SciFi and Fantasy Book Club discussion

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GoodReads Authors' Discussion > Thoughts on being a writer on Goodreads

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message 1: by Kira (new)

Kira Wilson | 15 comments Greetings, my fellow authors!

Ever since I joined Goodreads, I've been very, VERY cautious regarding my conduct, my tone, my posts, and how much "Hey I'm a writer!" I put into my interactions with fellow readers. So much so that I think it's strangled part of my enjoyment of being on Goodreads.

Like every author I've ever heard of, I was a reader first, and continue to be one. I love books! I love digging into another person's world, getting to know their characters and becoming part of that collective experience. I belong here! But I'm not just here for the books. I'm here for the readers too, to get to know them on a personal level, to find out what they like and are looking for in a story... or what they can't stand and learn from that.

And also to let them know that I've written books that they might like.

Sometimes it's embarrassing to put yourself out there, even if you're proud of what you've written. It feels like bragging. There's also the awareness that authors have treated Goodreads poorly in the past. They've used it as another faceless advertising platform without becoming a part of the communities or taking part in the discussions. Therefore, people can be leery of us putting ourselves out there.

But since becoming aware of how awkward I feel sometimes when I think about discussing my books with readers, I wondered if I wasn't the only one.

How about you guys? Do you feel shy or awkward about telling people here that you've written books? Do you think you censor yourself too much because you don't want to be perceived as being one of "those authors"?


message 2: by Trike (new)

Trike You don’t even need to be an author to feel that.

In this day and age, anything you say can be used against you in the court of public opinion. Even twisted out of context. I’ve given low ratings for some books by black women authors and been accused of being racist and sexist. Never mind the fact that in the same breath I give the highest praise to writers like N.K. Jemisin and Octavia Butler.

But aside from that, it’s hard to be honest about your opinion, especially about your own profession. For instance, has Patrick Rothfuss ever given a book anything less than 5 stars? I’m willing to bet real money that he has never handed out anything less than 5. I find it hard to believe that he loves everything that much, but I completely understand why he would be unwilling to be anything other than full of praise for a fellow author.


message 3: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 946 comments When I joined GR I wasn't thinking at all about publishing anything or setting up an author profile, so I was well-indoctrinated about authors not dropping into discussions and talking about their books. Frowned on, to say the least. :) So, unless it is in a designated author section I don't mention it. I see it done a lot though, especially in certain clubs where authors will continually nominate their own books as club reads and are constantly being told they can't. It's kind of funny really.

Talk about books and writing though? Sure I love to see & hear what others are doing. I think I'm more a listener and observer (I think) so I usually don't talk about what I'm working on.


message 4: by Time (new)

Time | 28 comments I was initially appalled by the seaming unfounded fear of authors I encountered on goodreads, with strict rules where they were allowed to post etc, as if they were some religious mafia going door-to-door forcing people top buy their product. Previously my only interaction with authors was a very positive one and I was usually quite happy everytime I got a response.

I suppose it stems from a overabundance of not so good self-published authors trying to promote themselves, I suppose it might get embarrassing for everyone if a group for readers is full of advertising authors. You are bringing up the other side of the coin I guess. The point of the strict rules is to get rid of advertisements I think, not authors, no doubt that puts authors in a tough spot.

Maybe if you could add a little text to every post you write that would help, so you could make your opinion known and underneath have something like <-- look at me I wrote this, check it out! etc, many other forums have that sort of thing.


message 5: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin | 685 comments What I find frustrating is when a reader puts up a thread asking recommendations about a certain kind of book and I can't recommend one of my own books even though it would be a perfect match for what the reader is looking for. So, those readers keep being told about the same books by well-known authors but never are introduced to self-published authors, who can hardly compete with publishing houses in terms of publicity. What is wrong with offering more choices, especially since the readers are free to choose among the books proposed to them?


message 6: by John (new)

John Siers | 255 comments Kira, I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes I feel like I'm walking through a minefield, that even a mention of one of my books might bring a reprimand from a moderator or a negative comment from a member. I especially sympathize with Michel's comment. There are times when I KNOW one of mine would be a great recommendation, but... I bite the bullet and go searching through my library for some other book to recommend.

