Goodreads is a website where people talk books. You can list books you have read, enter giveaways and join groups. After some recent talk about Goodreads I put a survey to some Goodread readers (and these are readers who are not also writers) who are also members of some of the groups. Below are some of the responses to the questions.
1. What do you like best about Goodreads?
Keeping track of my books!
I enjoy connecting with others who love to read as much as I do and finding out about books I might not have known about otherwise. I have made some true friends.
I love seeing what everybody else is reading and getting honest reviews on the books! I also love the close friendships that form on the groups!
Keeping an organized list of my books and reviews
The opportunity to get to know others with like-minded interests in the same books and share a bond of friendship about those books
The friendships made in the groups.
Interacting with authors on groups.
Easy to navigate and it's always fun to get a note that the author liked my review!
At first it was winning books but now it is the relationship we have in our group
Most books are listed.
2. What annoys you about Goodreads if anything?
Nothing so far this was the most common response.
I have looked at some groups where people seem to be irritated all the time or arguing among themselves. I don't find that in the Christian groups I've joined.
I wish we could post photos in a status update like on facebook.
People liking my reviews just for the sake of liking my reviews
When trying to look at the books to win I wish the page numbers were also at the top instead of having to go all the way to the bottom again. Also I would like to be able to delete the contest I haven't won.
Can be slow at times.
3. What makes a good Goodreads group?Lots of interaction, someone asking questions, opening up discussions.
For me, the Christian groups are nicest. I love connecting with people who have lots in common with me and hold the same worldview.
I think having the author of the book(s) that the group is created for interact with the members makes it special!
Posting frequently but not demanding to post excessively
Taking one topic, such as "St. Patrick's Day" or one author, such as Janet Tronstad and having a group about it
A group where there is interaction and authors also interact.
Friendliness and courtesy. Even a heated discussion can be fun if everyone is respectful to each other.
Being in Janet's group. (it can be found here )Participation
4. What sort of group do you like best?
Ones where I have friends!
Christian groups and groups that talk about the books I'm most interested in.
Based on a certain type of novel, like HIstorical, or a long term series.
A group that is focused on the things I like.
Ones that I feel I can contribute and be a part of.
Author participation groups.
I like them to be different, not all the same. Contests/giveaways should be creative and require a little effort on the readers part!
I don't have a lot of time for groups these days.
5. Do you like to interact with authors on groups?
Love it. I have become such great friends with authors, truly a dream come true for a reader like me.
Yes, I enjoy that immensely. That's my favourite part! Makes it fun. Interacting with authors brings a whole new experience to reading the book. (several just put yes).Rarely
6. How can author’s best serve a group?Keep talking to us, that's what we love. Being available for questions!
By being friendly and not becoming overly pushy. Become friends with people instead of just concentrating on promotion.Treat the members as friends and not just fans!
Occasional presenceJust interacting with the readers of the group helps us get to know them...I love that! We can ask questions, see how they write and especially get to see they are real people too! I enjoy very much the friendship with authors I have on Goodreads
By sharing about their work as well as listening to the needs of the group.By actually interacting with the readers and not just promoting their books.
Don't only talk about the books, but show us their 'human' side too. Give us a bite or two of trivia about themselves and their writing experience.Just by being themselves
Just by showing up and saying hi now and then.7. Does being on a group such as Love inspiredHistorials or Love Inspired Heartsong Presents where authors interact with you inspire you to buy their books?
Every time I get to know another author it makes me more inclined to read their stuff over another book.
Yes, in this case with the type of books, the familiarity does aid the reading
Definitely because I learn so much more about their books and I want to buy them!
Several said yes and that they have bought books.
I'm going to buy the books regardless, but interaction will cause me to put them at the top of my TBR pile.
8. Does reading reviews of books on goodreads lead you to wanting to buy a book or do you use it more as a place to keep track of how many books you are reading?
I use it for keeping track because book reviews are opinions and not everyone has opinions like mine. If someone has the same taste as me I am more inclined, but no, a review has never swayed me.
Reviews do lead me to books I end up reading because of what someone else says about it, especially if they are my friend on Goodreads.
It makes me want to buy books and helps me keep track of my books too!
Sometimes but mostly use it to keep a list of books read.
Sometimes...I don't have a lot of time to read reviews...I usually just write them!
Sometimes it leads me to reading the book but I don't keep track of books read.
No. I use it to keep track of how many books I read. I do not want authors commenting on my reviews.
I use it to keep track of my books and remind me what I've noticed is available but haven't gotten to yet.
I leave reviews but don't often read them.I hope you find the responses interesting and helpful. The readers who commented are all members of at least one of the three groups mentioned and are active in the different groups. If we had opened the survey up to everyone there may have been different answers but we wanted readers opinions as this is who writers are wanting to hear feedback from. I also thought it would help to have the point of view of just readers.
JENNY BLAKE (aka Ausjenny) is an avid reader. When not reading she enjoys watching cricket, in fact you could call her a cricket fanatic, and jigsaws. Her book blog is where she reviews books and interview authors. Her goal is to help promote new books and encourage authors. Her blog is at http://ausjenny.blogspot.com and is Co-Founder of http://acrba.blogspot.com