Clean Reads discussion

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Clean Reads Book Club > Can a book be clean if it is suggested by its author?

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message 1: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 221 comments Well said!


message 2: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Trupp | 72 comments D.R. wrote: "For years, I have seen an unusual trend. If an author writes a clean uplifting book and then suggests that it is clean and uplifting, the book becomes suspect simply because he or she suggested it ..."
Here! Here! Thank you for making this valid point.


message 3: by Story (new)

Story Eater (eaterofstories) | 5 comments If I may, very respectfully, make an argument/suggestion that readers can be very, very biased. Take, for example, any book releases, before they come out even at a galley website, that garner 5 stars (or the inverse, 1 star)? Or, for example, peruse the YA book review pages and see whether a book is rated highly (or terribly) because of specific representation (or lack thereof). I read a spectrum of books so I can be informed for my students and their parents. Many times, ultimately, I tell them the content like I'm a weather radio and let them decide if they would like to take a chance on it for themselves.

Additionally, do not writers start as readers? Should we treat them as only a writer or as a reader also? This might make its way into a discussion in class for my students. It is a good one.


message 4: by C.S. (new)

C.S. Kjar (cs_kjar) | 11 comments Maybe there's a misunderstanding about what "clean books" are. My books are rated G, meaning no sex scenes, but there may be kissing. There's no cuss words or obscenities at all. They're similar to the stories you see on the Hallmark Channel. Ask my readers about them.


message 5: by James (new)

James Adair Fisher | 9 comments Am I allowed to mention my alternate history book as a candidate for Clean Reads? I do not allow my characters to speak profanity, nor do I let them engage in any "mating" scenes, as I call them.


message 6: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie Dillabough | 13 comments D.R. wrote: "For years, I have seen an unusual trend. If an author writes a clean uplifting book and then suggests that it is clean and uplifting, the book becomes suspect simply because he or she suggested it ..."
As an author in the YA Scifi/fantasy category, I have been shy about contributing to this group for this reason. I don't want people to feel like I'm advertising or just trying to get new readers.

The fact is, that I try to make sure that every book I write is suitable for any of my grandchildren who would ever pick it up to read. That is a standard I hold myself to. I think there a lot of authors like myself who do the same.

That being said, it still comes down to what the readers think about the book(s). As an author, my desire is to write books that people of all ages like to read. I hesitated at first to classify my books as YA fiction, because I wanted to reach a broader audience until I realized that, like myself, a lot of adults gravitate to YA fiction for the reason that they don't want to be blindsided by what they consider "inappropriate" or "unnecessary" content.

As far as my books are concerned. I just do my best and hope that my readers will enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them.

I follow this group precisely because I want to know what readers are saying about the concept of "clean" books and how I can be sure I address their concerns.


message 7: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Lavender | 5 comments C.S. wrote: "Maybe there's a misunderstanding about what "clean books" are. My books are rated G, meaning no sex scenes, but there may be kissing. There's no cuss words or obscenities at all. They're similar to..."

I agree. I just published my first book. I consider it clean, because I would go with your comment of a clean book. I hate reading a book with profanity in it. I also don't want detail sex scenes in a book normally. However, if there are two people in the book that have romantic feelings for each other, you should expect kissing and sweet moments and playful banter. If the two are married, I don't see a problem with even setting up the scene and making it clear to the audience what is going to take place. To me that is still a clean read. Some people's opinion of a clean read is going to be more rigid. That's fine. You just have to keep that in mind when you try to figure out what a clean read really is from one person to the other.


message 8: by James (new)

James Adair Fisher | 9 comments I agree too, no problem with kissing and leaving it to the reader's speculation or imagination what might follow. In my book(s) I don't allow my characters to use profanity nor do I let them engage in any "mating scenes" the reader would see. I'm wondering if there is a forum where like-minded authors can share and/or promote each other's clean-read books or websites. --Jim


message 9: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Lavender | 5 comments James wrote: "I agree too, no problem with kissing and leaving it to the reader's speculation or imagination what might follow. In my book(s) I don't allow my characters to use profanity nor do I let them engage..."

That would be good to be able to find like minded authors. Honestly, with the sci-fi/fantasy book series I wrote, the emotional connection between the two main characters is essential to the storyline for the whole series. So, I can't get away from that. (It has a Christian theme running through it as well). It's kind of the same discussion that comes into play with the violence measure. I hear people saying they don't want something with violence. I am not sure what that means either, especially in some genres. How do you do that, like with suspense or something? I like stories with the suspense/psychological thriller element. I don't just do blood and gore for it. However, I have an event in my book that's central to the storyline, and so the darkness, the ugliness of it has to be shown. I don't go into too much detail, but once again I think where one person's line is may be different from someone else's line. I mean my 13 year old son read it and gave me feedback for his age group and it was all good. So I don't think there's any chance I went overboard. It's just hard to tell though with different people. Like I said, I'm not sure when someone wants me to recommend a clean read to them. I think I know what that looks like, but then again...


message 10: by James (new)

James Adair Fisher | 9 comments Glad we get the e-mail notice from Goodreads about these posts. What I would like to see is some type of forum/community/website (?) where writers (and readers) of wholesome fiction can access a database of Clean Fiction. I envision a site where authors can both promote their work and be guaranteed reviews by like-minded authors and/or readers. Books by member authors would have to meet certain criteria of course. But we could all share in the additional exposure. After all, we are not each other's competition, we are fellow soldier-compatriots in the same cause. Any ideas or suggestions?


message 11: by James (new)

James Adair Fisher | 9 comments I see that Clean Reads is a similar concept and I became a member but I'm not sure what it would take to get my book thumbnailed in the widget or approved by the other members. I didn't see anyone to contact.


message 12: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie Dillabough | 13 comments I agree. I would love to join a "clean writers" group. Can we do that here on Goodreads?


message 13: by Gary (new)

Gary Harvey | 18 comments Yes please. A clean writers group.

