I’m generally not one to say, I told you so.
But, I told you so.
I knew when Amazon bought Goodreads they would ruin it.
I’ve always loved goodreads because it was a place to talk books, meet readers, access authors I admire, discover books I loved, and keep track of what I’ve read and want to read.
Slowly, Amazon has been sinking their money-lovin’ fingers deeper and deeper. Pop-up ads funded by the big publishers pushing the same authors and their same books have steadily increased. Buy links to purchase from Amazon are in every comment and recommendation, attached to every picture, and slathered up and down the side bars. And paid goodreads campaigns arrive in my email box for one NYT best-selling book after another.
Fine. It’s fine.
I know that the people with the money control everything, story of my life.
As a reader, I can generally look the other way, but as an author, I’ve had entirely enough.
I tried to believe that, although the game is truly rigged for the writers with the big publishers and the big bucks, I could still utilize goodreads to promote my books and connect with readers.
One feature of goodreads I especially love is the giveaways.
I’ve noted in a previous post, I have NEVER, EVER, NOT-ONCE won a giveaway, despite the hundreds I have entered. As I watch a good friend win copy after copy, I’ve scratched my head, but accepted that playing the lottery will never be a money-making proposition for me and when something says ‘odds are one in a hundred that this will happen,’ it’s more like ‘odds are one in a wando-mega-gazilllion to one that this will happen’ for me.
[And no, this is not another post speculating on how goodreads giveaways could possibly be rigged.]
No, this is a post reacting to the recent email I received from goodreads about their all-new, even better giveaway program for authors.
It may be new, but it is decidedly not better.
For example, one new feature works like this: Instead of giving readers the choice of entering your giveaway AND adding your book to their TO READ list, it automatically adds your book to an entrant’s TO READ list, whenever he or she enters your giveaway. This, they proclaim, will help generate buzz alerting the entrant’s friends and followers that they have added your book to their shelves.
No. I don’t want someone to be forced to add my book to their shelf. Maybe I’m overly sensitive because I’m one of those people who opposes being forced to do anything. (Same reason I still don’t like veal or eggplant, and I never follow-thru on chain emails or FB message forwards.)
Maybe I’m a weirdo, but I am thrilled when someone adds my book to their TO READ shelf, and yet I hate the idea of goodreads doing it for them. And I hate the idea of someone adding my book to their TO READ shelf only so they can be entered to win a copy.
Is it crazy to want readers to add my books to their shelves because they want to read my books?
Okay, enough whining. That’s not the big reason I’m angry about the new program.
Here’s the real reason—goodreads is now charging authors to giveaway their books. So not only am I (or my publisher) fronting the cost of the book and the mailing, but now I (or my publisher) will have to pay goodreads for the privilege of giving away my books!
And it’s not cheap. There are, of course, different packages, one more expensive than the other (they start at $159 a year).
So here’s one more way that authors and publishers are losing money to Amazon. And here’s one more way for books with big publishers and big budgets to get an advantage.
I have no idea if either of my publishers will play the game and buy a giveaway package, but I’ve listed my last author-sponsored giveaway on goodreads before the policy changes with the new year.
After that, I’m gonna do this crazy thing and give away my books without the help of goodreads.
So, here we go.
How’d you like to win a signed copy of one of my books?
All you have to do is make a comment on this post right here on the blog or on Facebook, and you’re entered to win a signed copy of any of my books (you choose). I’ll even toss in a couple swag items with the book!
And starting twelve days before Christmas (do the math), I’ll be giving away one book EVERY DAY to a person randomly selected from my newsletter list (if you aren’t on it, sign up here) for the twelve days of Christmas!
Yes, I am more than aware that goodreads will not even register my little dissent and protest.
Which is fine.
I’d consider it an act of solidarity if you now went to your own goodreads dashboard and added my books to your TO READ list (but only if you want to read them.).
Take that, Amazon!
Thanks for reading!
If you’d like to know more about my writing and books, please visit CaraWrites.com, or connect with me on Facebook, twitter, or Instagram. You can win great stuff, get book recommendations & a monthly most awesome recipe, be bombarded with puppy pictures, and keep up with all my adventures, by signing up for my newsletter.
p.s. I LOVE to hear from readers (and writers), feel free to email me CaraSueAchterberg@gmail.com