I have been using Goodreads for more than a year now but I have been online way much longer and for years I used to like surf through fanfiction.net, fictionpress.com, blogs, author websites and author’s forum but nothing is like a social site where everyone talk about book like Goodreads.
I’d admit it, a lot of the books that I’ve read will never be read by me had not for Goodreads.
To date, Goodreads have around 9.6 million users earning the deserving title comparable to Facebook. This is quite impressive and heartening to know that I am not alone with my love of books.
Surprising of it all, the most vocal of all demographic was the “Young Adult” which generally dominated the site. This is evident with the popularity of Harry Potter, Twilight and The Hunger Games today and their success in box office.
Goodreads somehow came up with a system of book recommendation which on some days are fruitful whenever you’re browsing for some light reading.
Sounds like heaven.
This does open more doors to self-published and debut authors to potential readers which are a great advantage in these recent times of internet. This might have been a playground for authors and readers alike right? Sorry folks, things are not bright and shiny for anyone let it be for readers, reviewers, soon-to-be writers, published authors, publishers alike.
We are all inner critics and the world isn’t very nice or fair on that matter.
However, since Goodreads is a place where readers provided their reviews on the books instead of depending largely on professional reviewers like the newly cropped out iDreamBooks, in Goodreads there may have been unfavorable comments and high criticism which some authors may take offense to. Problem is, you can rig the review system by just rating it, but honest reviews? Well, thats the hard part.
YA is a breeding ground for debut authors and thus unlike any other genres, many YA are serials and usually it does consist a bunch of imperfection. These days, Goodreads is notoriously being lambasted by various authors, agents and alike are against some tiny digit of its 9.6 million users.
Story spread around about how bad things in Goodreads for an author and some would become offended themselves by googling their names and books and reading their babies being criticized on internet.
This is something what actors (from personal experience, I’m looking at you Casper Van Dien) and some YA authors have in common. I do notice fair share of drama in the forums, twitter and facebook which crop up once in a while, most of it was the same old thing which are forgotten but cropped up again. In the most facepalm inducing way.
Ironically, by definition they’re cyberstalking and cyberbullying these reviewers. Have they ever been bullied before to know that they themselves are being a bully? None of these reviewers are doing any cyberstalking to the said authors except posting their opinion.
Ironically, I’m not from western countries, was “Freedom of Speech” is just a myth?
On the bright side, Kat did a really funny but sarcasm filled post dedicated for these stalkers masquerading as GR-author defenders. I didn’t actually decided to blog about these whole thing until today when I saw this on my GR timeline… This made me realized, some authors, fans and some publishers agent were spending too much time dwelling on negative reviews when they should have be a better writer to NOT get bad reviews and eventually win these reviewers out. Its an easy solution… but no.
This is nothing new, it actually took some way back in a not so distant past. To cut the story short, Kat had made a convenient post summarizing last year’s drama in point form (with some extra at the last one) which apparently I had missed (since I’m not a YA fanatic and I don’t dwell too long on a book to discuss on certain things) unfortunately all these eventually drag on until in the middle of the year aka during the time of this blog post.
I had waited for these things to calm down but apparently its not going to be.
As for this year’s drama, Wendy (whom I had seen her review and status updates being liked so many times that it showed up on my GR timeline frequently until followed and add her on GR, TQVM) made a DNF on Kiera Class’s The Selection earlier this year.
For a DNF, its really an in-depth review on the book. I had seen the book on netgalley before but refrained myself from requesting it (which recently publishers are more alert to publishing reviews dates now). Later there’s this whole Author calling names on reviewers on twitter which had blown out of proportion.
There were many more that entails to this but Wendy had finally blogged about the ordeal which can be heartbreaking if you think about it. For a lone reviewer (unpaid usually) being called names by an author is just nasty. Apparently, it got even worse for her.
It’s something for average people of the internet to “troll for fun” but for an author to start defaming their reader who is also an amateur reviewer who didn’t get paid to spend their time to read their book ; its something. You’ll notice the level of immaturity of it. But, err… its YA-related, of course, maturity is not a requirement even if these ladies were far older than I am. There’s so much new events that entails particularly when some readers caught wind of it, they immediately put certain books in their Do-Not-Read shelves in GR. In fact, I found this listopia today and found the black listed books set by some of the users including active discussions at the bottom.
This of course bring another set of nastiness by a lot of the internet users who sees these whole things but dear authors, please think in the bright side of things. All these free press is giving your books a heads up in sales and clear all the bad reviewers from your books since they choose not to read your books.
In fact, why do you feel offended with DNF reviews? They can’t finish your book because your book is suck to them that they don’t want to wish to spend more time reading it. If they gush out whole-length reviews about the books details, for sure you’d know that she understood your book enough to have a strong opinion about it.
It doesn’t mean it will suck to other people that’s not the reviewer right?
I had my share of doing critical reviews (I did change ratings once in a while for some books), especially on local books, romance books and YA stuff. I’m safe to say. I’m obscure enough and not really popular among the 9.6 million users of Goodreads but if I had an opinion on books, I rather be honest about it than cave in when authors and their fans started to threatening people on poor reviews.
Which is the point of this whole post!
Dear authors who Googled and Goodreads search themselves,
Not everyone in the world like Stephenie Meyer and EL James books of notoriously bad YA paranormal romance and badly constructed Erotica. Even if they’re bestsellers and collect too many millions of royalties from its sales, if your readers are not the demographic intended and have experience something bad while reading your book. The last thing you can do was flaming and trolling and encouraging stalking on your readers.
Negative reviews are not trolling. Calling your readers bitches and names are trolling and unprofessional.
Yes, these negative reviewers are your readers! If its not dramatic enough for you, you literally betrayed them.
Publishers who give up ARCs to reviewers had maintained that these reviewers are not obliged to give computerized happy reviews just for you. You are the one who should be doing your best at making a pleasant experience for your readers. By providing a good storyline, plot progression, characterization, dialogues, themes, continuation and etc.
Unless they received ARCs, amateur reviewers are not paid to make you look good, instead they pay you to read your books. Thats the only thing you received from them.
Being a writer is hard. I know its hard. But when you’re published, your books are no longer your own. Like Julie Bertagna said in her Guardian.co.uk post, “If you can’t stand the heat of the blogosphere – don’t Google yourself.”
And above all,