Friday, June 6, 2014

GOODREADS - Are you saying goodbye to Authors just to please your readers?

I have a new book coming out soon. It's listed on Goodreads so my readers will be able to add it to their book lists while waiting for it to come out; however after signing in the other day I noticed someone had rated the book with 2 stars and marked it read.

How is that possible when the book is still a work in progress and no one has read any of it? Well I flagged the review and about a week later I finally got the following reply to my concern....

Hi Lori,
Thank you for contacting us about this, though we're sorry to hear you're disappointed with this aspect of the site.  Goodreads policy allows users to rate a book as soon as it is listed on the site. We do not dictate on what basis Goodreads members form their personal opinions about a book, so we have no rules about reading the full text of a book before rating and reviewing it. We recognize that not everyone will agree with this policy, but it is one that has worked well for the Goodreads community over time. We hope this clarifies our approach to pre-release reviews.  

If you have any further questions or concerns, please let us know - we'd be happy to help.

The Goodreads Team
I replied in turn with this email
I'm sorry how can rate a book without reading it? She's going on a short blurb.
You may not want to hear this but as an author we have a right to our opinion and I know I'm not alone in finding your site only reader friendly.
We work hard on our books, we don't deserve readers dictating reviews or ratings on something a person has not truly read.
Is the site only for readers? Because it sure seems that way. I need a librarian to add things but a reader has access to add any information they want on a book. How is this fair?
Quite a few authors will not return to your site for all these reasons including the rating policy.
Is this your goal, to drive authors away? It's happening I see the posts on Facebook in my feed everyday.
Perhaps you need to address your policies and ask everyone's opinion not just readers.
Regards, Lori

Of course they asked for the link to the issue again and I have yet to hear back from The Goodreads Team

I wonder how long it will take to get a reply this time? My personal opinion after being a reader as well as an author on goodreads is that they allow readers/reviewers to have their own way. Are we as authors allowed no say in what happens with our hard work? It sure seems like it. Are we not allowed to put up books coming out without the fear of a bad rating? What about the readers who like to add an author's work in progress?

By all means I am open to hearing feedback. Thank you Lori


  1. Thank you for addressing the issue, Lori. Last year I left Goodreads because I couldn’t stand the two star reviews I was getting from readers who hadn’t read my books, nor intended to read them. I was surprised when I tried to respond to a review; I was going to offer the reviewer a reedited copy of Pam when it was first issued with mistakes, and Goodreads flashed a warning that I shouldn’t respond to a review. I concluded that Goodreads isn’t a professional library site, it’s a meetup group for readers to say whatever they please without limits, hiding behind the internet, while the author has no recourse but to sit back and take it.
    I read the blog posts during that fight some authors had with Goodread reviewers last year and it scared me. Woe to any author who agreed with the blog posts condemning the bullies. So I left. I can’t protect my books. But I can protect myself. I discovered not being on Goodreads hasn’t hurt my sales at all.

  2. Suzanne,

    I've reached the conclusion they feel they don't need authors on their site. If that's the case then they shouldn't be allowed the liberties of posting our work without our permission.

  3. I need to clarify that we are talking about a few reviewers, not all reviewers. Just to make myself clear that I know not every reader is going to like my books and will give reviews based on that. What I am referring to are the ratings that are posted without having read the book or that are inappropriate.

  4. Yes we are talking about fake reviewers only.