My First Official Book Blogger Meet-Up

I thought I´d never see the day come when I´d willingly go to a book blogger meet-up. Yet, here I am- having survived what I´d call `Therapy For Book Bloggers`. Ha, just kidding.

 

 

So, yeah, I went to one of those meet-ups. As in- I actually squeezed my derriére in a pair of long-forgotten & unloved jeans and left the comfort of my four walls. Because I was invited. And what do you do when someone asks you to grace their party with your presence? You go.

Usually, when people talk about book blogger get-togethers, all I hear about is how nice they were.

“I had a really nice time.” Is what I get to hear. Now, for me, that statement can mean a lot of things. `Nice` could be the little sister of shit, for all I know.  It could be a genuine response though, as well. Who knows. I was never apart of any book blogger meet-up before.

There´s one reason why I never joined any book blogger evenings. I live in Germany. This country isn´t exactly known for being a book blogger hotspot. I´m sure there are tons of book bloggers here but they´re not as widely spread or make themselves known.

Besides- Me, an older American speaking book blogger fossil who blogs in English about romance novels? Most book bloggers I know are 20-something innovative spring chickens who aren´t dying to spend time with a 37-year-old. Mainly because I´m… old.

 

 

Well, someone I know thought it was a good idea to have me at a book blogger get-together. So, I went. And what happened was far more awesome than I could´ve ever imagined.

  1. Eight book bloggers, myself included. I only knew one person and she was the one who dragged me to the party. All 7 book bloggers blogged about different genres, which was such a relief to know. As I later found out, the others were just as relieved. I was the only romance book blogger.
  2. Book bloggers usually have the reputation of being introverts. Shy, quiet, always reading. The bunch I met with were far from introverted. Jesus Christ and his twelve buddies… I was surrounded by a group of bookish extroverts and I loved every minute of it.
  3. I wasn´t the oldest or the youngest of the bunch. Normally, large age differences don´t bother me. You can always find some common ground with a person. There´s only a problem when a large age gap shows. And this time I was terrified. I mean- I´ll meet with younger book bloggers but 7 of them? What if they´re all still in school? Conversation material will most likely run out quickly since there´s only so much you can talk about ( unless someone is willing to hear about the horrors of adulthood/parenthood and gardening ). This doesn´t mean I think less of younger people. I´m just saying that at some point, an age difference can´t be ignored.  Thankfully, the group I met with was between 29-42 years old. I felt comfortable instead of feeling like a group mother.
  4.  Book talk. We spent quite a lot of time talking about genres and our favorite books. We discussed reviews and discussion posts, stats and followers. The things that mean something to book bloggers. We talked about how we could improve ourselves, our blogs and the community. This happened during dinner.

 

Well, guess what? The minute dinner was over I thought our meet-up was done. It wasn´t. I quickly found out that dinner was only preparation for what was to come- Bar hopping. I had to call the husbutt and tell him there was a good chance the night would have an open end.

To make a long story short: It was 5 a.m when I called my brother to pick me up. He wasn´t happy. But I was ( since he was the only one who picked up his phone at stupid o´clock).

 

 

Where does the book blogger therapy fit into all this? Well, as the drinks kept flowing, the mouths became looser than they already were. The 7 became chattier, myself included. All of a sudden we all complained about nasty comments and crappy books. We developed strategies during cocktail hour on how to eliminate self-proclaimed book editors who cause more damage to self-published authors than not.

Through all the hours spent partying with the book blogger gang I realized a few things:

 

  • German book bloggers are full of surprises ( bookish and non-bookish)
  • Book blogger problems seem to be universal
  • Book bloggers need to meet more often
  • Replacing cocktail names with book titles is GENIUS

 

It´s one thing to vent to your significant other/your parents/your pet. I mean, that works too if no one else is around. Venting online is also good. But to have someone in front of you who actually knows what you´re talking about is something else. I highly recommend book blogger get-togethers because they´re not only fun and informative, they´re also great for your mind´s peace.

One book blogger mentioned a wonderful idea for a blog post and I immediately asked if I could use her idea. I vowed to give credit ( since credit needs to be given ). Her answer:

“Who hurt you?! Girl, you don´t need my permission nor do you need to give credit. We´re only brainstorming. Take the idea. Tweak it, mold it, throw it in the washer and see what happens. Just text me when you upload the blog post.”

 

My reaction.

 

 

That was just one tiny tidbit from the conversations we had. I was also able to take some great advice home to use for my blog.

 

  • Your blog is a reflection of yourself. 
  • If you have an idea get it out there. Don´t waste time overthinking it.
  • You´ll only make others happy if you change your content to avoid hate.
  • Book blog like there´s no tomorrow. 

