Why I Don´t Join Facebook Book Groups Anymore

Facebook book groups – Oh, how I love to hate and hate to love them.

 

You´d think there wouldn´t be much to tell about Facebook book groups. The truth is- There´s not enough time or space to put down every single detail about what goes on behind those invisible group walls.

From the groups themselves, how they operate, the interaction, etc. There´s a lot of ground to cover when wanting to discuss these groups. Topics I can´t possibly cram in one simple post. Because there are so many different types of Facebook book groups.  We´ve got groups for:

 

  • fans of book blogs
  • book groups for specific genres / mixed genre groups
  • author groups
  • book blogger support groups
  • book promotional groups
  • bookmarket groups
  • groups for individual books
  • Book character groups
  • groups for the smut-loving society
  • street team groups
  • beta reading groups

 

Whatever a book lover´s looking for, Facebook´s got it in spades.  You want it, you´ll find it. You´ll also find a little more ( or less ) than you bargained for. And you´ll be able to find these hangouts categorized into three different types of groups:

 

  • Open groups
  • Closed groups
  • Secret groups

 

From a neutral standpoint, I can say that Facebook book groups are truly a blessing. There are countless ways you can benefit from a Facebook book group. From meeting like-minded fans of a specific book to making new friends… Facebook book groups are a wonderful way to connect and receive book-related info.

Unfortunately- If you´ve been in the business long enough you eventually see the cursed side of these Facebook book groups. I´ve seen this side as I´m sure many others have. While some FB book groups are wonderful… some groups just aren´t great places to spend time in.

 

kind reminder

Okay. I think we´re good to go, now.

Alas! Here are my reasons why I don´t join Facebook book groups anymore.

 


#1    Dead Book Groups

 

At one point I realized I was following over 250 Facebook book groups. 250! And from 250, only a few were consistently active. There are many reasons for Facebook book groups becoming silent but I don´t feel like sticking around when there´s nothing to stick around for. Being a part of a group for no greater reason goes against the idea of a group. I don´t see a point in collecting inactive groups.

Yes, Facebook can be blamed for the deaths of many book groups, but many book groups can be blamed for their own deaths. Either way- I´m out.

 

 

#2  If You´ve Seen One…

 

Yes. I´m saying all Facebook book groups are very much alike.  Each group is more or less a copy of another. Is this a bad thing? Well, sharing the book love can never be considered an evil cause. It´s seeing the same posts, the same shared content that´s ruined it for me. Personally? Aside from the design and colors, I see no differences. Unless a Facebook book group has something that makes them stand out then I feel no need to follow anymore.

I know it´s hard to come up with a unique concept these days. It´s even harder to maintain a certain standard when so much is constantly changing. The idea is not to settle for the safe option and copy what works for others. If you want to stand out or be seen you

a) should offer something no one else offers

b) maybe sell the copied concept differently

c) invest time, sweat and love ( and money for ads )

It sounds so much easier than it actually is. Trust me – I know. But it´s possible.

 

 

#3  Dictator Admins

 

Do I need to say more? Yes, I do. Dictator admins are real. They´re also very busy people. Busy monitoring posts and comments like a crack whore, busy talking about themselves and their achievements, busy warning members and keeping them in check. Admins basically have all the power over a group, which is perfectly fine. But some like to wield that power and play King Fuck – Who doesn´t give two shits about what their members want or need because it´s only important what the admin says /does/wants.  They set the rules and it´s in everyone´s interest to follow these strict rules. Should any member fall out of line then there will always be some type of consequences. This is NOT fun.

I´ve been in many groups where the admins acted like this and I´ve always wondered what happened to make them act like glorified cunts. Do I have to continue to follow these people? Of course, not. Life is too short to follow these people.

Admins of Facebook book groups need to act as mentors and help their community feel like they´re in the best place ever. I don´t want to be in a group run by a dictator. I want to be in a group where the focus is on open communication, sharing content, helping each other, etc.

