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"Ask the Author" Setting on Goodreads


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#1 AQCrew

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 02:18 PM

Did you all realize that you have to turn "on" the "ASK THE AUTHOR" setting within your Author Dashboard on your Goodreads page?

 

Do any of you already have it set to "ON?  If so, do find it to be a useful tool for engagement with your readers?

 

Settings aside some of the concerns and worries that authors have about the snarky nature of Goodread reviews, what do you all think about this feature?



#2 Guest_AWExley_*

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 02:36 PM

Yip, I have it set to "on" but I have found a problem with it - it only sends you notifications if somebody uses the "ask the author" box on your author profile.

 

If they ask a book related question (via the box on the book page) there is no notification system. I discovered by accident that I had unasked questions sitting on my book pages, some were over a month old because I simply don't read the comments/reviews on my books and the question bit is half way down the page.

 

It's a pain, I now need to check each book, scroll down and check if there are any questions. Wee bit of an oversight on GR's part I say...!



#3 Guest_AWExley_*

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 05:48 PM

Well I have been officially scolded... I asked on GR and apparently authors aren't suppose to be on their book pages and most certainly cannot answer the Reader Q&A questions (even if there is an author specific question). Instead we just have to be rude and leave questions unanswered  :sad:



#4 RC Lewis

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 06:28 PM

In my case, I was never tempted to answer questions on my book page, because the first one was "why this book is famous? (sic)" ... well, there's no good way to answer that, is there? And the second was a statement about how it sounds a lot like another book. Wasn't touching that one.

 

I have the Ask the Author setting turned on, but it took a long while for the option to show up for me. Apparently they rolled it out in very small increments and I wasn't that high on the list. Have yet to be asked anything.

 

On the other hand, I've gotten a question here and there emailed to me through the contact form on my website. A lot of YA authors have the Ask option activated on their Tumblr and answer reader questions that way. So I'm not sure how widespread the GR version is going to be in some circles.


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#5 AQCrew

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 07:05 PM

Well I have been officially scolded... I asked on GR and apparently authors aren't suppose to be on their book pages and most certainly cannot answer the Reader Q&A questions (even if there is an author specific question). Instead we just have to be rude and leave questions unanswered  :sad:

 

Thanks for all the info, AWExley and RC... yeah, we were digging around too and we're starting to get the impression that leaving our GR author page alone and untouched is actually better than updating it.  We see various reports saying that authors should NOT treat their GR page like their social media platforms and should NOT be on GR at all... since it's a platform for readers only (obviously, authors should comment on reviews, but how much to update your profile or use it to interact with readers is the real question).  

 

That said, we've also seen comments from readers saying that they like to check out an author's GR page after hearing about the book, and if it's been updated recently, then those readers are more inclined to shelve the author's book as to-be-read.

 

 So what does that actually imply in terms of GR author page updates...?  Not sure.  That's all sort of an aside, and we're fishing for opinions and experiences.



#6 Guest_AWExley_*

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 07:36 PM

In my case I had specific questions about a release date and availability in other formats that were left on the book page. I suggested it would be handy to know when there were such author specific questions, so I could answer them.

 

But, yeah, other GR members dog piled me that I shouldn't be on my book page. Lesson learned. Sometimes being on Goodreads is like trying to ride a unicycle blindfolded through a minefield while juggling flaming chainsaws....



#7 RC Lewis

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 07:59 PM

AW, I'm not sure whether you've heard about the author-stalking-a-reviewer incident that blew up over the weekend, but there may be some sensitivity over on GR because of that. Don't take it personally. Just a good time to tread lightly.

 

(And yes, can definitely be tricky figuring out the unwritten rules.)


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#8 Guest_AWExley_*

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 08:21 PM

AW, I'm not sure whether you've heard about the author-stalking-a-reviewer incident that blew up over the weekend, but there may be some sensitivity over on GR because of that. Don't take it personally. Just a good time to tread lightly.

 

(And yes, can definitely be tricky figuring out the unwritten rules.)

 

Oh dear lord - WHICH ONE? Hale/Howard/multiple other cases... lol

 

I am privy to another story that will yet make the headlines - an author FB stalked the GR reviewers who left 1 star reviews on his book. He had a list. He had their personal details. He took a train from London to the reviewers place of work in Scotland and assaulted her. She needed stitches. Thankfully the police arrested him before he visited anyone else on his list  :sad:



#9 RC Lewis

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 08:26 PM

Ho-lee Crap.

