« Plastic dreams | Main | My life at the moment... »

May 13, 2011



If I had known that Midnight in Austenland was coming out in January of 2012 twenty years ago and had the ability to speak as a newborn, I would have preordered it the day I was born.

Pish posh! Renting Shannon Hale books instead of buying them? Who ever heard of such a thing! ;)


Happy friday the thirteenth!


Sweet, I'm the third one to comment!
All your books deserve 15 out of 5 stars, (Goose Girl deserves more like 20 stars!) those Goodreads people don't know what they're talking about.


Well, shoot. Considering the awesomeness that was Austenland, (seriously, i have it on audible and book form and pick them up regularly... sometimes start in the middle), I give it an optimistic 5 + star rating... (click, click frantic click... why aren't there MORE stars!?!?)


I just had a flame war on Goodreads with someone who hadn't read a book and gave it 3/5 stars. There is absolutely no reason to review a book you haven't read, particularly with a negative rating. It undermines all online book reviewers, most of whom are really wonderful--but there are some out there who are ADAMANT that they be allowed to rip books the haven't even opened. Makes me so mad!


I'm a major goodreads user so I checked it out. Looks like you have 3 reviews on Midnight in Austen Land. (Why those 3 people reviewed the book I can't begin to guess. It's very odd.) But, take heart, 585 people have already put the book on their to-read shelf. Myself included. Lots of eager fans. And the cover is awesome, by the way.


You rock Shannon! Don't ever listen to people with bad taste, they will just push you into bad fashion choices;) They aren't your friends.

Austenland is a book I would take to a deserted island. Can't wait for 2012.

janna alyssa

mrs. Hale i love your books!! especially books of bayern and i'm sure your book "midnight in austinland" is good.. well not good, it's EXCELLENT!!!! so dont mind those people who dont know how to appreciate your work or rate your books on average... just continue to write "AWESOME" books! i will surely buy them... not rent :)


I had wondered how people had already been able to rate it without any available copies!


Now that you're done with Austenland you can get started on the 5th Bayern book =D Not that I'm demanding it...Just nudging you in the right direction...


I think the amazon.com results are kinda funny too. At the moment, at least, if you search for "midnight in austenland" you get "Showing 1-1 of 2 results." And that one result is just a placeholder. If you click on it, you get a 404 error.

By the way, you are also the victim of a goodreads bug. For pre-released books, sometimes there are phantom ratings that mess up the average. If you check, there are actually only two people who've rated MIA. One gave it 5 stars and one gave it 4. You're better than you thought!

Shelly Brown

Funny. I saw that last month and wondered why it had ratings.
I think they don't like having to wait for books to come out. If I have to wait for longer than 20 minutes for my kids to get their shoes on and get in the car I give each of them a bad rating. It doesn't really apply...but you know what I mean...or maybe you don't.

The cover is cool BTW

I blogged the other day about Midnight in Austenland (and why I gave it 3 stars -J/K)


I guess we can just see the pathetic humor in it and then when we buy and read it, we the fans will unite and bombard goodreads with the best reviews ever. When I read reviews if most of them are good and don't give the bad ones much credence and it has been a good policy so far. I love to read what you write and I am so glad you came to Logan. I would love to take you to lunch some day, and some day I will be a reall writer, too.


Maybe these people want attention or a moment of recognition by being among the "first" to rate something that will likely be highly popular in the near future.

I take almost all reviews with a grain of salt because I generally like make my own determination about something.

(But we are biased about your books and we always have to determine who will be first in the family to read the latest offering.)

By the way, thank you again for the ARC I won of The Actor and the Housewife awhile ago. I assume you'll be having another contest for an ARC of Midnight in Austenland? (Although I don't think it would be fair for us to win again so we'd forgo entering this time.)


This was so funny, I read it outloud to my husband and then we reminisced about the good time we had hearing you speak in DC at the National Book Festival in 2009.


Okay, so I just looked at that page and I think there must be a glitch with the site. When you try to look up reviews by rating, there are only two ratings, a 4 and a 5... so I'm not sure how it could have been averaged out to 3 stars. Although, I agree... how you can you rate a book without having read it?

Myrna Foster

Ha! I have an older sister who keeps asking me when it's going to be out. I've never read anything of yours that was just average.


Maybe the people who rated it thought it was Austenland. Doesn't seem like that big of a deal to me.


Why does goodreads allow people to rate books that aren't out yet? Sounds like it is their problem. Studies show people are heavily influenced by online ratings. Both your publisher and agent should be looking into this and raising a stink.


I find that hilarious. Shows you that you can't put a lot of faith into ratings, doesn't it?


Love it! If the book is solidly average before it sees the light of day, the ratings should go through the roof once people actually read it. I'm betting on 5 stars.

Alexandra Wood

People. Haha, that is kind of funny. I have personally loved all of your books that I've read and would rate them as high as possible :D. Anyway, how it is possible to rate a book before it has come out, seems hard.