 

 

#4  Rules

 

Rules, schmules. As if book lovers need rules in a Facebook book group. It´s stated NOWHERE that a social media group needs rules, so why do many Facebook book groups have them? I have my suspicions. One of them includes a dictator admin.  Because how can you be an active member and contribute when you´re being restricted from the start?

  • Self-promotion is not allowed

So, a book blogger isn´t allowed to talk about / share their work even though the group could benefit from it. How unclever.

  • Offensive posts will be banned

First of all- Define the word `offensive`. Seems like everyone has a different definition these days. This point basically means that if the admin believes your post is offensive ( even though it isn´t ) you´ll be warned, banned, deleted, asked to leave, kicked out. Wonderful.

  • Healthy debates are welcome

No. They´re not. Don´t fool yourselves. Respectful opinions are never welcome because they´re often seen as an attack. Especially when you disagree with the admin or a golden card member. Most groups use this point to lure in debate friendly people and end up blocking them for not liking what they have to say.

These are just a few rules from MANY.

With so many rules how is someone supposed to act in a book group? Maybe not act at all? Always agree with everyone? That´s just ridiculous. I´m not in a book group to follow rules. I´m here to join in on the fun and to maybe learn a thing or two.

My personal experiences have taught me to stay far away from groups with so many rules.

 

 

#5   Secret Safe Havens For Dick Pic Haters

/ Secret Safe Havens for Dic Pic Lovers

 

There are groups and then there are secret groups. Since I mingle with the romance novel crowd ( where the smut levels range from 1 – 10  ) you can imagine what goes on in some book groups. Sometimes posts are squeaky clean and respectable ( even informative ) and sometimes you´re involuntarily rewarded with a dick pic of a firefighter on a Friday. That´s just how the romance world rolls. Am I bothered about this? No. I couldn´t care less, to be honest.

The funny thing, though, is that some of these Facebook romance book group members have created side groups for people who are offended by aesthetic pictures of respectable men * cough * And at the same time there  have been secret groups created for dic pic lovers where members can secretly share porn all day long in any shape, color or form.

 

” This group is a safe place for romance lovers. “

“This is a safe place for readers who like it dirty.”

 

 

At one point these secret groups were growing like weeds in the Facebook book community. So, I became a safe place member and a member of the dirty gang. My experience in safe places was short lived. I eventually removed myself – Wordlessly. Then I came to this bright conclusion:

It´s a picture. You always have the option to ignore oiled abs and a thrusting crotch. You may allow yourselves to look away and return at another, less sexual time.

If you read romance then you are familiar with the often raunchy sex that can often be compared to porn. You have no reason to feel offended by a picture of a firefighter stroking the one-eyed snake. I guarantee you, you´ve read worse.

This makes the romance book community look like a circus. I mean- There´s humor in everything but this is beyond ridiculous.

 

 

 

#6   The “This isn´t book related but….” Posts

 

Listen- I get it. A Facebook book group is a community and in a community members should support each other during good and bad times. But sometimes private posts are uncalled for, especially when a book group is focused on book promotion ONLY ( or any other specific book group ). There´s a place for private posts and that´s on the person´s private Facebook timeline. I´m not saying it´s terrible if a group member posts about their uncaring neighbor who mows his lawn when the baby´s trying to take a nap. I´m saying the topic isn´t necessarily appropriate for a book group.

Like I said- It isn´t world shattering. I just don´t understand why this needs to be in a book group.

 

 

#7  Questionable Members

 

From what I´ve seen there are a few types of FB book group members:

 

  • The actively supportive members 
  • The Like & Leave members 
  • The cliques/squads/ best of best group buddies members
  • The hypersensitive bunch
  • The Alpha members with their platinum membership cards

 

Three out of the five group member types are most likely to also fall into the questionable member’s category.

