Good grief, Goodreads [Medium]

Image copyright Goodreads

I’m a Goodreads author and I’ve been on Goodreads since 2010 — even longer if you count a previous account. Wait, that rhymed, didn’t it?

I’ve over 4,000 friends and followers there. I use it mostly to track what I’ve read and what books I review.

The extent of my self-promotion on Goodreads until this year has been, well, being a Goodreads author. That’s it.

I recently held a virtual launch party to mark the opening of my Patreon community. This including sending invites across all of my social media accounts — except for Twitter where I just tweeted about it because there’s no easy way to contact 15,000 people directly.

I invited my ‘friends’ on Goodreads to the virtual launch party and offered to review a book (theirs or someone else’s or a book of their choice) for any Goodreads member who joined my Patreon community and to make them a Top Friend on Goodreads so that I see all of their updates.

The overwhelming majority of people ignored it (as expected) but a handful joined the community and were made Top Friends on Goodreads. True to my word I’ll review any book for them for free — luckily no-one has made me read Harry Potter yet.

In addition to the people who joined me, there were a few well wishers, a few polite declines, and one snotty comment: “Begging for money is not an event.” To which I responded politely but should have said: “It is if you do it right.”

This idea that Patreon is begging is something that baffles me and I may write about another day. Suffice to say that I respectfully but vehemently disagree. You can even join anyone’s Patreon community for free by following the account — you just don’t get any goodies or updates.

Anyway, I received an email from Goodreads taking me to task about not engaging in self-promotion on Goodreads. It’s polite enough if a little condescending:

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