August 22, 2012 by thebookslayer
I have recently had a few personal friends join Goodreads(GR) and have asked me for some advice. So I thought I would share some of my GR wisdom with those who may not be as familar with this wonderful site.
Now if you are a GR addict like me you can join in some of the laughs that will come, because I can’t have a post without a few funny things to say. Plus your feedback about things to add would be great.
I am not the most popular or even in the top 100 reviewers. However, I think I am on GR a decent amount and seem to understand how it works fairly well. I guess what I am saying is that what I am about to tell you are not some top secret ideas to become Mr./Ms. Popularity and have the Spotlight on you. It really is just ideas/ways that I have found to branch out and really enjoy GR.
In my opinion GR’s is a place where you can express yourself in many ways, esp. with books.
My first encounter with GR is when I was looking up Twilight, I believe. I know, right? I was really big into that series, to my eternal shame, and found a whole world of book lovers. I started with just looking up books I had read to adding books on my TBR (To Be Read) pile. Basically, I was functioning in my own little bubble, which is just fine but GR can be so much more for you.
Looking back I can pinpoint ways that I was able to branch out and really enjoy GR for the site it is. That is what I wanted to share with all of you.
Amanda’s GR To-Do List
1. Find a few good groups to join up with.
Now this one is harder. You can go and search through the groups area with keywords or ask around. Find a group that seems to fit what you want.
ex. if you like paranormal, look for a paranormal group etc.
I have a few favorites and my list has grown over the years.
Romance Readers Reading Challenges (Found tons of great books here and also was able to have a few people pick for me. That really helps to get out of a set genre.)
Bookworm Bitches (This group does it all. Plus I do TBR Buddy and Pen Pal reads. This is another way to get out of your circle of books or just find another person interested in the same books and share your thoughts with.)
Kristen Ashley Addict’s Support Group (I kid you not I love her books but I would join this group for the Casting Couch alone, thanks for Michele. Woman I don’t know how you find all those sexy men.)
Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy Fanatics (This is another great area to find all kinds of PNR and UF recommends. Plus you can create your own page and put whatever you want on it and create a Personal Challenge page as well.)
Edsel’s Hair of the Dog (Really this one is still new, but everyone there is so nice and fun to talk too. 😮 What more do you want from a group?!)
Okay last one, this is a recent add but I have enjoyed visiting so far so I will share.
Gotta Have Paranormal Romance With A Kick (They have authors come and answer questions, giveaways, millions of chats-okay not millions but you get the idea. Everyone has been very welcoming.)
2. Find a few of your favorite authors and follow/become a fan of theirs.
This is a great way to stay up-to-date on what is going on with their new releases and/or any giveaways they are doing. Lots of authors link their blogs with GR. I get a monthly update on the authors that I follow. That seems to work for me.
3. Find other reviewers to follow and/or friend.
Now I know this part can be daunting, but really if you aren’t ready for the friend part you can always follow.
My suggestion : Pick a few of the books that you love and find other people who loved it as well. A great way to tell is through reading other peoples reviews. If you agree with what they have said feel free to “like” (that would be the button at the bottom of the review) their review and look up a few other reviews of books that you like as well. If you seem to be in agreement than it’s safe to say that you would benefit from their reviews / TBR books added.
Now I am not asking you to stalk people. lol I can see it now : Amanda said that stalking you is the best way to see if we are compatible. I am just simply saying that if they keep popping up with reviews that you agree with than a follow is worth it.
This a great way to check out other books you might like by looking at their shelves. You can also simply click on the shelves that they have labeled a book you love under. That should send you to similar books.
Right way to friend people – If you have not talked to them you need to state why you are adding them in the comment box.
ex. I have noticed that we have tons of books in common. I love the books x,y,z as well.
You get the idea, right? People typically aren’t comfortable with you adding them out of the blue. Honestly, it isn’t about numbers. Just because someone has 300 friends does not mean they know what they are talking about. Some people just add friends like it’s going out of style.
I think that when asking to be someone’s friend it means you honestly want to talk to them about books. So don’t ask unless you mean it. Oh Crap. I will continue this later. lol I am skipping ahead. Sorry.
3. Follow a few Top 100 Reviewers.
This one is a bigger step I think for some. Who do you pick? How do you pick? Why?
Well these reviewers typically get ARC – Advanced Readers Copies. That means they have the inside scoop on whether that book is any good or not. Now you do have to make sure that you tend to agree on book preferences.
This can be done by simply looking at how they shelve their books, which books they put where. You can also use the Compare button at the top of the page when you go into their shelf area. Now I don’t use that button very often, but it can be quite handy.
Don’t forget that these people are just people. lol Feel free to talk to them and interact. GR works best when you interact and aren’t just a bystander. Quite a few of them prefer friends who want to talk and heck who blames them. I don’t.
