Goodreads, Why Dost Thou Disappoint?


I like Goodreads, I really do. It’s a good way for authors to make their books known, to interact with other readers and writers, and to discover and keep track of books from every kind of writer out there. However, I fear it is turning into an I’m-going-to-spam-everyone’s-inbox-with-promos-events-and-groups-about-me website. Just about every time I log into Goodreads I have at least one notification waiting for me telling me about some book event that I don’t care about. I can’t remember the last time I talked to a person on Goodreads.

When I first started getting friend requests on Goodreads I thought “oh, yay, people like my work and want to be my friend to see when more comes out!” WRONG! As it turns out, they just want to advertise their own work to me. I’m fine with that, mostly. However, one especially annoying occurrence started with an invite to an author’s personal group, which I respectfully declined. It was for a romance author, and I don’t read romance. For the next three days she sent me a request to join her group! I was forced to remove her as a friend! It just amazes me that people can be so self-centered about these things that even when we say no they have to keep trying to shove it down our throats.

Well, that came out much  more rant-y than I thought it would. Anyway, I like Goodreads, but some of these authors just bug the hell out of me!

-End Rant-

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5 thoughts on “Goodreads, Why Dost Thou Disappoint?

  1. I ignore those notifications. I don’t want that crap either than I think that’s a turn off for a writer and their work. As writers we’re trying to market ourselves as products, I don’t want to be a pesky product.

  2. You’re right, Chris. Goodreads is a great place to interact with like-minded people, and make new reader/writer friends. I think I make more writer friends through Twitter, but more readers friends through Goodreads, which is great. But there are plenty of gripes about badly behaved authors.
    We all know the best way to get a runaway success is through word-of-mouth, but that is meant to be reader-to-reader word-of-mouth, not the author with a megaphone pleading for everyone to read their story.
    Just so long as it doesn’t make us all sound bad. Most of us are real people, too, you know. We don’t like spam, either.

  3. Like everything it has its pros and cons however I was really excited to be invited to participate in a Q & A with Tess Gerritson a few weeks ago so I will take a little of the bad side just for having had that honour

  4. You’re exactly right. Goodreads was a nice site when it was new but it seems to have degraded in recent months; most of the discussions have become authors whining about why they aren’t famous, arguing with other writers, and enthusiastically spamming others. I stopped checking Goodreads entirely…and have had to remove quite a few “friends”!

  5. Maybe rather than spamming people with emails, GoodReaders could have a calendar of events sent out weekly or monthly. Readers could choose which author events they wished to attend. I know I get so many announcements I tend to delete most of them before I even read them. Too bad, because it’s tough to make a name for yourself on the crowded world wide web.

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