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General Discussion > Feature I'd Like...

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message 1: by Skylar (new)

Skylar Burris (skylarburris) | 6 comments Author profiles are of course public. It would be nice if I could keep my "reader" profile private, however, so only friends could see my bookshelves and additional info. Currently, I believe anything I have in my reader profile is accessible because I am a Goodreads Author. Is that true?


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Skylar wrote: "Author profiles are of course public. It would be nice if I could keep my "reader" profile private, however, so only friends could see my bookshelves and additional info. Currently, I believe anyth..."

I agree, Skylar. I would love to have the option to hide certain shelves.


message 3: by rivka (new)

rivka | 562 comments As a reader (and non-author), I understand this request, but I think it's a shame. I love being able to see what some of my favorite authors are reading!

Then again, I choose to have a private profile, so I definitely empathize with the desire to not have one's reading choices broadcast to the entire internet.


This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For Broadly speaking, a number of users (author or not) have discussed the idea of having private shelves or (more recently) privacy controls more similar to that of other social websites which allow finer scale control of who can see what info (e.g., everyone, private, friends-only, perhaps even subsets of designated friends).

This would solve the problem for authors as well as other users if GR were to consider implementing it.


Petra kissed a prince and he turned into a frog (petra-x) If there are to be author profiles which do not show any personal info, including bookshelves, then the friends option should be removed, leaving only 'fans' as Facebook.


message 6: by Skylar (new)

Skylar Burris (skylarburris) | 6 comments "Broadly speaking, a number of users (author or not) have discussed the idea of having private shelves or (more recently) privacy controls more similar to that of other social websites which allow finer scale control of who can see what info (e.g., everyone, private, friends-only, perhaps even subsets of designated friends)"

This would be ideal.


message 7: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Brown | 276 comments These are all interesting ideas. I know I've spoken with many authors, both on the site and off, who have a lot of reservations about participating as a reader in the site because their colleagues demand high ratings. Even rating a book 4-stars can be perilous for an author. If the alternatives to private shelves are little author (as reader) interaction or lots of "Friend" 5-star ratings (which artificially inflate a book's rating), I'm not sure I wouldn't prefer the private shelves.

I agree with Rivka that, as a non-author user of the site, I enjoy being able to see what books my favorite authors are reading. The suggestion I always make to authors is to read and review whatever they like, but don't rate anything. This allows users like Rivka and I to hear their thoughts on books and reading while removing some of the pressure to rate everything highly.

Let's continue the discussion, though, as I love to hear what people think about this.


message 8: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 18, 2010 04:59AM) (new)

After reading the posts I'll be honest, that as an author, I don't have time to read like I used to. And it can be a bit intimidating to know that many readers 'expect' authors to be constantly reading and giving updates on what they read when my main concentration is on writing.

I understand readers are interested in an author's opinion and I love interacting with readers - especially the kids since I write YA fantasy, they are so refreshing and encouraging. Still, there needs to be a reverse understanding from the reader that not all authors can be high volume readers. Whereas love of reading gets us hooked on our profession, maintaining that drive is difficult with the demands of authorship.

All that said, I hope readers don't judge me - or any author - by the volume of books we don't read, rate and discuss - rather by what we write.


message 9: by Skylar (new)

Skylar Burris (skylarburris) | 6 comments "These are all interesting ideas. I know I've spoken with many authors, both on the site and off, who have a lot of reservations about participating as a reader in the site because their colleagues demand high ratings. Even rating a book 4-stars can be perilous for an author."

This is a major concern for me, which is one of the many reasons I'd like to be able to set the shelves to "friends only" with the rest of my profile available to the public. I'd hate to give up all ratings...and if I don't rate a book at all and simply review it (as I have done...) I fear it's kind of obvious why I didn't rate it, which leads back to the same problem. I also don't necessarily want readers to see all of the books I've read, because I read so widely, and yet write for a niche market, and I wonder if my reading list might be a "turn off" for some in that niche.


message 10: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca | 30 comments M. wrote: "Can anyone tell me how to remove a bookshelf?"

