) All the characters are adults.
Shrug. It happens.
So if the overall ratings are already skewed, what’s the big deal?
I suppose the bigger sin is arrogance. After all, if you think everything you write is five-star, doesn’t that make you a raging egomaniac? Is that simple pride in your work?
Trust me, I don’t think everything I write is perfect. I have 17 works on Goodreads. One is simply awful, and I don’t know why it’s even listed there because it was part of an “Easter-egg hunt” on the Dreamspinner website and was never intended as stand-alone story.
I wrote one novella during one of the darkest times in my life when I was inches from unemployment and being harassed by a boss who was breaking the law and I had no proof. I think that negativity came through on the page because when I read it now, the words seem far more jagged than I ever intended.
However, out of 17 works, I have rated five of them as five-star because I want to tell people which of my novels I am truly proud of… the ones that I wouldn’t go back and rewrite, even if I could magically make the previous version vanish.
If people look up my profile, I use those stars to try and tell readers where I think they should start.
Desert World Allegiances and Desert World Rebirth taken together create one of my favorite couples. They start as idiots and each has to come to terms with his own demons before they come together.
The two BDSM novels I’m really proud of, Fettered and Gathering Storm, both treat BDSM practitioners as real people, and that’s the one thing that annoys me when I’m reading—the idea that those into the lifestyle do nothing except brandish a whip all day every day.
And my beloved Blowback. Blowback is what I want out of femdom. The female lead is strong enough to let her sub be tough as nails without ever doubting her own ability to bring that junkyard dog back to heel.
So I rated them five stars, and I’m sticking by it. They are the only books I’ve written that I go back and reread myself.
However, with every book I hope to create that new five-star read that I will read in bed on my Kindle with the lights out. If, a few months after my new book comes out, you find that I’ve rated it five stars, then you know I’ve been able to reread my work without cringing at the things I didn’t do and the scenes I could have written and didn’t.