Great Middle Grade Reads discussion

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GROUP BUSINESS > Gentle Reminder to Authors

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message 1: by M.G. (last edited Aug 29, 2013 04:58AM) (new)

M.G. King (mgking) | 728 comments As writers ourselves, the moderators of GMGR understand how much we writers love to talk about our own books! We value your insight and discussion, but ask that you only mention your books in the Author's Corner or Offers areas.

Because we have seen an increase in the number of self-promotional comments lately you may find your comment deleted or redirected. Be assured that this is not personal. We all benefit if our group remains attractive to a wider reading audience. We hope you'll find us a genuine community of like-minded book lovers, and not just a sales target.


Cheryl struggles to catch up (cherylllr) Indeed. I'm 'just' a reader, and despite your efforts, I sometimes feel like I don't belong in this group. Thank you for enforcing the guidelines about self-promotion.


message 3: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1673 comments Mod
Cheryl, you belong most of all (after all, we all need readers)! Sometimes it does feel as though we end up just being authors trying to sell our books (to other authors), but actual conversations about books are really much more fun. Thanks for being here!


message 4: by S.W. (last edited Sep 05, 2013 04:03AM) (new)

S.W. (swlothian) | 843 comments Mod
Thanks M.G., I totally agree with your comments. I've had limited ability to be online over the past week or so, and would have commented sooner.

When I started this group it was initially an experiment. I had found that there was a gap in Goodreads for discussions about Middle Grade. YA seemed to have all the groups and all the glory. I thought I might get a few like minded members to join. We've set up a group that provides discussions that cover a wide range of topics and points of view. It's difficult to keep the balance and I think that we've done pretty well so far, and I'm very keen to keep the balance.

To say that I've been amazed at how many people have joined the group over the first 12 months would be an understatement. There is now over 800 members, who are a mix of readers, teachers, authors, librarians, and so on. It's this wide range of points of view that gives the group it's depth.

The guiding principles that I set in place called for ... Respect. Tolerance. Good vibes. Support. Great Reads.

I think we've been quite successful so far, and I hope that we stay around.


message 5: by M.G. (new)

M.G. King (mgking) | 728 comments Cheryl in CC NV wrote: "Indeed. I'm 'just' a reader, and despite your efforts, I sometimes feel like I don't belong in this group. Thank you for enforcing the guidelines about self-promotion."

Cheryl, love your contributions and comments! You are obviously very well-read and we're glad you are on board!


message 6: by M.G. (new)

M.G. King (mgking) | 728 comments S.W. wrote: "Thanks M.G., I totally agree with your comments. I've had limited ability to be online over the past week or so, and would have commented sooner.

When I started this group it was initially an exp..."


I think you've had a great vision for GMGR and we all appreciate your efforts, Steve. We'll keep the good vibes going for another year!


message 7: by Helen (new)

Helen Laycock (helenlaycock) | 128 comments I'd just like to say that I very much welcome a group which pertains specifically to M.G. fiction and I'm thrilled that it's going from strength to strength.

I must make an effort to pop in more often!


message 8: by S.W. (new)

S.W. (swlothian) | 843 comments Mod
Helen wrote: "I'd just like to say that I very much welcome a group which pertains specifically to M.G. fiction and I'm thrilled that it's going from strength to strength.

I must make an effort to pop in more o..."


Thanks Helen, I'll keep an eye out for you around the threads. Cheers.


message 9: by Beverly (new)

Beverly McClure (beverlysmcclure) | 25 comments Lately my life's been hectic and I haven't been active here, but I hope to visit more often now. As a former teacher of fifth-grade students, I love MG books and enjoy discussing them. Back soon. This looks like a great group.


message 10: by M.G. (new)

M.G. King (mgking) | 728 comments Hi Beverly,
I think we can all relate! We'll be looking for you in the discussions and value your experiences as a former teacher.


message 11: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I joined the group initially as a way to find books that I thought my daughter would enjoy because I couldn't find anywhere that really promoted her age group of books. But after joining the group I was reminded of how much I really enjoy MG books myself!

I did stop coming in as much because I wasn't sure how much the book was for readers as opposed to writers, but i'm glad the moderators are working on a nice mix of the two!


message 12: by Laurie (new)

Laurie Melrose | 2 comments Thanks M.G. for addressing this topic! I'm constantly on the lookout for honest recommendations because I like to read middle grade books as much as I like to write them. I particularly appreciate the email reminders of current GMGR posts. They remind me to take a breather from my hectic world.


message 13: by Philip (new)

Philip Martin | 29 comments Sorry if I've missed something, but is there a place to post a one-time notice of a new book? M.G's lead comment here asks "that you only mention your books in the Author's Corner or Offers areas," but it looks like the Author's Corner is frozen to new comments? And I don't have a special offer, just an announcement of a new title.


message 14: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1673 comments Mod
Phillip, the Authors Corner is open of business. Click on the general header (not a specific topic) and on the right in tiny print it will was "new topic". Click that and you're off!


message 15: by Philip (new)

Philip Martin | 29 comments Thanks. That makes sense!

