28 Dec 2020

Goodreads Sucks and is Not Worthwhile

100 Comments

Goodreads sucks. It’s as simple as that. The site is filled with trolls (malicious posters), false reviews and badly behaving authors.

Goodreads sucks and in fact is so back it makes me sick to my stomachLet me explain by Goodreads is bad. It’s supposed to be a place where readers can find out information about authors and books, with good consumer reviews. Instead, it’s filled with vitriol and malice.

I’ve been on the internet before it was called the Internet – back in my day it was called ARPANET and consisted of less than a thousand systems (we called them nodes.) During the intervening years, I’ve experienced just about everything that can be experienced. I even remember the first worm (a type of computer virus) – the Morris worm, the first spam message, and the first major search engine – AltaVista.

Okay, now I feel old.

I’ve experienced most of the platforms from the old CompuServe and AOL message boards to the modern day social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter.

Goodreads and Manners

Never have I experienced such negativity and just plain bad manners as on Goodreads. The place appears to be filled with “Goodreads trolls” who seemingly have nothing better to do than pounce on authors.

Goodreads is owned by Amazon, but as far as I can tell, it is run by a nebulous group of volunteers called Librarians. These folks, for the most part, have been helpful, friendly and competent. It’s just odd that you don’t email or call a support group if you need help. You drop a message into a forum and a librarian will pick it up and take care of you. This seems strange to me, but so far it’s worked for me. I prefer the concept of a dedicated group of PAID support people.

The problem with Goodreads is the overwhelming abundance of negativity concerning reviews and comments. You’ll also find an overabundance of Goodreads trolls, or people who attack books because they are just plain negative individuals.

First. Goodreads is strange in that you can “review” a book but not leave any explanation. A reader can click one button to give a one or two star review without explaining why. This really sucks. What didn’t they like? There’s no way to know. Were they in a bad mood, did they not like the plot, did they find a grammar error? Who knows?

Goodreads is filled with trolls which are malicious individuals who take joy in degrading authorsThese kinds of “hit-and-run” reviews are worthless to readers and writers. Readers aren’t given a way to judge what was wrong and writers are not given a chance to improve their work. There is no value of any kind to this method.

Second, when text reviews are left, they are quite often extremely negative. Not just negative – I’ve found Goodreads reviews tend to be vicious to the extreme. It’s almost as if there’s a conspiracy to write negative reviews and torpedo books. I’ve heard this referred to as Goodreads reviewer bullying.

In my mind, there are very few books that should ever receive a one star review. That means, to me, that there is NOTHING good about the book. Surely there’s something good. In fact, few books even deserve two star ratings. After all, someone spent a lot of time and effort to write it, and they deserve some kind of acknowledgement at the least for their efforts. Sure, first books can be rough around the edges, but does that mean they deserve a one star rating?

Most books deserve three stars – that’s the middle. It means “it was okay.”. It wasn’t bad and it wasn’t great. It was average compared to other books in the same genre or category.

Yet looking through reviews on Goodreads, there is a huge preponderance of 1 and 2 star ratings (usually without reviews).

I know a lot of authors, hundreds of them, and I’m meeting more every day. Not a single one of them deserves those kinds of reviews or ratings. They all work hard on their books to produce the best possible product that they can. Sure, there are some books I don’t like because it’s not my taste or whatever, I just don’t leave a review at all.

Their books may not be great, but they are not 1 star – which translates to “worthless garbage.”

For a while, I spent a large amount of time trying to figure out Goodreads and I finally gave up. The site is confusing, the ratings horribly inconsistent, and the hostility almost palpable.

I’ve given up. Goodreads sucks. I’ve found it’s just not worth the time and effort. There are far better places to engage with readers, authors and my audience.

So why isn’t Goodreads working?

I feel it’s because of the lack of intelligent moderation. Contrast this with Quora with it’s “Be Nice Be Respectful” policy. On that site, if you show too much negativity towards someone or you engage in harassment, you get warned and then you get banned. This ensures the people talk civilly to one another and show some form of respect.

This is why Goodreads isn’t working and is not worth the time and effort to even sign  up.

