I haz a sad. And a rage.
I recently opened my email.
Hey look! An email blast from an author I like and admire!
I don't need to tell the Booklikes community how much this email blast saddened and, yes, angered me.
Let's look at the ways this email blast is oh, so wrong:
1) Misuse of the phrase "beta readers."
Beta readers are just that - they read the book in beta stage, i.e. before it is ready to be released to the public. Beta readers give criticism that is used to - hopefully - improve the book in its final draft stage.
SENDING A BOOK TO READERS IN ADVANCE OF PUBLICATION IN ORDER TO GENERATE REVIEWS IS NOT A BETA READ. IT IS AN ADVANCE READER COPY.
2) Asking for ONLY five-star reviews to be posted publicly.
Anything less - a glowing four star review, a "I liked it but" three star review - no, you are supposed to email the author directly.
I CAN'T EVEN...I JUST...I..... *sputters in incoherent rage*
3) NO mention whatsoever that the reviews must disclose that the reviewer received the book for free per the FCC rules. Plus, the author is offering a "gift"if the review meets her criteria, making this in essence a "paid" review - and thus a no-no.
This author is a successful professional in a high-powered, competitive industry and has at least one advanced degree. She is also formerly traditionally published, and belongs to professional writers' organizations.
THIS IS NOT A NAIVE BABY SPA. THIS IS SOMEONE WHO SHOULD - AND I FIRMLY BELIEVE DOES - KNOW BETTER.
And Hugh Howey claims that self-pubbed books are higher rated on Amazon because they are intrinsically of higher quality and value (see my previous post entitled "Announcing..." for more info).
Shyeah, right, Howey. Authors are gaming the system. Period.
In case their constant publishing of that dreck wasn't an indication, here is what one of their editors had to say about it to me on Twitter:
"I can respect you have feelings re P2P, though disagree it's an ethical/moral issue."
Just a little confirmation of how far that publisher has fallen. (And why I no longer purchase books from them.)
Amanda Welling shares a screenshot of author's discussing "trolls," where it was reveled that several authors are collecting readers' personal information, via Book Giveaways, into a spreadsheet to "track and identify trolls."
There's no indication of what they plan to do with this informations, but the fact that none of these authors are respecting the privacy of potential readers is worrisome enough.
Whether you believe you're one of the "trolls" being targeted is beside the point, everyone should be concerned, if not outright pissed. The personal information of ALL the participants in these giveaways is being shared without their permission.
Not surprising, GoodReads has absolutely nothing safeguarding privacy of the participants' personal information in the Terms & Conditions of their giveaways.
This is my comment on the issue. AmandaWelling's rebog starts from *** This is very worrying. Someone 'anonymous' is collecting real life names and addresses through GoodReads, but they don't want anyone to know who they are. Another author wants to have this information - for what if it isn't for stalking?
I'm not really involved in the reviews/comments/spa authors thing as I don't read in any of their genres, but all this tracking of people is worrying. It's worrying because if 'anonymous' (what a coward eh? At least the other author has the courage of his convictions and uses his name) can track people and their friends, what about all sorts of other crazies, maybe targetting the kids with the private profiles sending away for stuff?
This is seriously Not Good.
...I'm not surprised by this anymore.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, my husband is a programmer. He works for an international company with a high bar for its IT staff.
I ran GR's latest nonsense--their claim that Booklikes is causing Goodreads content to be deleted--past him, and the verdict is that this is actually probably GR's fault. More than likely is has to do with flaws in their API code that are more like security holes than features. Other sites should never be able to delete GR user content. The fact that it may have somehow happened indicates that the blame lies with Goodreads, and they're trying to use Booklikes as a scapegoat.
My husband also ran this past his colleagues, who agreed that there's only one way to handle this:
Run. Pack up your shit and get the hell out of dodge, because Goodreads is not a site you can trust. Their API code is a mess and they're trying to blame it on someone else so they don't have to take responsibility for exposing their user base to potential security breaches. The best thing you can do for yourself is jump ship.