What exactly is a questionable FB book group member, you ask? Well, these people make it their mission to make anything their problem. It´s possible that you can become their focus, their target. They will try to discuss you to the ground and tell you what a shitty person you are and how disgusting your opinion is. They will tell you how you hurt THEIR feelings even though you never knew they existed before.

They´re basically the FB book group mafia.

In the beginning, you hardly realize they´re there. But once triggered they´ll reveal themselves and they become very vocal and extremely illogical. What triggers these people? Anything can trigger the mob or a mobster. As soon as they don´t like whatever is posted or said in a group then that´s it – They get their shit lists out. They won´t hesitate to act as if a crime has been committed.

I´ve come to learn that these questionable members are scattered all over the place. Some aren´t as vicious as others. Some come in smaller groups and some are lonesome mobsters. It really depends on the person. Maybe they´re dealing with an offline private issue. Maybe they´re just frustrated and bored.

What I´ve also learned is: You gotta let special be special. And Facebook has way too much special going on. You can´t help the mob understand that you´re not a disgrace to mankind. You´re not a disgrace. They´re just angry people eating chips in front of their laptops. You don´t have to teach these people what the difference between an offensive comment and a diplomatic one is. They´ll only refuse to listen.

But you can remove yourself from a group and never have to deal with questionable members any further. Everything is always just a few clicks away, am I right?


 

Mind you- These weren´t the only experiences I´ve had during my active Facebook book group days. I´ve had the pleasure of being a member of some fabulous Facebook book groups in the past where the admins understood what it meant to be a leader and where the members understood the importance of online kindness.

Despite the positive sides, Facebook book groups have I don´t think I can overlook the fact that many of these groups are just playgrounds for people who have nothing better to do than to wait until they can explode.



 

If you so happen to be a member of an active and well functioning Facebook book group then I´m truly happy for you. It´s always a great feeling to know you´re surrounded by a positive community. As long as the FB book group works for you then all´s good. Keep being a FB book group supporter. ❤


 

What about you? Are you a member of a Facebook book group? Do you agree with my list? Do you disagree? Care to agree to disagree? Let me know your thoughts or share your own personal experiences. Let´s chat! ❤


 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.

I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Don´t forget to be kind, stay kind and share the book love.

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Why Book Reviews Aren´t What They Should Be

I think it’s safe to say that alot of people know what book reviews are, so no use to give a deeper explanation for that term.

But what is a review for?

Well, to keep this simple- reviews are there for indecisive people who search for a good book to read( and to help authors with sales ).Or, sometimes not help them ( depending on the reviews content). Either way- reviews are important. ( read 5 Reasons Why Book Reviews Are Important )

But, did you know reviews can also be corrupt? Oh, yes. Quite so.

There are 2 major types of reviews.

1 )reviews

2 ) do-me-a-favor-reviews / help-me-climb-the-ladder-to-success-reviews

Confusing? It shouldn’t be. An author usually has a goal, and that is to make a living off of writing and that’s perfectly fine. If it were up to me I’d wish everyone the success they want. Unfortunately, the road to that success can be a rocky one. There’s so much to do to get „out there”. Writing a book and hoping for a miracle to happen doesn’t cut it anymore.

 Writing a book and hoping for a miracle to happen doesn't cut it anymore

Authors/ writers depend on one major thing- positive feedback. The more positive feedback they get the better their chances are for more exposure. Word can spread really fast and that helps loads.

(Uugh…this is boring……* head against table * )

I like to say I’m a skilled book ninja. I have my eyes and ears all over the place, especially in the indie-author community. When blogging I keep an eye on all sorts of stuff, such as: new book releases, blog tours, author streetteams, yada yada yada, AND reviews. Yes. I read reviews, too. And due to my ninja observation skills I know who’s besties with who and who’s fan #1. If you take a closer look I’m sure you’ll notice, too. 

