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Old 02-14-2012, 05:13 PM   #16
AlexGrama
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I loathe GoodReads' interface, it's just plain boring and slow. Anyway, I'm on Shelfari and there I keep up my TBR and what I read and currently reading. The familiar and user-friendly interface makes it very appealing. They have a great forum too.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:15 PM   #17
MartinC
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I'm not sure how useful Goodreads is to writers. I have just received an "Author Newsletter". It says:

Quote:
Your books were read 13 times in January.
6 members shelved your books as to-read.
I know for a fact that:

1 There were no sales of my book in January (dammit!)
2 The only people on Goodreads who have read my book are reviewers I sent copies to

So... quite a lot of spin here. For an author the Goodreads "to-read" system can be very misleading - most people never do.

Part of the self-publishing bubble, possibly?

Last edited by MartinC; 02-15-2012 at 08:32 AM. Reason: Afterthought...
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:07 PM   #18
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There's great value in Goodreads but I think you have different expectations for it.

Is it a great portal to directly sell books? Honestly, no.

What it is great with, however, are connecting with readers. However, the way to do so isn't necessarily counter-intuitive if you're used to old paradigms (you probably won't grasp the value of Tumblr or Pinterest immediately either).

Goodreads has forums for example but it isn't really optimized for that kind of discussion (I think MobileRead is much more conducive to forum discussion... since that's the base it's built on).

Goodread's strength is that it keep tracks of books (as a reader), and from there, lets you do various stuff, such as rate the books you've read, see other people's ratings, comment on them, etc. It's more about sharing the joys (or dislikes, as the case may be) of what you're reading.

As an author, the value here is less about direct promotion (or direct sales), but sharing the books you read with other people--and in this way, increase your visibility among them. You can also do giveaways and interviews there, and that's what a lot of authors use it for.

And of course, your mileage will vary. Not every author/book will be popular, even if you're "behaving" the right way.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:04 PM   #19
davidwfleming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flipreads View Post
And of course, your mileage will vary. Not every author/book will be popular, even if you're "behaving" the right way.
I think it would be interesting to discuss what the "right way" to behave is on Goodreads.

For example: is it right to constantly add new friends just to boost your exposure when you don't plan to engage with them actively? Is it right to simply post numerous introductions in various forums plugging your books, never to return again?

I think we could all use a refresher on the basics of what is and is not a good way to engage in online communities.

A lot of indie authors look at sites like Goodreads as a Craigslist for their book projects and then wind up frustrated when they get no response.

I think the best approach for writers online is to let go of their neediness and focus on making sure the needs of others are met first. This is easier said than done in the frenzied instant-gratification-seeking world of e-publishing.
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