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Old 09-21-2013, 12:45 AM   #16
Sil_liS
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Originally Posted by cfrizz View Post
Basically all they are saying is that attacks on authors personal lives & habits will NOT be tolerated.
But it wasn't exactly about authors personal lives & habits, the comments suggest that the issue has to do with author behavior towards reviewers on Goodreads.
Discussing the author's personal life on the other hand is permitted in case of autobiographies:
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If itís an autobiography, then clearly you might end up talking about their lives. And often itís relevant to understand an authorís background and how it influenced the story or the setting.
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Originally Posted by jgaiser View Post
Could you point me to the guidelines that you think say that? I'm not saying you're wrong, but I'm not seeing that and following link after link is getting kind of confusing.
The Guidelines for Authors have two sections: Some things to do on Goodreads and Some things to avoid on Goodreads, and the things to avoid are:
  • Donít engage with people who give you negative reviews. We cannot stress this enough. The number one mistake new authors make is to respond to negative reviews. Engaging with people who donít like your book is not likely to win you any new readers and could lead to members deciding not to read your book. Remember Goodreads is not private; other readers will see a reaction from the author and interpret it as hostile regardless of how carefully the response was crafted. A single negative interaction is often enough to turn a reader off an author permanently.

    If you feel a review is in violation of our review guidelines, please flag it and bring it to our teamís attention rather than responding. (To find the flag button, hold your mouse over the bottom right hand corner of the review when on the book page or look for the flag button at the bottom right hand corner when on the review page.)

    And please remember: not every reader will love your book. It is unrealistic to expect that your book will only get five star reviews, or even only four and five star reviews. Bestselling authors get one star reviews too. The key to their success is that they handle it with grace by not responding and moving on.
  • Donít spam. Do not contact (via comments/messages/friend requests) all or most of the people who add your book or a related work. You should also avoid tactics like thanking everyone who has added your book. Do not send unwanted messages or friend requests. While well intentioned, these kinds of behaviors will result in people flagging you as a spammer, and we will have to take action.
  • Donít join groups simply to promote your book. While we encourage you to join groups to meet readers, do so as a reader. Joining multiple groups for the sole purpose of posting about your own book isnít permitted on the site, and will simply irritate your target audience.
  • Donít send mass friend requests. Goodreads is a great place to meet other book lovers. However, be sensitive to the fact that some members are only looking to befriend a small circle. We suggest only befriending other members you have met in discussion boards or elsewhere on the site.
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Old 09-21-2013, 02:03 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by jgaiser View Post
Could you point me to the guidelines that you think say that? I'm not saying you're wrong, but I'm not seeing that and following link after link is getting kind of confusing.
Sil_liS has provided the updated author guidelines. Thanks.
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Old 09-21-2013, 03:18 AM   #18
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Yes, your site your rules. But changing the rules and removing content they have said "ad nauseaum" that belong to the users without warning and going away on weekend? Not a nice move.
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Old 09-21-2013, 04:17 AM   #19
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I fully support the changes that GoodReads is going to be making to their site. I'm a lover of YA, and this particular genre sees a lot of unnecessary drama due to GoodReads not stepping in and calling a spade a spade; authors are not their works. If you don't like an author, that doesn't mean that a review of one of their books in which you simply trash the author is a worthwhile review. If we try to draw lines in the sand so that "this amount of author trashing is okay, but this amount isn't", we'll end up with something ridiculously staggered.

It's all or nothing. I support this choice; if you obey GoodReads' site terms (which you agreed to obey when you registered, whether or not you read them - ignorance is no excuse), you won't have reviews or shelves removed. If you want to trash Sammy McStrudle for the content of his being rather than the content of his novel, you do so on your own personal website - you don't go to GoodReads and write an absurd review. In the same vein, if I want to swear bloody murder, I do it in my own house, not my grandmother's.
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Old 09-21-2013, 04:42 AM   #20
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I think Goodreads could have gone about it in a better, more open fashion, but I don't have any issues with the changes. To me it has always been about the actual book, not the author. Seeing all the drama in blogging circles and how certain 'reviewers' react to authors and the attitude they have towards authors, I think this might just be a change for the better.
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Old 09-21-2013, 04:53 AM   #21
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Well, two sides of the coin and goodreads has taken one side (money, that is). Reviewers make a fuss and authors make a fuss, too (I've seen both).