Phil


message 16: by James (new)

James Loftus Thanks for the reminder, like all my self published brothers and sisters I can get carried away. I need an agent! Trouble is the agents don't need me!


message 17: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Moore Hey, I've only just joined the group, and it's interesting for me, as an author, that this 'gentle reminder' is one of the first things I've come across. It makes me feel a little bit like the big bad wolf... Having said that. I'm on your side. Imagine if in every given situation everyone was promoting themselves first(not a bad idea for a story): "Beautiful wedding my dear, the bride is absolutely stunning. But hey, those pipes there look decidedly dodgy and what you need is a really great plumber, and I just happen..."
Hmmm.
I know it can be difficult, an author in a library full of books is just bursting to say, "I wrote one of them..."
But hey, it's not cool. Cool is good. Be appropriate.


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh dear, I'm afraid I made a terrible mistake by suggesting my book. Where is the Author's Corner? I'm completely new to Goodreads; I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing, what etiquette rules I'm breaking so please forgive me.


message 19: by S.W. (new)

S.W. (swlothian) | 843 comments Mod
Nancy wrote: "Oh dear, I'm afraid I made a terrible mistake by suggesting my book. Where is the Author's Corner? I'm completely new to Goodreads; I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing, what etiquette rules I'..."

Nancy wrote: "The Crystal Navigator: A Perilous Journey Back in Time
This book covers many themes: school anxiety, magic, loss of confidence and finding oneself combined with fascinating insights..."


Hi Nancy....relax.....
The group has a wide range of members and we are just trying to find the right balance. Members can feel overwhelmed if there is constant spruiking by authors in the normal group threads. So we have a separate section for authors here ... https://www.goodreads.com/topic/group... as well as giveaway/special offer and read4review sections. I'll leave you to discover the other gems we have.
It's all part of the balance. The main theme of the group is spreading info about great MG reads in an unbiased way. There's plenty of great discussions that should interest you.
Cheers and welcome aboard.


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Thank you so much for your message. Okay, I'm a little relaxed. I'm having a hard time figuring out where to talk about my book. Every group for young readers seems to have authors writing about vampires, ghouls, dystopic horrors and my book a much more of a classic fantasy, gentler, in the tradition of Kate DiCamillo. I haven't found that group of authors, nor have I found the right place to promote my book. But your message is a great help and I am very grateful.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

As a writer I am constantly looking for ways to promote my books, but this doesn't necessarily mean I want to start pasting links to Amazon everywhere as I find this approach doesn't really work, and also that most sites where this happens finds authors promoting their books to fellow authors. Not a great move really.

I wonder how many readers and not authors go into the authors promotion section in this group? By asking that question I don't want to seem disrespectful to the group in any way, and I too, hold the belief that no-one really wants to see endless links posted everywhere, and for that reason I support your approach to promotions fully.

But i do wonder if an authors promotion folder actually attracts many readers.

By way of discussion, I wonder if there is a better way to promote our books - i know active involvement in group discussions helps and building a rapport with other members does too.

As a suggestion - many authors have Facebook pages dedicated to themselves, or their books, or their characters and it is these pages we want readers to see. Where they can get news of new books, or releases or giveaways by choice, and not rammed down their throats in a Goodreads discussion forum.

So what say if we had a folder for Facebook page likes - aimed at the readers? Authors could paste details of the sites they have and if a reader likes the subject they could 'like' it and thereafter receive news about that book via Facebook.

There could be rules there that forbid authors from just posting nameless and endless links too, and maybe make them use a standard template to show what their books refer to?

Again this is only a suggestion and in no way a criticism of the way the Group is run.

Keep up the good work.


message 22: by M.G. (new)

M.G. King (mgking) | 728 comments John wrote: "As a writer I am constantly looking for ways to promote my books, but this doesn't necessarily mean I want to start pasting links to Amazon everywhere as I find this approach doesn't really work, a..."

Hi John,

Thanks for your suggestions. It is always a challenge trying to balance the needs of the readers and writers, but we feel like we all benefit most when the group remains focused on the books.

Even when we have pretty clearcut rules in place about self-promotion, it is a continual effort on the part of the moderators to keep the threads from feeling like billboard advertisements because of the great numbers of authors that belong to the group. The unexpected plea to "Buy my book!" in the middle of a discussion always feels a tad bit annoying and doesn't serve the members or the author.

My own personal opinion is that the best way to get noticed is to be genuinely interesting and interested in other people. Less direct, but much more effective.

