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Archived Author Help > Author etiquette question about friend requests

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message 1: by Grace (new)

Grace Risata | 25 comments I've been on Goodreads for about a month and I'm finding that everyone is very friendly and helpful. I do have a question about friending and following people. I don't know when it's considered appropriate to friend someone? If someone buys my book and gives me a very good review, my first instinct is, "thank you so much, let's be friends!" but I don't want to come off as a stalker. I know you're not supposed to comment on your own reviews and I would never do that, but I just want to thank people who give me good feedback. I appreciate a good review (or a not so good review as long as it has thoughtful criticism on how I can improve my writing). What does anyone else do about adding friends on here? Thank you very much.


message 2: by J C (new)

J C Steel (jcsteel) Grace wrote: "I've been on Goodreads for about a month and I'm finding that everyone is very friendly and helpful. I do have a question about friending and following people. I don't know when it's considered app..."

I take the view that if I send someone a friend invite and it bothers them, they can always ignore it ... :)


message 3: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Angell (heidiangell) | 241 comments I add friends pretty... frivolously? Well, that might not be the right word, but it is pretty close. I don't think twice about people who add me as friends and accept every single one.

As to who I send requests to? I send requests to those who leave reviews, I send requests to great people I engage with in a group discussion, I send requests to other authors with books that are similar to mine, I send requests to people who participate in my tours, or authors who's book I reviewed, and I send requests when I see that someone added my book to their TBR. Most of my friend requests get approved.

The key is that after they accept my friend request, I don't spam the crap out of them. In the five years I have been on Goodreads, I have only sent three event requests to my friends. I don't send private messages hounding them to review my book, or anything else. I am so liberal with my friending practices because I want them to be there when I do have those events and because they get a Goodreads email with my updates in books read and blog posts along with all their friends' updates. I have found that a very large number of my clicks to my blog come from goodreads, and typically at the same time (about when they send that update email out!)


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I accept every friend request I get, though I don't send out a lot of them. I'm online sporadically so I usually spend the time accepting friend requests and posting, not seeking out new friends. However anyone is free to add me if they'd like.


message 5: by Steve (last edited Feb 24, 2016 03:18PM) (new)

Steve Harrison (stormingtime) | 52 comments Samantha wrote: "I accept every friend request I get, though I don't send out a lot of them. I'm online sporadically so I usually spend the time accepting friend requests and posting, not seeking out new friends. H..."

That's my philosophy, too. I only send friend requests to people here who I already know outside Goodreads, but I'm happy to accept friend request from anyone who considers me friend-worthy :)


message 6: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) I think you're asking two different questions here:

-etiquette for sending friend requests
-should an author ever contact a reviewer

Now, to combine the two, personally I wouldn't ever send a friend request to a random person who left a review for my book. When I do personally thank reviewers or perhaps even send an FR, it's because I was in communication with the person first via this group, for example. Therefore, this is a different situation.

Perhaps I think of it this way: would JK Rowling send me an FR after seeing my review of Harry Potter? She might, however respond to one of my direct tweets if she liked it/saw it. Would Stephen King press the "like" button next to my review? He might acknowledge my comment on his blog (does he have one? If so, I want to follow it.) Would George RR Martin send me a pm thanking me for my review?

In my opinion, it doesn't matter in the slightest that the 3 authors I named are multi-millionaires. They're still people, I'm a complete stranger to them, so it's all relevant. Other authors here might not give a flying patoorie what said famous authors would do. Tomato. Tomahto.

After saying all that, there might be standards, expectations, rules, etc, but ultimately free will exists. If you feel compelled to tear down the reviewer-author wall by making attempts to personally contact them, by all means. Just be aware of the norms and how a reviewer might receive that sort of thing, regardless of whether you're being perfectly amiable or not.


message 7: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Davenport I never know either. I usually send friend request to those who read the same genre as me.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Stephen King does post on his blog here on Goodreads, but I don't know if it's just RSS from his website or if he specifically blogs on another site. I know he uses Twitter quite often though


message 9: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) I forgot to add that maybe those famous authors would do that/did do that/might do that but are now too overwhelmed by the massive numbers of feedback they receive to keep it up. I have no idea. Just referring to my own perceptions.


message 10: by Charles (new)

