Do authors like spam? Do they love it, embrace it, wish for it, hope it arrives in their mail box every day? Do they think when they get spam oh that is wonderful to be introduced to this product, this book, this insurance service, this Nigerian scam, I must absolutely buy the product, read the book, send my bank details off to Africa right now?
So why spam me with a “recommendation” for your book when I don’t know you, don’t read this genre, don’t own a kindle and you are just spamming around blindly in the hope I go oh how wonderful I love spam, I must absolutely read this book, heeeeeeere’s my money!
Seeing as I also don’t have a kindle or read ghost stories I suppose this is another example of how not to do marketing eh?”
But is it fair to give the book one star just because you are offended by the author’s self-promoting? I suppose that you haven’t even read the book! I don’t know the author, I’m just speaking from the point of view of a human being.
Ema wrote: “But is it fair to give the book one star just because you are offended by the author’s self-promoting? I suppose that you haven’t even read the book! I don’t know the author, I’m just speaking from the point of view of a human being. “
Everyone is free to use Goodreads star rating scale as they please, this has been stated time and again so I’m using it like this. It may not be fair, but do you consider it fair for an author to promote their book by spamming random people or ‘human beings’ if you like!
yes, this is absolutely fair to give this book one star. Devious people/authors deserve this treatment. I will do the same if I get bombarded with shit from self-promoting authors. It is an excellent teaching moment.
Well, to be fair to the author, do you blame him/her for trying to get the word out about his/her book? If you had published a book and were on a social networking site with the focus on books and helping others to find new books, wouldn’t you want to let folks know it was available in the most expedient and far-ranging way possible? Sending out a group recommendation is one of the easiest ways to do this.
Also, did the author send you more than one recommendation? The reason I ask is that is sounds to me, from what you are saying, that you received a single recommendation for this book. “tomayto/tomahto” you say, but to me, one recommendation is not spam -it is a recommendation, which you can choose to ignore if you wish.
However: Did you write back and say “hey, dude, not interested, don’t bother me?” If so, did he/she continue to send you recommendations? If so, then THAT is spam, but nothing I’ve read here indicates that step was taken.
Also, if you had on your profile “Don’t send me recommendations” (which you don’t) then that could be considered spam, but again, can’t you forgive the author for not actually reading and remembering every profile of every member in his/her listing?
I feel like you might have been a bit hard on this author based upon the information I currently have, which is that he/she sent out a single recommendation to a lot of people. For example: how was he/she supposed to know you, personally, don’t have a Kindle? Even if you have stated baldly on your profile “I don’t have a Kindle”,(which, to be fair, you haven’t) you could still read the books if you really wanted to using a desktop app.
You also have thousands of books of your shelves, so honestly, he/she could also be forgiven for not knowing that this particular genre is not among your favorites – of course he/she didn’t have the time to comb your shelves to confirm that.
Of course, when it comes right down to it, as you say, it’s all your point of view and your choice; you can shelve, rate and review books on any basis you choose within this site’s ToS – maybe there is more to this than I know – but I just feel like you’re being a bit too harsh toward this author.
Sorry, I had no idea that Petra’s comment was even controversial. I don’t like this tactic, I have better ways of finding fiction and I don’t want spam from unknowns. I just don’t like it. Authors should beware that readers won’t be bullied. Imagine how miserable life would be on GR if every author did this?
Steve wrote: “Sorry, I had no idea that Petra’s comment was even controversial. I don’t like this tactic, I have better ways of finding fiction and I don’t want spam from unknowns. I just don’t like it. Authors …”
I understand how you feel, and it might be to your benefit to make a note on your profile that you do not want unsolicited recommendations, but the fact remains that this is a method new authors can use to get the word out about their new book – if they don’t take chances, how are they going to get new readers? As long as they’re only sending a single recommendation and not otherwise bothering you, I don’t, personally, consider it to be spam.
Katy wrote: “Steve wrote: “Sorry, I had no idea that Petra’s comment was even controversial. I don’t like this tactic, I have better ways of finding fiction and I don’t want spam from unknowns. I just don’t lik…”
Sorry Katy. I didn’t mean anything personal. I like you, and you can send me all the recs you want because you are my friend, and you care enough to comment on my reviews, and I always read yours. I meant no offense to you or any of your projects. Really sorry if I stepped into a minefield on a subject that is important to you. But I do fear what might happen if too many authors bombard reviewers. It could swamp the real purpose that most of us are here for. Peace?
Steve wrote: “Sorry Katy. I didn’t mean anything personal. I like you, and you can send me all the recs you want because you are my friend, and you care enough to comment on my reviews, and I always read yours. I meant no offense to you or any of your projects. Really sorry if I stepped into a minefield on a subject that is important to you. But I do fear what might happen if too many authors bombard reviewers. It could swamp the real purpose that most of us are here for. Peace?”
Oh, I’m not angry; just felt this was a little harsh over a single recommendation; I mean, if he/she is sending them over and over, yeah, that would be annoying as heck. Me, I’m here to learn about and find new books, so I don’t at all mind getting recommendations (a single one per book, thanks) from new authors – that was all I meant. It would be better if authors would do a little research and make sure the person is open to receiving recommendations before sending them, but … *shrug* obviously we see that differently, and that’s fine 🙂 I understand your POV and hopefully I’ve explained mine well enough so you know what I mean. My apologies if I made you feel I was attacking you – that was not at all my intention; just trying to interject another point of view.
Katy wrote: “Well, to be fair to the author, do you blame him/her for trying to get the word out about his/her book?…”
I wouldn’t blame anybody for trying to get the word out about their book but this was operating at the random level of effectiveness.
Surely if you wanted to get the word out about your book you would want it to be effective and would put some effort into targeting likely readers. Here maybe people with shelf names like ‘ghosts’ or ‘supernatural’ or something else with a thematic link to the content of the book.
It’s not getting a recommendation that is the problem but getting a recommendation completely unrelated to my reading, with no effort made to explain why I might be interested. Feels like spam or junk mail.
That’s a great point, Jan-Maat, but not everyone is that specialized in their shelving. My shelving is based upon mostly details about how I got the book, and unrelated to the topic of the book itself, for an example (with the exception of my “crazy conspiracy theory” shelf, I guess).
I have been talking to some other people about this and it seems my opinion is in the minority on this issue, so I’ll gracefully bow out 🙂 I certainly do not want to cause anyone offense or upset, nor do I mean to attack anyone’s choices – I was only wanting to point out a different perspective.
I think Petra is entitled to score any book exactly how she wishes if that book comes across her path; however it comes across her path. I expect authors to promote their books, but if it is indiscriminate then the message is going to go to people who are not interested. This is the same principle as junk mail; you send it out to enough people the you are going to catch a few people who are interested, but you are going to annoy other people who don’t want to receive it.
The point is, when I receive the junk mail, whatever way it was sent; it is entirely up to me what I do with it. Petra has exercised her right to express a valid opinion on what she has received and the way she received it.
I’m with you Petra!
Rebecca wrote: “OK, I was back and forth with Dana the author (she is a friend of a friend and I’m helping her to get her book out) she said she can’t see this thread because Petra X blocked her from this conversa…”
Steve also says in his profile that he fights bullies. She is a bully and will be fought. Don’t spoil GR with promotions. Steve does not review or read books of the type that your friend of a friend writes. Let her go figure that. Reflect on her own conduct.
I recently received an email from “an old lady on her deathbed” who didn’t want her evil family to get her money so she chose me, a complete stranger, to inherit her very large estate! Pretty cool, huh!
So by that line of thought, every single GR author is allowed to promote their book just once to every single GR member. Oh Lord, that would be how many messages in the inbox every day? 10? 50? 100? 500?