4. Don’t be stingy with your comments or “likes”.
No one is going to come after you if you don’t like a review or comment, but the more you talk about the books you enjoy or reviews you thought were helpful, the more people you meet. I have met some great people just from talking about books.
GR = Where Booklovers of the World Unite!
5. Challenge yourself!
What I mean by this is come up with a yearly goal of how many books you want to read. This not only gives you something to keep you active in the community but also feel good moments when you finish books. Plus this gives you more books to talk about and people to talk about your challenge goal with.
6. Don’t be afraid to post a Book Recommendation Request.
This is a great way to get a book recommendation for what you are looking for. Plus you might be surprised at how many people you can meet doing this as well.
7. Review and Create various Shelves for books.
This is an easy way for people to understand what type of books you like by how you organize them.
It also makes it easier to give recommendations as well. I have a warning about that, but I will talk about it later.
8. Update as often as you can.
Sometimes I am good about this and sometimes not so much. But updates help keep people posted on what you are reading or thinking about.
Hot Eye Candy will get all kinds of “like’s” from people you don’t even know. lol But hey who doesn’t want to look at a Hot Man?!
Also this lets people see who you are. It’s just another way to connect with people. You can have some funny conversations on a person’s update status.
9. Be Kind.
I think this is my number one rule! Understand that not everyone will agree with what you think. Also you will not agree with what other say as well.
If you are respectful to the reviewer you should have no problems.
I have much more to say on this but it goes under my next list. Just know that you don’t have to be an ass. Be Kind.
So I could not just list the things you should do. I had to list things that for me get an automatic add on my shit list !
Amanda’s Seven Deadly Sins preformed Goodreads
1. Invite people to a million & one groups!
I hate this and I know many of my friends do as well. Do Not, I repeat Do Not hit invite all to a group. Honestly I have tons just sitting in my pile that I refuse to spend time responding too. It is annoying and seems never ending.
If you want to suggest a group to someone. Please for the love of Books write a message about why you think this person would enjoy the group. Make it personal not just a generic message. We can tell the difference. Not Cool!
2. Book Recommendations without an explaination for me personally.
I understand when people recommend a book that goes with the request I posted. I do like a brief explanation but understand that not everyone will do that.
I do not like random recommendations. I need to know why you recommended it. What is even worse is if the author recommends it to me. That pretty much goes on my don’t read vault. This feature is not for authors to use as a free promo! It looks tacky and we the readers hate it.
3. Friending to promote your own book!
This is happening more often with the whole self-published explosion. Everyone is magically an author and they want as much of the proceeds as possible. So hey why not skip out on an editor or finding a publisher. No! I can do it all by myself.
Wrong! I can tell you right now that if you are just friending me to promote your book I will ignore you and quite possibly block you.
*yes, feel free to block people you don’t feel comfortable with or are harassing you.
This will most likely land you on my Don’t Read Vault as well.
4. Adding Friends just to up your numbers.
This part annoys me. I enjoy talking to people and only request friends who I am interested in talking about books with. Now I do accept friendvites from others all the time because I have gotten past the whole I give a shit phase. At this point if you want to be a friend that is fine just don’t harass me.
However, alot of reviewers only want people who want to talk to them or care about discussing books on GR. I don’t blame them. That is why I get on GR.
A persons friend count doesn’t always equal success. Don’t let this number define how you see yourself as a reviewer, okay?
5. Clearly asking people to “like” your reviews.
I have gotten emails about wanting people to help get their reviews at the top. This is dishonest. You will go on my Shit List and I will never “like” a review of yours ever again.
6. Trolling or Harassing a reviewer!
I really, really hate when random reviewers come onto a review that one of my friends did and start bashing the review.
Really, why the hell are you wasting your time. Obviously no one is going to agree with you so just leave it alone. No one is making you view a review that got more or less stars than you had rated the book.
Don’t be a Douche!
This happens a ton! Sock Puppets tend to be the biggest problem in this area. If you are doing this you need help. Because if you enjoy pissing people off go out and become a politician. Don’t mess with people who actually care about discussing books.
P.s. It’s just RUDE!
7. Don’t bombard people with Events!
I hate when I get event after event from a person.
These parties are usually bloggers trying to get their giveaways out there. I get it. Really I do, I am a blogger too. However, when I receive 10 events a month from you I will never visit your blog. If I was truly interested I would follow your blog.
Key point : Make it specific to the people you are sending the event too. Don’t send me an event about some random book I have never heard of. I am probably not interested.
Plus it just makes you look desperate. That is not a good look let me tell you.
Did you guys see any that you just wanted to give an “amen sista” to or do you have other ones to add on? Maybe you don’t agree and that is okay too. I love feedback of all types. So feel free to share.