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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

How Things Change 2009-2012

Okay, so last week I was home for several miserable days, with sick children and then a migraine (from being up all night with sick children). The end result was monotonous mindless internet clicking. Hours of it. And wow, an author with an upcoming book can find out a lot of stuff. More, really than anyone needs to see or know.

In late 2008/early 2009, when my first book came out, I wasn't on Twitter, not sure if ANYONE was, and Goodreads was around, but not nearly so all-emcompassing.

Now, I'm not going to get into the Goodreads fiasco, (fiascos?) that happened last week except in a roundabout way, discussing how the internet landscape (the endless distractions!) for an author have evolved. Ah  Goodreads, we love you and we hate you. You can be an ego-booster or a complete downward spiral into suicidal depression (joking, joking...sort of).

I realize, in my rational brain that Goodreads isn't about authors, though tons of us are obviously on there.

 Goodreads is all about the reviewers. It's a REVIEW site. I am so astounded and impressed by the amount of book blogs that have popped up since 2009. The features that seem to have been designed JUST to drive authors crazy, make a lot of sense for the reviewers.They can review as they read, post status updates, connect those to Twitter, discuss the books!

 Goodreads is a community of readers, not a community of authors obsessively refreshing their pages. But those writers are absolutely out there, I was one last week. It was not...healthy.

Which is not to say I haven't refreshed twice in the last (30 seconds). I've been watching the numbers climb on my contest (50 copies, enter right away!) and when people post updates while they are reading, OMG, that is pure torture. But the thing is, they aren't posting these things for ME. and I know that.

As a person who wears a LOT of hats, (teacher, author, mother)  I feel for authors who also try to review. I don't, because I'm no good at it. I do put ratings on Goodreads occasionally, but I've never done a review. I have a lot of respect for people who can get to the heart of a story, but I tend to read completely for diversion, or completely for study of the writing process, with little in-between. I respect reviewers, authors or not, who give negative reviews, because it's a lot harder to say what you don't like about a book than to just give it five stars. Or than to just give one star, to actually say WHY, that's hard and time consuming. I very much enjoy reading reviews, especially after I've read a book, to see if others shared my opinions. I am so glad there are book reviewers out there.

But as an author, you have to turn off your google-fu. This power to know what people are thinking about page 12 of your novel will not help you write another book, it may stymie you, forcing you to type a mere three words at a time before you refresh your various pages and searches. It leads to madness!

On the other hand, how cool that this information is out there! It helped divert me from the pain of my migraine, that's for sure!

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Blogger Petra @ Safari Poet said...

There was another fiasco on Goodreads? They seem to be happening more frequently. It seems like there is drama of some kind every other week. I hope things calm down. The problem is that when people feel anonymous, they can get nasty.

I don't have ratings on GR as well. I use to, but removed all of them since I imagined an author reading a positive review that I gave 4 stars instead of 5 and getting obsessed why I didn't give it a 5.

January 19, 2012 at 1:30 PM  

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