The Art Of Giving Readers Power

Kind of a sinister title for a blog post, don´t you think? The Art Of Giving Readers Power– Sounds dark and highly controversial. Well, I can assure you this blog post won´t be dark but I can´t guarantee this will be a controversial free read. That will be for you, as a blog visitor or as a dedicated follower, to decide. Either way, I hope you enjoy this topic as it´s been something I´ve thought about for quite some time.

The Art Of Giving Readers Power

One would think that readers are silent, harmless human beings. They don´t have any sort of power because they´re the ones at the end of the bookish stick. Readers and book bloggers just read and sometimes write reviews.

 

 

Many have failed to acknowledge the fact that readers are actually the ones who hold the imaginary golden fountain pen when given permission. 

Now, I know what you´re thinking. And you´re partly right. But hey, it´s okay.  Just know that I´m going somewhere with this post. Back to the imaginary golden fountain pen wielding readers.

When I say ” when given permission” I mean when authors consciously include their readers in their writing process or ask questions on social media regarding a new idea.

Sometimes we see posts that look something like this:

“If I were to create a Hero who has a temper, would you see the Hero as someone who´s abusive?”

“I´m writing a book. What would you like to see happen in this book?” 

Of course, these questions could be seen as an act of kindness. Maybe an author wants to honor their dedicated fans by letting them pick a direction for the author´s story. Or perhaps an author has lost their writing mojo and needs a little inspiration. You know, that certain push to get things rolling again.  Whatever the reason- Authors are giving readers the opportunity to give their input. Is this is a smart move? I think it depends on from which side you´re seeing this. 

As an author, I can imagine that having a reader´s input is extremely helpful. 

As a reader, I can imagine the excitement when an author asks for an opinion.

All this looks like a win/win situation for everyone. That is… If one wishes to see it that way. Personally, I´ve tried seeing author questions on social media as something special but failed because I can´t stop wondering about the reasons. 

Why on God´s green earth would an author want a reader´s opinion? Have they run out of ideas? Isn´t that the worst thing an author could do? I mean, authors come up with a story and write it. Is it necessary to listen to the crowd? 

 

The Art Of Giving Readers Power

Authors are artists. Some are desperately trying to make a living off of writing. Some writers are barely keeping the dream alive while others are still trying to set foot in the business. Let´s not forget that it´s 2020. We´re living in a fragile time where it isn´t as easy to be a self-published author as it was 10 years ago. Readers certainly aren´t the people they used to be. Even feedback has changed. 

Book feedback in 2020 is either extremely good or extremely hurtful or the feedback doesn´t make a whole lot of sense. “I´m giving this book 2 stars because the ink on page 23 was smeared.” * sigh * Sadly, decent feedback isn´t as popular as the extremes, so they often go unnoticed or are immediately forgotten. 

There seem to be three main types of reading tribes. The ones who´re overly sensitive. The ones who´re fairly neutral. The ones we don´t know exist because they don´t hang around social media. A pissed off reader will do all they can to voice their disapproval. Negativity spreads faster than a wildfire in our community. 

Some authors tend to think they can´t afford to receive negative feedback as this would jeopardize book sales. They can´t take risks in an already hot environment. 

And that´s what it boils down to- Book sales. At the end of each day, the artist needs to make a living. In our world, it´s become easy to offend and trigger people with the simplest things. In order to prevent that from happening authors ask their fans/readers questions and therefore give power. It´s also about keeping the existing fanbase happy. 

I agree- Greater crimes have been committed. It´s also good to mention that not all self-published authors take this route. But isn´t it still sad that many do?  

 

“If I were to create a Hero who has a temper, would you see the Hero as someone who´s abusive?”

This is clearly an author who´s unsure about how their character will be perceived by their audience. The author is aware that abuse is a trigger topic but doesn´t see their character as someone who´s abusive. To avoid future backlash they decide to ask a reader, thus giving a reader power. Imagine the author has a little over 1000 online fans/followers. 100 are regularly active but only 20 react to an author´s question regarding their work.

20 readers say that the author´s Hero is, without a doubt, an abusive asshole ( without having met the character ). The author has two choices at that moment:

    Not create a character with a temper

    Make a note to include abuse as a trigger warning
You see, the power had already been unleashed the moment the feedback came in. 20 readers voiced their opinions. 20 readers were enough to change the course of a potential bestseller. 20 readers are enough to fill an author´s mind with doubt. 

