Cafe Libri: Reviewing Books & More
Cafe Libri: Reviewing Books & More
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How do you translate your Amazon star ratings?

I'm trying to figure out how to translate my Amazon star ratings into this 10 point system. Amazon has no negatives and i like having them here, but don't want to use them to really pan books if that isn't the norm here.  I always think of the Amazon stars as grades- 5 is an A, 4 is a B, 3 is a C, 2 is a D, and 1 is an F.  Would an F here be a negative 5 or is that too harsh?

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by    Posted august 23, 2010
Hello C. Quinn!

Welcome to Cafe Libri! Great question and concern. I don't post my reviews on Amazon, but I do post them on Goodreads, epinions, Shelfari, and Yelp, and they all use a similar rating scale, 1-5 with no negatives. I haven't really laid out how the lower ratings translate from the other sites, but the way it works in my mind if as follows:

+5 = +5

+4 = +4 or +3

+3 = +2 or +3

+2 = +2 through -3

+1 = -4 or -5

I don't really see the ratings as grades like you do, but I estimate where the book falls based on my dislike of it; did I really hate ir or just a little bit? Most of the time my negative ratings come from a +2 score on another site, as you see I make that a wide range score catcher here on Lunch. 

I hope this helps you. I'm sure other will participate in this discussion and offer their own advice about rating systems too that are probably more concrete than my own. One of these days I will need to solidify my rating system and check how my scores compare, lol!
by    Posted august 23, 2010
Great question. Well, I usually go with a five-star rating scale and just say "3.5 out of 5 Stars or 4 out of 5 stars" in the review. I usually reserve the negative ratings for bad political decisions and despots.

But if you guys really want to get technical, the rating system in Lunch goes as the negatives would reflect how much you disliked something while the positives are how much you liked something. The middle area would be the 3 star rating if you go 1-5; some folks just reflect the Lunch ratings in a scale of 1-10. It all depends on what you want them to mean to you; you can make this clear in the reviews themselves.
by    Posted september 05, 2010
I was in the same boat.  When my reviews transferred over from Amazon, Lunch asked me to pick a rating system and I thought I picked one that was fair, but then my most recent review got rated as a minus and that's not what I had intended.  I suppose this means that my MANY reviews that transferred automatically from Amazon are all mucked up in the ratings and I don't know if there's a way I can RE-assign the rating system now that they've transferred or not.  I surely don't want to go through something lke 200 reviews to manually fix it, I know that!
by    Posted september 08, 2010
Yeah, with all the importers coming from Amazon recently, I think the rating scale is getting a bit confusing or "mucked up" as you said. I only have trouble with my ratings when it comes to low ones because the other places I write reviews, like Goodreads and Epinions, only have a 1-5 scale. So, I have to adjust some of the ones that receive lower reviews over there here on Lunch, mainly meaning I have a range for the types of reviews that get negative ratings. I should really explain my method on my homepage one of these days, lol!
by    Posted september 23, 2010
I just did doubles for my ratings.  What I mean is that I looked at Lunch as a 10 point scale with -1 being 1 and +5 being 10.  Then I just took my Amazon rating and doubled them so that it looked like this:

Amazon 1 star = Lunch -2 (or 2/10 in my eyes)
Amazon 2 stars = Lunch -4 (4/10 in my eyes)
Amazon 3 stars = Lunch +1 (6/10)
Amazon 4 stars = Lunch +3 (8/10)
Amazon 5 stars = Lunch +5 (10/10)

B/c mathematically 1/5 = 2/10 as I'm sure you all know.  Just wanted to explain why I got this, lol.

That is just how it works for me, but  that is just how I like it.  Others may prefer a different way.  :-)
by    Posted september 28, 2010
Thanks for explaining how you translate your Amazon ratings over to Lunch, JJ! The math was fun. ;)
by    Posted october 03, 2010
I like JJ411's doubling - must be the mathematician in me. I just tried to keep the ratings neutral so I'd have more space to change them later. So Amazon 5,4,3 became Lunch 3,2,1. In retrospect, it wasn't such a good idea, but at least I can edit them on Lunch now to make them more representative.
by    Posted october 15, 2010
It's great to see more mathematicians reading and rating. :)
by    Posted november 04, 2010
Well, I don't rate on Amazon, but I did finally translate my Lunch.com ratings versus the +5 point scale used on other sites. I changed it from my initial theory after a long discussion with a fellow reviewer. For those that are curious, here is the scale I decided to use:

MY RATING SCALE:

Lunch.com (+5 through -5) versus GoodreadsShelfariYelp, and Epinions (+5 scale)

+5 = +5
+4 = +4
+3 or +2 = +3
+1 or -1 = +2
-2 through -5 = +1

I have also posted this scale on all my profile pages where I review minus Yelp since there is no place to post this data. 
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