Earlier this week, book reviews and ratings began to disappear from popular social cataloging website Goodreads. The lost entries include positively-rated, often five-star ratings accompanied by reviews written by Goodreads users.
This is not okay. I am hearing of more and more @goodreads authors loosing a significant number of their reviews. Just poof, vanished. Why, goodreads, is this happening? Reviews are gold to authors. https://t.co/BclFIrvOmP— Laken Honeycutt is revising TCT (@MycelialWriter) June 9, 2021
Authors who filed a complaint with Goodreads, which was acquired by Amazon in 2013, have received a statement from the “Goodreads Experts Team,” which said that it is aware of the issue and working on a fix. “While there’s no confirmed fix date yet to share,” the email read, “this bug is prioritized in our development team’s backlog—we hope to fix this soon.”
It’s unknown how many books are affected by the bug. The number of ratings per book lost seem, without any further information, to be random. Authors took to Twitter with their worries, because for authors, the loss of reviews and ratings is no minor issue, as the platform is a powerful tool for book discoverability and promotion.
Losing reviews skews a book’s rating, and, as a result, places an entirely different emphasis on the book’s implied quality. The bug will likely prove especially harmful, at least in the short term, to authors with books that have just recently been released and have fewer ratings.
In an email to PW, a representative of Goodreads said that the site is "currently experiencing technical issues in how the stats about overall ratings and reviews show on a book page," stressing that "no reviews or ratings have been deleted." The representative added: "Our team is actively working on a fix for this and stats should repopulate shortly. This is a priority for the team and we are focused on resolving this as quickly as possible."
While the issue continues to persists, some authors have reported success in having their ratings and reviews reinstated on Goodreads after contacting the company.
As the Goodreads glitch is still going:— Helen Corcoran (@hcor) June 10, 2021
Authors, I contacted GR through their form with my book link and politely asked what was going on. Within a few hours, my ratings were back to normal.
Might be worth a go--the more we show GR we're aware of it, the faster it'll be fixed.
This story has been updated with further information.