 

So, yes. I had an awesome time. And yes, I´d gladly participate in another book blogger meet-up, especially with the group I met up with.


 

What about you? Have you been to a book blogger meet-up before? Do you prefer smaller or larger groups to meet? Or would you rather skip the whole thing and stay at home? Let me know in the comments below. Would love to chat. ❤ 

 

As always- Thank you for taking the time to read. I hope you enjoyed.

Share the book love, y´all.

Many hugs,

Morgana

 

Goodreads-The Bookish Amusement Park

 

`Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. Our mission is to help people find and share books they love.`

 

That´s what it says when you check out the About Goodreads page. Not too bad, huh? It sounds really promising if you haven´t spent time there before. Readers get a social cataloging website where they can search for books and reviews for specific books. With over 25 Million registered users it´s T.H.E. P.L.A.C.E to be for book people.

Unfortunately, not everyone likes Goodreads, myself included. Although, that´s not true. I would like Goodreads more if things were different. Possibly a little less aggressive?

 

 

While I do believe Goodreads is a blessing for readers, reviewers, and authors I also believe the website is not worth it anymore. Amusement parks are only amusing until you get tired, right?

 

Since I´m a dedicated member of the romance novel committee ( I just made that up. There´s no such thing as a romance novel committee ) I can only speak for how things are in the Goodreads romance, women´s fiction, contemporary romance, Young Adult, New Adult, and Paranormal romance department. I´m positive every other genre has its issues as well.

 

 

So, why am I not a fan of Goodreads? Have a seat while I unwrap 9 years worth of Goodreads experiences…


 

#1   The Overstuffed Website

 

Goodreads is filled with all kinds of fun things for readers and authors and whoever else wants to visit. Book groups, giveaways, author interviews, book quizzes, etc. The website is designed to make a book – lover´s day, week, month by fulfilling their bookish needs. You don´t need a blog or a FB group. Goodreads will keep you busy for a while should you have time to spare. I like to compare Goodreads with my smartphone. There´s no possible way I´ll ever be able to use every feature available. But hey- at least I have the options, right?

I find cluttered websites non-user friendly.

 

 

#2   5 Star Reviews From The Super Supportive Cheerleaders

 

There are major differences when it comes to reviews. Did you know that? I didn´t when I first started out. Without getting too technical I´m going to narrow the different types of reviews down to two types. There are reviews for:

  • potential readers/people looking for their next reads
  • authors

A review can´t be mistaken for anything other an opinion on a product. Personally, I´d prefer to read a review that´s aimed towards helping people pick their next reads. It´s more consumer friendly.

What I won´t do anymore is read reviews that have been written more for an author than for the reader.

You know, the ones written by super fans who want to please the author by always leaving a shining review. Yeah, those reviews don´t do anything for me aside from driving me up the wall.

How do I know if a reviewer wants to please an author? By reading their reviews. It´s easy to spot the emotionally charged cheerleaders.

Do I trust the opinions from super fans that are also close to authors? Absolutely not. If a new release by a self – published author already has 25 + 5-star reviews on Goodreads ( all neatly published close to one another )  then you can bet your ass I won´t believe whatever praises they have for said book. I´m a burnt child. I learned my lesson.

Nice try, bookish squad.

 

 

 

#3   The Option To Flag

 

In an ideal world, we´d all have civilized exchanges. We´re far from perfection and Goodreads is no exception.

What Goodreads offers is the option to flag a review or a comment.

`If you believe a review contains a spoiler, spam, or other inappropriate content, you can flag it to our attention. Our team carefully reviews flagged items on a case-by-case basis, and we take action only on any items that violate ourReview Guidelines.` Taken from the Goodreads Help page.

 

Weeeeeell, some people take this too seriously. Which can be a good thing. I´m all for flagging the things mentioned above. It´s just that some Goodreads users have quick fingers and short tempers. And Goodreads sometimes acts like a submissive husband wanting to avoid conflict.

Reviews and/or comments sometimes get flagged because of disagreements. Some individuals ( authors, fans, fellow bloggers ) become so emotionally invested that they take great offense in the smallest things and end up clicking the flag button just because they feel attacked.

This is definitely a misuse of the flag button. Of course, there´s no ignoring the reviews that deserve to be flagged but in most cases, it´s not the reviewer who deserves to have their review removed.

I´ve had a few of my reviews taken down by Goodreads. And I wasn´t able to do anything about it, either. Goodreads punished me although I didn´t do anything wrong.