What do you think? Leave a comment below with your experiences.

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Francine

I have no idea where to complain or leave a crap review for Goodreads. It’s just crap! I really want it off my Fire!

Morda Bey Mihaly

My point of view is best said by Matt P. I am using goodreads occasionally to get ideas about books I have read and have a strong feeling about or books I have heard about and feel like tapping into more opinions about. So GR for me is a source of opinions and I feel myself able to find the opinions among the multitude that might turn out useful for me to find out more about the book in question. This means I ignore most of the stuff in the opinion section, especially the no text just stars type.What I… Read more »

Anon

I absolutely agree with you, Richard. I mean, there are bad books out there, that’s true. People who pen them by some formula for bucks only. They are full of typos, badly written and do a disservice to thoughtful authors. They seem o be in the majority. Wikipedia says that more than 2,000,000 books are published each year. So these books just keep flowing down and burying the good books. But other self-published books are the victims. On both ends. They are lumped in with these bad books though. I think that if books we consider “classics” were published today,… Read more »

David Rubenstein

I am not a writer — I have been an avid Goodreads user for 14 years. I am a co-moderator of the “Science and Inquiry” group. I have posted ratings for over 1500 books, and at leasat 750 detailed reviews. I have read thousands of book reviewsl — that is the main reason I use Goodreads, to get good recommendations. For that purpose, I find Goodreads to be tremendously useful. I ignore ratings that are not backed up by a long, well-thought-out review. I have rarely encountered trolls (fewer than 5). I have never encountered nastiness of any kind. I… Read more »

Ed Ward

This seems quite the 180 from your review 2 months ago. What changed? Did they correct the issues you mentioned in the previous review?

Zev de Valera

I came across your post when I did a search: ‘Is Goodreads Illegal?’ I agree with all of your points (even the stars with no review, which I am guilty of myself) and I have a few more to add. When I self-published my first book, I had no idea GR existed until a reader told me about it and let me know that my book was being discussed and reviewed. Initially, I thought this was exciting. I did not question how my book got there or how GR worked. I signed up to be a ‘Goodreads Author’ . This… Read more »

Ed Ward

Try sending them a cease and desist letter. An actual letter that is sent via some means of tracking, with a signature required. As you said, you own these items. I see major sites all the time that have to remove items due to copyright complaints.

Don’t give up!

Charlotte Glass

I couldn’t agree more. I had a book on Amazon and got all 5 star reviews. As soon as I put it on Goodreads, the first and only review I got was a 1 star review, with no explanation. Also, the “reviewer” had read less than half the book. I complained to Goodreads, and they’re going to take a look at my complaint but I doubt anything will be done. I also did a Giveaway and got absolutely nothing back for the money I spent. I might as well have thrown it in the trash. Plus all these so-called “challenges”… Read more »

Victoria

The exact thing happened to me and then fake accounts were set up to one star bomb the book. The fake accounts look really fake.

Bob

Very nice to read this. Apart from goodreads I have had great reviews. On goodreads I got a 1 star. That was it. No comment. I agree, very rarely should any book deserve that. Not sure how useful book reviews are at all either, apart from spreading illwill and bad feeling. We all have different tastes. One person’s meat is another person’s poison (modified saying for PC purposes).

David Rubenstein

Since joining Goodreads in 2007, I have had a different experience, mostly positive, until this week. I have been a co-moderator of a group called “Science and Inquiry”. Most of the books I read are non-fiction. I have rarely come across pointless 1-star ratings or damaging reviews. My involvement with this group has been very useful, as we host monthly recommendations and polls for the “book of the month”. And from those recommendations, I get very good advice about what book to read next. I don’t want to waste my time reading mediocre books–there are lots of great books out… Read more »

Joshua Souza

I think the worst aspect of Goodreads is that it’s half-review site, half-social network, so the reviewers tend to matter more than the actual review. And surprise, surprise, a lot of the popular reviewers tend to be harsher than regular reviewers, because a lot of internet people find negative reviews more entertaining. Doesn’t matter how good or bad the review actually is (and I know at least one popular reviewer who has time and time displayed a lack of understanding the material he’s reading), their reviews always end up on the very top. The worst are celebrities who 1 star… Read more »