And because this system had proven to be useful for an author they repeat it. Authors are then unaware that they´re allowing their readers to influence them. In the end, readers will feel empowered that they made a change for the better. A change that wasn´t necessarily better for everyone else. And the more this happens the more changes we´ll see with writers. 

Tough subject, right? 

Now, I know there are readers/fans and authors who´ll find this whole blog post appalling. There´s no doubt in my mind that someone is reading this right now, cursing me from the comfort of their homes, for even having entertained this absurd thought. And that´s fine. 

There are readers who prefer when they´re asked for their opinions to make their reading experiences as pleasant as possible. And, of course, there are authors who are all too willing to cater to their readers’ needs. Which is also fine. I might not agree with that, but okay. 

Still, one simple fact can´t be ignored- It´s all about money. It´s all about sales. The dream needs to stay alive. Whether it´s a question about characters, the plot, content warnings, or even about the blurb… I don´t think it´s the best idea to ask about these on public platforms for everyone to see and leave a comment. 

In my most humble opinion, I believe it´s important for authors to write about what feels right for them. Writers create stories for us to read. They challenge us with their thoughts and ideas and push boundaries. Authors aren´t out to destroy their readers’ wellbeing in any way. I have yet to encounter an author who wakes up in the morning and thinks “Today I´m going to fuck em all over so they end up needing life long therapy.” I don´t believe that. Just as much as I don´t believe any reader has a right to think that authors SHOULD write stories the way they want them to be. Creativity should be encouraged and celebrated. Not restricted. 

The Art Of Giving Readers Power

Reviews from readers are powerful on their own and should be enough to help an author make any adjustments ( if necessary ). Social media should be used to interact with fans/followers in a fun way. But that´s just my take on the topic. 

Nonetheless- I wish each and every author all the success in the world. 


What are your thoughts?

Do you think authors should ask for a reader´s opinion?

Have you seen an author ask similar questions on social media? 

Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤ 

 


Thank you for reading this blog post. I truly appreciate it.

Keep sharing the book love,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank The Books It´s Friday

I´m telling you – All I´ve done since Wednesday was sing Friday I´m In Love from the Cure. Not that Friday´s have any emotional meaning anymore these days but… I needed a Friday this week. And now it´s Friday. 

I´d rather not bore you to death with what´s been going on in my personal life. I have nothing to share other than the hardships of homeschooling and how I´m desperately trying to ignore social media. If I received a dime for every Covid – 19 conspiracy post I´ve seen I´d be rich by now. Or posts from people who virtually protest against face masks.

It´s been very difficult for me not to leave a comment on these genius posts published by some of the world´s unskilled thinkers.

Then the news about Stephanie Meyer´s Midnight Sun ( Twilight #5 ) finally reached my shores. 

Really? The author already tried beating a dead horse before with her Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined 10th-year anniversary release. Is she trying to make sure the poor bastard stays dead? Because it can´t die twice. Neither can the story make a comeback twice. Especially when it´s the same story told from a different point of view. It´s clear the author is trying to milk the (equally dead) cash cow.

I know I shouldn´t think poorly of authors trying to make a buck but can anyone fault me for thinking this way when seeing this?

$ 14 .99 for a Kindle copy? Is the secret of life in there or are readers just getting Edward´s POV? Rumor had it some many moons ago that this story had been leaked and that pissed the author off so bad that she refused to ever publish it. Talk about a mind change. This is the most ridiculous thing I´ve seen in ages. I think you´d have to be a die-hard fan of the books to spend that much money on a Kindle copy. Twilight Rant Over.

So, what else is new? I´ve ruined two shirts while doing some more bookish art recreations. Note to myself ( and everyone else ): Black color should be applied with a full bodysuit. The post that goes with this experience will be published very soon.

Anything else? Not really. Just lots of personal stuff that everyone else is probably doing as well. Gardening, spring cleaning, some more spring cleaning, staring holes in the air, wondering when my hands started looking old, and reading.

Oh yes, I almost forgot the most important part of this post: The books I´ve read.

