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About writing, editing, publishing & getting it out there


Discovering GoodReads

Painted girls coverI’ve been spending a little time getting to know GoodReads, but for now the site’s still a bit of a mystery to me. As with every new social media site, I take my time jumping in. I know. I’m way, way behind the crowd. I always think I have too much on my plate already. In reality, I probably do, but since I like to read, I figured I should at least check it out.

My initial foray involved creating a 2013 reading challenge for myself (100 books), and joining two groups. One’s called “52 weeks, 52 books,” the other one is called “Booksy Cup Freebies and Bargains.” I’m not really sure what “Booksy Cup” is. I’m sure it’s explained somewhere; I think it’s the name of the moderator’s blog.

I got an invitation to join the group, I was in the mood to click yes so I clicked yes. You get a lot of offers for free books here, which pretty much means a lot of new emails (spam) for me. But again, once in a while I’m in the mood to click yes, so I’ve downloaded a few of the free books. There are bound to some good ones in there eventually, although I know the odds won’t be great.

Even here the editor in me won’t turn off. I can’t help it. One woman was announcing her new book, which she had designed herself. The cover was appealing to me, actually, and when I peeked inside the book I thought it was very nicely done. So I clicked to download it. It was free. I promptly got an automatic email thanking me for downloading her book, etc, etc. but this note was tagged on the end: “Novel was no professionally edited. Any grammatical/spelling errors you come across, I apologize in advance.”

It’s not my business. No, tell her. Not my business. Tell her. OK. The “tell her” side won out (I know if I had a mistake in my book promo copy I’d hate hearing about it, but would be glad to have the opportunity to change it before more people saw it). I sent a polite note saying she might want to fix that line. (I didn’t add, “And next time hire an editor!” No, I was nice.)

She wrote back and said the ebook publishing service she’d used had added that line as a disclaimer! Yikes. She’d missed it, though, and said she was going to contact them to fix it.  I said, “Don’t worry; I’ll still read your book.” And I will. If I like it I’ll post about it here.

My other GoodReads group is more of an active “book club” type of group. The moderator picks a bestseller every week and we read and comment on it. I’m a week behind on the latest book, “The Painted Girlsby Cathy Marie Buchanan. It’s still only in hardcover and the Kindle edition is $14.95…and I’m not ready to spend that much on a ebook yet, unless it’s someone I know and that’s the only way I can get it. The library allegedly has copies and I’ll get it soon. It looks like a great story. 

As far as my challenge to read 100 books this year, I’ve decided that any book will count as long as it’s primarily text and has more than 100 pages. I’m fairly on track, and reading the bestsellers every week will help.

What do other people do on GoodReads? Suggestions?