No, I don’t write back to spammers. The first time I got a letter from Nigeria I did not write back and say no thank you, I’m not interested in giving you my bank details. I have to say with the Nigerian scammers, just like this book spam I have never had more than one spam letter per scam, they are all different and all the same, just as if all GR authors were spamming me with their book promotions.
Thank you for this, I didn’t know I could do this and I will. Edit Having checked the Settings on my profile thoroughly, I don’t see any such settings as no reviews from anyone ever. If you mean I should put it in my profile, why should I? I have recommendations from author-friends that I welcome. And anyway, as you said, the author didn’t (have time to) read my profile before spamming me anyway!
Why should I be on this author’s listing? Listing of what? I am not in any group with her, nor friends with her? So what is this list? A list made up of people she was going to spam with her new book and certainly had no intention of checking whether or not they might be interested.
Of course, when it comes right down to it, as you say, it’s all your point of view and your choice; you can shelve, rate and review books on any basis you choose within this site’s ToS – maybe there is more to this than I know – but I just feel like you’re being a bit too harsh toward this author …”
And that’s the point. According to the rules for authors, her spamming random members with her book is not allowed and maybe she couldn’t be bothered to check whether anyone she spammed might be interested, couldn’t be bothered to look at their book lists, their profiles or anything else, but she should have been bothered to look at the rules. Or did she think because she spammed people from her member’s profile, rather than author’s one, she would be exempt from that rule? That’s just getting round things in a very unaccepatable way.
However, from the beginning I did think I had been hard. I don’t agree with personally slagging off authors because I don’t like their books unless the book is essentially about them (Bunny Tales for instance). There has been a lot of drama on and off GR recently about “bullying reviewers” and some self-entitled authors. I rather reluctantly came down on the reviewers side in that the authors behaviour was so unprofessional (euphemism) that they should have expected some people were going to react badly and not kept it out of their reviews (and then they compounded it by replying and getting their friends to join in and slag off said “bullying reviewers” even further). So I did think I wouldn’t actually leave this ‘review’ up for very long, although the 1-star would remain. However, now you have brought out so many points in your comment I am in two minds about removing it now.
I thank you for your comment (not being at all sarcastic, just in case this reads badly, I absolutely mean this). It elucidated a lot of points on what spamming is v genuine recommendations and left me thinking, especially when you brought up the TOS, I’m within my rights to rate and review a book exactly as I choose, and she is not within her rights to promote a book on GR by any means she chooses, in this case spamming.
Rebecca wrote: “OK, I was back and forth with Dana the author (she is a friend of a friend and I’m helping her to get her book out) she said she can’t see this thread because Petra X blocked her from this conversa…”
“No problem Dana too bad you don’t see all comments. You’ve been promoted into a bully. Come back in a couple days you will be a full grown nazi.
Ah… the life of a writer.
Hope you feel like Salman Rushdie(less)”
That’s a very unpleasant comment indeed. I never said a spammer was a bully. As a Jewish person whose great grandparents generation in my own family was greatly decimated by the Nazis, dumbing down Nazi in this fashion is horribly distasteful. But the exaggeration is not done yet, we are now onto death sentences.
Rebecca, your friend should have paid for adverts, or joined groups of people who like her genre, or become friends with the people she thought might buy her book (I mean this is all about money, let’s be honest, it’s not ‘read’ my book, it’s the $$ that count). I have authors on my friends’ list, they are primarily GR members in the ordinary way but when they have an event or a new book out, I am delighted to know about it, but a stranger randomly hitting people up with promotional emails is a spammer.
But not a BULLY, not a NAZI and not anyone who can be compared to an author who had a DEATH SENTENCE put on him. And I block spammers not so they can’t read my comments but so they can’t send me any more!
Katy wrote: “Well, to be fair to the author, do you blame him/her for trying to get the word out about his/her book? If you had published a book and were on a social networking site with the focus on books and …”
I was working from the assumption that the person who sent out the book requests was at the very least “following” the people to whom the requests were sent – I was not aware that people could send recommendations en masse to people other than their own friends or in response to a specific request; if this is something that is disallowed, how on Earth did this author do it? It seems to me that if Goodreads doesn’t want people sending out recommendations to others than among their circles, they should make it so this cannot be done and therefore avoid the problem altogether, amIright?
I still maintain that a single recommendation from the author, no matter to how many people it was sent, is not spam – certainly not on the lines of the Nigerian scams (comparing an author asking you to take a look at a book with someone trying to scam you out of thousands of dollars is not exactly a pertinent comparison, IMO) or someone trying to sell organ enlargement pills – but that is *my* opinion and I much better understand Petra X’s opinion now. There was no need to be rude, Ixan – most of us were maintaining a respectful tone here.
Thank you for your response, Petra. I apologize if I was unclear – I did simply mean putting a note in your profile requesting that people who don’t know you shouldn’t send you recommendations. I am not aware of a setting that disallows such, but that might be something to bring up on the Feedback group? Maybe I’m just not important enough (haha!), but this is not a problem for me – the recommends I get are usually from friends, and I don’t get that many from random people. If you’re getting a lot of them, it might be something you could address.
Is that harsh? Maybe, but anyone who is marketing anything needs to put himself or herself in the position of the person receiving the advertisement. We all have to deal with it in this culture in some form, but it is so rarely something we seek. We fast forward through commercials, click on “Skip Ad” on YouTube, etc. We don’t want someone randomnly approaching us to buy/consume anything.
That being said, if the GR user asked for a recommendation, such as “I’d like to read something like Harry Potter, but with adults and set in the future”, then an author whose book legitimately fits that description could offer their book as a possible candidate.
Also, authors might be able to approach GR users for an honest review, but would need to build up a rapport with that user and recognize that asking someone to review your book is a HUGE favor. We all have lives, after all, and other books we’d might rather read instead.
U actually created more “pollution” than a single rec sent your way.
Reviews and ratings are opinions, and no one owes a particular kind of opinion to anyone else. Nor does commenting on how one thinks the opinion of another is incorrect ever lead to anything positive.
So Katy my friend, and I mean that sincerely as you are my friend, if you don’t like or approve of Petra dissing someone in her review, IGNORE IT. If it keeps happening in her reviews, IGNORE *HER*. Life is too short. This is silly.
I think Paul hit it on the head. Sure…”
I have several authors on my friends list. I read their reviews, I chat to them, in an online way we know each other and are friends and I am delighted to hear when they have a new book out. I don’t actually ever review them anymore than I review any of the (real life) authors I look after – I have a bookshop on a small island. I wouldn’t give a less than good review to a friend and it would be noticeable if I only reviewed some books and not others, so I just don’t. However and probably more to the point, I’ve never been asked by an online friend to review their book!
As far as promoting a book on GR is concerned, well isn’t that what the low-cost text ads GR rolls out are for? Also the giveaways? Also if authors belong to groups and chat regularly (time investment as opposed to money) then I would think people would be pleased to hear of a new book. I also think that asking some reviewers to review a book is fine especially when the reviewer notes it in their comments. I read enough reviews where the reviewer has noted that the book was free or a review was requested and it is easy to tell the pieces of puffery from a well-thought out review, which in my experience are in the majority anyway.
But spamming? Just sending out ‘recommendations’ to lists of nameless people – well that is like saying, I’m not going to spend any time in groups or in building up a friends list, and I’m not going to spend any time reading people’s profiles or book lists to even see if my book is their kind of thing, and I’m not going to spend any money on text ads or giveaways, nope, I’m just going to send out as much spam as I can and with any luck some people will respond and spend their money on my book.