I see we have slightly different definitions of clean. And that's fine by me. Here's my definition...
https://patwilpenter.com/a-good-clean...

Cheers,
Gary
aka, Pat Wilpenter


message 14: by Sallyavena (new)

Sallyavena I review books for Compass Book Ratings, a site that rates books content in an unbiased, matter of fact way. As a reviewer, I have a checklist that I tally things pertaining to 3 categories (language/profanity, violence/gore and sex/nudity) from which I then give a rating from 0-10. I also have to give a detailed written description of the content that was tallied. We are volunteer reviewers and gladly review all books. I found the site when I had a 6 year old reading at a middle school level and wanted to find books that were clean for him. It would be a great way to go for writers to get review stating how "clean" their books are. You don't have to pay anything, just provide a free ARC or book to be reviewed.


message 15: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie Dillabough | 13 comments Sallyavena, how does a clean author get on a list like that? My goal as a writer is to never write a book I would be ashamed for my grandchildren to read. I would love to be added to a list of clean authors.


message 16: by Gary (new)

Gary Harvey | 18 comments Sallyavena wrote: "I review books for Compass Book Ratings, a site that rates books content in an unbiased, matter of fact way. As a reviewer, I have a checklist that I tally things pertaining to 3 categories (langua..."

Sallyavena, thanks for posting about Compass. I had not heard of it before. I tried to subscribe there, but that failed so I used their contact form to report this.

Compass is a service that ought to be more widely known and supported.


message 17: by Sallyavena (new)

Sallyavena Bonnie K.T. Dillabough wrote: "Sallyavena, how does a clean author get on a list like that? My goal as a writer is to never write a book I would be ashamed for my grandchildren to read. I would love to be added to a list of clea..."
It's not a list, but rather a reviewing website. If you have a book you want reviewed, here is the information page from their site: http://www.compassbookratings.com/con...
Once the book is reviewed and the review is published on the site, it is certainly something you could link to, to show how clean your book it is.
I would suggest going to compassbookratings.com and exploring around a little bit with books you know to see how the review process has worked for those books. Each category I listed above has at least 10 if not more items that we tally, so by looking at a book that has already been reviewed you can see what might show up.
That being said, we review any book not just ones that might be clean. I stick to middle grade books because I don't want to have a book that I can't finish because of content. There are things I just don't want to read.


message 18: by James (new)

James Adair Fisher | 9 comments Unfortunately, At this time, due to volume, they are not accepting self-published books or books in electronic format.


message 19: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie Dillabough | 13 comments Thank you so much for that info. I didn't start out with the thought of writing specifically young adult fiction, but just had a story to tell. But my Beta Readers all seemed to be of the opinion that it was for young adults simply because it was a clean read.

I'm a new author and just published book 2 of the series, but as you know, the competition for attention when you're new is incredible. I want to be known for writing books that anyone can read without fear of being blindsided by content that many find objectionable.

I have discovered that a lot of adults read young adult fiction for the very reason that most of it is clean and still enjoyable. Personally, I prefer that type of fiction for that reason. I read the book for the story, not foul language or explicit content.

I am sorry to hear they aren't accepting self-published authors, although I understand why this might be. So I'm still on the search for places I can get exposure for my books, which I have been told by my readers are really worthwhile.


message 20: by Vicky (new)

Vicky (swingdancefan) Compass is my go-to site before I buy or borrow a book. It doesn't have everything, but it has a lot.


message 21: by Sallyavena (new)

Sallyavena Actually I think Young Adult push the envelope more than any other age range. It is very hard to find clean YA fiction...trust me I know I have a 16 year old daughter. As like most states, we live in one that librarians nominate their top 10 and then the students get to vote on their favorite. They are divided into age/grade ranges (k-3, 3-6, 6-8 and 9-12). My daughter has found she can only read 2-3 each year due to the content. I won't review YA for that reason.


message 22: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie Dillabough | 13 comments Wow, I must be hitting all the right buttons or something, since, so far I have only hit clean reads in YA fiction. Good to know. I had absolutely no idea. Naive of me, I suppose. I try to write so I wouldn't be embarrass to read any of my books or stories aloud to my grandchildren. So how would you categorize what I do?


message 23: by James (new)

James Adair Fisher | 9 comments I am seriously thinking about creating a new website where self-published authors can join a database of authors who want to interact with like-minded authors and where potential readers can find books rated according to content. I have a proposal on my website if anyone wants read it and comment. Look for a post titled Wholesome Fiction. https://easytoreadfiction.com/


message 24: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Lavender | 5 comments James wrote: "I am seriously thinking about creating a new website where self-published authors can join a database of authors who want to interact with like-minded authors and where potential readers can find b..."

Excellent idea. I took a look at it. It looks like a nice framework. I will certainly be interested in being a part of it.


message 25: by Gary (new)

Gary Harvey | 18 comments James wrote: "I am seriously thinking about creating a new website where self-published authors can join a database of authors who want to interact with like-minded authors and where potential readers can find b..."

Excellent idea. It could save readers from the slow process of going through all the huge list of books at Amazon (and no doubt elsewhere too).

Keep us informed, please.

Gary
PatWilpenter.com


message 26: by James (new)

James Adair Fisher | 9 comments OK, thanks for positive responses to my idea. Right now I have to put it on the shelf for a while because I need to get back to writing the sequel for my first book and work on my own personal website. If anyone else wants to work on a similar idea, I won't be offended. Hope we can "meet" later on and promote each other's Clean Reads! --Jim


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