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Suggestions & Questions > A suggestion re: authors

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message 1: by Ridley (new)

Ridley | 278 comments Before Goodreads was much of a community, I was super active on Amazon. I visited the reader forums daily and regularly posted book reviews there. Amazon was my main book community, and everything was good.

Then 2011 brought a wave of self-published authors.

Suddenly the forums were inundated with new users suspiciously pushing unheard of authors who self-published. Whole threads were hijacked until it was authors shilling books to other authors. There was so much sockpuppeting that every recommendation was suspect.

We left Amazon en masse for Goodreads and formed Romance Forum Refugees so we could once again talk books without being harassed by authors pushing the hard sell.

So, I'm willing to see what happens now that Amazon bought you. But I'm gone if you can't keep a leash on authors. I'm not opposed to participating in a community run by a bookseller, but I won't be held captive to book spam.

Choose wisely. A community is only as good as its people.


message 2: by Gundula (last edited Mar 29, 2013 10:46AM) (new)

Gundula | 1953 comments Ridley wrote: "Before Goodreads was much of a community, I was super active on Amazon. I visited the reader forums daily and regularly posted book reviews there. Amazon was my main book community, and everything ..."

Goodreads already has trouble keeping a leash on authors, especially in/with certain genres, so I also hope that this will not become even more of a problem and issue now.

I am a member of a group that specifically bans any and all author promotions (self promotion or otherwise). If that were to change with Amazon being purchased by Goodreads or if authors spamming books were to become more and more prevalent, I might also (reluctantly) consider leaving.


message 3: by Riona (new)

Riona (rionafaith) | 176 comments Hear, hear. This is one of my major concerns about the merge. Author self-promo is already becoming a big problem here, and this seems like an invitation for more.


message 4: by Ridley (new)

Ridley | 278 comments If it's helpful to TPTB, things I think would rein authors in include:

-allowing users to block friend requests and PMs from author accounts.
-allowing users to limit recommendations to friends-only.
-guidelines that strongly discourage authors from spamming users via friend requests, PMs, recommendations or other posts.


message 5: by Gundula (new)

Gundula | 1953 comments Ridley wrote: "If it's helpful to TPTB, things I think would rein authors in include:

-allowing users to block friend requests and PMs from author accounts.
-allowing users to limit recommendations to friends-on..."


Definitely agree, especially limiting recommendations to friends only (and blocking PMs and friend requests from authors).


message 6: by Rachel the Book Harlot (last edited Mar 29, 2013 12:36PM) (new)

Rachel the Book Harlot | 11 comments Ridley, thank you for posting this. What you wrote is one of my number one concerns related to the Amazon take over.

I've been really lucky in that most of the authors I've come across here have been extremely professional and nice. There have been a few exceptions, and I still occasionally receive friend requests from random authors trying to promote their books, but for the most part it has been contained.

Amazon is like the opposite of that. It's like the wild west over there. There is absolutely no control, and unprofessional authors, the type who cannot handle a 1 star rating or who think spamming is another form of marketing, have free rein. When the V.P. of Amazon says things like "...it will make it “super easy,” he said, for authors that self-publish through Kindle “to promote their books on Goodreads”, it makes me extremely nervous.

I love this site and I hope the GR staff will be able to maintain the current atmosphere, and keep spamming to a minimum.


❂ Jennifer (reviews on BookLikes) (jennevans) | 923 comments I too have made the comment in another thread that I'll stay until authors are given more freedom - then I'm outta here...


Experiment BL626 | 421 comments Don't forget about allowing users to block event invites.


message 9: by Dean (new)

Dean MacAllister (DeanMacallister) | 83 comments Gundula wrote: "Ridley wrote: "If it's helpful to TPTB, things I think would rein authors in include:

-allowing users to block friend requests and PMs from author accounts.
-allowing users to limit recommendation..."


Don't like authors, eh? Me neither...


message 10: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 156 comments Experiment BL626 wrote: "Don't forget about allowing users to block event invites."

Yes.