Reviews and ratings are opinions, and no one owes a particular kind of opinion to anyone else. Nor does commenting on …”
I can’t comment on Petra beyond her response, which seems to me to be in the same spirit in which my comment was meant, which was more a discussion than an argument. Some other people came in and were a bit “hissy” as you say 🙂 but I did not mean to be unkind or anything – I was just stating my opinion on the matter in response to Petra’s opinion on the matter, and I appreciated her response – I felt it was more a “fostering a discussion” sort of thing. We have different opinions as to what constitutes spam, and we seem to be of the “agree to disagree” belief between us (or at least that was how I took your response, Petra). No argument! I actually found her response to be most enlightening, and I appreciate her point-of-view. Doesn’t mean I agree, but that’s okay, too – if everyone agreed about everything that would just be dull. I appreciate people with whom I can disagree respectfully and have an interesting and enlightening discussion (as Christina said – this is a topic worth exploring).
Now that I’ve read the comments, I see that this review has struck a chord with many so I guess I’ll put in my .02. While it’s true that authors are free to recommend their books to anyone out there and goodreaders are free to ignore the recommendations, it gets tiring when it happens repeatedly and my inbox is cluttered with random self-promoting e-mails from authors. I agree with Petra that my attitude would be different if the recommendation came from an author who recognized my taste and felt their book was a good fit for me specifically; unfortunately, this usually has not been the case for me. Most of my reviews state in no uncertain terms that I’m not a sci-fi person, for instance, but I keep getting these sci-fi recommendations from one particular author. I can understand why he might not have the time to learn my particular preferences, and hopefully he can understand why I might find it annoying after a while.
Khaya wrote: “Now that I’ve read the comments, I see that this review has struck a chord with many so I guess I’ll put in my .02. While it’s true that authors are free to recommend their books to anyone out the…”
If you’re receiving multiple recommendations for books of which you are not a fan, why not mention it to the person? Ask them to stop? Then if they continue to send them, flag them as spam. Just a suggestion – I know it is annoying to have to be the one to take the initiative, but perhaps the person in question is not aware that you don’t appreciate the recommendations? *shrug* I’ve always found it is better to communicate in these situations than to sit back and fume about them, that’s all. 🙂 Best wishes…
I’ll probably just unfriend the person. I didn’t ask for the recommendations, and I kind of resent being the person to have to get into a discussion about it. You’re correct in pointing out that the ball’s in my court and I will take the initiative; I just think the author’s behavior is intrusive.
Khaya wrote: “I’ll probably just unfriend the person. I didn’t ask for the recommendations, and I kind of resent being the person to have to get into a discussion about it. You’re correct in pointing out that …”
Apparently people can still send recommendations even if they aren’t your friend, which actually bothers me. Even though I don’t consider it spam for an author to recommend their book, it seems… uncouth to send the recommendations out to people with whom you aren’t at least casually acquainted. *shrug* If it is a serious problem, you’ll likely need to block them in order to rectify the situation.
Katy wrote: “Apparently people can still send recommendations even if they aren’t your friend, which actually bothers me. Even though I don’t consider it spam for an author to recommend their book, it seems… uncouth to send the recommendations out to people with whom you aren’t at least casually acquainted.”
I didn’t know that either, and while it can be cool to go through recommendation requests and suggest a book to a non-friend, I’m not keen on the idea of an author doing it to those who aren’t their friends.
While I’m not naive and know that marketing is a huge part of self-publishing, I’d think giveaways would be a far greater approach than saying “Well, my book is about etc. etc….”. Especially considering that word-of-mouth is a tried and true method of sales.
Rebecca wrote: “Mmm… that you are overreacting?
Please don’t overreact again.
Or do, if you can’t help it.
(I have a lot of friends with control issues and totally understand. No biggie. Eastern philosophy an…”
You do find some ways of being rude don’t you? You don’t think your comments were tantamount to overreaction to my review – you were the one that used the words ‘bully’, ‘Nazi’ and referred to a fatwa, a death sentence. I think your sense of proportion is definitely skewed to the idea that you think you have one and anyone who disagrees is to be zapped, pow pow pow. You weren’t the only one here who disagreed with my review or me even posting it, but you were the only one who descended into personal insults.
As you have shown that you really do have control issues (not sure here whether this is pot calling the kettle black or takes one to know one and all that) as you jump in mad defence of your friend who was spamming me (and lots of others), then I would say take your own advice and try Eastern religions and meditation, but obviously they aren’t working for you so I don’t think I’ll bother.
However, I don’t feel like having you act like a troll towards me any more so I’m going to block you. You’re a new member, right? Just joined, right? Well, the traditional way if you don’t know it to get back at people who have blocked you is to a) get a ‘friend’ to attack for you, or b) make a sock puppet account, or another one? But you knew that didn’t you?
You have a point, Christina, but may I share an experience? You are aware, since you receive them, that I regularly “invite” my friends to giveaways and to inform them of freebies. It would never have occurred to me to consider that people might not be interested in hearing about how to get a free book. However, both Kelly-Jane and Richard Derus, instead of blocking or unfriending me when I sent them these invites, instead contacted me and asked me if wouldn’t mind not inviting them to anything ever because they just weren’t interested. I am very happy they choose this route – sure, it’s a bit harder to go through individual invites, but I’m happy to honor their requests. That was my background when I suggest that if you don’t care to receive these things, you let people know rather than jumping to conclusions about their purpose. *shrug* I would hate to have lost these two wonderful people from my feeds through a misunderstanding.
Wow, just wow. This is looking like another book that I won’t ever be reading. First, it says in the author guidelines…it’s probably not a good idea just to randomly rec people or PM them about their book (even if they have it listed as TBR)…that can be reported as spam. So saying that as long as it was only once its not a big deal is wrong since the author guidelines address it specifically as something you shouldn’t do because it can be reported as spam.
And then having the author speak through her BFF/rabid fangirl to tell everyone to “get a life” is unprofessional, rude and uncalled for. But what else should I have expected from an author who already proved they are willing to spam-rec people she has never interacted with before.
You’ve got a great point, Katy, but one of the benefits of someone expressing their dislike for such invitations, whether it’s anonymously in a general update or in a review of the actual book, is that other authors who might think of recommending books to strangers would see it and think twice.
This is a really good discussion! Obviously it’s different for different people, but I tend to get easily annoyed (I’m seriously starting to wonder if I have a condition, as I fly off the handle at the slightest irritation), and any kind of advertisement drives me batty. It’s why I never got into copywriting or the traditional route of graphic design.
Advertising works; that’s obvious. How many books have been sold due to hype and gorgeous covers? Still, it’s a dangerous game. You (general term, no one specific being mentioned) don’t want to be a carnival barker, so as a self-published author (or hell, a traditionally published author), you have to find ways of promotion that won’t get people steaming.
Katy, your point made me think of something. I remember an author saw that his book was marked as “will never read” or something, and he politely asked the GR user why that was. Turns out she was spammed a few times about his book. It could have been a fan, or the author himself (more on this in a bit). The author apologized, which is great, but then asked the GR user to change the shelving for his book (not great).
The GR user told him she’d rather not do that, so he put an unsolicted comment in her review that he didn’t send the spamming. Sure, he didn’t want the bad press, but he overreached there. Then, for the kicker, he complained to STGRB, which landed him in a heap of “will not read” shelves and a ton of more bad press.
In my opinion, the author was right in asking her discreetly and politely why his book was shelved that way, but then should have left it be. People can shelve books however they want, so maybe he could have done a blog post or something asking fans not to spam other users with his book. His behavior had everyone wondering if the spamming originated from a sock puppet account.
