Indie Author Series: The Great & Powerful

Good morning bookish friends. This week I’m posting on the road. I’ve spent the week on business in Kansas City, currently pulsing with excitement over March Madness and the new Wiz of Oz movie.

I have to admit that I feel a bit like Dorothy sometimes… timidly shuffling down the yellow brick road of book publishing. Sometimes I find a Tin Man like my friends Suzy Turner or Laura Elliott who have big hearts when it comes to helping their fellow indie writers. Sometimes it’s a lion like T.R. Graves who jumps bravely into a new endeavor like running our indie group. Sometimes it’s a Glinda like Charlaine Harris who despite her high position takes time to offer advice.

I’m blessed to have so many help me stay on the right path and steer clear of the wicked witch (whatever form she takes). However, I still find that the road has many twists. One of those is certainly Goodreads.

I didn’t use Goodreads until I started writing fiction. Honestly, I didn’t know it existed until then. I had been an avid reader, but the thought that there could be a social network for readers never crossed my mind.

As I started to promote my first book, Of Sun & Moon, I found the site and quickly proceeded to build my profile and some book related quizzes.

Now back to my Oz analogy. Some authors liken GR to the Wiz himself, a savior in a space where it is often hard to gain an audience. Some experiences have been much worse. Badly handled interactions between author and reader have left some authors feeling as though GR is the house that landed on them without warning.

Now, my pretties, I have another thought for you. I look at GR as the field of poppies…a necessary stop on your journey, but one that can be devastating if you stay too long. I have heard way too many writers obsess over every minute detail of every comment made on their work. I have heard of writers that spend copious amounts of time commenting in groups and making lists and posting reviews…pouring hours (that should be used writing) into keeping up appearances on GR.

I’ve also seen writers inundate their readers with “event” invitations for non-events. I’ve actually been a target for these a few times. Every time I de-friended the author because I ultimately viewed the constant stream of event invites as spam.

Like most good things, take Goodreads in moderation and you’ll have no need for the ruby slippers. More on Goodreads