PDA

View Full Version : goodreads? i'm confused. :(



robertbevan
06-15-2012, 05:27 PM
okay... my author page processed. http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/797715.Robert_Bevan

now what?

i really have no idea what to do with this. i managed to manually add my book on there, but the cover image is missing, and i don't know how to add it on.

also, my goodreads page has my book, and three books by other authors whose name is the same as mine. how can i ditch those guys?

also... hooray and here i am, but what the hell am i supposed to do on goodreads? i don't even really understand what it is. i'm sorry for being a moron.

can anyone point me to some sort of idiot's guide to goodreads?

Dungeon Geek
06-15-2012, 06:58 PM
Robert, there's a dashboard link somewhere. Go to your dashboard and you'll see your books listed below. In tiny letters next to each cover (or blank cover) thumbnail, you'll see "edit" listed as an option. Click it to edit the book page.

robertbevan
06-15-2012, 07:08 PM
thanks, dungeon geek. one mystery solved. i got my book cover on there now. i still don't know what i'm supposed to do with it though.

Dungeon Geek
06-15-2012, 07:17 PM
Not sure what you mean. :)

robertbevan
06-15-2012, 07:25 PM
simple. what is goodreads? what am i supposed to be doing there? and how do i do that?

Mustafa
06-15-2012, 07:32 PM
simple. what is goodreads? what am i supposed to be doing there? and how do i do that?

It's a review site, mate. You should go read some books, and then review them.

Treat it like a marketing tool and you won't make many friends. I get so many emails from people saying "you should read my book, it's AMAYZENE!" that I want to scream. You know what I do when I get those emails? I make a mental note to never, ever, read their books.

auriel
06-15-2012, 07:44 PM
I use Goodreads as a reader, not an author (at least not yet.) One thing I would suggest you do are offer a giveaway - it's a big promotional opportunity that might help you get some reviews. I'm pretty sure you need some physical copies in order to do this, but unfortunately since I haven't done it myself I'm not sure how you go about it.

Have you read this? http://www.goodreads.com/author/program
There's a slideshow at the end of the page that may be useful to you.

robertbevan
06-15-2012, 08:24 PM
It's a review site, mate. You should go read some books, and then review them.

Treat it like a marketing tool and you won't make many friends. I get so many emails from people saying "you should read my book, it's AMAYZENE!" that I want to scream. You know what I do when I get those emails? I make a mental note to never, ever, read their books.

i've been pretty careful not to be annoying about my book. i'm a completely neutral player on goodreads right now. i haven't looked at anyone else's stuff, and i haven't said anything about my own stuff, because i don't know what i'm doing there, and i don't want to make an ass out of myself.

so it's a review site. i honestly didn't know that. i just read somewhere that as a self published author, i ought to get on goodreads. so i did.

thanks for a bit of clarification.

EngineerTiger
06-15-2012, 08:47 PM
Hey Robert. A way to approach Goodreads is to start as a reader. Find some of the groups that read the sort of things you enjoy. Many of them provide a place where group members who are also authors can mention their own works.

One thing I will caution, "fly by" members are not appreciated in most groups. They prefer that you participate in discussions other than the "This is my book, chum" type of thing.

For example, I write Historical Fiction so I tend to hang out on those groups. I recommend authors I've enjoyed myself, or relay reference links for those looking for more information about an era in history.

To participate in a Giveaway, you will need a print version of your book. They don't support eBooks.

One thing I have discovered on Goodreads. Most groups and readers are genuinely interested in their member authors. As long as you don't spam (bring up your book constantly or in a topic where it isn't suitable), they tend to be very supportive.

For now, just wander around Goodreads and check out some of the different groups (both in your own book's genre and genres you like to read). That will give you an idea of some the discussions.

Goodreads and Shelfaria are basically gigantic online book clubs that seem to help build the word-of-mouth momentum we all need. It's a slow process though so don't go into expecting an immediate response. Merrihiatt has run a few giveaways. I have my second one in progress right now. To get an idea of how they work, go to the top menu of Goodreads, select the "EXPLORE" list and click on "Giveaways".