The easiest way is from this page: http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/edit


message 11: by M. (new)

M. Kei (kujakupoet) | 5 comments Thanks. Now I'm trying to figure out how to remove a friend. I've checked the help files, but their directions tell me to click on things that don't even exist! Help!

For that matter, it would be very helpful if somebody could point me to the correct place to get technical assistance at Goodreads, so I don't have to pester y'all anymore! I can't find that, either.


message 12: by rivka (last edited Apr 04, 2010 05:13PM) (new)

rivka | 562 comments Technical assistance:
Start with the help area;
If that doesn't do the trick, try the Feedback Group;
and if all else fails, there's the Contact Us link.

You should be able to remove friends one of two ways: the "remove as a friend" link on their profile page (you'll need to click the "more" link to the right of "write a story" to see it); or using the "edit friends" mode on your friends page. Clicking it will make an X visible next to each friend.


message 13: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Crimmel (jeffreyrcrimmelcom) | 43 comments I just joined and I am still trying to figure out how it works. My book is titled "Living Beneath the Radar: A Nine Year Journey Around the World" How do I get onto the question and Answer part of this site.

Jeff


message 14: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Jeffrey,

Well, the general suggestions & questions group for all members is one of Goodreads' official groups: The Goodreads Feedback group:

http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/1...

There's also a general help page for members:

http://www.goodreads.com/help

For author members there are these pages:

http://www.goodreads.com/author/program

http://www.goodreads.com/author/featu...

http://www.goodreads.com/author/guide...

and additional links from the above three pages. I hope that helps.


message 15: by Danny (new)

Danny D. (danlangone) | 1 comments As an author I have no problem with allowing others to see what I myself find as an interesting read. Having said that however I have developed a certain fear of reading in my genre because I am afraid that I will simply regurgitate someone else's storyline in different words. I woulld prefer not to have that influence floating around in my already sometimes muddled head.


message 16: by Rowena (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 86 comments Petra X wrote: "If there are to be author profiles which do not show any personal info, including bookshelves, then the friends option should be removed, leaving only 'fans' as Facebook."

Rivka,
I wince every time someone who might be my friend is asked to call themselves my "fan". One can be the former without being the latter.


message 17: by rivka (new)

rivka | 562 comments You seem to be responding to Petra, not to me.


message 18: by Rowena (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 86 comments Rivka,
You are absolutely correct. I apologize to both you and Petra.


message 19: by rivka (new)

rivka | 562 comments No worries. I was just rather confused at first.

I think Petra's point was that if an author is not participating as a reader (in addition to as an author), that maybe it makes more sense to only be able to "fan" such a profile, not "friend" it. For practical reasons, I don't think that would be put into effect, but I see her point.


message 20: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Oram (kellyoram) The question of making my shelves private was the reason I came looking for this group. I really wish this feature was available too. I love being able to tell my friends what I'm reading and what I honestly thought of a book, but with my first book about to be released I really don't feel it's my place to be publicly judging other's work.


message 21: by Daniele (new)

Daniele Lanzarotta (danielelanzarotta) | 2 comments Hi everyone,

Not sure if this is the appropriate place for my question. I assume so, being that it is a feature that I would like, if it is not available already... Is there a way to import reviews from Amazon and Facebook to GoodReads?


message 22: by rivka (new)

rivka | 562 comments Daniele, there is not, but many authors post reviews (or links to them) on their blog and/or in their writing section.


message 23: by Daniele (new)

Daniele Lanzarotta (danielelanzarotta) | 2 comments Thanks :)


message 24: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Dunbar | 17 comments Greetings!

I personally would like to see more advertising options for those of us on a tight budget for advertising. I like the idea of the $0.50 per click link, but I fear that cost will exceed my budget, unless there was a cap on the maximum cost per month. Of course I am very happy with the giveaway feature - best I have seen on the web!

Cheers!

