This morning I saw this video by Meghan Tonjes where she “reads” Fifty Shades of Grey. I use the quotes because it’s really just her commenting and sometimes reading quotes out loud. (Since I am never going to read the book unless I get it for free, it was a bit amusing to me.)
That book is ridiculously huge right now. There are plenty of people who love it and plenty who hate it. That’s the ticket right there. People have strong opinions about it. It’s that sort of book. It’s like those people in real life that draw people to them because they’re crazy meanwhile they push people away for the same reason. Can you fault a person or (a book )for living life that way?
As authors, bad reviews cut us to the quick. Yeah, babies, yada yada. But really, when there is a review that’s bad, it questions our abilities as writers. That’s what really hurts. I don’t mind someone making a comment about my story and saying it’s boring or flat. My real issue is that I then feel awful because I couldn’t make that story come alive for that reader.
I know that you’re not always going to be able to make a story that appeals to everyone. It’s not realistic with everyone’s differing tastes. These sorts of books that clearly appeal to someone (and they really do even if that someone is not me) get a lot of attention because people feel so strongly about it. What’s ironic is that they then appeal to the people who like them the least because they want to see what the fuss is about! So it’s a win-win for the author.
How many times have I read comments from people who hated the books but still read all three? It’s the same way with Twilight. People will read all the books and complain heartily about the sex scene that comes in like the last book and I always wonder, why do you keep on reading if you really hate it so much? I’m not really going to guess, though maybe it’s like when you happen across a traffic accident in real life and you want to see what happens even though you feel really badly about standing there gawking like everyone else, especially when someone responsible comes along and asks you to clear the way.
So I guess this is an interesting lesson on why bad reviews aren’t necessarily world ending. If you get a bad review, like one or two stars, and you get five star reviews (generally in equal portion) feel good because you make people feel things, even if it might be crazy anger and insane love. I won’t say that makes a book a good one, but it’s good to keep people reading.
The Goodreads giveaway has gone even better than I expected. MUCH better than expected. Almost too much better. In fact, it’s freaking me out a little. *bites nails on one hand and covers eyes with the other*
So this is a good time to mention there isn’t much time left, right? It ends on the tenth. If you’re signed up on Goodreads, hit me up. 🙂
Goodreads is a great site, but it’s hard to get into. First off, what the heck do you do there? And secondly, it takes time from writerly duties like writing and, uh, twitter.
There are plenty of blogs I’ve read on the awesomeness that is Goodreads. Most talk about it and people are still lost on what to do, so I’m just going to link you directly for anyone curious.
First off, there are groups. For just about anything you can think of, there might be a group for it. Groups are basically meant to be book groups, but the cool part is they can have themes. Some are local groups that meet in real life even! Do a search with your city’s name and see if something comes up. Or do a search for your preferred genre and see all the groups centered around it. It’s a great way to meet people and interact on the site.
One of the groups I love? The Next Best Book Club. I wish I was more active, but I’m still learning how to strike a balance between the business work and my extreme need for isolation.
Next we have giveaways. A lot of giveaways too! You can sort them by genre and all sorts of other ways. I discovered this and it was a mistake because next thing I knew I was adding things to my to-read pile which is so unnecessary.
Another cool thing is the events. You can search by area and find things happening near you. If you’re an author, you can list your events, like appearances, signings, launch parties.
It’s important to join a site like this because you want to, of course. A lot of people confess they don’t like it, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I joined it a while ago, and I haven’t regretted it. I like how easy it is to communicate with others, to comment on reviews, to join groups, and I especially love when a friend sends along a book recommendation or reads a book that I’m interested in. I try to always put my thoughts down about a book if I have any, so all my friends can see.
Anyone else on Goodreads? Have any tips?