JoyceH
06-15-2012, 08:51 PM
one mystery solved. i got my book cover on there now.

Can you explain what you did to do that? I've got both my books listed on Goodreads, but the most recent is still coverless there.

I'm trying to navigate what Goodreads will do for authors too - they sent me an e-mail about it.

robertbevan
06-15-2012, 09:00 PM
Can you explain what you did to do that? I've got both my books listed on Goodreads, but the most recent is still coverless there.

I'm trying to navigate what Goodreads will do for authors too - they sent me an e-mail about it.

click on the title of the book. and then click on this:

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y290/endofthewor1d/goodreadstitle.jpg

let me know if that helps.

JoyceH
06-15-2012, 09:05 PM
Thanks, Robert! It's so easy, once you know...

Rob Lopez
06-15-2012, 11:10 PM
I too have been confused by Goodreads. As a reader I can see its function, and I'd say it was designed with that in mind. You 'like' and 'rate' books you've read, and add reviews to them. Then you get automatic recommendations of similar books that you might like to read. It's like Amazon in this respect, but more comprehensive.

As a writer looking to use it as a marketing tool (by engagement, not spamming) I've found it more complicated. User activity is split between review writing, direct book discusions and separate reader/fan groups that you can join. Then there's the book giveaway which is a marketing tool that you, the writer, are encouraged to use and which does require a hardcopy book. You can also host your blog on your author page, offer an author Q&A thread and add a trivia section where readers can test their knowledge of your book in a fun way.

Yes, Goodreads is massive. It's far grander in scope than a forum (even AW!) and it offers so much that it can be quite overwhelming. I find navigating around all the options quite confusing and I don't find the interface easy to grok - and I don't know if that's because it's a poor design, or because I'm just thick. Really getting into Goodreads looks like it may take more of my free time than I have to give.

Then there's the notifications. I joined three groups (two writer groups and one genre group) and made a few comments on things. Then I got email notifications of further comments on the threads I'd written on. Plus notifications of comments that I couldn't remember even reading. Plus emails asking me to vote on polls. Within a day I had a ton of notifications that took me a lot of time to work through. I eventually found the settings where I could alter what notifications I got, so I wouldn't get one for every single post. But still I got a ton more. In the end I shut down all notifications except for one group's. And I still get more notifications than I want, which I've started to ignore now.

I've taken a step back from it now as I wonder what to do next. I may wade in again when I've got more free time than I currently enjoy.

I browse the net at the end of a long day, and my brain is usually tired and occasionally burnt out. So the thought of entering Goodreads then usually makes me cringe - it feels like work.

Hopefully you'll find it more enjoyable than I did, especially if you 'friend' some folks. Considering the subject of your book, I'd recommend searching for a Gaming group (but not too many!) and see how it feels.

Medievalist
06-15-2012, 11:22 PM
I posted some stuff about GoodReads and other book social sites here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7357959#post7357959). Scroll down; it's the last two posts.

Giveaways of your books work well. But the real point for anyone to join book sites is to talk about books, and for an author, to talk about other people's books.

Absolutely fill out your profile completely, but rather than pimp your books, post thoughtful reviews of other people's books that you like, and books that you found useful for research, for instance.

People who like your reviews will check your profile, and possibly, be interested in your books.

But it's not going to work well for any one if you are constantly pimping your books.

merrihiatt
06-16-2012, 01:25 AM
I signed up for the author program and have my blog linked to my Goodreads profile. I've used the giveaway option three times. I can't say if it led to sales, but it was fun to see almost one thousand people sign up to win a free book (I usually offer two paperback copies, so there are two winners). I have received two reviews from the process. I know winners are encouraged to review, but they don't always follow-through.

I don't feel that I have enough knowledge about any specific genre to participate. I'm a huge Nora Roberts fan and read her books almost to the exclusion of any other romance novels. I've started so many books this year, but haven't finished any of them. Life keeps getting in the way.