❂ Jennifer (reviews on BookLikes) (jennevans) | 923 comments I should probably clarify that I like authors in general - I'm sure most of them are really lovely people. I'm even friends with a few. :)

But a few authors ruin it for everyone with spamming, etc. Giving these people more leeway in GR will just make a mess of things.

I can't think of one single instance where I would be open to someone promoting their book to me, but that's just me.


message 12: by Gundula (new)

Gundula | 1953 comments Experiment BL626 wrote: "Don't forget about allowing users to block event invites."

YES, YES, YES!!


message 13: by Gundula (new)

Gundula | 1953 comments Dean wrote: "Gundula wrote: "Ridley wrote: "If it's helpful to TPTB, things I think would rein authors in include:

-allowing users to block friend requests and PMs from author accounts.
-allowing users to limi..."


In general, I have not had major problems with authors, but there are some who have caused problems (especially with spamming and over promoting their books) and I just hope that the GR/Amazon marriage (lol) will not lead to increased problems (and I would like the option of not getting recommendations from non friends and not getting block invites from authors to events that generally do not interest me or book signings I would not be able to attend).


message 14: by Cindy (last edited Mar 29, 2013 10:39PM) (new)

Cindy Amrhein (HistorySleuth) | 23 comments I'm an author and I'm upset about this. I'm here as a reader. It's my reading corner. I joined for a more fun way to keep track of what I read. I find it very helpful to read reviews here before I buy the book and then I'm more then likely to go up the street to my indie bookstore to get it. I don't want to be intruded upon by Amazon when I'm trying to relax. Jeez. And I think you are right. It will be pushing books to buy.


message 15: by Ridley (new)

Ridley | 278 comments I wonder if there's a way to write a script that crawls GR and blocks all author profiles for you.

Hmmm....


Petra X smokin' hot (PetraX) | 4793 comments I was checking out TheReadingRoom.com. The first group in the list of groups had this to say:

"The Bookanistas are a group of writers - in various stages of the publishing process - who have decided to band together and review the special books of our peers.
We primarily focus on Middle Grade and Young Adult books. And we tend to review books that have just come out in the last year or that are coming out in the future.

No negative reviews here! This business is hard enough so we give nothing but love. Rest assured, we are honest. If we like the book, we give it a special shout out."

So it's full of authors bigging each other up.

I checked out the Biography Group, 100 members. Four posts on the first page. Three of them authors self-promoting, one of them a comment on how wonderful one of the books was.

I checked out a few more groups, same thing authors here, authors there. All the BUY NOW buttons are for books from Baker&Taylor's digital division - a lot of self-published authors there.

I think you might enjoy it there Ridley :-)
NOT


message 17: by Experiment BL626 (new)

Experiment BL626 | 421 comments Petra X wrote: "I was checking out TheReadingRoom.com. The first group in the list of groups had this to say:

"The Bookanistas are a group of writers - in various stages of the publishing process - who have decid..."


Wow. That group has a very distorted belief of honesty. Very, very distorted.


message 18: by JJ (new)

JJ Holding | 4 comments I have a group here on Goodreads and our main goal is to help Authors be recognized. We have a lot of Self-Published Authors and space on their group for them to promote their books. Although our group is for promoting books the Authors do not go overboard with the BUY MY BOOK i don't even think i have seen this at all in the group. They promote themselves by giving Free books in exchange for reviews and Donating their books and money from their own pocket for prizes in our competitions. so i don't think all indie authors are all BUY NOW. I have met many lovely authors on my group and they are all about the love of writing rather than selling books.


Petra X smokin' hot (PetraX) | 4793 comments I think it is great you have a group doing that. That is the perfect place. Everyone who goes there goes to see self-pub authors and their books. I wish there were loads of groups like that but by genre rather than them all mixed in.


message 20: by Gundula (new)

Gundula | 1953 comments Petra X wrote: "I was checking out TheReadingRoom.com. The first group in the list of groups had this to say:

"The Bookanistas are a group of writers - in various stages of the publishing process - who have decid..."


That sounds horrible and not worth it at all, sigh.


message 21: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 8278 comments Petra X wrote: "I was checking out TheReadingRoom.com. The first group in the list of groups had this to say:

"The Bookanistas are a group of writers - in various stages of the publishing process - who have decid..."