Chris

This is a great post – and to add to the part about reviews. I hold open readings for writers, so they can come and read out their (unpublished) work and get feedback on it. These are completely open and every session people turn up who I have never met. But over a period of almost 2 years there has never been a person who has given horrible feedback, 1 out of 5, or called work rubbish. It’s always been constructive and whilst sometimes it’s been not what the writer wanted to hear – it’s always been of help to… Read more »

Marie

Goodreads was not a site I used often, but when I did use it, I signed in with Twitter. My author account and books are set up under that account. Now, you can no longer sign into Goodreads with Twitter. They say if you previously logged in with Twitter, email them. I did but got no response. I can’t use it now even if I wanted to. Honestly, I don’t miss it, but they should come up with another way of logging into your account since they discontinued Twitter.

Melissa Norris

I couldn’t agree with you more. Goodreads encourages mediocrity in the worst way. It is flooded by high school students who neither the education, nor the background to offer apt reviews, and often these are the accounts with the most activity. I have seen books written in obviously opposition to bigotry called bigoted because reviewers simply failed to read the entire book. I have seen multi-award winning novels raked over the coals simply because Jane Doe in 8th grade found them boring. I sincerely wish the site had never been invented, and the impact it is having on innovation and… Read more »

Matt P

I think goodreads has some problems but I think you go too far. By your logic, there should only be 2 through 5 stars, but then 2 stars just becomes the new 1 star. First off, the biggest issue I see with goodreads is how obvious it is how many people didn’t read the book or try. This is so obvious in how there are hundreds to thousands of reviews for books before they are released. And no, I don’t mean advanced review copy. This is dumb. It basically just turns into a blog about the book. So, self publishing… Read more »

Kari Wszolek

Useful opinions and comments here. I’m a hobby writer, yet still take my writing and reading seriously, and haven’t found the quality of reading or serious communication on Goodreads that I want. I’m seeking better websites, and I’d be happy to pay member dues to a good group rather than try to ‘climb the ranks’ on Goodreads, which is all really just looping back to make Amazon some money. I mean, I know Amazon hosts the site and all, and I’m not saying there aren’t some good authors and beta readers there (have managed to get a couple of good… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Kari Wszolek
Lisa Ehrman

I agree with you. As a book blogger/reviewer, I work hard to leave reviews that are helpful to the reader, but always respectful and kind. Most of the reviews I leave are 4-5 stars. I love books. But, I have trolls marking each of my reviews as Inappropriate. People are horrible.

Melissa Norris

I absolutely agree with you. Goodreads encourages mediocrity, and it’s turned into a high school social event with immature reviewers who simply don’t have the experience necessary to offer an apt opinion. It’s disgraceful–the negative impact it has on truly brilliant work. I am routinely disgusted by Goodreads.

European Qoheleth

You seem pretty keen on saying they’re in high school for some reason.

Cozen

I find this article maybe accurate but wholly biased one sided. What you’re article lacks is a different perspective that isn’t argued in here. You put all the blame on Goodreads members and none on authors themselves. As a Goodreads member since 2013 I can see all of your reasons have valid points. But here’s the side you haven’t considered in this article. 1. Authors are as bad if not worse when it comes to manipulating it’s readers and paying customers (see the Fiverr Report). It is known that authors stack reviews and ratings (having friends/family put many 4 or… Read more »

Charlotte Glass

The word is “its,”, not “it’s” readers. “It’s is only used as a contraction.

John C

I just deleted the Goodreads app. I majored in English. I am not a troll. Authors are not their works. I rarely used it, but after writing a fourth negative review, I failed to see the point. I read extensively, precociously, mostly in Mystery and Science/Fantasy genres, and have been doing so for 50 years. I’d been reading material by internet authors, and another couple of authors who just weren’t great. Part of the problem? Horrendous editing, or a deliberate authorial choice to eliminate real editing in favour of volume and online sales. At least one of the authors seems… Read more »

Mark Snyder Jr

Goodreads has my novel listed as having 8, I repeat 8 editions. This is completely inaccurate…I revised my book and I am republishing it this spring, so, at most, it should have four editions. I just hate how they act as though they are some official on my novel. Even Bowker would disagree with their tally of 8 editions…My new novel isnt even an edition of my first book. I am just frustrated that they simply dont care how this looks for me as an author…it will confuse people for sure.