Still, I love the discussions here and jump in whenever I can, just because it is great to be among people who are serious about what they read.

What might be nice is for Goodreads to simply put the note "Goodreads Author" after your name when you post. Not advertising your books, but if someone found your post thoughtful and interesting, a click on your name would take them to your author profile where they would be able to see what you've written.

In any case, you're saying what I've been feeling for a long time. I came to this group when I first got published -- and that was three novels ago.


message 7: by Bree (new)

Bree Verity (breeverity) | 28 comments What we need is a group of authors who can elbow each other when there's a good opportunity for their book and say "Hey! Someone over on (wherever) is asking for recommendations and I'm a PERFECT MATCH. Can you wander over and recommend me??"
(It would help if said authors had actually read each others' books too.)
:-) Bree. Anarchist.


message 8: by Brian (new)

Brian (uefalliance) | 3 comments I'll be honest, when I first created my GR profile it was for advertising purposes, getting my book out there. Then I ran into the conduct of the rooms, posts n such. When I realized it was a lost cause... I stepped away from GR for a week or two, until I got a response from another author who provided some very in depth pointers. Now my book is hovering around top 7K E books on Amazon and in top 100 space fleet books.

Also, I'm like two-ish weeks away from publishing my sequel and I give a lot of credit to my interaction with another author on this site for pointing the way to success.

Now I manly use this site to keep in touch with other authors and keep in touch with the author community.


message 9: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 1018 comments Bree wrote: "What we need is a group of authors who can elbow each other when there's a good opportunity for their book and say "Hey! Someone over on (wherever) is asking for recommendations and I'm a PERFECT M..."

I'm an author also, and I have seen other authors do what you've suggested Bree, but in the end, it always seems as if it's the only those authors actually do on Goodreads. I think that's why Amazon deletes reviews from authors who know authors, even if the review is/appears genuine.

It's sad to say it, but a few have spoiled it for those who genuinely enjoy Goodreads as participants and group members.

It's like the twitter author who follows you, so you follow them back politely, and you immediately get a promotional 'buy my book' PM from them. Sigh...

I also feel sometimes like I'm walking on tiptoes, but I do understand why. I post in the right areas if I'm promoting my own stuff, and try not to do it too frequently. (Got slammed once and threatened to be banned from a group for updating my original author post which was in the right section of the group, but apparently I'd updated it too frequently for the group moderators - maybe twice in a week...)


message 10: by Leticia (last edited Jul 24, 2018 02:44AM) (new)

Leticia (leticiatoraci) I am planning to publish soon, but apart from recommending an anthology I was part of to some people who liked the genre the anthology was in, I haven't done anything else so far. I gave up on following people's twitters mostly. Both in twitter and facebook some authors are only about 'buy my book' posts and nothing else, it's ok when that is balanced and I know the person who is sending me marketing posts but when I see ten different messages about the same book in the same day I find it way too much. I am more into interacting with other people on social media and second into selling books, if I want to make direct marketing I think that ads are a better way to do that.


message 11: by Bree (new)

Bree Verity (breeverity) | 28 comments I love interacting as a reader, much more than I like touting my books. Relationship building is the name of the game on here. Play the long game.


message 12: by Brian (new)