I got a spam!rec for this the other day, too. Personally, I just block the ones who do it with the recommendations system because I can kind of see where there might be a bit of confusion, but… I really think it should be obvious that sending recommendations for one’s own books to complete strangers is more than a tad spammy.
Stefani wrote: Wow, just wow. This is looking like another book that I won’t ever be reading.First, it says in the author guidelines…it’s probably not a good idea just to randomly rec people or PM them about their book (even if they have it listed as TBR)…that can be reported as spam. So saying that as long as it was only once its not a big deal is wrong since the author guidelines address it specifically as something you shouldn’t do because it can be reported as spam.
And then having the author speak through her BFF/rabid fangirl to tell everyone to “get a life” is unprofessional, rude and uncalled for. But what else should I have expected from an author who already proved they are willing to spam-rec people she has never interacted with before….”
Christina, I agree that author started off on the right foot, but I don’t think it was necessarily a bad thing to note in a comment under the review that he was not the one responsible for sending out the recommendations, just to avoid confusion – I can see how he wouldn’t want to get the blame. You’re right it was best not to ask people to change their shelving, though, nor was it probably the best move to go to STGRB as that probably just blew the whole damn mess up… Personally I don’t like “negative” shelving – I can manage to remember what books I don’t want to read without it. So, what I do it: I don’t do it. *laugh* Not too hard.
But… BUT (and here’s where my curse of seeing every side comes in), if you have a book shelved, people can’t recommend it to you! So, I guess there is a purpose to it, if you want to be sure no one will send recommendations about a specific book, to put it on a “not for me” type shelf. *shrug*
Stefani wrote: “And then having the author speak through her BFF/rabid fangirl to tell everyone to “get a life” is unprofessional, rude and uncalled for. But what else should I have expected from an author who already proved they are willing to spam-rec people she has never interacted with before.
Major author fail. “
Liked the review Petra. I haven’t had authors recommend thier own book to me. I have had a few authors PM very polite “would you read my book and review it if I sent it to you” message. I didn’t consider these spam because they had checked my profile first. But to mass send -geez.
I’m with you, Stefani. There are thousands of ‘awethors’ on GR, and if they all did this, picture how clogged our inboxes would be. And why should the burden be on the reader to post warnings in their profiles of things that are already discouraged in the TOS? It’s too bad GR doesn’t immediately ban an author who sends out unsolicited self-promotion, but until they do the next best thing is one-star reviews. Go, Petra!
Katy, I have noted your criticism and comments on this review and have no problem at all with them. You have been very polite, you make your points clearly and we all have been discussing things in a reasonable way. However, I have to think there is some self-interest in defending this author and in always advising ‘the gentler approach’ to spammers and not putting books of such spammers on to shelves with names that might put other people of reading the books or blaming them for only sending spam just the once (to each person).
Your blog profile says,
“I will accept books in any form (paperback, hard back or e-book) from authors and/or publishers and write reviews that I post all over the place (Goodreads, Shelfari, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Facebook) – I am quite busy with that”
I checked the first 8 or 10 books or so on your blog. They are all books you have received for free and you rate all of them at 5 stars. You promote giveaways for authors, invite and host authors interviews and in other ways are involved in the promotion of authors and new books.
Now by this I am not saying that the reviews aren’t honest and well-written. I didn’t read them, but judging by your comments here, they are likely to be very good. What I am saying is that I think there are three points of view on this review and the subsequent comments, two are self-evident and one isn’t, your’s.
1) People who don’t like being randomly spammed by authors;
2) Authors or their bff or fangirls on the attack (or defence, depends on your perspective); and
3) Your singular one, that of someone who is not an author but heavily involved in reviewing books they receive for free and helping out authors.
I notice that not all your reviews had originally disclosed the free status of the books but that you were in the process of going back to older reviews and adding that disclosure. I just felt that other people reading your comments here could do with this disclosure of your interest too.
While it is true I do accept and review books from authors, I don’t accept *every* book I’m offered – I chose ones I think I’ll like, which is why I have so many highly rated book reviews. Or I just haven’t managed to yet read those I’m iffy about … after all, I do chose what order in which I’ll read them … 😉
I like to think even without that incentive I would chose to take the gentler route, as you say 🙂 I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of harshness and I always try to put myself into the other person’s shoes so as to avoid being the one giving out that harshness, you see? I think that because I work with authors a lot, I do probably tend to see things more from their point of view, so that is entirely accurate, but I like to think I would take a similar stance if I felt someone was being overly harsh toward a reviewer.
Now, admittedly, I misunderstood the situation at first – I thought you were at least acquainted with the author, because I was not aware one could send mass recommends to people they were not “connected” to, and as a result I see why it was upsetting to you, and I definitely can see that it would be annoying. I am not aware of any of the authors with whom I work on a regular basis giving anyone a hard time and sending out mass recommends, so fortunately I’ve never been put into that position. So, for that, I apologize – you were justified in your feelings about this situation.
I did want to point out that my intention wasn’t to ask you to change your opinion – I felt you were being a bit harsh, but I did admit that perhaps there was more to it than I was aware (which turned out to be true). I mostly wanted to foster a discussion about this and provide a counter-point of view; does that make sense? And I really appreciate that you understood where I was coming from with my remarks. thanks!
Well this is interesting. I had a message saying that this author had been spamming her book in this same way for at least a year and provided one link
http://www.goodreads.com/recommendati… – no review for the book there though.
Rebecca wrote: >>Mmm… that you are overreacting?
Please don’t overreact again.
Or do, if you can’t help it.
(I have a lot of friends with control issues and totally understand. No biggie. Eastern philosophy and meditation really help. Chill, sistah!:))))
Life is beautiful. Look we have the luxury to argue about things beyond food and shelter. If you can, please error on the side of kindness.<<
Petra X wrote: “Stefani wrote: Wow, just wow. This is looking like another book that I won’t ever be reading. First, it says in the author guidelines…it’s probably not a good idea just to randomly rec people or PM them about their book (even if they have it listed as TBR)…that can be reported as spam. So saying that as long as it was only once its not a big deal is wrong since the author guidelines address it specifically as something you shouldn’t do because it can be reported as spam.”
This is something I’ve been thinking on – this does not *forbid* that authors do this; it simply discourages it. So to say that an author sending out mass recommends is against the ToS is actually inaccurate. As i said before – uncouth. But not forbidden. Maybe since this is an issue that I seem to be in a distinct minority on, you all might consider approaching the feedback group and discussing this, to see if they would want to use more … emphatic language, since it appears to be such a problem? Just an idea.
You know I used to say to my little boy, you might want to share the chocolates with your brothers, or you might want to let your friends play with the ball as well. He understood that he was to share, he understood I was putting it nicely, that I didn’t need to order him to do or not do things, but I was indicating the right thing to do. Everyone here would understand that.
Just as everyone else understands that the rules discouraging authors from spamming people mean that they shouldn’t. It’s just you, because of your involvement with promoting authors, soliciting free books for review and all the rest means you want to see it from their side. Obviously they aren’t going to be giving you loads of free books and asking for reviews if you are seen as a heavy especially with authors, like this one, who is on your friends’ list. I’m not without sympathy for your position, however, I have a bookshop and I pay for my books and so am beholden to none.
The author has been requesting reviews, sending out in at least one case, a free copy of her work on Kindle, to someone who didn’t ask for it and didn’t review it. That was in 2010, there’s a link above to her spamming in 2011, and here we are in late 2012 still at it not only to me but to other people commenting on the review. And still you want to excuse her. She posted this, what I call a Pinocchio comment, on her bff (but my troll) Rebecca’s review of her book, Rebecca’s only book review, but then she is a new member:
So you have excused her because she only spammed each of us once, excused her because the rules only ‘discourage’ rather than forbid and now will you excuse her because we might have a book in common we both liked? Maybe we both read Huckleberry Finn and liked it? Let me repeat, I am a reader here and that should not in any way make me a target for random author spam.
