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Social Media Support Sunday | Goodreads

Social Media Support Sunday

Social Media Support Sunday is an idea I’ve been fiddling with for a long time now in various forms. There are SO many times where I realize I’m not following some of my friends on social media somehow or I’m looking for new accounts to follow and I just have no idea where to begin. Sometimes we get stuck in our own social groups on social media or just the opposite — get lost in the sea of social media users and followers — that it’s hard to find new accounts. I’ve also been toying with the idea of posting “social media hacks” (which are really just any tips or tricks I’ve learned over the years). I don’t claim to be an expert on any social media site but I find that it’s always helpful to share information because you never know who has been looking for just that thing for a long time! I decided to combine these two things into Social Media Support Sunday with the hopes that I can help some book bloggers who are aiming to grow their social media presence in the easiest way possible!
Note: These posts are not designed to tell people “how to” or “how not to” use social media. They are simply packed full of helpful information to get knowledge out to people about various functions on social media sites that they may not be aware of or would like to learn more about. I am in no way saying there is a right or wrong way to run your social media accounts! The “best” way can only be determined by each individual user!

Over the next few Sundays, I’ll be doing features for multiple social media accounts that a prevalent in the book blogging community/book industry. Hang tight for:

TWITTER (11/8/15) | GOODREADS | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TUMBLR


I first joined Goodreads all the way back in 2010 (wow, that seems like forever ago) and to this day, I’m still learning little tips and tricks to help me use the site better. There are some things we just will never get (like half stars. Sorry, folks but I heard it directly from the mouth of a Goodreads rep. They think it gives people too many options and is confusing so no half stars in the near future, possibly ever) and other things that the site actually does have but I didn’t know they were there, and other things are work-arounds that fellow users have figured out and shown me.

I did a post back in 2013 for Bloggiesta called “How to Make Goodreads Work For YOU” essentially detailing EEEVERYTHING I had learned about Goodreads that I thought people should know. That post is a bit old by now (over two years!) so I’ll rehash some things from ther as well as including some things I’ve learned/discovered over the past couple of years!

SHELVES

Shelves seem like a given since so many people create their own (and I create a LOT). I basically use shelves my own little filing system so I make GR do the work for me instead of creating a spreadsheet or list. They’re easy to create, update, and the bonus is that Goodreads is always gather data for stats if you ever need them. Here are some of the main ways I use shelves to my advantage:

  • Readers can create ANY amount of shelves for ANY kind of categories they want. I have shelves from age range (YA/Adult/MG, etc), genre, pub date, if I received from a publisher, and even things like “read in one day” and “omg can’t wait”. I even have shelves like “male POV” or “bromances” for me to go back and reference if I’m ever in need of creating posts based on some of my favorite things in stories.
  • You can create MORE exclusive shelves than just what Goodreads offers. I personally don’t rate the books that I didn’t finish and don’t count those as read so I made a special DNF shelf as another exclusive! I also have books that I started to read and put back down so I added an “on hold” shelf since I’m not really currently reading and it’s not quite just a TBR book.
  • Shelves can be sorted in SO many ways. Where would I be without this feature!? I’ve found that it’s especially handy for things like Top Ten Tuesday (and other memes). Want to find out what the longest book is you’ve read? No problem. Go to your “read” shelf, make sure you have the “number of pages” column visible (if you don’t, click on “shelf settings” and you can add any columns available there to the shelf you’re currently viewing), sort by page number. VOILA. I use this constantly. Not only for page numbers but sorting by pub date, rating, date added, date read… I’m always always always sorting and re-sorting my shelves to find things. THANK THE HEAVENS that Goodreads has this feature because I don’t know what I would do without it. (Also SUPER helpful with end of the year surveys/fun questions!)
  • You can select multiple shelves to view at the same time! YES! I didn’t know this existed for a long time. Down at the bottom of all of your shelves, you’ll see an option for “select multiple” and then you can view several shelves all in one list.

gr sort shelves

WAYS TO DISCOVER NEW BOOKS

One of the things I use Goodreads for is discovering new books to add to my (ever-growing) TBR. There are TONS of ways to do this on Goodreads so let’s talk about a few that I use:

  • Friends. I’m always checking out what my friends are adding to their TBRs and many times I’ll check out anything new that pops up in my feed. (By the way, if you don’t want your feed to include EVERYONE you’re friends with on GR, you can adjust who is your “top friend” aka someone who shows up in your feed in the “Friends” section!) That’s probably the easiest way!
  • Recommendations. Sometimes my friends will recommend books to me using Goodreads recommendations feature. I have to implore you to PLEASE only send recommendations to a Goodreads friend if you are either A) already very good friends with them or B) you truly think that’s a book they NEED on their TBRs. I can’t tell you how big of a pet peeve random and illogical recommendations are for so many Goodreads friends! (Unfortunately there’s no way to turn off the ability to allow recommendations if you don’t want them, hence the caution!) Anywho… if you feel comfy sending recs to your friends, Goodreads has a link right on a book’s page to make it easy! (Also, can you tell this picture is old? LOL Ruin and Rising didn’t even have a cover yet!) recsandreadersGoodreads also is constantly analyzing your shelves to come up with recommendations for you at any given time. This isn’t something I use too much anymore since I rely on friend recs the most, but if you’re interested in seeing what Goodreads says you might enjoy, there’s an option in the main menu at the top of your screen that will take you to the recommendations page. Recs2
  • Listopia. I also hunt for books from time to time with Listopia. Listopia is a user-driven feature full of lists, lists, and more lists. You can browse user-created lists by tags (most often which are different genres), do a specific search, or browse recently updated lists. Some are not as well-put together as others, but most are pretty good! Readers are allowed to vote for books for each list as well, so the more people who vote, the better the lists get. I’ve used Listopia for finding books by a specific publication month (i.e. searching “October 2015”), a specific theme (“Egyptian mythology”), or just a general genre. I’m usually searching for books from next year or the year after to add to my TBR because I have a hard time searching for them otherwise!