Brian Anderson There is a very good reason most forums don't allow self-promotion. Typically, it degenerates into nothing more than spam central. And in truth, a forum that allows it is not a great place to market. You end up trying to sell your book to other people trying to sell their own. In the end, you get squat. Even if you can convince another indie to buy your book, so what? You're talking about a handful of sales at best. Certainly not enough to reach your goals.
Goodreads forums have the value of learning what readers like and what they don't. What are their complaints and what can they not get enough of? It can tell you if you're on the right track or if you should alter your approach.
Becoming a part of the literary community is the first thing I tell newbie authors to do. It's fine to inform people that you are a writer, but stop there. Become part of the discussion. And when the time comes to release, people know you. They know you're not a spammer and it increases your chances for sales.
There are plenty of forums out there for writers. Most have no problem with authors advertising their book...to a point.
The real issue many face is a lack of understanding about how effective marketing works. It's first of all, expensive. Very expensive. And if it's out of range of your budget you have to make up for it with time. As I said earlier, part of it is becoming known in the community. But there’s more to it. Soliciting bloggers for reviews and interviews alone can take months. And you run up against the fact that most are drowning in requests. The bigger blogs won't even consider indie books. I’m not trying to sound negative, but these are the facts. If you really want it, you must be willing to work for it.
If your book is not selling, there are a few key reasons why this might be. One: You haven’t spent enough time networking. Two: Your marketing strategy was wrong. Three: Presentation. A sharp cover and a well-edited manuscript can make the difference. Four: The book just isn’t that good. This one is the hardest to take but often the real reason. Indie readers talk. They might not blast you on a review if they don’t like your work, but they won’t spread the word either. Therefore beta readers are vitally important. Particularly when building a readership.
The good news is that resources are abundant compared to a few years ago. You can get a cover made for less than $100 these days. And quality editing is readily available. Of course, in the end, it boils down to one thing – the book. All the marketing in the world is no substitute for an engaging story.


message 13: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Murrell | 582 comments Some groups come down harder than others. The problem for me was I’m in multiple groups. Early on I forgot a time or two that I was posting in a more stringent group and was politely called out. I decided to just comment as a reader in the groups. I don’t want to lose the community and figure if I’m clever, people will click on my name and discover I’m an author. I do this and weekly find new indie reads to enjoy. I always leave a candid review after. Not all are high praise, and this has led to some inconvenience, but I don’t want people lying to me about their opinion of my book, so I won’t do it to them. I still advertise when I have deals in the appropriate locations, but the rest of the time I’m just a reader here.


message 14: by Tomas (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 444 comments I can't really speak from experience -yet- because I am still working on my debut but I've already been part of good discussions that, I believe, helped me to grow. When my book is actually done, I'd like to be active as best as I can but definitely in a non-invasive way. Discussions, answering questions, talking with others about their experience and preferences - both authors and readers. If nothing else, it can be inspiring.

Same goes for my blog - I am posting not only about the writing process but also reviews of books I read (which might give a chance that readers in my genre might find about me eventually) or just sharing my thoughts about story elements. And my other hobbies as well.

As for social networks, no idea. I am avoiding them since the start.


message 15: by Trike (new)

Trike Brian wrote: "Now I manly use this site"

How does one manly use this site? Is it mostly by sitting in a wood-paneled den drinking whiskey while tying fishing lures?

#joshing


message 16: by Trike (new)

Trike Brian wrote: "Of course, in the end, it boils down to one thing – the book. All the marketing in the world is no substitute for an engaging story. "

Even then it’s a crapshoot. I read that 99% of self-published authors never sell anything and those who do sell very few books. Even authors who have the full marketing might of a publisher behind them often don’t sell well. How many times have we seen someone with massive social media presence commanding millions of followers crash and burn when it comes to finding an audience for their book or movie? Oodles.

I think ultimately you just have to write the best book you can and do it just for yourself as a hobby. If you make a little cash from it, that’s a nice bonus.


message 17: by Brian (last edited Jul 25, 2018 12:19AM) (new)

Brian Anderson Trike wrote: "Brian wrote: "Of course, in the end, it boils down to one thing – the book. All the marketing in the world is no substitute for an engaging story. "

Even then it’s a crapshoot. I read that 99% of ..."

It's true most authors, indie or traditional, do not end up "making it". Having only recently made the transition into the traditional world, I can't speak much on it. But with indie I notice a common thread. Those who possess the talent for writing, the work ethic, and the mind for business tend to rise to the top. It's a combination of all three that makes the difference.


message 18: by Kira (new)

Kira Wilson | 15 comments Wow, guys. I really appreciate all the responses. I'm glad that I brought it up since it definitely seems like a subject that's been on more minds than just my own.

Time and Leonie both touched on something that I included in my initial post, how authors have kind of misused GRs. I think part of the problem is that when you're trying to launch your own writing career without any backing beyond a possibly encouraging spouse or friend, sometimes you're basically throwing spaghetti at the wall with your promotions: just trying out a bunch of stuff as fast as you can to see what sticks. That really doesn't work with online communities.

