Okay, we just saw the weirdest thing happen today. We’ve been getting several messages about an article written by Jonathon Gunson titled, Why Every Author Must Be on Goodreads in 2013.
The article goes on to tell the reader exactly why, talking about the recent membership explosion and the “sales power of reviews”, etc. etc.
Then at the bottom, readers left all kinds of comments praising Goodreads, praising Jonathon’s post and praising his success as a bestselling author.
Okay, so, this isn’t what was weird. What was weird was what happened shortly after. Other visitors left comments warning him and other authors about the dangers of GR – about the personal attacks on authors, the trolling, the fake reviews, the toxic environment etc. None of the comments were incendiary or defamatory or “personal” as Jonathon claimed. They were just stating an opinion and warning others.
Whoa! I see Anna Karenina has responded to the critics and defended Goodreads! Does she work for Goodreads?
After that, there were some exchanges (you can imagine) and like Digital Book World, Jonathon started removing the nasty comments. But he didn’t stop there. He kept removing comments, even the comments that had originally been there. The comments that were warning people about GR. The only one he left up was this one:
Then, someone named Jon confronted him about deleting comments and he said:
It was obvious this was BS because the comments that had been there were definitely legit. Dissenting but legit. A few minutes later, we got this message from MT:
I’m a bit confused about Mr. Gunson’s Goodreads post. I looked up his author account on Goodreads of which he speaks so highly of, and I found his profile and book listings questionable. He has not updated any of his info or has made any posts. He has not uploaded product, author, or book links at all. His books don’t even have cover art. Given he recommended Goodreads without any understanding of how it works says a bit about his practice. I think his post was basically an attempt to gain buyers for his how to use twitter books and his goodreads post is to help qualify him as an professional. That’s my take on him. I think your link back to his website completely derailed his attempts to gain more readers. lol. I’m sure he just landed himself a blip on the BBA radar.
And then MT left this:
Correction. He hasn’t even joined goodreads under an author account. WTF.
And then this:
I know… I almost wish I didn’t look now. Not only does he NOT have a Goodreads account, NONE of his How to Twitter for Author books are listed on Goodreads nor his FREE Author Guide… The WTF’s just keep coming.
So we went to Jonathon’s GR author page and found that MT was exactly right:
We doubled checked to see if it was the same Jonathon Gunson and found this on his FB page:
You see. Definitely the same guy.
So… so… I guess every author must be on Goodreads, except Jonathon Gunson? Huh? *scratches head*
But hold on because that’s not all. We went back to Jonathon’s article and found these two comments that were left:
Guess what. That’s right! These two comments are no longer there.
Hmm… wonder what this guy’s afraid of.
Now, when I asked Athena if I could write a post about this, she said yes, but on one condition. That I make it clear to everyone that STGRB sees Goodreads as a good place for authors if they know who to avoid and what to look out for. If an author already knows the territory, they can have a positive experience there. But if they don’t know (as most new authors don’t), it can be a hell. And we all agree that GR would be a great place if the GR bullies didn’t exist (and the sexual content that we just learned about recently from Carroll.) In fact, if these two things were suddenly wiped off the face of GR (the bullies and the harmful content for kids), we would agree with Jonathon wholeheartedly. In that case, every author would definitely need to be on GR.