Last edited by Terisa de morgan; 09-21-2013 at 04:57 AM. Reason: Typos
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Old 09-21-2013, 05:02 AM   #22
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Abusive reviews are a "whatever" for me, though I'd prefer the writer get a heads-up before deletion, and where the line is drawn is going to be a major issue. Shelves, though, are going to potentially be an even bigger area of contention. If I don't want to read Orson Scott Card because of his political actions, and I make a personal bookshelf (with a non-abusive name) to remind myself that I don't want to put money in his pocket to further his goals, I'm not really on board with that being summarily disallowed.

Note that the twonks at STGRB have demanded that shelves such as "snowflakes" and "llamas" be disallowed. What other random words are going to end up being verboten? Readers will always find a way to let other readers know what they think of books, and of authors.
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Old 09-21-2013, 05:10 AM   #23
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This is apparently a message authors now get when commenting on reviews of their own books, so it seems changes go both ways. Not sure authors are getting preferential treatment.
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Old 09-21-2013, 07:57 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seraphine View Post
I fully support the changes that GoodReads is going to be making to their site. I'm a lover of YA, and this particular genre sees a lot of unnecessary drama due to GoodReads not stepping in and calling a spade a spade; authors are not their works. If you don't like an author, that doesn't mean that a review of one of their books in which you simply trash the author is a worthwhile review. If we try to draw lines in the sand so that "this amount of author trashing is okay, but this amount isn't", we'll end up with something ridiculously staggered.
But they were doing something about this:
Quote:
We have had a policy of removing reviews that were created primarily to talk about author behavior from the community book page. Once removed, these reviews would remain on the memberís profile. Starting today, we will now delete these entirely from the site. We will also delete shelves and lists of books on Goodreads that are focused on author behavior.
What changed now was that they expanded their focus, and while they said that they remove shelves focused o author behavior it seems like they are not removing all shelves focused on author behavior:
Quote:
Oh wow. So you deleted my "due to author" shelf (WHICH WAS FOR ME, BTW), but kept my "cool author" shelf. Double standard much?
^comment on the news from the link in the OP

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Originally Posted by Seraphine View Post
It's all or nothing. I support this choice; if you obey GoodReads' site terms (which you agreed to obey when you registered, whether or not you read them - ignorance is no excuse), you won't have reviews or shelves removed. If you want to trash Sammy McStrudle for the content of his being rather than the content of his novel, you do so on your own personal website - you don't go to GoodReads and write an absurd review. In the same vein, if I want to swear bloody murder, I do it in my own house, not my grandmother's.
But according to the rules in place when people registered, the reviews and shelves wouldn't have been lost.

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Originally Posted by Crusader View Post
This is apparently a message authors now get when commenting on reviews of their own books, so it seems changes go both ways. Not sure authors are getting preferential treatment.
This seems to me like Goodreads is saying: you were behaving like children, so now you will be treated like children. But their parenting tactic is not a good one because they have different rules so to each side it will seem like the other side got the better end of the stick.

The authors are treated better than readers because they only may go under review for outside-of-guidelines behavior while readers get the immediate deletion of their reviews and shelves.

Readers are treated better than authors because they get to socialize more authors are discouraged from interaction, so readers get to vent and authors don't.
Quote:
Interestingly, the other day I noticed groups around authors' behavior. Such as "Bad behavior authors" or something I don't remember.
Granted, groups don't appear on the book page. But comments do.

Groups = good, shelves = bad?

Reviews = bad, comments = ?
^comment on the news from the link in the OP

At the end you there are going to be to many frustrated people and all for a problem with a very small percentage of reviews:
Quote:
By the way, to put things in context, every day we have more than 30,000 reviews written on Goodreads and, on average, only a handful are flagged as inappropriate. That means 99.99% of new reviews are happily within our guidelines. (Funnily enough, we get way more flags from people asking us to add a spoiler alert to a review than any other type of flagged review.)
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:09 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Sil_liS View Post
At the end you there are going to be to many frustrated people and all for a problem with a very small percentage of reviews:
No. In the end, everyone will forget and/or move on. And business will continue as usual for GoodReads and the vast majority of its users. At least right up until the next "outrage" that ruffles the feathers of a very small (albeit very noisy) percentage of GoodReads users who were itching to be outraged in the first place.
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:12 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Sil_liS View Post
But they were doing something about this:

What changed now was that they expanded their focus, and while they said that they remove shelves focused o author behavior it seems like they are not removing all shelves focused on author behavior:

^comment on the news from the link in the OP
We can't (and shouldn't) pretend to know how to GoodReads staff are going about this; remember that GoodReads has a large volunteer base amongst its staff, and millions of users. It could be that they are merely targeting needlessly negative shelving first.

