Hi everyone --
I'll admit that I haven't learned everything there is to know about how to use Goodreads. I'm rarely on there, and I just posted my first semi-review. (I say semi because it was just a quick blurb about a book I didn't finish.) I know the basics.
I hear about Goodreads all the time as one of the top social networks to be on. But as someone writing my first novel, I felt uncomfortable leaving a tepid review. So my questions are, what do you all think, as authors, about writing reviews on other authors? Are there other/better ways to use Goodreads than writing reviews and connecting with readers that way--can you be active on Goodreads without writing reviews?
That's really interesting. I haven't heard that Goodreads is good for networking, per se. I have made friends with a bunch of other writers and some published authors on there, mainly because I want to see what they read and what they think about those books. It helps me with my own WIP. Gives me free perspective that's otherwise a tough get. But do I expect to build contacts on there? Not really.
I find twitter more helpful for that purpose. You can have meaningful interactions with other writers and even find crit buddies through twitter. I'm writing a series of reviews about online writing communities on my blog, but so far I have only completed one entry on Figment.com, but still you could check that out if you're curous about ti:
You can just post status updates on reading, and note completed reads, books-to-read, and all of those things are shared w/ your friends even without writing reviews. Honestly, I don't write lengthy reviews b/c I don't think they're going to be read--I mean, I hardly read any myself, only when I need specific input for my WIP.
Friend me on Goodreads!
Thanks, Melanie, for the helpful point of view. I'll go find you!
I can't find Melanie Conklin! Says no such person exists on Goodreads. There is a good chance I'm doing it wrong, but I searched under an "add friends" tab. Sounds like it should be right.
Also have your blog open in another tab. Excited to read it.
I think I found you! Sent you a request. Who knows. I've also found it difficult to find people if I don't spell it just right.
Got it -- thanks! Weird -- the third time I tried, I even capitalized M and C just to make sure. Who knows...
It's not the most sociable site out there. It's not like I chat with anyone except for a few messages on the challenge boards. That's mainly how I've connected with people through challenges. And I've started watching the author interviews. I've taken it slow getting to know the site. I still mainly only follow fellow shewriters and personal friends.
I started out just stocking my shelves with what I've read (I gave stars-if I could remember!), am reading, and to read (damn doesn't that list get long fast). I felt I didn't have enough experience, and didn't know how to write proper reviews, and don't want to be responsible for anyone not buying a book because of what I said.
But you have to get over that. People who share your taste or respect your opinion will read your reviews for what they're worth. If I don't have anything good to say, I don't say anything at all. Also if I happen to read something that falls out of my normal genre range, I won't review it unless it's fantastic.
I finally remembered back when I was in school I wrote annotations that read a bit like reviews. Only recently did I add these personal reflection of the stories as my reviews. So I don't really consider what I write to be in depth critique type reviews, nor do I write a synopsis.
I add books to my pinterest board through Goodreads. To me it's more a portal to the books than a social connection.
I agree on not writing a synopsis. I find it tedious.
Thanks, Lynne. Duh--of course! "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." Forgot that rule from grammar school. I'm not a "proper" reviewer either, so simply giving stars and adding some content when I really love it is the way to go.
check it out! just came across this article and I thought of you :)
Thanks, Melanie - that was interesting. Yet another detail I should keep in mind. I knew writing a book would be tough. I knew publishing it would be tough. I'm a teensy bit overwhelmed at the giant that is social media.
Jessica, I'm with you on this. I love Goodreads for keeping tabs on my own reading, but my debut novel is coming out in July and I will probably be using it for promotional purposes, so I actually went in and deleted all my stars! You can just mark books as read, "to read," etc. I've written a few reviews when I'm really moved to do so, but rarely.
Oh nice -- I didn't realize you could just mark as read and not give stars. I'll probably do that, too. I have to go work on my editing-publishing to-do list, but then I'm going to go look you up and see what's debuting. Congratulations!