There is an interesting reaction amongst authors when I mention Goodreads. You'd think it was a fabulous place for writers to meet readers, garner reviews, spread the word about their "babies." But apparently, not so much.
I mention Goodreads and authors *Cringe*. I didn't understand at first. But now that I've had my books up there for some time, I'm beginning to understand the *Cringe*.
With reviews on Amazon, you are tied to your account (and your credit card), meaning it's difficult to make multiple fake accounts (from what I understand, please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong).
With Goodreads, that really isn't the case. You can have hundreds of accounts under false names, with pictures pulled off the Internet. Why would you do this? Well, it seems to be, so you can pull down your "competition".
Crazy! My experience was this. I had a 1 star rating on one of my books, but no review. I contacted the person, very politely, asking what it was that they didn't like. I'm a big believer in taking the good and the bad from reviews and allowing them to help you be a better writer. Like with this review.
Anywho. No response from "Jaime". Then I started to look at "Jaime's" other reviews. Thousands of books "read" in less than a three month period, most of them 1 and 2 star reviews. And upon closer inspection, over half of the books weren't even released as ARC's (advanced reader copies) yet!
To be fair, I contacted Goodreads, as apparently several other people did and this account has been shut down as a spammer. But, just this last week, "Jaime" is back, and staring books with 1 and 2 star ratings yet again. Jerk.
From what I understand, this is a VERY mild problem as far as these sorts of things go on Goodreads. Over and over again, authors are CHOOSING not to put their books on Goodreads, and I can see why. When other authors, or their cronies, or just mean spirited people are going out of their way to slam you and your writing, it's hard to keep your chin up.
How do you combat this? Well, if you respond with, "Hey, you're just doing this to make yourself look better" YOU end up looking like a douche. And if you say nothing, you end up looking like a doormat, or worse, like you deserve the bad treatment.
Critical reviews are FINE, if they are critical and not going out of their way to be cruel, rude, sarcastic or snarky. That is how writers improve, by taking the good with the bad. But it seems that Goodreads, if they don't clamp down on these miserable people, may just have to change their name, to "Snarkyreads" because "Good", will have nothing to do with site.
What about you? Have you found certain sites that seem to cater to the snark and nasty side of the writing world?