I think that's the impression hurdle we're trying to overcome now.

I kinda liked John's thought, if Goodreads allowed us to put our Writer status as a signature or maybe even a notation in front of our names. I personally don't want to hide my writer status (I'm damned proud of that status!), but the trick we're learning is how not to flaunt it.

Lol, Trike. I always appreciate your witty comments. The 99% statistic you're quoting, however, is pretty outdated. I remember when I was younger and making plans to become a traditionally published writer (before the advent of the indie author). That same statistic was lovingly thrown at me by several family members as a warning against pursuing my dream.

Whether or not someone is "making it" as an author, traditional or indie, is defined by how THEY measure success. Not whether or not they're reaching Oprah-level income on just their books. Some do this as a hobby or a bonus side-job, and if they make a little money then booyah, that's neat. Others do this while juggling other jobs, working their freakin' butts off. Some are where they're at income-wise, others aren't. Some, like a few dear friends of mine, have reached the point where they've been able to quit their old jobs and write full-time.

Heh, hopefully that didn't sound too soapboxy. I just read that stat and immediately heard my grandma's voice in my head all over again, starting with that, "Just so you know, dear..."

It just doesn't cover the whole story. Not by a longshot.


message 19: by WreckEm711 (last edited Aug 03, 2018 01:11PM) (new)

WreckEm711 (ttualum13) This was a really interesting thread, as I never really thought about the dynamics of this platform for aspiring/up and coming authors.

As a reader I definitely don’t want to be spammed, but at the same time I want to know about lesser known or up an coming books of high quality.. one of my favorite books of all time is Brandon Sanderson’s Elantris, and that took him ages to get published.. when i sit back and think about all of the Elantris quality books that haven’t been discovered yet... X-O I think I’m definitely more likely to check out an authors books if I see them post engaged discussion and threads (such as this one) than flat out advertising.

Best of luck to the authors in the group!!


message 20: by Brian (last edited Jul 28, 2018 05:54AM) (new)

Brian Anderson Kira wrote: "Whether or not someone is "making it" as an author, traditional or indie, is defined by how THEY measure success. Not whether or not they're reaching Oprah-level income on just their books. Some do this as a hobby or a bonus side-job, and if they make a little money then booyah, that's neat. Others do this while juggling other jobs, working their freakin' butts off. Some are where they're at income-wise, others aren't. Some, like a few dear friends of mine, have reached the point where they've been able to quit their old jobs and write full-time.."
That's actually why I didn't use the term "success". When I said "make it" I was referring to making a living through writing. Most writers have that dream. Otherwise they wouldn't bother publishing. Only some are more serious about it than others and form a strategy. Luckily, when compared to a few years ago, there are resources available to aid authors in coming up with an effective road map. It's no guarantee. But that's no different than in any profession.
I totally get hobbyists. Finishing a novel is an accomplishment all by itself. One to be proud of. And while I measure success in financial terms and sales numbers, that's only because I have to. That particular yardstick is mine and meant to keep me focused on the work. I don't translate it to other people, or expect them to see it from that perspective. Every writer has their own definition of success according to their goals.
That said, if you do want to make a living as an indie writer, it's a long and difficult climb. Even if you get there, staying there is just as hard. It's not for everyone. It's easy to get burned out.


message 21: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Murrell | 582 comments They say it takes twenty years to become an overnight success. I’m eight years deep and working on getting time off for good behavior.


message 22: by V.W. (new)

V.W. Singer | 371 comments I am very careful not to mention my books in any non-author friendly thread. But I do admit it is frustrating when someone asks for recommendations and one of my books fits the requirement to a T.

Since I write under different pen names for different genres, I could probably get away with promoting one or more genres, but I don't since it would be dishonourable.


message 23: by Kira (new)

Kira Wilson | 15 comments Quick, everyone, send your book recommendations Selton's way! ;D

Jokes aside, Selton, thanks for adding your thoughts to this discussion. I'm glad that you found it valuable to know our perspective as authors.

Brian, I appreciate the thoughts and am right there with you. And you're right: it IS a long and difficult climb. But I think the same could be said about any entrepreneurial endeavor, and that's definitely what we are. It's also not ALL hard work, because let's face it... writing a book is a hell of a lot of fun as well!