Anon

Oh yes! Mine too. And try to get them to keep only your last revision and your talking to a wall.

Violet

Interesting debate. Goodreads seems to have started out as a useful site that promoted reading and the discussion of books and then devolved into a rather more mean-spirited place now owned by Amazon. Any time there is a rating system, people will use it differently as many enthusiastic ‘Goodreaders’ have pointed out here. It was really interesting to read how and why different participants use the site. All of the reasons are valid, but it’s fair to point out that Goodreads is used very differently now than it initially was. Some bookstores use the Goodreads rating system on their site,… Read more »

Nathan Daniels

Wholeheartedly agree. The site is full of wannabe literary critics who think theyre professionals and a whole slew of general assholes who, if theyve had a bad day, go on to GR to dump a bad review about a classic. Here’s an example on Bleak House by Charles Dickens, considered widely and consistently to be one if the greatest novels in the English language. “I have to give this snoozefest a 1 star because i hate the boring Victorian era and archaic prose and i couldn’t get beyond the first chapter. – Not for me.” This isn’t a book review.… Read more »

euler's number

It’s not always about trolling.

Goodreads uses a “reception” not a “quality” star rating. A good or excellent book can receive the one star “I did not like it” rating because…the reader didn’t like it. Hover your mouse above the stars to see the exact wording.

Charlotte Glass

But for starters, don’t you think that reviewers should have read the book? I saw the KDP pages on my book go to 100 pages and then stop. The book is 280 pages long. One way to cut down on trolling is to find some way to make sure that the reviewer has actually read the entire book.

sassycat

I agree with many of your points but one thing you have to realize about the stars (and what most major goodreads users understand) is that a starr ating without a review is totally meaningless and nobody pays it any attention. Because not everybody uses goodreads in the same way. Some will 1 star a book that isn’t even out yet… but it’s because they want to read it but not that much. so the stars for them are a way to organize their folders based on how much they really want to read a book. That can seem unfair… Read more »

David Rubenstein

Not only that, but I’ve seen reviews of books that have not yet been printed.

Charlotte Glass

But that should be made clear, which it isn’t. There should be a set of rules and regulations for reviewers. I know on Amazon, one person used to review a book several times, or “buy” the book under different names, that upped the 5 star count. Amazon stopped that, so some of these Goodread practices can be stopped too. Jay-z hires people to sit at computers and “buy” his wife’s albums. Everything is monetized in this country. I think we just need to get rid of “likes” and “stars” and have discussions instead. On Goodreads, rather than setting up challenges… Read more »

Naomi

I‘m not a fan of Goodreads either — I just deleted my eight-year-old account this week. But criticism like this seems to assume two things: 1. Everyone uses Goodreads for the same thing, and 2. Everyone has the same rating system as you. Regarding 1.: many people use Goodreads to recommend and get recommendations. Many do not. I never found the recommendations on Goodreads to be helpful, so I used Goodreads purely to keep track of my reading, for my own records. I used the star system in the same way. 2. Saying „In my opinion, no book deserves one… Read more »

Clemens P. Suter

Great points, I fully agree. I am writing a review about Goodreads for my website, and I will quote you, if that’s OK. It is really a pity, a good reading platform would benefit all.

Philip Barragan

Mr. Lowe,

Thank you for your helpful post about Goodreads. After being trolled by a vicious, relentless reviewer, it’s not where I want to be anymore.

Misty

Thanks for this insightful post! My sister raves about goodreads. But having just glanced at the user reviews, yikes! It definitely attracts trolls and people looking to dump their frustrations out on the authors. I don’t want to support that.