Actually, what I have done is to encourage her to read the ToS more closely and to not recommend her books to strangers anymore so as to not further upset anyone now that she has discovered that she can list herself as an author (she was apparently not aware she could claim her author page and someone sent her the link; she wanted to know if it was me, which it was not, and that was when I mentioned this to her). She offered me a copy of the book in thanks for my advice and since I was interested in it, and don’t have the money to pay for books right now, I accepted it – she made a point three separate times that she did not expect a review, but I’ll likely review it anyway, ’cause that’s just what I do.
My comment was a suggestion as to something you might bring up with Goodreads, encouraging them to toughen up the language so that there is no misunderstanding, that’s all. Just because I disagree with you on this issue doesn’t mean I don’t see the merit in your concerns; I was discussing this with my husband and brought up the fact that the ToS only says: it’s probably not a good idea just to randomly rec people or PM them about their book (even if they have it listed as TBR)…that can be reported as spam. He pointed this out to me: If it is not forbidden, everyone is going to say “well, I’m sure no one will mind just this one recommendation as long as I don’t send more down the lines…” you see? If the language is less-than-specific, people will use that as an excuse, and since I do sympathize with authors, I certainly don’t want them to bring this sort of situation down upon themselves. Believe me or not, I sympathize with your situation now that I understand it better – I have one guy who had recommended each of his books to me multiple times despite the fact that I’ve informed him that I do plan to pick them up – he keeps reminding me. It’s annoying, but I want to read the books, so I just ignore his repeated messages.
This is something you do not know about me, but any time I get the chance to bring it up, I talk to authors about these sorts of things. I discourage them from randomly contacting people, randomly recommending their books, or otherwise engaging in behavior that might be upsetting to people, because I see the potential minefields out here. As a result, I have met some very lovely people and had the opportunity to do what I love, which is read, and made a sort of career out of it. That doesn’t mean I haven’t had my share of problems (see this review for an example of the one really negative interaction I’ve had with an author; I’ve been asked why I didn’t change the rating when this happened – it is because I rate based upon my personal enjoyment of the book, not upon anything else), but I try to do my part to prevent these sorts of situations from happening (and I also want to say I do not accept or solicit payment for reviews, but often the interactions with authors will lead to new editing business, and for that I do receive payment). Just because I strive to maintain a positive relationship with authors does not mean I will bow over backwards or ignore the fact that I am a reader, reviewer, and blogger myself. Also, a lot of the books I’ve been reading and reviewing lately come from publishers, publicists, NetGalley or the Vine program, not directly from authors. Others I have picked up when I found them free on Amazon or Smashwords – I put in the disclosure in order to ensure integrity even when I buy the book myself.
I did not write that previous comment to “excuse” anything, but to make the point that discouragement is not being forbidden in the strictest sense, and people will “read” into it what they want to see. Since you have an issue with it, I simply thought you might want to address it with GR in the feedback section, that’s all.
I also received a recommendation for this book by the author, whom I don’t know. Someone said on the first page of comments that any author would look to promote their work widely. I’m an author and I’ve never sent an unsolicited recommendation to someone I didn’t know. I did point out a giveaway to some of my friends, and I’ve responded to two reviews, one by someone who knew I’d given him the book but couldn’t remember the circumstances, and one to a friend who marked a book in which I have a chapter as to read. I rarely get solicitations/recommendations from authors I don’t know. It’s not the standard of practice around here.
>>Since you have an issue with it, I simply thought you might want to address it with GR in the feedback section, that’s all.<<
You seem to have a big issue with it. Why don’t you bring it …”
You seem to have misunderstood – I don’t have a problem with it. I had actually discussed it directly with the author, so hopefully she will discontinue. A number of people have expressed their displeasure with the procedure, and I was suggesting a possible course of action. Why does that offend you?
Katy wrote: “I’m finding it mildly hilarious that I’m the only person who apparently did NOT receive a recommendation for this book and only discovered the book and learned of the author because of this review….”
So you mean that you read that people here were getting spammed and so you immediately friended the author? Wow, the mind kind of boggles at that and it really puts a different light on all your comments.
Petra X wrote: “So you mean that you read that people here were getting spammed and so you immediately friended the author? Wow, the mind kind of boggles at that and it really puts a different light on all your comments. “
I don’t understand why this has turned into an issue of semantics. GR was the ones who said they were going to institute rules for authors too then worded it so softly. So they stated these were rules for authors, therefore I am taking them as RULES. Also, as Katy said it says IT CAN BE REPORTED AS SPAM. What author in their right mind would say, well they didn’t say I couldn’t just that I shouldn’t so I’ll take that risk! No one would, unless they haven’t read the rules.
Also, I noticed that until yesterday the author didn’t have an author profile. Just a normal reader profile, which wouldn’t fall under the author guidelines. That couldn’t possibly have been on purpose I’m sure, to circumvent the author guidelines. Sneaky don’t you think?
You seem to be having a great problem with the way Petra has handled the situation and you suggested that she take it to the Feedback thread. Since you are having such a problem with the issue and you brought up the Feedback thread, I suggested that you take it there.
However, it is becoming apparent that my attempts to maintain peace are coming to naught now and I do not wish to see myself further slurred when I have taken every effort to remain respectful and kind to everyone and tried to help you find a solution to this problem, and discussed with both the author and Rebecca better ways of approaching people than they have presented here to try to avoid this sort of situation in the future… So, I will now leave this thread before I give in to the temptation to break my own code. All the best to you all, and I’m sorry my attempts to help you come up with a solution to this problem have led you all to nothing but attacks upon me. Good bye.
Adding my 2 cents – I would totally call it spam (as you mentioned, most of those Nigerian emails only come once from each address… but they add up). I would think it would be better to start a book promotion by approaching Book Reviewers (preferrably via whatever method they stipulate that they like – e.g. via their blog).
Yes, authors are people. Readers and reviewers are people, too. Each deserves to have their feelings, time and opinions respected. And each deserves a little backlash when they step over the line.
This review clearly states the reason for the 1-star. I see no problem with that.
I met both of them through here; I was not aware o…”
From the beginning of this I found Katy’s friendship with the author and the troll a bit odd. I mean most people wouldn’t read a review and immediately and the spammer and a troll as friends would they?
It wasn’t because she sent me a friend request which I turned down was it? I turned it down because her blog solicits books, interviews, giveaways, all kinds of things from authors and publishers and says she posts the reviews – almost every single one is 5-star – everywhere on the net. Those sort of reviews are not for me and I didn’t want to join the audience-base of about 900+ friends.
She has a looooooong history of trying to be the Review Police. I have seen her appear on so many reviews chastizing the reviewer for “not being nice enough” or “wording things harshly” I would be here all day trying to count them. And typically her pattern is to defend the author who is acting like an ass and make excuses for their behavior, then cozy up to the author about how mean we all are. Then cry and holler about we attacked her, and then flounce off only to come back later and complain some more about being attacked after she left.
Thank you for writing about this in a review, Petra X! I have actually written in my ‘bio’ on my profile that if an author whom I do not know, and whose books I haven’t read any of asks me to ‘friend’ them, I will probably not accept. Lately, it seems like not many authors are reading my profile before sending me friend requests.
I have also stated in my profile that I will not read a book that is recommended to me by anyone at all (no authors, not other goodreads users) that I am not friends with.
It is strange that it is so difficult to just leave people be, and read what they want.