It does sound awful.


message 22: by Ridley (new)

Ridley | 278 comments Petra X wrote: "I was checking out TheReadingRoom.com...

I think you might enjoy it there Ridley :-)"


/eyetwitch


message 23: by Patrick, Director, Author Marketing (new)

Patrick Brown | 908 comments Mod
Just letting you know that I've deleted the comments by Lance, as they were purely promotional in nature and a clear violation of our terms of service. He was clearly just using the site to promote his own business.


message 24: by Kara, Director, Customer Care (last edited Apr 03, 2013 11:11AM) (new)

Kara | 1580 comments Mod
Ridley wrote: "If it's helpful to TPTB, things I think would rein authors in include:

-allowing users to block friend requests and PMs from author accounts.
-allowing users to limit recommendations to friends-on..."


We just limited the recommendations tool to friends-only - unless you are explicitly requesting a recommendation from the community using the official community recs feature. In that case, members outside your friend group will be able to respond directly to the request. They won't, however, be able to proactively send you book recs from your profile or from the book page unless you are already friends.

As a side note, it already violates our author guidelines to spam users through mass promotional PMs or friend requests, so please email support or flag the content in question if you encounter that type of behavior.


message 25: by Jerry (new)

Jerry Ward (jerry6030) | 12 comments People who love children but disapprove of sex may want to temper their attitudes.


Rachel the Book Harlot | 11 comments Kara wrote: "We just limited the recommendations tool to friends-only"

Kara, this is wonderful! Thank you!


message 27: by Wendy Darling (new)

Wendy Darling (wendydarling) | 131 comments Is there a way to have a pop up for authors sending messages to users, similar to the pop up that appears when they comment on one of their own reviews? Or of making it extremely clear that sending messages about their books (for purchase OR review) constitutes spam?

I get a lot of messages from authors who not only ignore their author guidelines, but also won't take the time to read my profile, which explicitly asks that they not contact me through PMs here. Lately when I've responded, some of them have also argued about the definition of spam or even gotten snippy with me.

For what it's worth, you're the first person who has responded negatively to my request for a review. A few declined politely. Most, however, responded positively and thanked me for reaching out to them.

That, plus a few more paragraphs, in response to a dispassionate, two-sentence email from me saying "please read your author guidelines..." and "please read user profiles."

The amount of spamming on this site has gotten worse and worse, and I can only imagine it will get worse with Amazon integration.


message 28: by MrsJoseph (new)

MrsJoseph | 1774 comments Wendy Darling wrote: "Is there a way to have a pop up for authors sending messages to users, similar to the pop up that appears when they comment on one of their own reviews? Or of making it extremely clear that sending..."

I hope, hope hope you reported them. That's egregious.


message 29: by Gundula (new)

Gundula | 1953 comments Ever since the Amazon announcement, I have gotten more than a few PMs by unknown children's authors asking for reviews of their kindle children's books. Is that a coincidence? I wonder.


message 30: by MrsJoseph (new)

MrsJoseph | 1774 comments Gundula wrote: "Ever since the Amazon announcement, I have gotten more than a few PMs by unknown children's authors asking for reviews of their kindle children's books. Is that a coincidence? I wonder."

uummm. I doubt it.


message 31: by Gundula (new)

Gundula | 1953 comments MrsJoseph wrote: "Gundula wrote: "Ever since the Amazon announcement, I have gotten more than a few PMs by unknown children's authors asking for reviews of their kindle children's books. Is that a coincidence? I w..."

I doubt it as well, and I am seriously considering changing my account so only friends can send PMs (actually, I think that's what I will do).


message 32: by Gundula (last edited Apr 10, 2013 07:57AM) (new)

Gundula | 1953 comments I just edited my account so that only friends can send me PMs and I got three rather weird friend requests within something like five minutes.


message 33: by MrsJoseph (new)

MrsJoseph | 1774 comments Gundula wrote: "I just edited my account so that only friends can send me PMs and I got three rather weird friend requests within something like five minutes."