I upload reviews to help indecisive readers. I don´t upload reviews to please the fanatic fan base or authors.  Unless you see a review or comment that condones

 

  • pedophilia
  • animal abuse
  • racism
  • theft
  • any violation against humanity
  • any of the mentioned above

 

then, okay. Flag away. But otherwise, you have no right to flag a Goodreads user. Stop flagging users for stupid reasons. Learn to walk away.

Fun Fact: I was once in a book group where someone got offended by a Goodreads review and actually rallied a few other members to head on over to “bring her down” by viciously flagging `her`.  I left that group and drank a whole bottle of wine that night. To be honest- the supposed evil review was actually a genuine one. Very helpful. * sigh * *mumbling ( vicious cunts ) *

 

 

#4   The Wild Creativity

Seen and be seen.

I know I´ve been preaching about how important it is to be creative in the book universe. The best way to be seen or make an impact is by giving yourself that special something that no other book blogger has. The golden rule is- There are no rules. Just set your creativity free. Watch it grow and represent you in the best way possible.

But there´s a fine line between showcasing creativity and being the Las Vegas Strip after the sun sets.

The romance department on Goodreads is so damn colorful it often hurts to take a peak. You´re bombarded with tagline graphics, picture quotes, book blog banners, graphics for ratings, and gifs. Sometimes you see all this before you´re able to read a review. Sometimes all this is skillfully spread out throughout the review.

I remember wanting to check a book ( incl. reviews ) out and thinking:

“Where the hell is the review?!” 

Again – This is not a bad thing. I´m sure some folks like this form of creativity. Personally, I think it´s overkill and unnecessary. Less is often more.

 

 

 

#5   The Non-Review Review

 

You search for a book on Goodreads and find the book you´ve been looking for has 50 reviews. 15 out of those 50 are just comments ( sometimes with ratings ) that look a lot like this:

“So freakin´awesome the author published another book!”

Or, they´ll post a gif parade, showing how excited they are or how happy they feel for the author. THIS. IS. In. The. Review. Section.

Hey, I fully agree with these people. It IS awesome the author finally published that long-anticipated book. My only question is: What´s to gain from a comment like that in the review section?

These non – informative posts do nothing. Absolutely nada.

I have mixed feelings about these types of posts. Who the hell are they for? Certainly not for the people who´re looking for actual reviews. This is weird on so many levels.

 

 

#6   The One Place To Bash An Author

 

Just when you thought it couldn´t get worse…

This is probably the saddest point from all- When authors and their books get ripped to shreds on Goodreads. It truly breaks my heart to read a review about how an author is incapable of writing and that they should hang their dreams on a hanger.

Listen, I´m a nitpicker. Give me a book from a self-published author and I´ll find you at least 5 things that need improvement. But sometimes you gotta draw a line. I review books. I´ll mention what I liked and what I disliked. And if I come across a book that´s too chaotic for my taste then I´ll contact the author in private ( how this can pan out is a whole other bedtime story ).

Many reviewers shit on giving constructive feedback ( something that could help a writer improve their skills ) because of their anger and head straight for the bashings.

And boy, there are some vicious people out there. As a book blogger, I can understand a reviewer´s frustration. But I can also imagine what these reviews do to writers, especially to the ones who´re just starting out.

The key is to find a middle way to deal with a book you don´t like. Show respect towards the author but still, stay true to yourself and your opinion. It´s not that difficult. Breathe in. Breathe out. Eat chocolate or take a nap before going on Goodreads to ruin an author´s dreams.

For some reason, these reviews don´t get flagged. Either the author doesn´t care or he/she is too busy crying in a dark corner.

This needs to stop.

 


 

The funny part about this post is: I could have just posted this gif and you would have had a good idea of how I see Goodreads.

Goodreads – The Treasure Island of social media.

 

As always I´m not referring to everyone or every genre. Should you feel comfortable on Goodreads then… More power to you. I´m just not that into Goodreads anymore. I´ve seen enough, heard enough, and have been through enough myself.

Now that I´m an in – and – out Goodreads user I can say my life really is much easier. I ignore negative comments for my reviews. I mingle with other Goodreads users as little as possible ( unless I know they´re following my blog or I´m following theirs ).

I would like to point out that everything in this post has come from my personal observations and experiences. What I endured, or have been told about and was able to confirm, doesn´t necessarily mean Goodreads is a hopeless case. It´s not the websites fault. It´s angry, frustrated, bored, and probably unloved individuals who cause these problems. These are the people who make Goodreads look like a virtual war zone.


 

Let´s chat! Do you use Goodreads? What are your thoughts on the website? Let me know in the comments below. 


 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you enjoyed.

Much bookish love,

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