Saturday, 19 October 2013

The Trouble With Goodreads

If you're anything like me, as an author you want your books to be up on GR as soon as possible so people can find out about them, add them to their shelves, etc. Which is great ... until it isn't.

Goodreads presents a little problem for self-pub'ed authors called over-enthusiasm. You're near the end of a manuscript, or maybe only halfway, and you have a really good feeling about it. Excited, you list it on GR, only to have issues with it a few week later. Now this happened with me and the first Books of Amber novella. I had super good intentions to have it available for download by this November, and if everything had gone according to my schedule, it would have been. But then the Plot Demons struck, and they began to tear holes in my manuscript, and the Characterisation Zombies decided to join the fun. As of now, it's not looking like it's gonna be finished before next year. Which is fine - there's no pressure on me to finish or get it out there.

HOWEVER, once a book is listed on Goodreads, it's there forever. There's no taking it down. You can change the publication date, though, which is what I did. So there's no definite date for release, but it doesn't change the fact that the book is still very much listed on GR. I blame my overzealousness for this problem. I was too excited about the book and I didn't stop to apply logic to putting it out there.

Another issue is that you can't swap out a book cover unless you're a librarian (or know a GR librarian), so things like placeholders and TBR images? Stuck with those for life.

So just think before you list things on Goodreads. Wait until your second draft is finished, or your third, or your final.
Be sure before you put something up, because it cannot be undone.
Learn from my stupid mistakes.


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