I’m not someone who thinks Facebook is my personal diary. Even in the days of AIM, my status message didn’t tell you if I was in the shower. Despite my restraint (often brought on by my husband)
I can still be affected by the way Internet and a user’s ability to destroy your reputation.
Because how people perceive online (as in real life) isn’t entirely in your control. I was taught this sharp reminder this week on the site Goodreads, a website for book lovers. I’ve been on Goodreads for about a year, since starting my exploration of the indie publishing world. All six of my ebooks are up on the site; you can see covers, reviews, YouTube trailers, and my bio, website, on my author page.
Imagine my dismay when I saw my latest release, Love Comes Later, had a one star next to it. One, out of five. As in, the entire three years I put into this book made it less than average for a reader. Now authors are constantly cautioned about bad reviews, how to handle them, not to harass bloggers. Fair enough. I wasn’t going to go howler monkey on the person, I wanted to know more.
When I clicked, another reader had the same question.
She said: I’m looking forward to reading it. So, it was just ok? Do you think it would make a good book club selection?
Here’s the kicker, the person hadn’t even read it.
Turns out a glitch in the system tagged it with a one star. The original tagger wrote: i didn’t read it yet; probably just added to my list with wrong designation. i’m reading 11/22/63 now.
What followed was me politely asking the person to rectify this error. An error that can sink a new book like mine.
This is where we ended up: your book is either good or isn’t and readers will read or not.
I’m not going into the ironies of someone on a book review site stating that reviews have no bearing on how readers select books. Hopefully that point is clear enough. The book is about to do a blog tour and soon will have many other posts on this page, good and maybe some equally bad.
What I am reminding myself, and those of you on this wild bronco called the Internet, is the importance of being nice.