I do make sure all my books (paperback and e-book) are added with covers.

ETA: Oh, and I found a fun little thing that you can do: a survey with a question about your book. You fill in four answers, one of which is the correct answer, and people can guess. It's kind of fun to see how many people have played along. I think they do it just for the fun of it, whether they've read the book or not.

robertbevan
06-16-2012, 09:48 AM
any idea about the other authors with the same name as mine whose books are on my dashboard?

i clicked "edit" on one of them, thinking maybe there would be an option for "remove this book" or "i'm not the author of this book." i didn't see anything like that, but i did see that i could totally edit these other robert bevans' work. i could change their blurbs if i wanted to, or change their cover art, or whatever. of course, i didn't make any changes, but i'm a little disturbed that i'm able to.

i'm thinking that means they could do the same thing with mine.

any idea what i can do about that?

Medievalist
06-16-2012, 10:36 AM
any idea about the other authors with the same name as mine whose books are on my dashboard?

i clicked "edit" on one of them, thinking maybe there would be an option for "remove this book" or "i'm not the author of this book." i didn't see anything like that, but i did see that i could totally edit these other robert bevans' work. i could change their blurbs if i wanted to, or change their cover art, or whatever. of course, i didn't make any changes, but i'm a little disturbed that i'm able to.

i'm thinking that means they could do the same thing with mine.

any idea what i can do about that?

Are you using the name exactly as it is on your book covers?

PM me with a link to your goodreads profile.

Let me know which books are yours.

I'm a GoodReads Librarian, and I'll see what I can do to disambiguate you.

robertbevan
06-16-2012, 12:07 PM
PM sent. thanks a bunch, medi.

Alessandra Kelley
06-16-2012, 01:31 PM
any idea about the other authors with the same name as mine whose books are on my dashboard?

i clicked "edit" on one of them, thinking maybe there would be an option for "remove this book" or "i'm not the author of this book." i didn't see anything like that, but i did see that i could totally edit these other robert bevans' work. i could change their blurbs if i wanted to, or change their cover art, or whatever. of course, i didn't make any changes, but i'm a little disturbed that i'm able to.

i'm thinking that means they could do the same thing with mine.

any idea what i can do about that?

I think that's something Goodreads librarians have to do. The mechanism is a little clumsy, but I used it recently to separate four different authors, all named Don Simpson.

Is there a Goodreads Author Group? If so, you could post there about this.

In future, I mean. Medievalist seems rather to have this in hand.

Katallina
06-16-2012, 01:54 PM
Here is my opinion on using GoodReads. Realize that at this point, I'm speaking strictly as a book blogger.

As an author, you want your book showing up on GoodReads. It means that when I review it, I have another location where I can put my review up for others to see. It also means that I can tell people I'm adding the book to my list, reading it, loved it, or whatever else I feel like saying.

You want your author profile to have as much "meat" as you can give it. Book cover, description, blog, etc. (too tired to go and make a list by really looking at it). Sometimes I go and look at book listings because I want to read them, or because I have read them and enjoyed the book. If there is other stuff present, I'm the sort who is likely to interact with it.

The fact that you can do giveaways of physical copies via GoodReads is a great reason to have a print version. (Having one is a big deal for me, personally, but I know not everyone feels the same way.)

Once all of the basics of your book are set up, and you are set up as an author, the best thing to do with GoodReads is to actually interact with it as a reader. I wouldn't walk down a busy street with "I'm an author! Buy my book!" tattooed on my forehead or written on a t-shirt. Nor should I do that on GoodReads. Basically, do exactly what you do on the gaming sites you joined: be yourself.

There's a ton of stuff you can do on GoodReads and it can get as complicated or be as simple as you want it to be. As with every thing you get involved in as an author, the key is to be sincere. If you love certain groups on GoodReads and have fun with them, go for it. If it isn't your thing, find things that are.