October 17, 2018, 01:03:22 PM

Author Topic: Is it worth using Goodreads?  (Read 1294 times)

Offline NedMarcus

Is it worth using Goodreads?
« on: January 14, 2018, 02:21:37 AM »
I've heard very mixed reports about Goodreads, including hostility to writers. Does anyone here use or recommend it? What are the best ways for authors to use it?


Offline Nora

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Re: Is it worth using Goodreads?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2018, 09:39:23 AM »
Well, yeah? Of course it's worth it if you want to keep track of what you're reading, make tbr folders and discover books.. and yes reviews can be scathing. They won't be any kinder than on Amazon. People are people. But if you have good reviews it balances out.
I don't think I've ever seen hostility to writers themselves. Though I've written fiery reviews to say how awful I thought a book was, I've never gone after an author or tried to comtact them directly. Maybe others do? Don't know.
I'd say, start using goodreads as a reader. Find books you've read, find books you want to read, browse about, read author profiles and reviews and make your own call.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 01:05:36 PM by Nora »
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Re: Is it worth using Goodreads?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2018, 11:45:12 AM »
Another option (for what Nora described): LibraryThing  :)

Not so much for advertising, though, but they also have a 'member giveaway' section, and who knows?

Note: I moved there after Amazon bought Goodreads
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Offline cupiscent

Re: Is it worth using Goodreads?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2018, 09:37:13 PM »
Certainly there can be hostility toward writers on Goodreads. There can also be a lot of hostility from writers toward low-star reviews, so it's swings and roundabouts. As usual on the internet, a thoughtful approach (bearing in mind what you want to achieve), sincere engagement, and politeness will get you a long way.

With the new changes to the book giveaway system on GR, I'm not sure what the best way to use it for authors is. I have had indie authors contact me directly offering free copies in exchange for reviews, presumably targeting me because I read a lot of fantasy, so that might be something worth considering. I am not sure what the uptake rate, or effort expended to results achieved, would be like on something like that, but it might be a way to get the word out there about your books.

Offline Eli_Freysson

Re: Is it worth using Goodreads?
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2018, 10:55:58 PM »
I tried Goodreads for a while, for publishing advice, discussion of fantasy and to generally connect more with readers.

By which I mean I would scroll down a list of topics and find nothing I had anything to add to, nor think of anything in particular to say to the faceless hordes of the internet. I tried keeping a blog going, but it got no attention and weeks could go by without me thinking of something to post.

And as for advice... oof. There was a forum for indie authors, but the majority of my posts there were swiftly deleted by the mod, along with any advice I'd gotten and the names of those who had proven willing to help. See, I  hadn't combed through the hundreds of pages of available discussions in search of a similar problem. There were original threads about specific issues, but whatever arcane standards they had to meet to be given a pass I never understood. I finally truly gave up on it after a thread got deleted for "smacking of self-promotion" because I'd dared mention the timeframe I had to work within.

I sent a message stating that for having "support" in the title the forum was managed in an astonishingly unsupportive manner, left the group and turned to Reddit.
I'll notify your next of kin... that you sucked!

Offline Steve Harrison

Re: Is it worth using Goodreads?
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2018, 02:25:41 AM »
I've never had a problem on Goodreads as a writer. I have an author page, observe group etiquette when promoting my novel and always keep in mind that it's a reader's site, not a writer's.

I like it and use it mainly to keep track of my reading, but it's in dire need of a makeover. I feel like I'm travelling back in time to the early days of the internet when I visit.

Offline NedMarcus

Re: Is it worth using Goodreads?
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2018, 03:01:48 AM »
Thanks everyone. Some good ideas and thoughts.

Offline Ray McCarthy

Re: Is it worth using Goodreads?
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2018, 04:40:07 PM »
... always keep in mind that it's a reader's site, not a writer's.

I like it and use it mainly to keep track of my reading, but it's in dire need of a makeover. I feel like I'm travelling back in time to the early days of the internet when I visit.

I've decided that I don't want to tell the world what I'm reading. So I've MOSTLY stopped updating that. The site doesn't look old fashioned. Actually a lot "new style" sites (and Win10) are garbage. Too flat. It is too inflexible and has bugs. That's what needs fixed. Also Amazon shouldn't have been allowed to buy it!  It's now really an Amazon site, not so much a reader's site. Amazon is collecting all the data.

Offline Ryan Mueller

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Re: Is it worth using Goodreads?
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2018, 11:09:58 PM »
I'm on Goodreads as a reader and write, but I don't get involved in most of the social media aspect of the site. I don't know if it would help my sales or not. Unfortunately, I only have so much time to devote to social media. Between all the forums I'm on, Facebook, and Twitter, that's a big time investment.

Offline SevasTra82

Re: Is it worth using Goodreads?
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2018, 05:32:08 PM »
I enjoy Goodreads as a way to keep track of what I'm reading, what books I have on my backlog, etc. 

I also enjoy reading the 3-star reviews for books I'm thinking about picking up.  I mainly find the 3-star ones to be less biased and willing to point out both the faults and good points of a book.  5 Star reviews are usually people fanboy/girling over a book and 1 star reviews typically don't have any substance to them, so I've found 3 stars usually pretty accurate.

I don't get involved in any of the social media aspect of the site.

Offline Russ

Re: Is it worth using Goodreads?
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2018, 06:02:03 PM »

There are a number of authors and marketing professionals who are reporting that various approaches are getting them good results on Goodreads.   I don't have time to summarize everything I have heard about the how to angle, but I think some reasonable googling will give you lots of materials.