V.W., I've thought about mentioning books of mine that are written under a different pen name but shied away from doing so for the same reason. And because nothing stays a secret on the internet forever, and I wouldn't want to risk torching goodwill with fans and readers over effectively playing games.

If I'm proud enough of my book to publish it for other people to enjoy, I should be proud enough to claim it as mine openly.

P.S. Phillip, your latest release looks super interesting! Mind if I send you a PM about it?


message 24: by WreckEm711 (new)

WreckEm711 (ttualum13) Kira wrote: "Quick, everyone, send your book recommendations Selton's way! ;D

Jokes aside, Selton, thanks for adding your thoughts to this discussion. I'm glad that you found it valuable to know our perspectiv..."


Haha I'm always up for a good book recommendation! A.... GOOD READ.... IF YOU WILL?! (I refuse to apologize for dad jokes)

I realized recently that I have pretty much only read a lot of the more popular stuff, so I've wanted to make it a point going forward to alternate reading the huge well known books with newer/lesser known books. Goodreads is a wildly valuable resource for that!


message 25: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Murrell | 582 comments Kira wrote: "P.S. Phillip, your latest release looks super interesting! Mind if I send you a PM about it?"

PM away, I'd be foolish to say no.


message 26: by Kira (new)

Kira Wilson | 15 comments Haha I'm always up for a good book recommendation! A.... GOOD READ.... IF YOU WILL?! (I refuse to apologize for dad jokes)

Dad jokes = best bad jokes

If you're looking for a place to start in the lesser known/indie author crowd, then why not right here? Check out some of the blurbs and links folks in this group have put in the Author Discussion discussion forum. One of mine's in there, Phillip's is in there, along with tons more.


message 27: by WreckEm711 (new)

WreckEm711 (ttualum13) I actually already have started here, have a few books from authors in this group on my want to read list after i clear out a few other books :)


message 28: by K.M. (new)

K.M. Goldstar (kmgoldstar) | 1 comments Hey anyone interested in doing a book exchange? I read your novel and you read mine and have a honest talk about it.... I am looking for a book in the fantasy genre... Would like to read something which is by an Indie writer....


message 29: by Allison, Fairy Mod-mother (new)

Allison Hurd | 13034 comments Mod
MGK there are groups on GR for just that purpose, and with many other resources for authors. I think you'll find a lot more author-centric advice in author-centric groups! :-)


message 30: by Norton (new)

Norton Beckerman. (nortsb) | 93 comments I would be interested in an author exchange. I can't give you my authors website here. You can check out my name and read the first 2 chapters on my website to see if you're interested.
.


message 31: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1436 comments Trike wrote: "For instance, has Patrick Rothfuss ever given a book anything less than 5 stars?..."

I looked him up:
680 ratings | 478 reviews | avg rating: 4.64

So, yes. He has given less than 5 stars.

5 stars ... 79% (543)
4 stars ... 10% (74)
3 stars ... 4% (31)
2 stars ... 3% (22)
1 stars ... 1% (10)

];P


message 32: by Trike (new)

Trike I will mail you a dollar.


message 33: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1323 comments 🤣


MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 2207 comments I Mod a handful of groups and I am a member of even more.

For a long, long time, GR authors make my (GR) life hellish.
-There were the authors who do nothing but drive by sell.
-The spam PMs begging for reviews.
-The arguments that "if you get the book for free, you HAVE to give a review and it HAS to be positive."
-The arguments that "you shouldn't give "bad" reviews, you should send the author a PM"
-The arguments that "you have to think of the author"
-The arguments that "This is cheaper than your coffee"
-Arguments with paid promoters in my groups
etc
etc
etc

I rarely want an author to rec their own book to me - most of the time what they are rec'ing is WRONG and (most of) the rest of the time I have a knee-jerk negative reaction.

I didn't come here to be sold to - I came here to talk to other readers. For a long time, however, I felt like fish in a barrel. I'm grateful that a lot of Mods made spamming harder and harder to do in groups.

