But heck, it's where a ton of readers hang out so...
EXACTLY. It's where readers hang out. Not authors.
But authors are readers, too, so this makes for a difficult challenge.
Readers like to chat about current reads whether they be loving or hating them, and the majority don't know the authors personally so they don't owe them special howdy-do-dee politeness yet they manage to hold a bookish conversation with thoughtfulness and manners. While others can be darn right mean.
Authors like to check out their latest reviews and encourage people to add their books to their lists/read their work. And once upon a time, we used to enjoy interacting with readers of our work on there, too. Because of the minority of readers and authors behaving badly on there, it's not an advised practice anymore.
Times have changed.
Goodreads is not author friendly. Think of Goodreads as the sounding board for readers. It's a READER site. Be there as a reader and be the good author and upload your books to stock the database, but don't be chatting with your author hat on unless in an author-aimed group. You may not like what you hear.
The place where authors go to thicken their skin.
Yes. The whole "I'm not publishing my debut book because I got bullied on Goodreads' is the reason for this post. In short, a newb self-pubber asked why her not-yet-released book had been down-rated.A simple enough question, right? But some readers didn't think so. She should have pulled up her big girl pants and walked away. Instead, she up-rated said book with five stars from two different profiles. This of course enraged the already pissed-off readers. Heated discussions exploded in the review threads and links made their way to Facebook and Twitter. Everyone was chatting about this last night. It was painful. I couldn't watch. I felt bad for the author, but I also wondered why she wasn't making good on a bad situation. Think about it? With all talking about this, in a few hours, her book when from a shoddy 2 stars to a solid 4 1/2 stars. If she had any sense, she'd get that book out TODAY. Talk about no publicity is bad publicity.
Nope. I'm not mentioning names. And nope I'm not providing a link.
I'm just going to pass on some Goodreads survival tips.
- After you've added your book/s to the database, leave your author hat at the door.
- Don't rate your own book. It's tacky as shite and tells readers your book holds those same qualities.
- Don't comment on reviews/add to reader discussions of books you authored UNLESS you've been invited to. You don't want to stifle readers from chatting about your work. Often, when reminded an author is watching, a discussion can become stilted or heated. Why would you want that?
- Grow a thick skin. Goodreads is full of wonderful readers who adore interacting with authors, unfortunately, the bitter and ill-mannered few have made this an impossible feature of Goodreads.
What about you? Got any thoughts on Goodreads and how best to approach the author/reader divide happening on there?