Christopher Dunbar


message 25: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Crimmel (jeffreyrcrimmelcom) | 43 comments The giveaway feature is a nice touch. Check out my site and if the book sounds like something for you sign up for the give away. It is coming up soon.
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/80...
A great way to get noticed.
Jeff


message 26: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 17 comments Sure would be nice if a book got voted in for a monthly read discussion, or if there were an author discussion group thread for it, if that link/information could appear on the book's page.


message 27: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Brown | 276 comments Janny wrote: "Sure would be nice if a book got voted in for a monthly read discussion, or if there were an author discussion group thread for it, if that link/information could appear on the book's page."

It does show that on the book's page, but it isn't very prominent. For instance, you can see on the book page for The Passage that several groups have shelved that book: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/81...

(Over on the right-hand side of the page if you scroll down.)


message 28: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Dunbar | 17 comments I like the fact that I can have many characters, along with pictures, bios, and aliases, and I especially love that I can link characters with other books in the series. However, I would like to see a way to add multiple settings or locations. I would also like to identify different groups or organizations in a book, as well as noteworthy events.

Because I write adventure-themes novels, my characters travel to many places with ancient names (in the context of the story) and modern name. For locations, It would be helpful to keep the fields you have, but add background for each location.

With regards to groups or organizations, in my works, I have various races of blood-drinkers. I would like to be able to list the different races in Goodreads as well as place a description of that entity.

With regards to events, since my works contain elements of historical fiction, I incorporate actual events, such as the sacking of Rome in 410 CE by the Visigoths. It would be helpful to enter a place, a date (ambiguous date entry), and a description.

FYI, Shelfari has incorporated these features I mentioned, but they do not have the full array of fields you have today for setting.

Thank you for the opportunity to request additional features. I look forward to seeing those new features become available for all Goodreads authors.

Cheers!

Christopher Dunbar


message 29: by rivka (new)

rivka | 562 comments Christopher wrote: "I would like to see a way to add multiple settings or locations."

This already exists.


message 30: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Dunbar | 17 comments rivka wrote: "Christopher wrote: "I would like to see a way to add multiple settings or locations."

This already exists."


I was only able to add one location. In fact, it did not appear visible after adding it.


message 32: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Dunbar | 17 comments rivka wrote: "Christopher wrote: "I would like to see a way to add multiple settings or locations."

This already exists."


I have tried multiple times to add even one location, and it is not taking. My guess is that your year field must be rejecting strings. Since all of my dates are Roman Era through Dark Ages, I use 55 BCE, 410 CE, 564 CE, etc. as dates. If your system is only looking for 1200, 1400, 2010, etc., it is only expecting a number. Is there some way, assuming my assumption is correct, that you can change the field to a text string? If I am wrong in my assumption, why can I not add even one setting?

Cheers!

Christopher Dunbar


message 33: by rivka (new)

rivka | 562 comments The system will only accept numerical strings for dates. That is expected to be changed at some point, I believe, but it means that right now no BCE dates can be entered.


message 34: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Dunbar | 17 comments rivka wrote: "The system will only accept numerical strings for dates. That is expected to be changed at some point, I believe, but it means that right now no BCE dates can be entered."

Well that explains it... half my dates are BCE and the others are CE... Will there also be a note field associated with each setting, so I can identify the significance?

Also, what about the other feature enhancements I mentioned?

Thanks!

Christopher Dunbar


message 35: by rivka (new)

rivka | 562 comments I can tell you what's currently there (for the most part). Someone from our development team would have to comment on changes.


message 36: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Dunbar | 17 comments rivka wrote: "I can tell you what's currently there (for the most part). Someone from our development team would have to comment on changes."

Understood about new changes needing developer help. One thing I have noticed is that adding multiple settings is quite cumbersome. I have to save changes after each one, edit the book, and create a new setting. Can you modify the setting data entry so it is more like the character data entry? With character data entry, I can enter multiple characters without closing the data entry screen and reverting back to the main book screen. It would make things a lot easier for people with 20 or more scenes in their books.

Thanks!

Christopher


message 37: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Dunbar | 17 comments rivka wrote: "I can tell you what's currently there (for the most part). Someone from our development team would have to comment on changes."