I've seen a lot of that. People getting around private accounts w/no PM options by sending friend requests.


message 34: by Gundula (new)

Gundula | 1953 comments MrsJoseph wrote: "Gundula wrote: "I just edited my account so that only friends can send me PMs and I got three rather weird friend requests within something like five minutes."

I've seen a lot of that. People get..."


It was just so weird. I edit my account settings, and boom, something like three friends request within five minutes.


message 35: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 8278 comments So sorry, Gundula. It seems a better choice to remain public, get the promotional pms, and flag them all. Of course, once the sale is final, cold author promotions might not be "flaggable" offenses.


message 36: by Gundula (new)

Gundula | 1953 comments Lisa wrote: "So sorry, Gundula. It seems a better choice to remain public, get the promotional pms, and flag them all. Of course, once the sale is final, cold author promotions might not be "flaggable" offenses."

Good point, Lisa, that's one thing I am afraid of (and of groups like the Children's Literature group that don't allow authorial promotion being forced to accept and promote this).


message 37: by MrsJoseph (new)

MrsJoseph | 1774 comments Gundula wrote: "Good point, Lisa, that's one thing I am afraid of (and of groups like the Children's Literature group that don't allow authorial promotion being forced to accept and promote this). "

They can't make us Mod anything. I'll shut my group(s) down before I subject our members to that. We get plenty of author interaction.


message 38: by Wendy Darling (last edited Apr 10, 2013 12:36PM) (new)

Wendy Darling (wendydarling) | 131 comments MrsJoseph wrote: "I hope, hope hope you reported them. That's egregious."

I flag all of them. I don't know that anything has ever happened.

Authors are a huge and steadily growing problem for the reader experience here on GoodReads. But I know I'm preaching to the choir. As always.


message 39: by The Holy Terror (new)

The Holy Terror (theholyterror) | 376 comments Gundula wrote: "Ever since the Amazon announcement, I have gotten more than a few PMs by unknown children's authors asking for reviews of their kindle children's books. Is that a coincidence? I wonder."

I've gotten requests to review books, weird followers, weird friend requests ... but that seems to happen any time I post in Feedback, honestly. There are so many lurkers here, a lot of them authors just waiting to pounce.


message 40: by Emily, Director of Customer Care (last edited Apr 10, 2013 02:21PM) (new)

Emily | 1528 comments Mod
Wendy Darling wrote: "MrsJoseph wrote: "I hope, hope hope you reported them. That's egregious."

I flag all of them. I don't know that anything has ever happened.

Authors are a huge and steadily growing problem for the..."


I reviewed some of your flags this morning. When a message comes into the flag queue, we unfortunately don't have the option to let the flagger know that we've looked at it. (For other types of content, like comments and reviews, we do have this option; I believe it's something to do with how the queue was initially set up.) After we review a specific message and then take the appropriate action, we delete the message as a courtesy. If you've flagged a message and it's been deleted, that's usually a good indication that the issue has been noted and dealt with.


message 41: by Wendy Darling (new)

Wendy Darling (wendydarling) | 131 comments Emily wrote: "I reviewed some of your flags this morning. When a message comes into the flag queue, we unfortunately don't have the option to let the flagger know that we've looked at it. (For other types of content, like comments and reviews, we do have this option; I believe it's something to do with how the queue was initially set up.) After we review a specific message and then take the appropriate action, we delete the message as a courtesy. If you've flagged a message and it's been deleted, that's usually a good indication that the issue has been noted and dealt with."

Thank you, that's appreciated.

It does seem much more efficient to curtail this sort of behavior in the first place, however, instead of manually deleting annoying comments/PMs one by one. (And does the author even get a warning? How many people have to flag their spam before they're dealt with?) The current author guidelines definitely aren't deterring people from using GoodReads primarily as a promotional tool.


message 42: by Kara, Director, Customer Care (last edited Apr 10, 2013 06:55PM) (new)

Kara | 1580 comments Mod
Wendy Darling wrote: "Emily wrote: "I reviewed some of your flags this morning. When a message comes into the flag queue, we unfortunately don't have the option to let the flagger know that we've looked at it. (For othe..."

