Sunday, September 29, 2013

Still Obsessing...

You know how when a relationship ends you still can't stop thinking about it.  You start obsessing about what went wrong, and how much it hurt.

Goodreads, I can't get over you.  I think about you and it still hurts.  I don't know why we can't work things out?  Can't you reconsider?

You know, when I first opened my author account, some of my author friends were like, "You're not still going to review books, are you? You're going to make yourself a target."  I laughed and told myself it wouldn't matter.  After all, I was a reader first.  I'd already been a member of goodreads for 3 years before I added the author part.
And you know, mostly, it's been a good experience.  My readers have been fantastic.  They send me little messages and comment on my blog posts.  I've had a couple of weird experiences where author's have friended me over my reviews or commented on them and it made me feel uncomfortable, but that's about it.  On the other hand, I had author friends who wrote a book and subsequently deleted all their reviews.
And until Goodreads new policy, I've never considered what I review or how I review.  Now I find myself hesitating to discuss what I read.  Especially if it's in a genre I write myself.
Why? Well, now that my reviews aren't safe from any little bit of attention, it places me at risk.  If I want to maintain my author status on Goodreads, and keep my author account, then I need to make sure none of my reviews are questioned.
You may be thinking, "That seems a bit dramatic, Kate." And you're right.  It does!  But until now, there was never any fear of the dramatic.  Goodreads just left the users reviews alone (unless the content was extremely bad).  But now the rules are so vague and arbitrary, I'm suffering nerves whenever I post.  
Here is an example, just to put things in my perspective.  I read a LOT of YA.  It's always been my favorite age range for reading and writing.  I also review a LOT of YA.  Sometimes I'm not really that impressed by the content I read and I may give the book a review accordingly.
Well, what if an author doesn't like my review?  What if they go snooping around my account and see that I'm an author, too, one who writes in the same genre?  What if they decide that the only reason I reviewed the way I did was because I wanted to eliminate the competition?
You might pipe up here and say, "But Kate, as long as your review CONTENT speaks only of the book, you'll be fine."  Well, no, because as Goodreads has made evident, the content of the review is also in the INTENT of the reviewer.  If they arbitrarily decide that my review is unduly influenced by the fact that I'm a competing author in the same genre, then my review WOULD be about the author, and not the book itself.  Do you see?
"But, Kate," you might say, "You've been a member of Goodreads since 2008! Surely, Goodreads would take the time to look at your reviews and your record and see that you're a reviewer in good standing before they delete your reviews and put your account under notice."
Uh, well, there are people who've been on there for YEARS and Goodreads didn't give a DAMN about their loyalty and their overall review record.  They were summarily deleted.
I hate to say this, but Goodreads isn't a safe space for me anymore, as a reader.  And so, I won't be reviewing YA books with stars anymore.  I will still put an overall review in place, but since stars are what seems to trigger authors, I will be leaving them out.  If that gets me into trouble, then I will most likely not be reviewing YA books any more either.

That is where it stands right now, and I'm so sad about it.  But they made the rules and I just want to keep hanging out with my Goodreads friends.

Other, happier news:
The Angel & Her Gun and The Lost Flame will soon be up in audiobook form, as well.
I've been working on the outline for the second half of Terris and I'm very pleased.  I had outlines made before I started this book, but things have changed (as they always do for me, hahaha) and so the outlines had to change accordingly.
I'll have another Buzz Worthy News segment up tomorrow, so head on over to Cuddlebuggery.com and check it out!
Have a great day, and happy reading!
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