I managed to break my personal reading record. 4 books this week. Granted, the longest book only had 232 pages but that´s not the point. I started and finished 4 books. Am I proud? You bet! If this lockdown continues I´m probably going to end up setting myself some quirky reading challenges. Something like How many 250 page novels can I read in a week? How many short stories can I read? How many books can I skim without missing too much of the plot?

I think it´s best to end here before I start getting any more weird ideas.


But before I go I´d like to know:

What are your thoughts on the Twilight addition? Are you excited or are you wishing the author would just move on to something new? What´s been your highlight this week? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤


Wishing each and every book lover a wonderful weekend filled with lots of reading and relaxing.

Do You Tag Authors In Negative Reviews?

This post is dedicated to everyone in the book community.

A huge shout out goes to Drew@The Tattooed Book Geek for inspiring me with his post. If you haven´t already be sure to check his thoughts on the subject out right here.

Unfortunately, this to-tag-or-not-to-tag-authors issue has been around for some time now. It pops up on social media and vanishes just as quick as it came. It´s no secret that many authors hate being tagged in review posts on social media. Why? Well, because it´s hurtful. It´s mean. It´s degrading and humiliating. How dare someone put an author on the spot like that.

 

 

That´s what people say. On a few occasions, I´ve seen some authors post something like this on their social media.

“It´s not nice to be tagged in a negative post. Please don´t tag me. It´s rude.”

 

And even some book bloggers will join in and offer their two cents into the mix.

 

„This is NOT okay. Do NOT be cruel by tagging authors in negative reviews.“

 

And I agree to some degree. I agree that you shouldn´t be a hurtful asshat then go off and rub it under an author´s nose. That´s about it, though.

Personally, I don´t see myself siding with the people who believe negativity is harmful. Because I´m the type of person who thinks negativity is necessary. Even if it´s a tag in a post that leads to a negative review. So, to answer the question above:

Yes, I tag authors in negative review posts. And if I´m honest, I don´t really lose a night´s sleep over it, either. I´m okay with sharing my opinions, positive and negative alike, and tagging the people who wrote the books I reviewed online because that´s what I do. That´s my purpose as a book blogger. I´m confident about my work and know that nothing I upload is harmful. Maybe thought-provoking but never harmful. Some book bloggers don´t write negative reviews at all, which is also okay. But I do and I can totally live with myself.

 

Now, before anyone who´s already disagreeing with me or thinking of accusing me of being mean, rude or tactless… Please hear me out because this isn´t meant to be rude or insensitive. This is just my take on the problem. Thank you in advance.

 

After having given this topic lots of thought I´ve come to less than pleasant conclusions as to what the real issues are.

 

#1   Tags are just tags. I think tags can be compared to flies. All´s good until one of those suckers manages to get inside your house and ends up bugging the shit out of you at night when you want to sleep. But, it´s just a fly, you know? That itsy bitsy little flying insect can be dealt with. Well, it´s the same with tags. The negative ones are annoying as well when they appear. Fortunately, tags can be dealt with. Unfortunately, some authors feel the need to lash out on social media. All because of a tag. I admit- this is interesting to see but I can´t help to feel uncomfortable. Why react when you could just deal with it? There´s always time to complain after having tried to iron out the problem.

 

#2   Some authors are spoiled. I know, it sounds so awful but if you think about it, it does make sense. From what I´ve seen, some of the authors who´ve complained about being tagged in negative review posts have been carried on a silver platter for so long by book bloggers they´ve forgotten that negative opinions exist. The end result is: They´ll throw an online tantrum via social media posts and complain about how rude it is to tag their name to a negative post.

 

#3   Some authors are picky. So, it´s okay to tag them in a positive review post but not a negative one. Because that´s what their complain posts say: “Do not tag me in a negative review post. That´s rude.”  Or, am I missing something here? They´ll share/retweet a positive review post but will complain about a negative one. They´re basically rewarding good behavior online and protesting against an opinion they don´t approve of. If authors want feedback, they´ll get feedback. 

 

#4  Negative reviews aren´t always truly negative. I´m sure many can agree with me on this one. There´s a huge difference between wanting to share an opinion and being a cold-hearted bitch on a mission. What helps here is just taking some time off to find out why there was negativity in the first place. If someone has said that the book wasn´t their cup of tea or that they weren´t able to bond with the characters then that can´t be classified as negativity and should be accepted without further ado. Didn´t like what I offered? I´m sorry you feel that way. I hope you´ll find time to check out my other works. I´m sure I have a book you´d like.