Stefani wrote: And typically her pattern is to defend the author who is acting like an ass and make excuses for their behavior, then cozy up to the author about how mean we all are. Then cry and holler about we attacked her, and then flounce off only to come back later and complain some more about being attacked after she left. …”
Interesting. So I was probably wrong in my thoughts that she had befriended the spammer and the troll and then blocked me ( http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1… )
because she was totally pissed off that I had turned down her friendship request. That she isn’t like that just when upset, but this is how she is all the time?
I really wish I was surprised. Also I know sometimes yesterday she was ranting and raving about how much everybody attacks her on an author’s blog post. Don’t have the link handy, but it was basically the same stuff as here.
Next I expect there will be another message here, probably in a few days or weeks, to condemn everyone for attacking her. When, really, it’s not anyone else’s business how you chose to review or rate this book…get over it already!
Katy wrote: “Christina, I agree that author started off on the right foot, but I don’t think it was necessarily a bad thing to note in a comment under the review that he was not the one responsible for sending …”
People can recommend books that are on one of your shelves. I get loads of recommendations for books I have already read all the time. If the book is shelved it doesn’t stop people being able to recommend it.
Petra X wrote: “From the beginning of this I found Katy’s friendship with the author and the troll a bit odd. I mean most people wouldn’t read a review and immediately and the spammer and a troll as friends would they?”
She befriends any author she feels was “attacked” and then goes through peoples’ DNR shelves and adds those books to buy. She’s an editor of SP books and she has a vested interest in the SP world and roams around GR being argumentative and then flouncing, over and over again. It’s kind of sad to watch, but then it also gets a bit creepy when you realize she’s friended/followed people in your friend/follower circle that have no idea she acts this way. Then it feels like she’s everywhere and you can’t get away.
Before it disappears forever from my status, I would just like to post Katy’s comment as it really belongs on this thread, and absolutely confirms in every way what The Holy Terror and Stefani have said about her.
So I’ll do it in the next comment.
I explained what I was trying to do over in the Feedback thread. And let me just say I am so freakin’ tired of people “reading in” to every freakin’ thing I say. I say what I mean; I’m an honest person, but I try to be tactful and I try to build bridges rather than burn them.
I was just trying to go away and leave you alone and then you go and hijack the damn feedback thread to continue your very subtle attack upon me. I’m not going to deal with people doing that sort of thing, which is why I left your review thread, why I’ve now left the feedback thread, why I’ve unfollowed you, and why I’m now leaving this thread. Enjoy your life – with any luck we won’t stumble across each other again.
Authors, NO ONE wants to be spammed. Do it, and get shelved accordingly.
There are better ways to m…”
Katy wrote: “I explained what I was trying to do over in the Feedback thread. And let me just say I am so freakin’ tired of people “reading in” to every freakin’ thing I say. I say what I mean; I’m an honest …”
Honest? LOL, you do tell some porkies don’t you? You didn’t leave this review thread because I “hijacked” the feedback thread. You left BEFORE, you said goodbye (and blocked me) because Epee called you out on you making friends with a spammer and a troll because of my review.
You couldn’t get any satisfaction on this review thread, because apart from the troll no-one agree with your defence of the spammer so you took it to the Feedback group. What makes you think that the Feedback thread is exclusively yours? What makes you think you can ‘subtly’ continue a battle you are losing in another group and think you should have the field clear for yourself alone?
But funnily enough, just as Stefani and Ginmar said on this review thread, having “flounced” out of that you reappeared not only in Feedback but also in the comments on my status, and just as she said you would, you started complaining about being attacked.
I don’t care whether you flounce back in here or anywhere else, and I really don’t care enough to worry about whether we cross each other’s paths again or not, obviously I have had a much bigger impact on you than you on me.
But you know, you really lost this one because you were in the wrong in every single way – no one, not even Kara to whom you ‘subtly’ appealed (as Stefani said only a person with the brain of an amoeba would have misinterpreted the no spamming clauses) for clarification or whatever went along with you and your defence of spammers. And that is what has caused your bad temper.
Petra X wrote: “But funnily enough, just as Stefani said on the review thread, having “flounced” out of that you reappeared not only in Feedback but also on my status, and just as she said you would, you starte complaining about being attacked. “
Oddly, the specific, targeted recommendations I ask for, don’t see off the wall recommendations from authors. Just the odd mass recommendations that go out using goodreads friends lists, group memberships, etc. to get themselves a “mailing list.”
I do get a lot of recommendations for books I already read in response to personal recommendation requests. Maybe goodreads could note before someone clicked to send recommendation what shelves I put the recommended book on? Or could prove irritating and discourage people from making recommendations.
I’m not sure new to goodreads authors understand friend versus follow; the author guidelines read to me as encouraging authors to use goodreads, particularly the groups, as a social site with millions of intereted members to target with your promotions. Theeach group-has-policies-on-author-participations part not exactly emphasized.
If the recommendation even drove me to look at the book’s Goodreads page, I’d be on the lookout for solicited vs unsolicited reviews … i.e. it would have to be clear that a good chunk of the 4-5 star reviews weren’t friends of the author.
A recommendation on GR should be the same as I do it in my bookshop. I find out what books they enjoyed, what they seem to be in to right now, whether they like series and whether they read out of their favourite genres all not.
Spammers like this one whose been at it for at least 2 years, and their defenders, think they are going to get sales but if you look how many shelves with never-going-to-read type names it’s on you would think that they would realise that what Einstein said is true. It went something like the definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again and getting the same result.
Rebecca wrote: “OK, I was back and forth with Dana the author (she is a friend of a friend and I’m helping her to get her book out) she said she can’t see this thread because Petra X blocked her from this conversation. So, I had to cut and paste it for her. Anyhow, she said to Katy — thank you! Good karma back at ya!
To everybody else (except me) “Get a life!”
And about Steve — ” Is that the guy who values courtesy above the rubies? Go figure
Yes, it’s like saying that if you don’t specify you don’t want spam, then it’s a free for all for allauthors* spammers to promote their books to you. It should be the other way around. If you are happy to have authors promote their books to you by way of recommendations, then by all means write it into your profile.
Carol wrote: “Rebecca wrote: “OK, I was back and forth with Dana the author (she is a friend of a friend and I’m helping her to get her book out) she said she can’t see this thread because Petra X blocked her fr…”
It’s funny how it’s always the people being assholes who tell their critics to get a life, isn’t it? Apparently being an asshole is part of their lives. Add to that the passive aggressiveness of having a friend relay such a juvenile comment, and you’ve got a real winner! (Not you, Carol, but on the comment you relayed, in case it wasn’t obvious.)
I don’t know why it’s ANYONE’s business how you shelve or rate any book, Petra. I’m sorry that this policing of fellow GoodR…”
I have removed the last few posts, including my own because they were not about the book, the author, the review or spam but introducing problems of another kind with different authors/commenters that I don’t think belong here (even if they were interesting).
In answer to your deleted (!) comment AnneTaintor, the commenter was Ginmar. Too much of a coincidence that I removed their comments and then the review is banned. My personal feelings on such revengeful behaviour (but then they were seething about other authors/commenters) is best not written down, but can be imagined 🙂
Petra X wrote: “In answer to your deleted (!) comment AnneTaintor, the commenter was Ginmar. Too much of a coincidence that I removed their comments and then the review is banned. My personal feelings on such reve…”
No regular member has the ability to hide any reviews or has any influence over what is hidden/prioritized. Even if someone flags it, GR staff still has the final say. Most reviews like yours that GR would hide because they’re about the author and not the book go under the radar just because there are millions of reviews and there are like, 5 staff members that deal with the flags. (It might even be less than that … they seem so understaffed … Also, that’s another reason why it’s just a coincidence it happened at the same time – GR staff takes days to respond to flags.)