Generally, authors who violate our guidelines do receive warnings.


message 43: by Wendy Darling (new)

Wendy Darling (wendydarling) | 131 comments Kara wrote: "Generally, authors who violate our guidelines do receive warnings."

Good to know. Thank you.


message 44: by Gundula (last edited Apr 11, 2013 06:02AM) (new)

Gundula | 1953 comments Actually, what I would really, really like is that if we receive a friend request from an author (I mean a member who is a GR author, who has an author profile) that this is mentioned in the friend request. Of course, there could easily be ways for authors to perhaps circumvent this, but it would be a start. And it would also be nice if we could stipulate NOT to get friend requests from authors (it could even be something that could either be the default or be toggled on and off).


message 45: by Gundula (last edited Jul 15, 2013 07:52AM) (new)

Gundula | 1953 comments I don't really know wether this is the right thread, but I would love there to be a numerical limit placed on GR authors to post friend requests to the same person (in quick succession). I have gotten the same friend request by a certain GR author (whom I am not at all interested in befriending) three maybe even four days in a row, and I believe that I actually had a similar set of requests by said author about a month or two ago as well. I keep pressing ignore and this author just keeps sending me another friend request (which I consider rather like spamming). Oh I know I could block this person (which I will likely do if this continues), but it would be good if GR were to impose a limit on how many times a GR user/member (and especially an author) can send a friend request to the same person.

And to GR authors, if you keep sending me the same friend request over and over again, I am obviously not interested in the former, and you will only make me angry and even less likely to consider accepting a friend request in the future or even wanting to read any of your books. Sending the same friend request repeatedly (and in quick succession) is low class and spammy.

And also, I think that friend requests from GR authors should be labeled as such.


message 46: by [deleted user] (new)

Gundula wrote: "I don't really know wether this is the right thread, but I would love there to be a limit for GR authors to post friend requests to the same person. I have gotten the same friend request by a cert..."

I completely agree with this! Blocking is easy, but it's not an actual solution to the issue. The issue is authors spamming people with friend requests. If the number of requests they send per person is limited people won't get as heavily spammed.

I've gotten requests from authors I don't know and have no interest in and went straight to blocking them, but it should have to be a matter of blocking them right away.

And authors don't seem to get it... Harassing people will not get them to read your book. It'll only piss them off. Also, when you look at my shelves and can see I don't read the kinds of books you write, what makes you think you can convince me to read your book? Sure, it never hurts to expand my horizons, but I'd like to do that at my discretion.


message 47: by Gundula (last edited Jul 15, 2013 08:21AM) (new)

Gundula | 1953 comments Wednesday wrote: "Gundula wrote: "I don't really know wether this is the right thread, but I would love there to be a limit for GR authors to post friend requests to the same person. I have gotten the same friend r..."

You spam me, I will not read your books any time soon (even if you write in a genre that would normally interest me). You continue to spam me, I will consider placing you and your books on my exclusive "authors to avoid" list.

I am not trying to limit author's rights with this request, but there should be a limit on how many times an author is allowed to send a friend request to the same person (if his/her request has been ignored three times, no more friend requests to that particular person should be allowed for at least a year, maybe even two years).

And like you, I really wonder at some of the author friend requests I have gotten. Some of them make sense (historical fiction, children's literature), but others are from authors who write in genres I do not read and often despise.


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 8893 comments I don't understand why you don't just block them at the first opportunity. It stops this annoyance, and they'll find somewhere else to go.


message 49: by Erika (new)

Erika (ErikaWasTaken) | 152 comments Though blocking solves the receivers problem, it just kinda passes the spammy author on to the next person. I think what everyone is hoping for is a solution that solves the larger problem rather than the symptom.


message 50: by Gundula (new)

Gundula | 1953 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "I don't understand why you don't just block them at the first opportunity. It stops this annoyance, and they'll find somewhere else to go."

I could do that, but I think authors need to be taught a lesson here (sending one friend request is fine, sending multiple ones is not acceptable).


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