Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Let's Talk about Goodreads!

Now, as some of you may know, there is a lot of controversy surrounding Goodreads and the environment it provides for authors and readers.

Here's my POV on the whole thing:

Goodreads is a social media site. You may say that no, it's not a social media site, it's a review site. Well, you're half right. Goodreads is both. The problem is that when you combine social media with pure opinion, you get some volatile people. The trick for authors is to be professional. Here are some rules if you want to stay out of trouble on Goodreads and other review or social media sites:
  1. Don't respond to bad reviews. Just DON'T! Don't do it! I mean it. If you simply over-look them, and don't make a big deal out of it, you won't bring the review to anyone else's attention, and you won't cause a ruckus of unwanted backlash. We are busy enough as it is without having to ward off personal attacks.
  2. If some one seems to be making rude remarks about you or your book, ignore them.
  3. Be polite to everyone. The difference between amateurs and professionals is the level of  maturity in handling certain situations.
  4. Be aware that as an author, you are putting yourself in the public eye. Celebrities are treated much worse than authors and they aren't complaining. (Well, some of them are, but those are the type that just keep feeding the media more outrageous stories by making fools of themselves.) The professional celebs ignore the media and soon everyone forgets that they had a wardrobe malfunction or whatever. Even though we don't make that kind of money, we still have to prepare for that kind of treatment. The worst thing you can do is blow it out of proportion. It's better to have a few enemies and some fans than a few more fans and a lot more enemies.
Goodreads can be a great place to meet readers and authors if you know how to handle yourself. If you are the kind who can't stay silent if someone makes a joke at your expense, then you might want to stay away from Goodreads.

As for the site itself, in my opinion, it's not a great site to learn to navigate. Sometimes, you think you should just be able to click on something to take you to a certain place on the site, but there is nothing that links you to where you want to go and you have to click on several different links first to get to your destination.

I like that you can compare reviews with others. You can see how well you would get along with some one just by looking at the books they read. I like that you can hold events, although I wish you could have a better comments field on event pages. I like that you can create groups.

Groups are probably the best way to promote on Goodreads. You can find groups that are specifically for your genre and most will let you post promos in them. Be sure to read group rules first and always join the group before posting.

I am a bit unsure on just how to utilize it to promote other than throwing events and participating in groups. I may write about Goodreads again in the future, but for now, Goodreads is just a site that I know I need to have my books on.

Return tomorrow for advice on Triberr--the site that gives you more reach on social media sites.