But you are right, Indie authors need more avenues for discovery. Why don't we open up the discussion in the Author's Corner.


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi M.G thanks for the response.

I think it's a worthwhile discussion, but i completely agree that it's tricky to control the flagrant posting of links throughout the forums. I wish Authors would use a bit more savvy than the post and run tactics so many seem to employ.

It's a tough enough job as it is to get new readers interested in our novels, and none of us need authors alienating the readership by hard-core sale drives.

That said, I also believe there is a requirement (particularly in Middle-Grade) for readers to be able to find suitable new novels for themselves and their offspring.

I will continue to participate in various group discussions without promoting, but I do think this could make for an interesting discussion.

We need to find out what readers will be interested in by way of author announcements or promotions, and as authors we need to prove that we do have better imagination than just posting endless amazon links everywhere.


message 24: by M.G. (new)

M.G. King (mgking) | 728 comments A simple reminder that comments promoting one's own books are limited to the authors and promotional threads within the group. We've had a recent surge in self-promotional comments on the threads, which serves no one, least of all the authors making them as they alienate the other members of the group.

The moderators like to keep GMGR a "good vibes" happy place to talk books, and we find it extremely awkward to have to keep reminding everyone to remember their manners. No one wants to be the target of a constant sales pitch.


message 25: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1673 comments Mod
MG--if the problem continues (I've been kind of distracted and not hanging out here as much as a good Mod should), we may want to send your message to everyone?

I am noticing that far too many of the new threads are promotional. I need to step up my game and start some good discussions!


message 26: by Griselda (new)

Griselda Heppel | 3 comments I've just joined this group and wholeheartedly agree with the rules - I especially like the gentle way of admonishing authors! Just one newbie question... where are the Authors or Offers areas (were I to, um, wish to promote my own books)?

Thanks!


message 27: by S.W. (last edited Jun 05, 2015 04:28AM) (new)

S.W. (swlothian) | 843 comments Mod
Griselda wrote: "I've just joined this group and wholeheartedly agree with the rules - I especially like the gentle way of admonishing authors! Just one newbie question... where are the Authors or Offers areas (wer..."

Hi Griselda, welcome aboard.

There are some sections that you can use. Here are some links for you.

List of all threads.
https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

Some sections that can be used by authors.
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/group...
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/group...
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/group...

Good luck :)


message 28: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1673 comments Mod
Welcome Griselda! Glad to have, and hope you can join in our discussions. We're just about to start our June group read, so jump aboard!


message 29: by Griselda (new)

Griselda Heppel | 3 comments Thank you for these nice welcomes! Thanks to S.W. I've found the Author's Corner area, which is great. Ooh, June group read - I'm guessing that's the BOTM? Will check it out.


message 30: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1673 comments Mod
Yes, BOTM. Group read. All the different names for the same thing confuse me (not that it's difficult to do so).


message 31: by E.R. (new)

E.R. Murray | 5 comments This is an important reminder. I'm an author and a reader, and I can't stand just self promotion - that's not what we're here for! Didn't realise there was an author's corner, so I'm off to have a look - sounds interesting. Thanks so much - still getting to grips with Goodreads & you've been a big help.


message 32: by S.W. (new)

S.W. (swlothian) | 843 comments Mod
E.R. wrote: "This is an important reminder. I'm an author and a reader, and I can't stand just self promotion - that's not what we're here for! Didn't realise there was an author's corner, so I'm off to have a ..."

Enjoy your yourself in the threads :)


message 33: by Sam (new)

Sam Friedman (sam_ramirez) | 24 comments out of curiosity, how many members of this group are authors, and how many are 'just' readers?


message 34: by M.G. (new)

M.G. King (mgking) | 728 comments If you look at the introductory threads, I would say well more than half of our members are also writing.


message 35: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1673 comments Mod
M.G. wrote: "If you look at the introductory threads, I would say well more than half of our members are also writing."

And at times I think that might be true of the whole site.


message 36: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1673 comments Mod
It would appear that it is time to refresh this thread. My fellow Mods and I have been removing quite a few threads lately from authors who are posting about their own books in any and all threads.

Please, authors, remember that you are to post about your own books ONLY in the Authors or Offers sections

Look, I get it. I'm an author too. We want people to know about our books. But this group will work only if our discussions remain just that--real discussions of books, not a venue for advertisements. Thank you.


message 37: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1673 comments Mod
We are working on that issue and hope you will stick around, now that you are back. We've been really trying to clamp down on self-promotion and encourage genuine discussions. It's not easy.


message 38: by Holly (new)

Holly (hollyjahangiri) | 1 comments I just joined. I'm an author, a reader, and a mom.

I joined this group to listen to readers, not to promote my own books or see a barrage of book promos from my fellow authors. :)


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