I'd like to assure you that while I AM on Goodreads (love that dang site, it's amazing) I wasn't one of the ones you pre-rated a 3 of 5, but I wonder why people are already rating it? I don't think it should be rated until read- and obviously no one has read it yet. But well, that's just me (and the people who share my opinion).


Um, I would have given it a 5. That is too funny. Is there a place we can go to offer to be on your ARC list? :D

Love your sense of humor. I always enjoy reading your blog posts.


How funny! I just have to say, 3 is not a bad rating though. My system is 1: I hated it, 2: it was okay, 3: I liked it, 4: I liked it a lot, 5: I loved it!

I'm sure your rating will go way up once people actually get to read the book!

Kelly C.

That's so funny! As soon as I read this I went to GoodReads and I rated it five stars, because that's just what it will be. Hale is a five star writer and every single book she's written has been five stars. This one will be no different.


Leaving aside the silliness of people rating a book they haven't been able to read yet, I have to say 3/5 stars doesn't always mean disappointing, average or mediocre. In my incredibly subjective rating system, I often give 3 stars - it means "this was a good book and I enjoyed it". It means there were things I loved about it. It also can mean a lot of other things, such as that there are books which have resonated with me more, or that I think I'd be more likely to reread, or which impressed me more (and so on) - but even then, I don't see that as a bad thing. Nor do I see it as a negative reflection on the author.
Of course, what I think 3 stars means isn't what everyone else thinks 3 stars mean... but I guess that's my point; you can't really tell what someone means by their ratings system until they tell you.


I would give it 5 stars just 'cause you wrote it. These people wouldn't recognize genius if it came up and bit them on the nose.


No worries! I checked it out and it turns out there were only three people that rated it, two gave it 5 stars and one (who knows what's wrong with this person) gave it 4. The average there is 3.50. Everyone knows it is great and we're all excited for it to come out! You're great, Shannon!


Hahaha....wow. That's amazing.

Amber Argyle

Witch Song isn't out yet and it has a few 3 star ratings by people I know haven't read it. I think it's just because the stars are right above the "to read" button. Perhaps we should start a coalition to better inform Goodreads users of the dangers of "accidental click."

Hmmm . . . I feel a blog post coming on.

Marcus Aurelius

Harriet Tubwoman is a five star name.


Dear Shannon,

I always buy your books without checking them out at the library first, and that is the highest compliment I give any author.


A Fan


I had just been jelous of whoever had already gotten to read it. Now, I won't be so pouty about it.


Funny. But just look at how many people have marked it as "to-read" and added a review that says "I can't wait!!!!!!!!"

Ani Brooke

Reminds me of when Amazon first posted a listing for Brandon Sanderson's Way of Kings - a few years before it was published, at a time when it was uncertain it would ever actually be finished and published. Someone managed to get Amazon to publish a photoshopped cover with an overweight Elvis impersonator on the front, and the reviews went on for PAGES with the most delightful nonsense. The page is sadly gone and defunct now, but Sanderson hosted a lovely contest for similar Twitter reviews... http://brandonsanderson.com/book/The-Way-of-Kings/page/59/Fake-Twitter-Reviews-of-the-Way-of-Kings

Looking forward to December, and most grateful that one author is providing dependable YA fantasy, chick lit, AND humor in turns. Satisfies my diverse interests so much more easily than actually finding multiple different authors.

Sarah H

Just finished Austenland via audiobook. Loved it. Now on to Enna Burning.

Ann Best

That is weird. I'm leery of stars anyway. It reminds me of the days that I had to give a "grade" to freshman English essays! I try to avoid giving stars if possible. The actual review is the main thing--hopefully an "honest" one.

Your book covers are beautiful. I trust the judgment of those who say you are a great writer. I now need to find out for myself. So, I'm glad I came over here tonight from somewhere, now I can't remember where--senior moments--to meet you and read this delightful post!


Too bad...
I'll bet it's great.


Please come check out our book giveaway: http://www.makehappyblog.com/

Mom of four

Maybe the fool thought s/he had to rate the book to add it to the 'to read' stack?

READ THE INSTRUCTIONS! Goodreads isn't that hard to use...


Your story was rlleay informative, thanks!

Anna, ze #1 fan

This post made me laugh...your writing is awesome, always!

Kristine A

goodreads is a really awesome tool - unfortunately these tools are damaging in the hands of idiots. In the goodreads feedback group I went crazy on a few people because someone was rating a bunch of Gay Literature all 1 star. They thought it was discriminatory and should be punished. My argument was there shouldn't be a thought police - that person might really have read all of them and didn't like them. Or they may be homophobes. The point is that we can't read people's minds, so we have to live with the good and bad that comes with goodreads. GoodReads is a tool and everyone should have the freedom to use it they way they choose that doesn't break any laws and in an adult-like manner.

That means riff-raff that pre-rate books where ARCs haven't been released. Pshaw. Real reviews will overcome one idiot. ps this is also why I write reviews instead of just giving stars. 3 Stars could mean anything based on a persons personal rating scale.

The comments to this entry are closed.