I get you want to promote and you may not have done this - but instead of being peeved at the people having to fix the issue, be mad at your fellow authors who fucked it up for everyone.


message 35: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1436 comments I just assume that everyone here is also a writer. I don't want you to try and sell me your book so I won't try to sell you mine. It's fun to talk about our own work, but not so fun to read about other people's books if we don't already have an interest in them.

It does take some restraint to speak only from a reader's voice, but overall it's better that way.


message 36: by Norton (new)

Norton Beckerman. (nortsb) | 93 comments I was introduced to Goodreads about 6 months ago. I'm delighted that I was. I've been introduced to some excellent reads. Being a good author requires reading a wide variety of authors and material. Goodreads has provided that in spades.


colleen the convivial curmudgeon (blackrose13) | 2674 comments Micah wrote: "I just assume that everyone here is also a writer. I don't want you to try and sell me your book so I won't try to sell you mine. It's fun to talk about our own work, but not so fun to read about o..."


I find that interesting that you assume that everyone is a writer because, honestly, I always just consider people readers and never really know or care if most people are also authors.


MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 2207 comments colleen the convivial curmudgeon wrote: "Micah wrote: "I just assume that everyone here is also a writer. I don't want you to try and sell me your book so I won't try to sell you mine. It's fun to talk about our own work, but not so fun to read about o..."


I find that interesting that you assume that everyone is a writer because, honestly, I always just consider people readers and never really know or care if most people are also authors. "


^This

I always assume that everyone here are readers.


message 39: by Trike (new)

Trike I’m a dancer.


message 40: by M.L. (last edited Sep 25, 2018 10:39AM) (new)

M.L. | 946 comments I thought everyone was a reader, too.

An idea was mentioned in good faith, community, and everything, however, I think it would be scary if everyone who was an author had a *badge* that said so. I'm curious, but no thanks, would not want to see that.


MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 2207 comments M.L. wrote: "I thought everyone was a reader, too.

An idea was mentioned in good faith, community, and everything, however, I think it would be scary if everyone who was an author had a *badge* that said so. I..."


Agreed.

There's a communication problem here: ALL readers here want to come to talk about books/book stuff. Some readers here also want to talk to authors. They seem to be in the minority.

A lot of authors think of GR as a store/Commercial activity...and that's when the disconnect comes in.

Like ML, I'm turned off by the idea of a special name tag for authors. I don't come here for author interactions so I see no need for it.

I'm here as a reader. Not a person looking for someone to sell me something or do something for them. Or to be put into a 2nd class because one of us likes to write but the other doesn't.

If I like you (as a reader), I might check out your profile and discover you are an author. That MIGHT prompt me to buy your book...

...but that STILL doesn't mean I'll read or review it (or even buy it, honestly). I bought 2 books from GR authors trying to be nice... that was in 2012. I was hoping challenges would get me to read one of them.


message 42: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1323 comments Honestly if I were an author I wouldn’t want a ‘badge’ either - no scarlet letter for me thanks!


MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 2207 comments Rachel wrote: "Honestly if I were an author I wouldn’t want a ‘badge’ either - no scarlet letter for me thanks!"

You know, while I didn't think it would be a scarlet letter, I can see why you would say that. All of the GR badges/tags (thus far) have a practical application - to allow members to easily identify group leaders. An author tag would be less functional and more commercial.

Personally, i just think tags/badges should stay with the functional.


MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 2207 comments I also want to say this -

There are some very, very cool authors on GR. These are the people who treat the rest of us as people, not open pocketbooks.

They manage to talk about life, books, TV, movies (and everything in between) without making it into a commercial transaction. I go looking for the books written by those authors and I get excited if they write what I like to read.

I have learned to keep that to myself, however. My reading habits are dictated by whim and I don't want to lose a friend over not reading/reviewing their book(s). And yes, this has happened. More than once.


message 45: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 1018 comments I think there's a reason the site is called Goodreads.

I really enjoy the book discussions, making Goodreads friends and there are some Goodreads members who I know enjoy the same types of books as myself, so I've discovered some marvellous new authors as a result.