Sorry to keep adding more stuff, but I would like to see on the settings section the ability to select from the settings of other books I have written, just like I can do with characters. I just added over 20 settings to one book, and I don't want to have to duplicate that effort in the other books.

Thanks!

Christopher


message 38: by Murray (new)

Murray Gunn (murraygunn) | 17 comments I'd like to be able to keep my birthday private in the author profile. I can hide it in my personal profile, but I don't get that option in the author profile. I don't even tell my friends my birthday (I've got better things to celebrate) so I'm not comfortable sharing it here.


message 39: by Patrick (last edited Aug 25, 2010 04:57PM) (new)

Patrick Brown | 276 comments Murray wrote: "I'd like to be able to keep my birthday private in the author profile. I can hide it in my personal profile, but I don't get that option in the author profile. I don't even tell my friends my bir..."

You can do this (and I actually just removed yours for you). The problem seems to be that when you are an author, the system doesn't respect the settings you chose (ie "Show my birthday to no one"). You can get around this by going to "My Account" and removing your birthday on that page. I have created a ticket to change how that works so that it does respect your privacy settings.


message 40: by Murray (new)

Murray Gunn (murraygunn) | 17 comments Thanks, Patrick.


message 41: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Doolittle I'd love to have the reading shelf private as well. The thing I like best about Goodreads are the reviews. I jumped in with my own ratings and opinions--not always positive. As an author, I wonder now if this was wise as everyone can see what I've read and what I thought about it. But maybe I have to accept that I can't have it both ways. Maybe being a writer means you have to keep your mouth shut as a reader.


message 42: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Dunbar | 17 comments Nadine wrote: "I'd love to have the reading shelf private as well. The thing I like best about Goodreads are the reviews. I jumped in with my own ratings and opinions--not always positive. As an author, I wonder ..."

Nadine,

You can always create a separate profile under a pseudonym for your reviews (though I don't know whether that would violate Goodreads account policies). In other social media sites, I have separate profiles for me as an individual, me as an author / publisher, and me as a business continuity management professional. It sometimes gets tiresome keeping track of my separate personae, but it does reduce the chances of someone from my writing world being offended by something I might say in my personal world.

Cheers!

Christopher Dunbar


message 43: by rivka (new)

rivka | 562 comments Christopher wrote: "(though I don't know whether that would violate Goodreads account policies)"

As long as it's not used to post fake 5-star reviews and the like, I don't think it would.


As a reader, I have more respect for authors who post real reviews and ratings (running the star gamut and not being afraid to say which they didn't like) than those who only post 4- and 5-stars. In fact, I tend to discount the latter as entirely meaningless. That said, it does take some guts to do the former, and I imagine there can be fallout. So I can certainly understand authors who don't do that.


message 44: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Doolittle Thanks Rivka and Christopher. So far, in my experience, Goodreads seems to be the only site that readers/writers are free to say what they think about a book without exciting a firestorm. In my experience this is rare. So although I have been hard on some books, I haven't noticed a backlash. (Although sometimes a writer is accused of jealousy in the comments trail of a negative review, but this is usually squashed pretty quickly by all.) The readers here seem to be pretty mature.


Petra kissed a prince and he turned into a frog (petra-x) I totally agree with Rivka. I am not much interested in authors who are on Goodreads to promote their books. I don't mean that I think they shouldn't, I think its great they do and I often check author pages to see what else they have written. But on a personal level I have no interest unless the author also reads, rates and reviews and it isn't all 4 or 5 star reviews of other Goodreads authors.

It doesn't matter to me what the author reads or reviews, it needn't have any relevance to what they write, but it definitely adds a dimension to my enjoyment of that author's books and makes their name 'stick' a bit more in my head too.


message 46: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Brown | 276 comments There is sometimes a backlash, so I would say to be careful, but yes, I think you're generally right. We hope that writers will review each other's work, as they are often among the best readers out there.

As far as creating a second account, our position on that has always been that you shouldn't rate a book from both accounts. In other words, if you give yourself a 5-star review from your Author account, please don't rate your book at all from your pseudonymous reader account. That way, each rating still reflects one reader's opinion of the book.


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