Cansu

I agree, I haven’t been on goodreads for too long, but I understand that there are some really harsh ratings going on there. Personally, I don’t care. My lowest rating is 3 stars so far, and I just use the site to keep track of what I have read, to improve my English skills and to read some good and delightful quotes, and to feel like I achieved something ? ? even if it is keeping record of what i have read. This is important to me especially since I have no college nor work right now 🙁

Mike

I don’t use it now because they removed the feature to automatically share to Facebook, which I enjoyed immensely and I also enjoyed seeing others’ automatic posts. They removed that feature for no good reason and it ruined it for me other than for a storage device.

Eleanor Whippet

I’m thinking of leaving Goodreads myself, even though as a GR author, it’s my main mode of promotion. The latest 1-star review I got included a comment from the reviewer about my political affiliations, mocking that I wasn’t a democrat and then calling my book “tripe” – and to a certain extent, this is justified by Goodreads. There are many things as an author that I find frustrating on the site – for one thing, Goodreads has issues with disambiguation and authors with pseudonyms; Goodreads will allow “classic authors” to have all of their works fall under a common name… Read more »

Eleanor Whippet

I’ve considered it, but when it comes to social media sites that are all about books, Goodreads has a monopoly, and Amazon swallowed up the others. Amazon already took over Shelfari, and LibraryThing is fun but lacking in its own ways. There’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and I’ve tried starting up book groups on those, but they quickly attract the same trolling, rudeness, political banter and problems that Goodreads has. I think this is why Goodreads makes no effort to do any better. It knows that it doesn’t have to. People will never leave it in high enough numbers to impact… Read more »

Errin

The whole premise is odd, ungainly/unmanageable for me as a reader and bizarre for me as a writer. The premise that anyone who can read (2nd or 3rd graders can do this) should malign or elevate a writer’s work? That we are beholden to sociopolitical issues first and story is an afterthought? I can’t breathe with all the ridiculousness and imagination policing.

Anne

goodreads also sucks bc you are forced to allow it access to your camera and microphones. the app has permission to take pictures, record video and to record audio. amazon will not allow you to turn it off or uninstall from kindle fire

Patrick

I don’t agree. I’ve always been impressed with the reviews. Also, as far as I can glean, they are monitored by the editors.

Victoria

no, they ain’t. I have fake accounts bombing my book on there and wrote the editors and no one responded.

Mayara

Hello Richard! I just reached your post by accident while searching something else. I do understand what you mean by 1 star and no explanation, that truly sucks, but I overall had a completely different experience with Goodreads. I’ve often been lured in by too many “OMG THIS BOOK IS AMAZING I LOVE IT AND ALL ITS CHARACTERS” 5 star reviews only to find out the 2 to 3 star reviews with “characters are flat, story took way too long to pick up pace” were actually correct. Nowadays I try to read all the negative reviews first. And if I… Read more »

Patricia Bourque

63 books + 20…Good on you!! I’m 75 and finished my first novel, “When You’re Young and In Love” – earned my living as a professional artist all these many years. About Goodreads…It’s a hodge-podge. Too much on it and every day I receive an email saying ‘New discussions on Goodreads’. I wanted to be in on discussions, but these are not. Every single one posted is an author flogging his/her book (and some of them are real doozies). No discussions that I can discern. I agree with everything you said. I’m still trying to find my way around the… Read more »

M Joy Vitale

I am a longtime SF, F, and Horror reader. Amazon has always been my own personal touchstone for anything to do with e-books and book reviews.

I found Goodreads to be altogether too “fluffy”, the readers/reviewers just weren’t up to par with those found on Amazon.

I’m a solitary reader, book clubs are an anathema to me, and I found the whole Con thing to be disorienting and confusing – don’t want to be a part of ANY “groupthink” – but I digress.

We fundamentally agree – Goodreads DOES suck, but we took different path to reach the same conclusion.

Erwin Sniedzins

Before the internet – well done! It’s a bit like me – before the PC and Xerox.
Just was invited to be part of Goodreads. Wanted to check the pros and cons and landed here.
Working on several non-fiction books that I want to make into trilogies since my Mt. Everest expedition days such as the Three Pillars of Love Make Mt. Everest Your Stepping Stone and Syntality. I’ve already produced a best seller in the ARPANET days and award winning poetry.

