Quick Link: 6 Ways for Indie Authors to Use Goodreads to Network

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

This post from on the Self Publishing Advice Center from ALLI has reminded me about how neglected my poor Goodreads page is.   Everyone talks about Facebook as the best for your dollar marketing tool, but Barb suggests you also give Goodreads a try. What do you think? Is Goodreads worth the time and effort or are you like me and neglecting it?

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6 Ways for Indie Authors to Use Goodreads to Network

Social media expert Barb Drozdowich counts the ways for indie authors to network on Goodreads to help market their self-published books.


Goodreads is often the site that is dismissed as difficult to navigate or full of nasty people.  Let’s talk about these elephants shall we?

  • Can Goodreads be difficult to navigate? I think so.  But like learning to write excellent dialogue,  navigating Goodreads can be learned with a little bit of patience.
  • Is Goodreads full of nasty people?  Not really.   There are 50 million account holders on Goodreads.  In a group that large there are bound to be nasty people.  Take your local mall as an example.  Not everybody there is pleasant,  yet you continue to shop there.  You develop a way to cope with the nasty people –  you can do the same on Goodreads.

The Enormous Potential Reach of Goodreads

Goodreads had 50 million readers all in on place. What could be a better place for finding readers, especially for the beginning author – or the author trying to make contacts in new countries, ?

But just like you would never stand in the middle of your local public library holding your book and yelling at everybody to read it,  that behavior is not acceptable on Goodreads either.  So put on your reader’s hat,  grab yourself a cup of coffee and think about six distinct networking possibilities.

Read the full post on Self Publishing Advice Center

Quick Links: How Goodreads Can Help Writers Grow Their Readership

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

Every author knows that social media is important in the hunt to find readers. But how much time have you been spending on Goodreads? If you are like me, you pop in occasionally when you remember or need to do something. Frances Caballo at Live, Write, Thrive presents her case on why you should spend more of your social media time on Goodreads and the benefits thereof.

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How Goodreads Can Help Writers Grow Their Readership

July 1, 2016

goodreadsToday’s post is by social media expert Frances Caballo:

Goodreads has become the most important networking site on the Internet.

Goodreads has a storied beginning. This is how founder and CEO Otis Chandler describes his epiphany to start what has become a powerful online reader resource and social media network:

One afternoon while I was scanning a friend’s bookshelf for ideas, it struck me: when I want to know what books to read, I’d rather turn to a friend than any random person or bestseller list.

So I decided to build a website—a place where I could see my friends’ bookshelves and learn about what they thought of all their books.

And thus in January of 2007, Goodreads began.

The Goodreads of Today

As of January 2016, Goodreads had 40 million members and featured 1.3 billion books and 47 million reviews.

What I find interesting is that many Goodreads users attended college, and even more of them attended graduate school. Goodreads members are educated, love to read, and love to talk about books. Women read more and review more books than men and dominate this online venue. While men aren’t as active on this site as women, they still participate and are a growing force here.

Authors and Goodreads

Many authors join Goodreads and quickly set up their author dashboards. Then perhaps they want to set up a giveaway. What do they do next? Well, a lot of authors I know then start to neglect Goodreads when the giveaway ends.

Too many writers don’t understand the benefits of maintaining a presence, reviewing books, adding favorite quotes, or joining groups.

Some writers neglect Goodreads to their detriment.

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com or leave a message below.

Anyone else taking the Goodreads 2016 challenge?

Part of being a good writer is being a good reader. Goodreads is having a challenge, where you pledge how many books you are going to read. I did it last year but forgot to register my books. I am vowing to do better this year, but have kept my goal low since I really want to be able to put some time into Publetariat. If I can read a new book, once a month, and remember to log it, I will be quite happy. There are giveaways as well! Let us know how many books you are planning to read in the comments! We can cheer each other on!

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Want to Read More This Year? Join the 2016 Reading Challenge!

Forget about drinking more water or getting in shape! Our favorite New Year’s resolution is definitely this: Read More Books. And we’re guessing it’s yours, too. Make it easier by creating a reading goal and tracking your progress with the 2016 Reading Challenge on Goodreads!

Will it be one book every other month? Or maybe one book a week? A day? It’s up to you! Your goal can be any size. To get started, just choose the number of books you’d like to read this year.

Not sure what to read next? Don’t worry! Here are a few ways to build your want-to-read list on Goodreads:

Recommendations: To get recommendations tailored just for you, rate books you’ve already read. The more books you rate, the better your recommendations will be!
Giveaways: Did you know you can enter book giveaways for a chance to win free books?
Lists: You can also browse the thousands of lists on Listopia—where you’ll find categories ranging from classic (Best Books of the 21st Century) to niche (Best Alpha Male Alien Meets Human Heroine Romance).
Goodreads Choice Award winners: Peruse the results of the recently announced 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards, with winners and runners-up in 20 categories!

And it never hurts to have some social support when working toward a goal, so check out the many Goodreads groups that host reading challenges across every topic, theme, and genre imaginable.

'Am I being catfished?' An Author Confronts Her Number One Online Critic

This post by Kathleen Hale originally appeared on The Guardian on 10/17/14. Note that it contains strong language.

When a bad review of her first novel appeared online, Kathleen Hale was warned not to respond. But she soon found herself wading in

In the months before my first novel came out, I was a charmless lunatic – the type that other lunatics cross the street to avoid. I fidgeted and talked to myself, rewriting passages of a book that had already gone to print. I remember when my editor handed me the final copy: I held the book in my hands for a millisecond before grabbing a pen and scribbling edits in the margins.

“No,” she said firmly, taking the pen away. “Kathleen, you understand we can’t make any more changes, right?”

“I was just kidding,” I lied. Eventually she had to physically prise the book from my hands.