Can anyone remember the shitstorm Amazon caused with their taking down reviews from certain books? Yes. That was a thing and it pissed so many people off. I would know. I witnessed it, first hand. Amazon never took any of my reviews down ( Thank God ) but they did with other bloggers and fans. And guess what? Bravo! It was about time. Not that I´m pointing fingers at anyone in particular. I´m sure many deleted Amazon reviews were wrongly accused of diabolical review-washing. But the majority? Serves them right. 

I’m positive that won’t win me any plus points. But I don’t really care. When I hunt for books I’m just an ordinary reader. And when I notice someone is just doing an author a favor my blood pressure rises. How am I to trust these people who devote their lives to these authors? Their judgement is clouded in so many ways that their reviews aren’t trustworthy anymore.

Sure, I’m all for supporting my favorite authors. But stay realistic. Stay professional.

I’ve seen people befriend authors ( mainly through Facebook ) and get really REALLY tight with them ( again…that’s fine. Anything that floats their boats). And then I’ve seen those authors publish book after book after book and each book got the same LOVE as the ones before, by the same people. An author can write 12 books ( each with different stories ) in a year and still, they’d get 12 outstanding reviews from the same blogs who are oh-so-tight with them. Something is totally fishy there. There is no way a person will LOVE everything an author writes. No-ho! 

It’s impossible. There always a slower book in-between great books. A story that, in truth, deserved 3 stars because it was, in fact, slower, or a bit more softer, or just not someone´s cup of tea. Any normal thinking person would rate the slower book with 3 stars ( or less) because that’s how they actually felt about the story, no matter how much they loved the authors other books. But, nooooooo.Some bloggers / fans feel so much loyalty towards an author that they feel compelled to give the slower book 5 stars.

Why does that happen? Do readers/ bloggers think their friendship will go down the drain if they’re honest? Or does it have anything to do with stupidity? I. Don’t. Know! You tell me. But something is definitely not right there.

I’m not sure if that can be considered as healthy behavior.

Would you like to know what helps me pick a book? I skip all the 5 star reviews and jumped right to the 3 or fewer ones. I’m not saying that all high rated reviews are full of shit, but can you blame me for doubting them? Reading a 3 star review will not convince me NOT to buy a book because tastes are different. It’s as simple as that.

I know I shouldn’t waste my time breaking my little head over the review matter, because it’s really not worth it. Reviews are… subjective. I’ve wasted so much energy trying to figure out why bloggers aren’t fully honest with their thoughts regarding a book * sigh *. But you’ve got to see my point of view, here- I want to read a book and the only way not to dive blind into a story is to read reviews and see how others judged a book. And people who do authors those stupid favors ( because they want recognition or what not) aren’t helping me, or any other book nerd out there.

That’s basically why I was happy about the Amazon clean-out.

The book universe is sometimes a dark place. Bloggers doing authors favors because they’re afraid to jeopardize their friendship is not okay. 

There was a time, way back in the early blogging days, when bloggers helped authors get reviews by doing so called blog tours for their favorite writers. Blog tours are nothing other than a virtual book promotion where often free copies of a story were/are offered. The only thing wrong with those blog tours were / are… a reviewer CANNOT publish a review with less than 3 stars, depsite what their true thoughts of said book were/are. Anything to avoid a bad review. So, a reviewer either lies or they don´t review at all and risk a potential shout out from the blog tour hosts. I call that…. corrupt. And wrong.
Another observation I made:
Authors releasing new books and bluntly asking for 5 star reviews. Because a 4 star review isn´t going to make sales. * holding breath * The same authors then wonder why hardly any people leave reviews.  That screams desperate.

This is also the main reason why I believe honesty is the best policy. State your real opinions instead of doing favors. 

And for the authors who are hungry for fame….. The big shot writers often have alot of negative reviews along with the 5 stars. That´s definitely something to think about.

It´s amazing to watch authors and their devoted fans go to such extremes. But it´s less amazing when you spot the lie.

I feel cheated on. Ripped off.