Jean

Hello Mr. Lowe, This has been my exact experience with Goodreads. How can you rate a book that you haven’t read? It doesn’t make sense. I revised my book and bookcover but Goodreads keeps the old one up. I revised it because I realized I should. So, why don’t they move the old one? Also, one person said that Goodreads is only for readers. If that’s the case then why does it show up when you google the book title? It’s out there for everyone to see – yes, even the author. Just sayin – then why isn’t it private… Read more »

Victoria

I notice the people who 1-star bomb my book on GoodReads are also authors or they have a readings list of books that is totally different type of poetry in which they give 5 stars. I notice the Instagram poetry lovers are one-star bombing my academic narrative poetry which has gotten 4 to 5 stars everywhere else even by professors and a long list of publishers. I can tell that it is the same person setting up fake accounts to keep coming because the fake accounts came about the same week they decided to trash my books in comments and… Read more »

JP in AR

Do Rachel Hollis and Celeste Ng own Goodreads now? I judge men and women not by the size but by the content of their bookshelf. So I usually only take their reviews in consideration based on the books they have read. A lot of reviews I have read are by people only read one type of book and for whatever reason read something outside of that genre and they hate it.They spend their whole review comparing it to the genre they are most comfortable with. Then their are the easily triggered who go off on a long rant about a… Read more »

Rainbow gardener

Wow! You must be looking at some other goodreads. As I look at it most books have ratings well over 3.5. I do use goodreads ratings and reviews to help guide what should I rad next decisions. I have learned not to bother reading anything not rated 3.7 or higher because of grade inflation. Incidentally I am rainbow gardener there. I have rated 349 books, written reviews of 217 of them, and have a 3.6 average rating. And I am a tougher grader than most people. Yes, lots of people just give a star rating and no review. Some people… Read more »

Joyce in NM

I really like Goodreads. I started using it several years ago. I use it mostly just to keep track of my reading. I had a TBI and couldn’t read for 4 years. So I like to challenge myself with seeing how many books I read yearly. I like that I can look at how my reviews compare with others and then I follow them for ideas for my next book to read. I don’t bully anyone and haven’t seen anyone do that. If I rate a book a 1 or 2 it means just that I didn’t like it or… Read more »

Doc

Because you have not experienced or seen the bullying, or because your intentions are good, does not negate the fact that this abuse is happening to authors.

Yes, I’m speaking from recent experience.

susan kent

As a newbie writer I have been trying to figure out how to get my book reviewed and promoted when I put it on Amazon (very soon). One thing I have noticed is the heavy reliance of BookBub on Goodreads reviews. Bookbub is promoted as a place you want your book listed (you have to pay), usually to purchase for free (not really, you almost always have to sign up for a free trial of Kindle Select and then you gotta remember to un-subscribe). They include statements on reviews like “Over 5000 five star reviews on Goodreads” to promote books.… Read more »

Jean

Hello Susan, I’d listen to what the Ghostwriter King is trying to tell you. Good luck.

Mateja

I couldn’t agree more, Goodreads should be shut down and banned, it’s that bad. The worst part of it is that they take your book, let the trolls trash it and harass you beyond belief, and you cannot remove your own books from the platform. Goodreads is worse than Reddit.

jean

Congratulations for saying that. Just my same experience.

Carol Davis

Some books ARE utter garbage!! Usually sold on hype alone! I try to leave honest reviews, especially if it’s a good book. If I leave a really low score it really is BAD. More often, if I just don’t like a story, I just don’t leave a review at all.
All in all I find Goodreads is GREAT.. /blows raspberries

Chuck

You’re the reason the above article was written. How is that anti-social behavior workin’ out for ya?

Dom McCann

Honestly, the only thing I use goodreads for is tracking myself and for keeping up with a few of my friends. I use it as a tracking system/Inventory. The system allows me to:
-list all the books I’ve read
-rate them
-list all the books I want to read
-keep track of my annual reading challenge/progress
-and do all of the above with a few of my buddies

SoW

Same. If I happen to dislike a book, I’ll rate it 1 star. The rating does not reflect the time and effort of the author; it reflect MY experience reading the book. I don’t think authors should track reviews on GR. Those reviews are by readers for readers.