A lot of authors call this “the post-partum stage”, as if the book is a baby they struggle to feel happy about. But for me, it felt more like one of my body parts was about to be showcased.

“Are you excited about your novel?” my mom asked, repeatedly, often in singsong.

“I’m scared,” I said. Anxious and inexperienced, I began checking goodreads.com, a social reviewing site owned by Amazon. My publisher HarperTeen had sent advance copies of my book to bloggers and I wanted to see what they thought. Other authors warned me not to do this, but I didn’t listen. Soon, my daily visits tallied somewhere between “slightly-more-than-is-attractive-to-admit-here” and “infinity”.

For the most part, I found Goodreaders were awarding my novel one star or five stars, with nothing in between. “Well, it’s a weird book,” I reminded myself. “It’s about a girl with PTSD teaming up with a veteran to fight crime.” Mostly I was relieved they weren’t all one-star reviews.

One day, while deleting and rewriting the same tweet over and over (my editors had urged me to build a “web presence”), a tiny avatar popped up on my screen. She was young, tanned and attractive, with dark hair and a bright smile. Her Twitter profile said she was a book blogger who tweeted nonstop between 6pm and midnight, usually about the TV show Gossip Girl. According to her blogger profile, she was a 10th-grade teacher, wife and mother of two. Her name was Blythe Harris. She had tweeted me saying she had some ideas for my next book.

“Cool, Blythe, thanks!” I replied. In an attempt to connect with readers, I’d been asking Twitter for ideas – “The weirdest thing you can think of!” – promising to try to incorporate them in the sequel.

Curious to see if Blythe had read my book, I clicked from her Twitter through her blog and her Goodreads page. She had given it one star. “Meh,” I thought. I scrolled down her review.

“Fuck this,” it said. “I think this book is awfully written and offensive; its execution in regards to all aspects is horrible and honestly, nonexistent.”


Read the full, lengthy post on The Guardian.


Anne Rice Owns the Bullies

This post originally appeared on STGRB on 1/26/14.

We’ve been meaning to write this post for a while. Sorry we are so late in doing it.
In our last post on Anne Rice, we showed you how she has been lighting up the Amazon fora with her wisdom and advice for authors. We also mentioned her unfortunate encounter with the bullies:

Note her Warning to Authors at the bottom. Unfortunately, like everyone else who has braved the discussion threads of Amazon, Anne too has noticed the hostility and general contempt that the AFT (Amazon Fora Trolls) have for authors. In fact, we published some of her comments on this topic in our post, Words of Wisdom From Anne Rice.

So… do you think she got attacked for her warning? You bet.

Has she stopped posting and offering her advice to authors? Nope.

In fact, she has responded to the trolls with such sophistication and eloquence, it seems they don’t really know how to respond to her. She’s too smart and trolls tend to be … well … not so smart.

In our post today we’ll show just how smart she is. She was immediately able to see right through the Amazon bullies and make intelligent observations that get right to the heart of the matter and reveal these nasty people for who and what they are: internet trolls. What’s more, she managed to isolate all of the most well-known trolls who stalk authors and their books simply because they have nothing better to do with their time.

First we’ll show you her general view of the Amazon bullies:


Click here to read the full post, which includes many screenshots of exchanges between Amazon reviewers and Anne Rice, on STGRB.

Reviewers Behaving Badly

This post, by AJ, originally appeared on Apology To John Keats on 3/24/13.

I’ve become just as suspect as anyone about the legitimacy of reviews. With authors paying for reviews, begging for five stars and dressing up as consumers to write inflated reviews of their own books it’s hard to trust all five of those shiny stars. But what happens when those seeming “authors behaving badly” are actually reviewers doing it themselves? Can a gushy, happy, joy-joy 5-star review actually be more detrimental to an author than a 2-star one?

From some personal experience, some fellow author’s experiences and a little observation, here are some pitfalls authors may encounter even in honestly obtained reviews.


1. The Facebook Comment As Review

“Omg, my cousin totally wrote this book and it’s amazing! I don’t read at all, but I think everyone should buy this book because my cousin spent a lot of time and money on this and it’s so cool that I’m related an author! 5 stars for Brooke and her awesome accomplishment!”

Ok, fine, if you want to put something like this on your Facebook page, knock yourself out but for the love of literary kittens do not post it on a distributor like Amazon or B&N or a review site like goodreads. It makes the author look like they have been soliciting reviews. I have no doubt the author (poor made up Brooke in this case) did NOT ask for an overzealous cousin to post this, but sadly some excited friends and family members do. Unless you have read the book and have more of an opinion as to why it’s good besides knowing the author personally, keep things like this on Facebook, not on review sites.


2. The Skimmer Writes a Review

“This is a great time-travel piece. The characters find a magical creek and drink the water and are transported to the Civil War where they free slaves from an auction. I loved the narrator and her brother was so funny. 5 stars.”

Well, that’s great, but in the book, they go to the creek AFTER they get tossed back in time because it is the only natural landmark they have to go by. Then they find out they are in 1855 (the Pre-Civil War era) and a vigilante group of abolitionists plots to steal slaves from an auction. And the narrator doesn’t have a brother, that guy is just her friend, though the narrator does lie that he’s her brother so it doesn’t seem so improper they are traveling together for the time period.

See the difference? I’ve had authors mention people recounting events in their books that never happened or are so skewed they make the story seem, well, stupid. Especially in fantasy, horror, or sci-fi when oversimplification can make even great books sound lame, it is pretty darn important for reviewers to know what they read. I’ve seen many readers at the library claim to “love” books they’ve only skimmed. It happens. But don’t write an incomplete review. It makes the author look like they don’t know how to tell a story and consumers will think the 5-star rating is unjustified.


3. The Stalker


Click here to read the rest of the post on Apology To John Keats.