Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Why I broke up with Goodreads

When I first became a hardcore bookworm, I searched for a site where fellow bookworms congregated and were able to talk about the books we had in common. I stumbled across Goodreads one late night and my addiction to books only got worse. I found myself adding more books to my TBR shelf than I could possibly read in one year.
I discovered the authors that I came to know and love and also got some information that helped me become an author.
The beginning of my Goodreads relationship was fabulous. I was happy and elated to go on and review books; to keep track of my reading goal. Thinking that someday when my daughters were old enough, I'd start their own account so they too could feel this satisfaction. Reaching the reading goal and feeling proud of yourself was something to share.
Then I became an author in 2005
That's when things went south.
Trolls began to hover over my books and leave rude nasty comments and reviews in which I was told to never, ever respond to. No matter how hurtful or how rude. "Don't fall into the trap. Don't be that author."
So I listened. I never responded even if they were bashing me personally without ever knowing me that way. Hurting my very soul because they hated, and I mean hated, a book I poured a bit of myself into.
Do you know how hard it is to not stick up for yourself? To always be put down but not be able to fire back. It's like the school bully beating you up and you are not allowed to ever hit back.
Because, God forbid I do, my career could end.
So I found myself staying off Goodreads. Rarely going on to leave reviews for the books I've read; which used to be something I adored. Not finding out about the new releases by my favorite authors or able to join in conversations.
My relationship to Goodreads had officially become awful.
Reading the reviews of my own books was like watching a scary movie where you go into it covering your eyes, but wanting to see how terrible it really was.
You can't help but look, but cringe when you see the massacre on the screen. There were the few good even great reviews that kept me coming back. I needed to read those to keep up the morale.
But then you scroll just a little too far and see that one star or two star review that has nothing to do at all with your book, because they haven't even read it, but they felt like bashing the 'idea' of your book.

Are you for serious? Like really?
Who let's this go on?
Obviously Goodreads doesn't care that the authors are getting these reviews. They couldn't care less, because they have other things to do or to worry about. But I bet if I responded to a review, they'd care. Right?
So I decided that it was time to end this once and for all and break up with Goodreads. I do not go on anymore other than to add my book. I don't read reviews; not even the good ones.
I took the GR app off of my phone. And I no longer review my favorite authors books, which is such a shame. I don't update my status of my current read, which sucks royally because I can't remember what I read this year. I don't add videos or chat in the groups that I used to.
But you know what? I survived. I feel better without all the bullying and the harshness of GR. I know who my true fans are and that if they loved my book, they'll tell me and that keeps me going. I do not need to read the reviews anymore.
And as for letting my kids add an account, it's not happening. Not ever. GR has become as dangerous as any other social media site in my opinion. And if they want to talk books, they can do that at home or school.
As for Goodreads and my future with them...I have only two words;
Bye Felcia!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Slumber Duology is what?

The Slumber Duology started with Slumber and with a bang! I hit International best seller on Amazon within a day, which solidified the books standing in the fantasy genre. I wrote the book I had been always meaning to write. The ONE. Yet, it still wasn't the one to put me on the map.
But that was okay with me. I was content and happy to have the following I have.
Awaken ended the duology and I brushed off my keyboard a happy writer after hitting best seller in the US.
Was I on the map? Sort of, but not in the way I wanted.
I sat back recently and looked at my life as a mom, writer, wife and person. Was I happy?
Did I have to be on the map?
The answer to both was; no.
I wasn't happy that I obsessed with being a famous or semi-famous author. Why did I have to be that anyway? That's not what writing was about for me. I had seemed to lose what I really wanted when I set out to be an author. I was losing touch with the 'reason for writing books'.
I saw friends who started out at the same time as me and they were doing really well; better than me. I was making a competition out of it and that's not what I want.
Why did I find the need to be famous all of a sudden?
Because eventually you want to hit that goal of yours. My goal was to someday hit NYT best seller. But it may never happen.
It still could, but what if it didn't?
So I made the decision to take a little break. I want to find that spark that I had when I wrote Who We Were. The one that had me wanting to write good books not because of the fame or because I wanted to be on the map, but because I wanted to write books for readers to enjoy.
I'm currently taking that break and I'm not really writing much.
The stress is lessening and the happiness is returning. I'm a better mom because I'm on the computer less. I'm a better wife because I'm not constantly on the computer at night.
I do not want to push myself to write this next book. It won't be good if I do that. I don't want to write crap just because I feel the need to write a book that comes out in the Spring.
I want to write a book from my soul like I did with Slumber and Awaken and even Who We Were.
 I love those three books but I can honestly tell you if I write a book now, it won't be as good.
My soul won't be in it.
Is it safe for an author to take a break? I don't know.
Am I worried fans will forget about me? Yes.
But is that all that matters? No.
When you become a writer your fans are your lifeline to the book world and making them happy is important but in life, that's not all that matters. Life is short and precious and I've seen good people leave too early. I want to make my mark on this planet for the short time I'm here, but I refuse to sit back and watch from the sidelines. I want to be out there living.
So until next time, read on, live best, and love more.