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January 6th, 2011

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10:12 am - charming
Always good to know: my opinion of what I read doesn't count if I'm not actually buying the book.

Kristen Lamb in her guest article on Genreality, discussing writers and various social media:
For example, I was asked about how I felt about Goodreads. Goodreads is a site where people share what they have read, get recommendations about what to read, etc. A cool site and, if, you have the time, sally forth. But let’s get perspective. Great. A bazillion people put you in their “To Read List.” Okay, cool. Doesn’t mean a thing until they purchase a book.

If I am generous in my reading, I could force an interpretation that she is criticizing the site set-up for its ease of use (er... well, I did say force). But to me this comes across as "don't waste your time on those who just want to READ your books: spend your time on sites where the return-on-investment will result in people BUYING."

This strikes me as unutterably rude, as well as somewhat confused. But I'm also old-school enough to think that it's the writing that is important, not all the tap-dancing and self-branding and sell-sell-sell that seems to be a large chunk of modern authorship.

Still, it's good to learn what I don't need to worry about reading. There's plenty more on my to-read list.

(3 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:January 6th, 2011 07:45 pm (UTC)
Sorta defeats the purpose of libraries.
[User Picture]
Date:January 6th, 2011 10:31 pm (UTC)
It drives me crazy when authors are cranky at readers who use the library instead of buying. Where do they think libraries get the books? Magic? Libraries BUY books.

(I don't think Lamb is going this far, but I've seen it elsewhere.)
[User Picture]
Date:January 6th, 2011 10:29 pm (UTC)
That doesn't make any sense.

If a thousand people add your book to their to-read list, that's a thousand people who are interested enough to advertise to their friends that they want to read your book, a thousand people who will be checking your book out from the library - what, do you think librarians don't pay attention to which books are popular and buy accordingly? - a thousand people who are letting their friends know they would be overjoyed if they received the book as a gift...

Which is even BESIDE the point that they may already have purchased said book and just not read it yet. Ugh.

I don't know that I'd spend tons of time checking Goodreads as an author, as it sounds like a good way to make yourself more neurotic. But... it does mean something.

I am SO much more likely to pick up a book I've heard of in passing than one I've never heard of before at all. I think it is fundamentally wrong-headed for an author to disregard the value of potential readers who are genuinely interested, even if they're just typing a book title into a social media list.

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