I have read all of the comments in the news linked in the OP (I wouldn't have commented here, had I not read the link) - and I can understand why they would see 'due to author' as potentially negative. As I said, you can't draw lines in the sand as to what's okay and what's not: when you're being as vague as 'due to author', the staff can't know whether you're saying 'I don't like Stephenie Meyer's writing style' or 'Orson Scott Card is a twat'.

I doubt they would have time to message millions of users to ask them about the exact intentions of their shelves; however, GoodReads should have handled this better. They should have given users warning so that they could edit the phrasing for their shelves (changing 'due to author' to 'due to writing', for instance). Despite that, I feel that GoodReads have made the right decision.

Quote:
But according to the rules in place when people registered, the reviews and shelves wouldn't have been lost.
I don't recall any part of the terms and conditions when I registered (prior to this change) indicating any such safety of the reviews and shelves; what you submit to GoodReads becomes GoodReads' property. If it breaks rules, retroactively or not, it can be removed. As you can see in the notice in the library on this very site, retroactive rulings can and do happen online all of the time. It is not a bad, abnormal thing, and there's no need for all this hullaballoo.

(But GoodReads should have handled this better; prior warning would have been nice - stupid reviews and shelves are stupid, though, and have got to go. If you're going to be cruel, you deserve no warnings; it's for the above shelf that we're discussing that I'm making the 'prior warning' comment - which then brings about the total impossibility of individually approaching and conversing with millions of users, and - oh, you could really go around in circles with this! I imagine this thread will!)
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:21 AM   #27
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I don't recall any part of the terms and conditions when I registered (prior to this change) indicating any such safety of the reviews and shelves; what you submit to GoodReads becomes GoodReads' property.
Nitpicking on a side point here, but no: User Content is explicitly _not_ Goodreads' property, according to their TOS (emphasis is mine):

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Except for your User Content,the Service and all materials therein or transferred thereby , including, without limitation, software, images, text, graphics, illustrations, logos, patents, trademarks, service marks, copyrights, photographs, audio, videos, music, and User Content (the "Goodreads Content"), and all Intellectual Property Rights related thereto, are the exclusive property of Goodreads and its licensors.
That doesn't mean GR are obliged to publish it; but it's not their property and users don't sign over their IP rights by publishing content at GR.
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Old 09-21-2013, 09:33 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Seraphine View Post
We can't (and shouldn't) pretend to know how to GoodReads staff are going about this; remember that GoodReads has a large volunteer base amongst its staff, and millions of users. It could be that they are merely targeting needlessly negative shelving first.

I have read all of the comments in the news linked in the OP (I wouldn't have commented here, had I not read the link) - and I can understand why they would see 'due to author' as potentially negative. As I said, you can't draw lines in the sand as to what's okay and what's not: when you're being as vague as 'due to author', the staff can't know whether you're saying 'I don't like Stephenie Meyer's writing style' or 'Orson Scott Card is a twat'.
Why would they target some shelves first and not all that are against the guidelines?

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Originally Posted by Seraphine View Post
I doubt they would have time to message millions of users to ask them about the exact intentions of their shelves; however, GoodReads should have handled this better. They should have given users warning so that they could edit the phrasing for their shelves (changing 'due to author' to 'due to writing', for instance). Despite that, I feel that GoodReads have made the right decision.
But this is supposed to be an issue with a small percentage of users, not all of them.
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Old 09-21-2013, 09:38 AM   #29
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Old 09-21-2013, 10:06 AM   #30
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Sounds pretty good to me, although it will of course depend on how it's policed and handled. However, maybe now Goodreads can become a site that is also useful to all those who aren't interested in a new hang-out, but would like a reasonably dependable review site.
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