Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Goodreads, in the scheme of things



I know a lot of writers who are squeamish about Goodreads, as in…they wish it would go away.

Usually, (author) complaints about Goodreads come down to the following points:

1.) The Goodreads ratings are on average lower than Amazon ratings. This is at least partly because of the way they are calibrated on Goodreads. On Goodreads, a 2-star rating means, "It was okay"--the gentlemanly "C", in other words.

2.) Readers on Goodreads can rate a book without explaining their reasoning. On Amazon readers have to write a review when they rate a book.

3.) There are reportedly bands of roving "Goodreads bullies" who target individual authors for attack, based on personal/political criteria. 

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Goodreads, at least compared to Amazon, does appear to be less stringently moderated. Although I haven't had any bad experiences there, I have observed some nastiness. No site like this is going to be perfect. 

But if you're an author, you need a presence there. Goodreads is a good place to interact with readers, and to gauge the moods of readers, IMO. If you ignore Goodreads completely, you do so to your disadvantage.