 

Someone make it stop. :sad:

 

(I was referencing the K. Hale situation)


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#10 sharpegirl

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 08:38 PM

OMG, AW, that's absolutely horrible! 



#11 AQCrew

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 08:47 PM

Yeah, we know about all that (and would prefer not to add to the fire on AQC about it... but yeah, it's been hard to ignore.)

 

Fumbling back to the topic of authors on GR and how we're supposed to use it -- what is interesting is that we've started to lurk in a group dedicated to our genre because we were invited in as an author by its very active moderator who is aggressively recruiting new members and new readers.  We lurk on the threads, for example, where readers discuss their reasons for deciding to DNF a book (do-not-finish).  Extremely illuminating.

 

Other than that, as AW mentioned, GR seems to be minefield, and now, obviously some of the current drama will add to this sentiment on the part of both authors and readers.



#12 Guest_AWExley_*

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 09:22 PM

We lurk on the threads, for example, where readers discuss their reasons for deciding to DNF a book (do-not-finish).  Extremely illuminating.

 

Other than that, as AW mentioned, GR seems to be minefield, and now, obviously some of the current drama will add to this sentiment on the part of both authors and readers.

 

I tend to lurk, too. There is behaviour on both sides of the divide, that has over sensitised everybody.

 

There is a group that has a thread to discuss my series and a reader asked me to join in. I declined, I said I would prefer they could freely discuss it without thinking I could potentially pop up at any time and gnash my teeth.

It's great when readers want your participation but you have to be so careful. I prefer to be over cautious and avoid anything that mentions my books. If readers want to toss stuff back and forth with me, they can find me on my FB page.

 

As a reader I love Goodreads, and the fact I can check out my friends' reviews on other titles, to see if I might like a book before I buy. It's a great word of mouth tool.



#13 mwsinclair

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 11:58 AM

Boy, I feel I dodged a minefield now. When The Fall was included in the Apocalypse Whenever group, I thanked the moderator and said if anyone had a question that should come my way, I was willing to address it, but otherwise I'd stay out of the discussion. No questions came along. And now I'm happy I didn't poke my head in too far. Yikes!

#14 RC Lewis

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 04:49 PM

Yeah, figuring the proper level of interaction can be tricky. I know Mindy McGinnis has been a "guest author" for some book clubs/groups on GR. Those have been specific situations where a group read her book and invited her to participate in sort of a "virtual visit" Q&A. They seem to largely go well.

 

But without an invitation, I stay away.


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#15 D. E. Jackson

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Posted 28 March 2015 - 04:09 PM

I'm thinking of starting a blog on my Goodreads Author page. Anyone having luck with that?

I did turn on the Ask the Author button. No questions yet, but I intend not to get tangled in any disagreement. If there is a question I'm not comfortable with, I'll remain silent.
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#16 Jeanne

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Posted 28 March 2015 - 06:38 PM

I answered some of the canned questions they have on there and haven't had any issues. Of course, no one has asked me anything else either! :tongue:

 

If you have a separate blog, you can also link to that on Goodreads.

 

Jeanne



#17 D. E. Jackson

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Posted 29 March 2015 - 12:27 PM

Thanks Jeanne! I don't have a separate blog. I was thinking about a website, but I'd want to be able to link my book from Amazon on there. That's why I went Facebook as well as Goodreads.

Speaking of which, I can't see my Goodreads app from my Facebook app. I can see it if I go via web, but not through the app. Anyone know of a solution?
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#18 Andrea Lambert

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 04:16 PM

I have Ask the Author enabled and answered a few sample questions but no one ever asks me anything. I would love it if they did. Even mean snarky stuff sometimes one has a way with the clever rejoinders and it can be invigorating. I wish people would ask me stuff on Goodreads.


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LORAZEPAM & THE VALLEY OF SKIN: EXTRAPOLATIONS ON LOS ANGELES from valeveil: http://www.valeveil.se/posts/196
 

HAUNTING MUSES from Bedazzled Ink on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co...e/dp/194383752X

 

WRITING THE WALLS DOWN: A CONVERGENCE OF LGBTQ VOICES from Trans-Genre Press: http://trans-genre.n...the-walls-down/
 
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