Doc

That is not how honest reviews work in any system. There are 5 stars for a reason.

Victoria

not everyone who rate a book read it or had good intentions.

Hmr28

You are missing the point of goodreads reviews. They aren’t for the author…they are for the reader and other readers like them. Goodreads is a social book reviewing forum/app. I read over 3000 books a year. When I rate a book it is for myself…so I don’t buy that book again, or if I give it a 1 so I know not to buy anything by that author again. Some of my friends review books with the intent of highlighting ideas important to them like diversity, political commentary, etc or they review based on their own likes. I have one… Read more »

Steve

Yea, you read 3000 books a year … if by “read” you mean “flipping through a book and wasting time”

SoW

Totally agree.

Doc

Damaging authors is not “for readers” and no matter how often I read this excuse it bleeds entitlement. Little wonder trolling is an extreme issue on Goodreads.

Jean

If that’s the case then why does it show up when you google the book title? It’s out there for everyone to see – yes, even the author. Just sayin – then why isn’t it private only for readers? I think Goodreads is designed to destroy (self-published) authors. Just my opinion. And I suspect a lot of fake reviews going on.

Naomi

Unless you are unemployed and read Manga, there is no way you are reading roughly ten books cover-to-cover a day. The fastest Speed Reader in history couldn’t do that. But hey, whatever bumps that number up on Goodreads, right?

Luther Dixon

I read some of the reviews, mostly three or four stars. Then I go to Amazon and hopefully achieve some consensus. I wasn’t aware of Quora, so thanks.
I think we have to be aware that writers can be cruel to one another. I pick up immediately the negativity and ignore the malcontents, especially the ones off balance.

Cameron Jon Bernhard

I absolutely agree. My new book, which has been receiving five star reviews elsewhere had its first rating (not a review) on Goodreads from a one-star ratings troll. This is a person that I suspect flamed the book because I refused to respond to their request for a free copy, since it bypassed the security measures implemented at the website I was using for ARC releases. The worst part is that Google has already picked up this damaging rating from Goodreads and is now distributing it to the world. It’s good that I don’t give a flying f**k about legitimately… Read more »

Tristen Rowen

I just received an incredibly nasty review by someone who cannot even write English well. In fact, I think he does not have a good understanding of the English language. He also clearly only read a free sample of my book. I also do not think he is from the United States (which is okay, but he demonstrated a lack of understanding) because he criticized me for referring to an in-law apartment (he said that doesn’t make sense or it doesn’t exist). He also criticized me for using the word Nana when I was referring to the character’s grandmother. He… Read more »

Koriander Bullard

I have a unique situation with Goodreads. I have a stalker who also writes books on Amazon. You would think that being a fellow author who has been trolled before, that she would understand why one star reviews and ranting reviews are wrong. Instead, she trashed several of my books, showing the world that she is no better than the people who went after her. I went to Goodreads and got nowhere. While her one stars are still up, the police did get her to remove her rants against me from the page. Think about it. The actual police stepped… Read more »

Naomi

That’s not that surprising. Most authors these days merely want the prestige of being published, and so are very envious people by nature.

Victoria

The same thing happened to me and they set up fake accounts to keep doing it.

Aarti Patel

I wholeheartedly agree. I’ve tried to bring up these bullying tactics on Goodreads, and they just shut my thread down. They want to keep bullying authors, that’s just the way it is. As an author, I won’t give them a penny more for advertising or hosting giveaways. It’s a waste, and my way of self-respect at this point. I’m not for trolls.

Jean

Exactly! I’m trying to figure out how to get away from the bully Goodreads because they won’t let you take it down. I think they are deliberately trying to destroy self-published authors. I think a lot of this is authors being cruel to other authors and that’s self defeating. I think Goodreads is having a great laugh by watching authors trying to intimidate each other into taking their own work down (but you can’t).

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