Your review was being liked all over the place and it’s possible that someone who has a grudge against reviewers (or feels the need to be a self-published author “champion”) just caught wind of your review the same time Ginmar did and they flagged it. Knowing who posted on your review on the first page, my money would be on her running off to the author and getting friends and fans to flag your review.
I would like to know how you saw the comment I made a few minutes ago? I was under the impression that comments on a blocked review could only be seen by the reviewer and their friends/followers and you and I have no connection. Do I think wrong about the visibility of the comment?
There was NO misunderstanding with Ginmar. The comments she made included names of commenters/authors she wished to totally disrespect. I didn’t necessarily disagree with what she said about them (I didn’t know about them actually) I just thought it was totally the wrong place is all AND explained that exactly.
However, I have also been told that a certain A Hole who did make comments here that are now deleted but not by me, was the actual complainer and apparently is a disgruntled author who dislikes anything written against other self-pub authors.
Kat wrote: “I find it interesting that this hidden review is not being hidden from your goodreads friends. Makes me feel terribly clever to be your friend, Petra, because apparently, that means I have earned t…”
What I think it interesting is that neither the author nor her friends-and-supporters, not even the trolling ones, requested this hidden, props to them for that. The two troublemakers at the end, sock puppets, fabricators of excuses, one of whom did get this hidden are just plain malicious. Still nasty people are everywhere they can hide behind anonymity.
Someone mention spam? It’s been around in various forms for years. It works, whether you chose to ignore it or not. Why let it bother you? We get spam through our letter boxes and in our inboxes. Major companies use it. To attack the little guy, for trying it; and prentending ones GR inbox is somehow better than ones letterbox or email inbox is a little…….niece….. I wonder if one spends the same amount if energy defending ones mailbox or email inbox; or one simply puts the spam in the bin/trash….
Ah so you think spam is great, just little guys wanting to send messages to anyone they don’t know that might give them money, and you would therefore be really really happy to have any so-minded author on Goodreads try and flog you their book? Ah poor little spammers guys, need all the help they can get, so if someone doesn’t like being spammed, no problem, delete it and let these poor little guys carry on with their ‘marketing’ efforts.
You know, I’ve got a great idea for you. Why don’t you write to Google, Hotmail and to GR saying stop attacking the spammers, those poor Nigerians, those little people at home just flogging ersatz viagra, those girlies who just want to send you photos and be friends, tell them to just stop it. That they really shouldn’t be making any efforts to block spam, because you think that it is attacking the poor little guy and that we should all happily accept the spam (we can just delete it) and they can concentrate their efforts elsewhere. People would look at you with incredulity, they’d think you were mad. No one likes spam except those that somehow benefit from it or do it themselves.
You don’t think that you might have wasted a lot of energy getting to this hidden review and reading all the comments. You surely wouldn’t have posted in defence of spam without knowing what went on would you? That’s called trolling, trying to start things off.
In my humble opinion writing a defence of spam and calling spammers ‘the little’ guy is a VERY curious reaction. Unless it is from an author’s sockpuppet account (not unknown around here) and then of course, I completely understand your reaction.
Neil wrote: “Someone mention spam? It’s been around in various forms for years. It works, whether you chose to ignore it or not. Why let it bother you? We get spam through our letter boxes and in our inboxe…”
I would love to see if your reaction is the same after you sign into GR one day to find 4 messages all touting some book from someone you’ve never heard of before and why they think you’d love it. 2 friend requests that all include the message “check out my book”, and several recommendations from authors saying “here’s my book, you’d like it”. So you spend 20 minutes getting rid of all the garbage and…well, time to go to work, guess there’s no goodreads time today.
And yes, that has happened to me before. I promptly reported every last one of them for spamming me. If I haven’t shown an interest in your book, you shouldn’t be pitching it to me…unless it’s on my blog and through the appropriate channels on my blog. GR is my space, I don’t want it cluttered up with junk.
Yesterday I didn’t accept a Neil’s friend request because of a really smarmy, sarcastic message. Today I get this defence of spammers (poor litttle guys) from another Neil. And gee, what a coincidence, I block Neil, and then find ANOTHER Neil has just joined GR and has immediately gone to comment on another of my books.
Yesterday I didn’t accept a Neil’s friend request because of a really smarmy, sarcastic message. Today I get this defence of spammers (poor litttle guys) from another…”
Neil wrote: “Someone mention spam? It’s been around in various forms for years. It works, whether you chose to ignore it or not. Why let it bother you? We get spam through our letter boxes and in our inboxes. Major companies use it. To attack the little guy, for trying it; and prentending ones GR inbox is somehow better than ones letterbox or email inbox is a little…….niece….. I wonder if one spends the same amount if energy defending ones mailbox or email inbox; or one simply puts the spam in the bin/trash….
Curious reaction in my humble opinion….”
Let me assure you I most certainly DO defend my e-mail box and postal box as assiduously as I do my GR mail (and Facebook messages, and Pinterest, etc. etc.) Most defenders of spam claim it’s passive – you don’t like it you can ignore it/throw it out/delete it. There’s nothing passive about a postal box so crammed full of advertising crap you can’t find your legitimate mail. There’s nothing passive about an email box so full of crap advertisements that you hit your mailbox quota and your legitimate email gets bounced, or you’re charged overage fees. And as Stepani says above, there’s nothing passive about the time I’ve lost and will never get back dealing with/deleting/reporting unsolicited crap, garbage advertisements.
I hate being sold to with the passionate heat of a thousand suns. I’ve posted in my profile that I will never ever buy or read a book that an author tries to pitch to me. I’ve locked my profile down tighter than a drum so I don’t receive messages from people I’m not friends with. I don’t participate in recommendations because I don’t want recs from people who don’t know me. Does all this work? Yes. Am I the poorer for it? You betcha! I’m certain I’m missing out on a lot that GR has to offer because I’ve blocked out the good with the bad.
I think Petra X has written a very fair piece calling this author out for obnoxious self-promotion. GR offers quite a selection of legitimate, reasonable options for authors looking to promote their books – ads, giveaways, scheduled author chats, videos. Resorting to unsolicited spamming reduces the author to the caste of snake oil salesmen.
be clearly identified as a solicitation or advertisement for products or services;
Opt-Out – must provide easily-accessible, legitimate, and free ways for you to reject future messages from that sender;
Return Address – must contain legitimate return addresses
A reader’s time is valuable. We’d rather spend it reading. We did not join goodreads to be a marketing target. There are more than 100,000 new books per month and no way should our time be spent fending off spam (and, definition is unsolicited/unwanted electronic commercial solicitation of products for free or for fee and does not matter how many people it was sent to or how many one person was sent).
In my experience, the spamming authors do not read anyone’s profile. So anythng anyone says there, …good grief. Polite reasonable discussion or not, why do I have to spend my time stating that I don’t want anyone sending me anything I don’t want? When goodreads TOS already says they can’t?
Debbie (Debbie Rice) wrote: “In my experience, the spamming authors do not read anyone’s profile. So anythng anyone says there, …good grief. Polite reasonable discussion or not, why do I have to spend my time satating that I don’t want anyone sending me anything I don’t want? When goodreads TOS already says they can’t?…”
Apparently that isn’t so. According to major-spam-defender (and after my review was published) new friend of spamming author, Katy, says that the TOS only discourages sending out uninvited solicitations to give them your money (which is essentially what it is), it doesn’t actually forbid it.
Goodreads point of view is quite obviously – authors must be allowed to spam but readers mustn’t be allowed to complain about it, otherwise the review will be hidden (even if it isn’t personal, rude, or anything else against the author) in case it hurts their marketing effort. And the author will receive a message from Goodreads telling them not to do it again!