I'm appalled at Goodreads' behavior. Their lack of professionalism and unwillingness to take responsibility for their mistakes is horrifying. They're a shit snowball rolling down a hill and with each new fuck up, the mess gets uglier and uglier. Find a place that respects you as a user, a place that doesn't try to censor you and doesn't think you're an idiot who can't see through their bullshit. That place is not Goodreads.
"A sexy novel about two seventeen-year-olds—one a victim of human trafficking; the other the son of the man who enslaved her..."
This post is by Ceridwen, in case that gets reblogged out.
Now, I know that resident BookLikers are likely sick of the recent influx of the Goodreads diaspora and all our shouting. I've been involved in in-groups on social media long enough to know how irritating n00bs are with their casual galumphing over social standards developed and maintained by the invested members of a platform. So to you BookLikes Golden Agers, I apologize for continuing to complain about my Goodreads ex-boyfriend while I'm on a date with BookLikes.
That said, I have released the database that collects 12 of the 21 delete lists in Goodreads's recent policy change, in addition to an analysis - with charts! - of the data. Goodreads has been frustratingly vague in what they consider actionable; here are the book reviews that they have taken action against. I would seriously love it if folk would use this database to find out more about what Goodreads deems actionable.
Science is sexy, friends.
...Goodreads and BookLikes is that when Goodreads makes an announcement it's late on a Friday night when everyone is going home, and in a group less than 1% of their members read. When BookLikes makes an announcement it's on a blog all their members follow by default (although you can opt out) and on a Thursday and they have one full working day ahead of them for facing the consequences aka reading comments praising and thanking them.
I could have titled this The difference between idiocy and brilliance and it'd have meant the exact same thing.
I hate telling this story. Just the thought of doing so, of exposing my past to even a handful of other people, makes me feel sick to my stomach. But with Goodreads' change in policy occurring and the word "bullying" being slung around so casually, I think it's time.
I can relate to some of that story. This is why when people use the word "bullying" so cavalierly I find it offensive. I get ready to go nuclear. This is why I say that if you refer to anything that goes on in the book world as bullying then I will never, ever believe that you were bullied in real life. Because you can't possibly know what bullying actually is. The hurt, torment, pain, and scars of having been through something like this. Of doing nothing but sitting there, being yourself, and having people torment you for it.
Someone writing a review of your book, no matter how negative and snarky, is not bullying. People responding negatively to your actions is not bullying. If you think so: You. Don't. Know. What. It. Is.
This list is in no way comprehensive, just a collection of blog-posts talking about Authors Behaving Badly. I did not include amazon- or GR-Reviews because a) there are far too many and b) often comments or whole reviews get deleted and in the end everything looks highly confusing and nobody knows what was actually going on. I simply don't have the time to check all these reviews to see what still makes sense for people who haven't been following them from the beginning.
Other Blogs/Blogposts of Interest
These are just some cases I know about because I followed discussion about this kind of author-behaviour. I'm sure there's more. If you know of any other links you think belong on this list (or think one of those links is inaccurate) drop a comment.
You should go read it:
Author self-publishes book. Reader buys books and begins reading it, noticing similarities to another story she's read. Reader publishes review to Goodreads with lengthy excerpts showing near-identical passages to the other story. She makes no accusations and lets the evidence speak for itself.
Author denies it and her fans pile on the reviewer accusing her of bullying and harassment.
This is the type of 'bullying' Goodreads deals with. I wonder if the review will make it to the end of the day under their new guidelines.
Just saw a book I gave a one star too way back when which was one step above being self-published (and actually 'published' by a well known p2p company) is on Amazon for £12.50.
Twelve pound bloody fifty.
And another book by the same author is on for £15.99. These are only paperbacks too.
That's some expensive toilet paper.
Reblogging, this may help some people who are importing their lists from GR.
So you want to start using BookLikes, but the prospect of manually adding your ENTIRE library of books/reviews is daunting, to say the least. Do not fear. There's an easy way to your entire book list and reviews from GoodReads and import it into BookLikes. Here is how.