This is sort of like a special edition of Shop Talk, the Wednesday feature where we chat about bookish stuff. The Twitterverse and the author email loops were abuzz yesterday with the news that Amazon has purchased the monolithic book website Goodreads.
Most authors seem to think this is a Bad Thing. I honestly don’t know. I don’t have the Anti-Amazon gene a lot of people have. Probably because I live in a small town and if not for Amazon, I’d be reading a lot of Nora Roberts books from Walmart or Walgreens. (No offense to Ms. Roberts.)
I don’t use Goodreads a lot. I feed my blogs in there, and I track my own reads (although I’ve been a slacker about that lately). I have librarian status because they often seemed to put up the wrong covers for my books and it allows me to go in and change them. I do read my reviews, particularly on newer releases.
Goodreads as a whole isn’t very author-friendly, however. I know some authors who tiptoe into the discussion forums occasionally, or who’ve started their own, but I also know some who’ve been flamed–and not in a nice way–for even mentioning their own book. So I avoid those; I have enough drama in my life without forum flaming, and don’t really have time for more social media.
I spent a few hard-fought weeks a year or so ago trying to get a one-star review removed from Goodreads–of a book I hadn’t even written yet. It was frustrating to be told by someone in “customer service” that reading a book was not a prerequisite for writing a review. Well, okay. But having the book at least WRITTEN should be a criterion. Finally, by banding with a number of other debut authors who’d also been the victim of this “reviewer,” we were able to get the reviews removed.
So, what’s your take on the Amazon-Goodreads purchase? Seems like a good topic to chat about on a Friday in March…