Mostly I delete spam, I don’t really care that much, but you know those days when you got out of bed, tripped over the cat, poured sour milk into the coffee, and then the battery was dead on the car – this author spammed me on a day like that. And so did this spammerhttp://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16… but this time I got good advice on how to not get a review hidden!
1) I don’t personally care if authors “spam” me (however you want to define spam). But I completely reserve the right to give a one-star review, unread, if you ask me to read something that is blatantly not in any of my preferred genres. I don’t even mind that GR makes it possible: but an author just has to accept that if they won’t target their recommendations more carefully, they may pay a price.
2) If an author is a “friend”, and they regularly spam me (even though the very fact they’re in my friends list implies I either like their work, or we like many of the same books), they will be unfriended (Yes, David David, this means you).
3) No matter the rightness of the one-star review, either the author or her fangirl went beyond all bounds by telling everybody who feels that a one-star review is warranted, or even permitted, to “get a life”. Bad author! We have lives, you apparently only have a newborn book. And I value courtesy above rubies, too, … but then I don’t care much for gemstones.
1) I don’t personally care if authors “spam” me (however you want to define spam). But I completely res…”
Unless you are saying GR thinks it’s fine to give a book one star but not write the reason why, then they don’t think the same way because the review was hidden entirely because of the subject matter.
If I had attacked the book instead that would have been perfectly fine even if it had been fake. A course of action several people suggested to me as the ones they have used to make sure their review won’t be banned. But it’s not my way.
Petra X wrote: “Unless you are saying GR thinks it’s fine to give a book one star but not write the reason why, then they don’t think the same way because the review was hidden entirely because of the subject matt…”
I’m not understanding something – how is it “banned”: despite the words “banned review” it seems perfectly visible. In any case, I was under the impression from your first post that the _author_ had banned it – though, still, I couldn’t see any evidence that it was banned. Since it’s a “Goodreads Author”, and they have full control over their books, I would expect that if anybody can ban a review, the author would be the one.
Still, my point stands – you’re allowed to write the review, and give the book one star, and all that remains. And anyone, like me, can find the review. It just doesn’t show on the book page: and that would appear to be because you didn’t actually review the book – which I also think is fair.
You and I have different ideas of fairness as well. Banning it from the book page is not what I consider fair as the review cannot be found by anyone who doesn’t go through my reviews and I’m not well-known, I don’t have a long list of friends, so it is effectively invisible.
You want to consider that fair, well ok, but no agreement from me, nor if you read this thread, a lot of other people. (On the other hand, there are people here who think that just blocking it is more than generous.)
I considered it fair in the sense that GR’s guidelines indicate it’s inappropriate to review a book by not actually reviewing the book. But then I reviewed the review guidelines (for which I had to do a google search, because I can’t find an actual GR link to “review guidelines” – even on the “flag” page where they direct you to them…) and the review guidelines say nothing about “banning” reviews such as yours – only that they’ll give it a lower “priority”. So, I’m coming around to “unfair” as this review certainly hasn’t been given a lower priority.
Derek wrote: “Becky wrote: “Uhh, no. This is a site for readers. Authors can also use the site, and Goodreads has given them means of getting the word out regarding their books. That’s why they can buy ad space….”
Dude, you’re so full of it. This site is for readers. Not for authors to spam the shit out of us. It seems that no matter where we go…some asshole authors follow behind claiming that its their right to force their shit at us.
I didn’t join GR to be spammed by authors. It’s fine if they go through the proper channels and use the giveaway features and buy ad space. Spamming is unacceptable behaviour and a poor marketing tool, leaving a bad taste in readers’ mouths.
I’d much prefer an author politely ask if I would like to read their book because they’ve checked out my shelves and believe I’ll enjoy it. But that takes time and effort and spammers don’t like that.
What other reason does one buy ad space? It’s FOR ADVERTISING. Other methods of getting the word out, such as posting a giveaway, are not the same thing, as I voluntarily go to those areas – it is not brought to me.
If it’s unsolicited contact by an author, either by messaging or using the recommendation system for their own books (or shilling for someone else), etc – it’s spam. I didn’t join the site for that, and I won’t accept it as a cost of using the site either.
It’s all me. It’s almost like I came to someone’s review and told them that they were sign…”
I hate being spammed about books too. I get it all the time, and no one bothers to check my tastes either. I don’t spam them, I expect the same treatment in turn. I am perfectly happy to receive recommendations from fellow readers but I am NOT a marketing opportunity! I am capable of seeing and choosing books that will interest me.
Make a shelf that says something like “author spammed me” then if the author checks your book list first they would realise “recommending” you their book you wasn’t a good idea. And if they didn’t read it first well then the rec would be spam and deserve to end up there.
Ted wrote: “I’ve just spent what, 20-30 minutes? playing with my kittens. It was entertaining because they are so amusing jumping up when I wave a piece of string. I should have stopped playing when they got so excited because one of the dear little fluffies bit me. Imagine!”
Petra X wrote: “Ted wrote: “I’ve just spent what, 20-30 minutes? playing with my kittens. It was entertaining because they are so amusing jumping up when I wave a piece of string. I should have stopped playing whe…”
Well I actually understand it both way, as a writer I understand that they really want to sell their book but I hate spam too, and as a reader it I might find it annoying and not buy the book instead. Beside, adding the book in Goodreads should be enough exposure. Though I won’t mind other readers or friends who had read it recommend the book.
If you do it in forums which have threads for author promotion or are about books in your genre, then I think that is the right way to go about it. To just send out spam to anyone for two years like this author did isn’t probably going to get you any sales. Unless you think all publicity is good publicity, spamming people could be like shooting yourself in the foot with a gun just when you are at the start of a Marathon race.
Petra X wrote: “If you do it in forums which have threads for author promotion or are about books in your genre, then I think that is the right way to go about it. To just send out spam to anyone for two years lik…”
Obviously the authors have a biased here but I think most readers agree when it comes to receiving random recs from strangers that are simply trying to promote their book. That is not what the rec feature is supposed to be used for and when authors do so they are abusing it. Rather than a thoughtful recommendation based on prior reading style or an active relationship between two people it is solely a method of advertising which is obnoxious! You are right when you say the authors should PAY if they want to use GR as advertising, NOT misuse a GR feature and bombard unknowns with advertising. And for the author saying to the people who are opposed to being spammed that they need to get a life and will be victims of bad karma is just totally rude! YOU get a life and stop sending strangers messages! I would think that as authors you would be interested in hearing from readers & that it would be in your best interest to take to heart what is said about your chosen advertising methods so that you can either continue or discontinue what’s being done. (In this case the irritating spamming/recommendations. Readers don’t like it! It annoys them. So perhaps that is not the most effective way to get the word out there?)
That closed one path for spam, another is allowing only friends to message but there is a loophole often used by author-spammers that GR won’t close. That is the friend-request message. That is how I get them these days. Gloopy, slimy, upbeat messages soliciting my friendship and to read their book. Of course, they always uncheck the ‘follow’ box. Even most non-spamming authors do that. They have no interest in you only your money!
Authors very very rarely get more than a slap on the wrist no matter what sort of stuff they get up to. Join a private/secret author group and be amazed at the mutual reviews/likes/ etc here and Amazon. Goodreads knows all this, same as Amazon, never cared. Sells books.
Petra X wrote: “Authors very very rarely get more than a slap on the wrist no matter what sort of stuff they get up to. Join a private/secret author group and be amazed at the mutual reviews/likes/ etc here and Amazon. Goodreads knows all this, same as Amazon, never cared. Sells books.”