I do think many authors don't understand this at all.


message 46: by Norton (new)

Norton Beckerman. (nortsb) | 93 comments In my opinion to be a good author you have to be a prolific reader. But not all prolific readers can be, or want to be, good authors. Authors put themselves on a stage and then encourage people to either throw tomatoes or flowers. Not everyone wants that pressure. Not everyone is that confident in their work that they're willing to put themselves on stage. I was a reader long before I was an author. I love both.


message 47: by Norton (new)

Norton Beckerman. (nortsb) | 93 comments Something about Micah's comment grated on me. Authoring a good book is hard work, particularly if you're an indie author. Writing is the fun part. Marketing your book is the hard part. Authors want to be places where there are readers. They want exposure. Goodreads is obviously a place frequented by a lot of readers. But you don't have to be pushy to promote your book.


message 48: by Micah (last edited Sep 27, 2018 07:17AM) (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1436 comments Norton wrote: "Something about Micah's comment grated on me. Authoring a good book is hard work, particularly if you're an indie author. Writing is the fun part. Marketing your book is the hard part. Authors want..."

I apologize if I grated. I didn't mean to. And I think we're really on the same page (pardon the pun).

Marketing books is hard and, for me, unpleasant. I first came here, as a lot of indie writers do, thinking it would be a good place to get exposer and possibly find an audience. The trouble with that is that every other indie writer did the same thing, and the discussion forums quickly became inundated with self-promotion to the point that it was discouraging readers who were here to discuss books and not to be constantly "sold" to. This is why all the discussion groups have rules on how to properly self-promote, and probably is a big headache to our hardworking moderators.

So now, I'm here primarily to talk about books and the writing process with others interested in the same thing. Most of the conversations I get into include a lot of other authors.

On a very tangential note, it's kind of interesting to compare the Goodreads experience with some musician/music gear forums I've been involved with in the past. On those forums it's generally accepted that everyone is a musician or music gear nut. As such, no one really goes crazy with self-promotion. We're all in the same boat, so it's more of a support group and place to discuss shared interests.

That's the attitude I try to maintain here (reference my "I just assume that everyone here is also a writer" comment). Keep the marketing in the places that the discussion group moderators have set up for it, and use the rest of the group for talking about reading and the writing process (where applicable).

And of course writers are readers, just as musicians are listeners. How can they not be? We write/play because we want to be part of the reading/listening experience.


message 49: by Norton (new)

Norton Beckerman. (nortsb) | 93 comments I really appreciated your response Micah. Yes, it seems that we're on the same page. I understand what you're saying about authors lurking in the bushes to sell you their book(s). I teach, write and speak about brain function. I even authored a book about regaining and maintaining a healthy effectively functioning brain. I've been an avid reader of fiction and storyteller most of my life. But I'm new to fiction writing and I love it. It took me six years, seven manuscripts, several beta readers and a very patient editor before my first novel was born, but I loved every minute of it. Then I realized I had to market my book. I had to learn and understand what I had to do as an author. It was like opening doors that led into a new universe, and Goodreads was the sun that shone. That made sense, so as an author, I checked out Goodreads, but I'm a reader and Goodreads has introduced me to authors and books that I would have never read. That means I fall somewhere in the middle. I'm an author, but I'm also a reader. But authoring and marketing is a lot of hard work, and Goodreads is only one entry point for authors. Focusing on Goodreads alone is like focusing on the sun and forgetting that there are other planets. I participate on Goodreads, but I'm also in a lot of other places. I wish you GOOD READING AND WRITING.


message 50: by Norton (new)

Norton Beckerman. (nortsb) | 93 comments Kira when I published my first novel I was so excited I was telling everyone about it. Then I realized that you may be excited about what you've done, but most other people aren't. I put together a paragraph summarizing my book so if someone asks I can answer quickly. If they want to know more I tell them, but that doesn't happen often. Indie authors have more to be concerned about than Goodreads. KDP (Kindle) and Amazon have openly come together. KDP is now publishing and reviewing books that they have a financial interest in. They pay you $ and you give up control of your book for, I believe it's, 5 years. But then they go out and review it aggressively. KDP has become a publishing house. Reviews are the stock and trade of indie authors. Even the major publishers have their books professionally reviewed. As a publishing house Kindle has an unfair advantage. At least in my opinion. I would like comments from other authors please.


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