Goodreads – now what?

I finally made time to head over to goodreads to create an account. I heard such great things about the goodreads community and the SFR discussions that go on there.

Like other social media sites, it was pretty easy to set up the account, but really learning how best to use it is more of a challenge. I added some of the books I’ve recommended on this blog. I was tempted to add other books I’ve read in the past, but I quickly realized that could take…er, more time than I want to spend.  I became a fan of some authors, but I’m not really sure how to make friends. Is there etiquette to making friends? Do you add everyone you know, everyone you follow on twitter and facebook? Do I create shelves? Should I rate books or make comments or do both?  I noticed some authors don’t seem to have any books on their list of books read. Why is that? So many choices. So many questions.

I’d love to hear how you are using goodreads, both readers and writers.

21 thoughts on “Goodreads – now what?

  1. I joined several groups there. I like getting the summaries from the discussions on them. I don’t often have a chance to add my two pence, but it keeps me in touch with people of like interests.

    And now I’m off to find you on Goodreads. 🙂

  2. I’ve had an account for months now, but I don’t use it often. I’ve added over a hundred books to my “read” list, but I think it would be nearly impossible to find the time to look up EVERY single book I’ve ever read lol. I subscribe to a few chats, but I don’t read them as often as I should.

    P.S. I friended you and Maria on there 🙂

    • Thanks, Meghan! Did you rank or review books when you added them? If I were to add past read books, I wouldn’t have the time to review them all and I really don’t like doing rankings.

      Ever read reviews or us rankings there to decide on books to read?

      • I rate them on the scale of 1-5 stars, but I don’t write reviews. That would take waaaaaaaaaay too long, and & I waste too much time on the internet already as it is! 😉

        I don’t usually use goodreads for finding new books (although I believe most people do), I have so many books on my TBR list already that I don’t want to keep adding more!

  3. Hi Charlie! You know, It is probably a very good idea for writers to join such things as this. But I don’t even have time for Facebook. And Twitter? not. Generally I find that it’s all too time eating for me. I’m so busy I can hardly find the time to write! But I am trying for the most part to keep up the blog now. I’m sure I should be more ‘out there’ but I just don’t see how I can be right now. Hey, good luck with Goodreads, though. I’ve h eard good things about it.

    • Thanks for your insight, Kaye. While marketing is important for writers these days, the best thing any writer can do is write more good books. Keep writing!

  4. I joined first as a reader/author but I had to make an author profile to keep my books separate and organized. Since I had added so many books, I didn’t feel like re-adding them under my author profile so that’s why that one is bare of any books (as an FYI :-))

    Otherwise, I use GR to keep track of the books I read, to find new books to read and to chat about my fave genres. Most folks who pop over tend to sign up at groups where they meet a lot of likeminded folks. The polls, reading challenges and discussions keep things going pretty well. Some of the book I add in niche categories, like IR books, don’t have reviews so I try to write reviews for books I’ve read and especially the ones I’ve enjoyed that don’t have comments on them. Same with the ARCs I read via Netgalley. That way other readers can find books they’d potentially enjoy.

    For friends, folks tend to find me (although I’m not sure how) but I do add people I see in my groups and discussions. There are lots of great folks to meet and chat with over there.
    Now I’m off to find and friend ya!

  5. I’m an author with no books on the shelf 😦 Basically, that’s because I can’t bear to rate someone else’s book. I just can’t do it. I’ve written a couple of reviews on my site, but I always reviewed something I liked because I couldn’t rip apart someone else’s baby. But if I’m not going to rate the books, I’m not sure if it’s worth the effort of loading up my library. Because between a full time job & writing, I need to choose carefully how else I’m spending my time. But I do like tooling around and seeing how other people have rated stuff 🙂

    • I have a hard time giving authors an average or low ranking as well, so I only add books that I give 4 to 5 stars to. I keep a separate list of every book I read and my impressions of them, just because I like to remember what I read and whether I liked an author or not.

      But, yeah, I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

      • I like to think of recommending books rather than reviewing them. If a book doesn’t work for me that doesn’t mean it won’t work for someone else. I do love to shout out when I’ve enjoyed a book, but the idea of rating every book I read is totally scary.

    • <>
      This is what I was thinking of, too. What is the purpose of adding a book if I’m not going to either rate or comments on it? I think I like Sandy’s idea of making a brief few notes.

  6. I love Goodreads. I’ve been using it to catalogue my books (or, at least, the books that I’ve given 4-5 stars to) since 2008. I never kept track of my books before then and I really, really wish I had.

    I always write some type of review. Well, it’s hard to actually call them reviews. Sometimes, I just jot down my general impressions, which might be squeeing over how awesome the writing, the story, the characters are. But, I like to be able to go back and read those reviews to remind myself of what I thought.

    I used to friend back everyone who friended me, but I do like to try to scan the list of what everyone is reading, so I’ve started only friending back the people who I know in some way. I’ve bought books that I otherwise might never would have because I saw multiple friends giving them 4 or 5 stars (ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS is the most recent book I purchased b/c of Goodreads. I don’t normally read contemporary YA, but the book was just as fabulous as everyone said it was).

    Some authors join GoodReads just so they have an author presence there and so readers can friend them and get their blog updates or whatever. From a reader perspective, that’s not helpful to me at all. I really love seeing what my favorite authors are reading, and if they give a book a 4 or 5 star rating, it’s like they’re handing it to me and saying, “Try this out.”

    I haven’t been able to get into the groups. I tried a couple of times, but it was way, way too time consuming to keep up with the conversations.

    I’ll try to find you on GoodReads! I usually let people find me first, so I’m not so sure how this will work. lol

  7. I’m a member and an author and I really don’t have a clue how to use it. My time is limited and I don’t have it in me to study one more site. Maybe when my life slows down! Authors and readers have told me they like the site very much.

  8. I’d never heard of this site, but it’s great. Yet one more thing I’ve learned from reading the Smart Girl’s SciFi blog. Thanks Charlie!

  9. I mainly use goodreads to catalog my books (along with librarything) and to participate in a few book groups. I just like to see what books people are reading. 🙂

  10. I’ve been on it for several months, using it mainly to keep track of books I’ve read in the last 7 or so years. I used to keep written lists in my day planner or on my blog (in a sidebar), so it wasn’t that big a deal to catalog them on GR. It took a little time, but now I’m glad I did it. I only put star-ratings on books I read before 2009 (?), if I could remember them well enough, but I already write (on my blog) my impressions (not really reviews) of books as I finish them, so now I cut-n-paste those to GR, too.

    I’ve very few friends there, as I don’t want to be friended (weird to use “friend” as a verb, no?) by people I have no association with outside of that site. That said, I’d be happy to be your friend there, as I think we have a lot in common, bookwise.

    The site has been useful for some book recommendations, but the forums/groups are largely a waste of time for me. I’m just too selfish with my reading time to want to follow a group’s whims or plans, plus I find a lot of the discussion stuff to be a waste of time. (Some of the group readers use the forum feed as if it were a personal chat space. Annoying.)

    I’ve also found links to a few of my fav authors there, which is pretty cool.

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