In Which Our Heroine Finds Herself, Once Again, Trapped In The Sinking Sands Of Goodreads

This is the third post in my continuing saga with Goodreads, a website for book lovers. Here is Part 1 and Part 2

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Well, Goodreads has managed to foil me again.

When I first said goodbye to the literary social networking site, I thought it was goodbye FOREVER. I clicked that “delete my account” button with delirious ecstasy, anticipating a future free of the pressure I’d come to associate with reviewing and rating books.

“NEVER AGAIN!” I cried while fist-pumping the air. “Never again will I leave an embellished review or an inflated rating just because I felt obligated to! Never again will I rate or review books AT ALL!”

And that part, at least, I’ve held constant.

It was the account deleting that turned out to be tricky. Here’s why.

When you create an author account, as I had, you cannot just delete it. Or rather, you CAN, but you better not, because get this: anyone can claim your author account.

Yes.

All I had to do to reclaim my author account was click something next to The Clearing that said, “I am the author of this book,” or something along those lines. And then I might have had to send Goodreads a message saying I was the author.

And then they approved me.

There were no security measures at all. Which means that ANYONE who read my post about leaving Goodreads could simply create an account in my name, claim my author account, and masquerade as ME.

Not that anyone would…

…but what if they did?

Now, it’s possible they did something I wasn’t aware of. Maybe they have some kind of hidden security measure so that Joe Shmoe would not be able to pretend he was Anne Riley. But if there was anything like that, I sure didn’t see it.

And so it is that I find myself once again a slave to Goodreads. Not only do they refuse to delete MY book that I posted on their site myself, and not only do they allow people to rate and review books that are not even available in ARC form, they also refuse to take measures that would allow me to safely abandon my account.

Sadly, when I contacted them about all this, they weren’t willing to do anything about any of it.

What’s really upsetting to me is that I LOVE the idea of Goodreads. I think a social networking site devoted solely to book lovers is a FABULOUS idea.

I just wish they would listen when people suggest ways to make it better. Instead, their response is, “Oh well, that’s just not the way things are.”

Why not? Things can always change. Look at Facebook, for crying out loud. Something changes there almost weekly. I’m not saying that’s a good or bad thing, but they sure do make it look easy.

Anyway, since I am obligated to be on the site, I decided to at least try to make it useful. I’m compiling a list of TBR books and also keeping track of books I’ve read–but I’m NOT rating or reviewing. NEVER AGAIN.

So if you’d like to friend me and check out my lack of book ratings, you can find my account here.

Good grief. Good heavens. Goodreads.

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10 thoughts on “In Which Our Heroine Finds Herself, Once Again, Trapped In The Sinking Sands Of Goodreads

  1. Tara says:

    I never reviewed on that site, actually. In fact I just use it just as you are going to now, to keep track of what I’ve read and complie TBR lists. Goodreads is a lot more enjoyable that way.

  2. Dana Elmendorf says:

    I love Goodreads. I love it so I can see what I’ve read and keep a running list of TBR.
    I like reading well written negative reviews on book I’m on the fence about from there too.
    About a year or so ago I decided it was more important for me to be a writer than a reviewer and I deleted ALL my reviews (except on or two not concerning YA but they are positive.) and I only star give 5 starts or zero stars but no comments whatsoever. I feel it is really important to let me know if I love or hate a book and why, but when it comes down to it, I’m want to be a professional writer, not a reviewer.

    Good to know a deleted “author” page can reclaimed by anyone.

    1. Anne Riley says:

      Yes, the reviewing is where it all gets tricky! I’m really glad I’m not doing that anymore!

  3. Laurel G says:

    I wonder if rallying some more authors behind the cause and letting them and their publishers apply some pressure would get GR to change their policy–or at least institute better security measures. Or maybe a lawyer friend can draft a threatening letter for you. Nothing says change like the threat of a lawsuit (insert evil laugh here). 😀

    1. Anne Riley says:

      You’re so right! If only I had the energy to pursue it that much. As it is, I prefer to complain and shoot sullen looks in Goodreads’ direction. 🙂

  4. Valerie Scott says:

    Wow. I still haven’t joined goodreads, and now I’m not sure if I will. Sounds fun, but dangerously like a timewaster/distraction! Too bad they’re not more receptive to feedback.

    1. Anne Riley says:

      I know. Like I said, it’s a great site, but they need to listen to their members!

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