Charles | 148 comments I believe "appropriate" is in the eye of the beholder. I am personally hesitant to send friend requests to those who have reviewed my books, (though I have done that on occasion) but very glad to see a friend request coming from them.
I think it's most important to respect any of your friends by not spamming, book-whacking, and bearing in mind the platinum rule: Don't just do unto others as you would they did unto you, assume that the other person might not appreciate what you might.


message 11: by Grace (new)

Grace Risata | 25 comments Thanks for all the good advice. I appreciate it!


message 12: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments I usually send friend requests to those who asks in threads, or those who say they are afraid to ask but want friends. I try not to ask someone who reviewed my book unless they talk(ed) to me. I would never invite knowingly someone who added my book to their to-read list (unless what I said above: they ask for friends and even then, I'd be a bit worried doing so).

But as you can see, my list of friends is almost as long as my list of to-read books. I do accept friends request without hesitation. I've never refused any. And I do send them freely too. Most people on the friend list I've never talked to but a lot of them have become great friends.


message 13: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Quoleena wrote: "I think you're asking two different questions here:

-etiquette for sending friend requests
-should an author ever contact a reviewer

Now, to combine the two, personally I wouldn't ever send a fri..."


I'm going to second everything Quoleena says here. I don't mind getting a friend request from authors here in the group,but if someone randomly requested my friendship because I left a review, it might seem a little strange to me.


message 14: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (new)

Riley Amos Westbrook (sonshinegreene) | 1510 comments Mod
J.C. wrote: "Grace wrote: "I've been on Goodreads for about a month and I'm finding that everyone is very friendly and helpful. I do have a question about friending and following people. I don't know when it's ..."

I'm with JC on this one, part of how I met so many wonderful people on this site.


message 15: by Owen (last edited Feb 24, 2016 07:02PM) (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Quoleena wrote: "I think you're asking two different questions here:

-etiquette for sending friend requests
-should an author ever contact a reviewer

Now, to combine the two, personally I wouldn't ever send a fri..."


I'm also going to second what Quoleena says here.

My personal view is that whatever I do here on GR reflects on me as an author, and I don't see the act of leaving a review as grounds for considering someone as a "friend" (the meaning of which varies widely from person to person), so I would not consider sending a friend request to them.

From the POV of other readers, I also might expect that reviews by people in my GR friends list would carry less weight than others reviews. Some people are going to assume that they only reviewed our book because we are "friends" and this plays into a negative stereotype of using social-media "friends" to inflate one's review numbers.

In a few exceptional cases, readers have left such insightful reviews that we contacted them directly to thank them and discuss points they raised, but I never sent them a friend request. These people have since become good personal friends in the real (as opposed to on-line) world, but none of them are my "friends" on GR.


Sam (Rescue Dog Mom, Writer, Hugger) (sammydogs) | 968 comments Hannah wrote: "I never know either. I usually send friend request to those who read the same genre as me."

Hi Hannah. Though I am not a published author, I do as you do regarding friend requests.


message 17: by Samantha (new)

Samantha | 57 comments I friend people with whom I'm compatible with.


message 18: by Grace (last edited Feb 25, 2016 05:20AM) (new)

Grace Risata | 25 comments Owen wrote: Some people are going to assume that they only reviewed our book because we are "friends" and this plays into a negative stereotype of using social-media "friends" to inflate one's review numbers.

That's a very valid point, Owen, and I one that I hadn't thought of. If people read my reviews and think they all come from my friends, then they aren't going to take them seriously. Thank you very much for pointing that out. I'm glad I posted this question and I appreciate all the help I got. This is a great community with excellent advice. I'm glad I joined!


message 19: by Micah (last edited Feb 25, 2016 05:55AM) (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1042 comments Christina wrote: "I'm going to second everything Quoleena says here. I don't mind getting a friend request from authors here in the group,but if someone randomly requested my friendship because I left a review, it might seem a little strange to me.

100% behind this.

I only friend those I've had good conversations with on GR, but will accept friends from anyone (reserving the right to drop them later if I find they're being ... inappropriate ... on the forums).

But it would be bad form to friend those who leave reviews. That's kinda creepy and intrusive.

Also, if a reviewer liked your work so much as to write a review, then they'll friend you if they want to.


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