How the Grading Works

My Grading system…

All reviews must have a scale… or so I’ve been told.  As a result, I thought I’d start out by giving myself some ground rules and letting the reader know how and why different ratings are delivered and what they mean.  I chose to use the Greek Alphabet because, in my view, the star system has suffered from the same grade inflation that Universities have.  Three out of five stars should mean this is a perfectly good book, but has come to mean mediocre (in the same way mediocre has come to mean less than average…).

GRADE
Α (Alpha) Great book,   must read regardless of what Genres you enjoy.  Makes you think of   things beyond the scope of the book
Β (Beta) Fantastic   book within the genre, probably worth reading regardless of which genre’s you   like, but has a setting or style that may not appeal to individuals who are   not fans of a given genre.  Also,   to avoid bias, the highest grade I’ll give a book by someone I know and like.
Γ (Gamma) A good or   even fantastic book within the genre, possibly worth reading regardless of   which genre’s you like, but has a setting or style that is likely to be   unappealing to individuals who are not fans of a given genre. This is the   highest grade that many very good books that are part of a series can   receive, since series require an investment in reading that normally only   appeals to fans of that genre. 
Δ (Delta) A solid   read, but only buy it if you like the genre.
Δˡ (Delta Prime) A good   read, but only if you like the genre (or subgenre).
Ε (Epsilon) Readable   in genre, but you could probably do better.  
Ζ (Zeta) How did this   get published?
Η (Eta) A solid read   that may have greater appeal to individuals who are not fans of the genre   than by aficionados.
Π (Pi) A book written   by myself, so it’s really really really awesomely great, or at least you   should be aware of some bias in the article.   
Χ (Chi) A good book   that breaks rules and/or has a setting or style that is markedly different to   those of its given genre.  This means   it is less likely to appeal to individuals who are fans of a given genre than   those who do not normally read it.
Ψ (Psi) A very good to fantastic book   that breaks rules and/or has a setting or style that is markedly different to   those of its set genre.  This means one   should set aside all expectations normally associated with a genre and just   let the writer do the driving.   
Ω (Omega) Not the   opposite of an Alpha, but rather a must read of a different kind. An   excellent book that makes you think of things beyond the scope of the book,   but also breaks rules and/or may appeal more to people who do not normally   read the genre than those who are aficionados of it.

To this end, I have also updated the rating system, to include a Prime (1), rating.  This suggests, as defined above, that the book is a really good read if you like the subgenre, but that if you don’t, you probably won’t like this either.

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4 Responses to How the Grading Works

  1. sechan says:

    Wow, I really like this idea for a grading system in book reviews. I tend to over analyze and ramble on in my reviews and never really give a solid grade or number of points.

    • Thomas Evans says:

      I’m glad you like it! Even so, I find that it is still more grade like than I had hoped. I find that people still associate an Alpha with the best score… partically because the Zeta is clearly a low score. I keep wondering if I should do a double grade… one that explains it as a catagory (like the top half and bottom bit of this) and the other a simple star system showing how much I liked it.

  2. Pingback: When is it good to be the third wheel? « Smart Girls love SciFi

  3. Shannon says:

    I love how you use the greek alphabet for your rating system-inspired!

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