 

#5   Authors aren´t the only beings wanting attention. Shocking, I know. It´s hard to believe anyone else wants to make a name for themselves. This point is so damn obvious that it hurts to think about it. There are reasons why a book blogger will tag an author in a negative post.

  1. They want the attention
  2. They want the author to see the review

I can´t fault a book blogger for wanting attention. They have goals just as any author does. What can also come across as a little shocking is: Some book bloggers aren´t working their blogs for authors. They´re doing it for themselves and their followers who rely on their opinions. When they tag an author in a negative review post they´re saying:

“Just dropping by to let you know I read your book. I ended up not liking it.”  And then they move on, allowing an author to check their review out. When this happens they don´t think about an author´s feelings just as an author won´t think about theirs. Is that terrible? I don´t think it is.

 

#6   Feelings. Some authors will not hold back and share their feelings. “Just stop and think about how this makes me feel.”   * nod *  * shaking head * Without wanting to sound like a complete bitch- Book bloggers should be mindful at all times? Book bloggers need to be considerate AND careful not to put a dent in a book´s reputation? This is asking for the impossible. Look, this whole thing is basically an exchange. Author publishes a book and book blogger/reviewer leaves a review.  Not every book blogger can puke rainbows for everyone. Many reviewers aren´t interested in walking on eggshells. 

 

#7   It´s about the book, not the author. This point can be tied with #4. Some authors fail to recognize that they´re selling a product. If someone doesn´t like the product they´re going to complain to the manufacturer. In most cases, that´s exactly what a book blogger is doing- letting the author know what they thought via social media tag.  But authors take this personally because the books they´ve written are often considered to be their “babies”.

 

So, what´s the real problem here? Is it the review, the reviewer/book blogger or the tag? Or perhaps it´s an author?

 

The core of this evil is a combination of all four. Without the reviewer, there wouldn´t be a negative review and without both and social media there wouldn´t be a tag. And without some authors, there wouldn´t be complaints. Sounds like we could all be living wonderfully quiet lives, huh?

 

After having been a part of the book universe for so long I´ve learned that whatever you do, things won´t ever play out the way you want them to. You, as a book blogger, will always be judged. Your blog will always be judged. Your opinions and posts will be judged. You can be as fake or as genuine as you like- your critique ( no matter how mild or diplomatic ) will not be accepted.  The same applies to authors: No matter what you write about there will always be people who´ll have strong opinions. You can´t keep away the hate. You can´t avoid a tag. You can´t prevent tags in negative review posts from happening. A post about it will not convince someone to stop.

 

Of course- all this is worthless when an author comes across a bitch on a mission. The book bloggers who are hateful and personal should rethink their blog philosophy and work on their social skills. Just as sensitive/stubborn authors who´re constantly offended by everything that´s not a praise should.

 

This is a community. We´re in it for a reason. We need each other to exist. Book bloggers depend on books to read and review and authors need readers and reviews. As annoying as negative tags are for authors, there not worth the fuss. Because in the end- It´s a tag.

So you see, there´s no win/win situation here.  * sigh *

The key is to be civilized. If we can´t act in a civilized manner then we need to step away and breathe.

 

On a friendly note: As stated above- None of this is meant to hurt someone. I´m not pointing fingers at anyone in particular. I´m only sharing my observations. I´m positive many will disagree with me on this subject and some will actually agree.

On an even friendlier note: Remember- It´s okay. If you´re a book blogger who does or doesn´t share negative reviews on social media then you´re okay. You´re not going against any rules because there aren´t any. It´s also okay to tag authors in positive and negative review posts, as long as you´re being civilized, no harm is done. Always keep in mind that just because someone doesn´t approve doesn´t mean you´re doing something wrong. Tag authors. Give them feedback. Let them know you exist.

 


 

I´m afraid to ask: What about you? Do you care enough about this topic to chat about it? Do you tag authors in negative review posts? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. 

 


 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you enjoyed. And if you didn´t then that´s okay.

I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Take care,

Banner name

 

 

 

 

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,

Banner name

 

 

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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