REVIEW SECTION

Did you know that there’s a lot more you can add to your personal notes about a book? Besides just writing your review, you can keep tracking of where you purchased a book from, what date you purchased it, who recommended it to you, how many times you’ve read it, and so much more — all under your review of that book.

  • Review. It should go without saying but there’s a section where you can write your thoughts and — wait for it — REVIEW the book! 😉
  • Start and Finish dates. Goodreads will keep track of your start and end days so long as you update them on the site. Your start date will be whenever you moved the book to “currently reading” but you can always go back and adjust it later if need be. Ditto with the end date, and that date is taken from when you mark it as complete. The end date is important because Goodreads takes that date for your yearly challenges and statistics!
  • Number of Times I’ve Read This Book. This is really just for your own information and fun to note. This will not automatically update if you re-read — it is a manually updated field. I know there are issues with how to do re-reads on Goodreads… that info is coming!
  • I Would Recommend To. Another manually updated field. Just extra info and will be tied to your review from then on.
  • Who Recommended to Me. You can either type in a name OR if a user is on Goodreads, you can start typing in their name and Goodreads will auto-populate from your friends list. You can choose the proper person and save them, forever being noted as the person who recommended it to you!
  • Private Notes. Private notes can be kind of a neat feature! Personally I don’t use them a lot but some readers add a lot of info there because only YOU can see your own private notes. They’ll never show up for the public to see.
  • Currently Own. Checking this box adds the book to your currently owned collection in Goodreads. I always forgot to update my inventory so I opted to stop using this box and instead just made a shelf for what I currently own! Marking a book as “currently own” using this box does not add anything to a shelf.

RE-READS

In my experience, the best way to show re-reads is to add the book as a different edition to your shelves. You won’t be able to have all of your notes in one places but if you move a book that you’ve already marked as completed back to currently reading, you’re more or less writing over your own data. Your previous status updates will still be there, original start date will still be the day you FIRST started the book (unless you manually change it) but once you finish you re-read, your end date will overwrite your original end date, essentially like you only read the book once. Again, Goodreads doesn’t automatically update the number of times you’ve read a book so that job is still yours but if you don’t want that book to disappear from a previous year’s number and stats, you have to add the book as a different edition.

Andi from Andi’s ABCs has a post with a whole tutorial on how to do this so rather than redo her work, I’ll direct you to her blog where you can see exactly how she does this process! (And how many times she’s read ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS!) –> Goodreads Tip: Adding Re-reads

PERSONAL STATS

One of my favorite things — especially for my monthly and yearly recaps as well as end-of-the-year surveys — is personal stats. There are two ways to get to your stats:

  • Go to “My Books”, scroll all the way down and in the left hand column under a heading called “tools”, you’ll see a link to “stats”.
  • Go to “My Books” and you’ll see “stats” next to “batch edit” and “settings” above your list of books.

From this page, you can see ALL or your reading statistics since you’ve signed up for Goodreads, separated by year plus ratings, broken up by genre, and more. If you click on details, you can get a LOVELY picture that will look somewhat like this:

GR October 2015

SOCIAL MEDIA

And of course, there’s the actual SOCIAL side of Goodreads. I don’t really have discussions with people on Goodreads but I do love checking in to see what people are reading, commenting on status updates, and adding new friends.

  • Currently Reading. Using the “currently reading” feature (a little dash located on the right side of your screen) allows you to update your thoughts on the book as you’re reading. I use this feature ALL THE TIME and I love seeing what other people say about a book as they’re reading. Thankfully my Goodreads friends are courteous and they don’t post spoilers when they’re updating! Sometimes I’ll comment on what someone is said or they’ll comment on my update. I love these little interactions! You can also just “like” an update if you don’t want to leave a comment. I also take screen shots of my final collection of status updates and add them to my reviews as a special extra feature!
  • Friends. Of course a big part of the social aspect is actually having friends (duh). But you can determine if you want someone to be a “top friend” (aka show up in your main feed) or not. A friend will not be notified whether they are a top friend or not.
    • If you request to be someone’s friend, if they approve they will automatically be added as a top friend.
    • If you receive a friend request from someone else and approve, you can choose at the time of approval whether or not you want that person to be a top friend.
    • No matter which you choose, this can be changed at any time. You can also change someone’s “top friend” status by removing them from top friends via link at the bottom of their profile page.
    • You can delete a friend at any time and that person will not be notified. You can delete by A) going through your friends list and clicking the X to delete them or B) going to the very bottom of their profile page to find the “remove from friends” option.
  • Compare books. This is another fun feature to use via Friends or just through a person’s profile page. It’s purely for fun or if you’re not yet friends with a person, you can compare books to see if you have anything in common.
  • Groups. Groups are another way to dig deeper into the social aspect of Goodreads. Personally, I don’t use them much and avoid many but some people really love to get into discussions, host read alongs, or just talk with fellow readers.
  • Followers/Following. You can also have people who follow your reviews but haven’t added you as a friend. They can still see your updates but you won’t see anything from them. Many users follow authors instead of adding as a friend (some authors/users won’t add people they don’t know as a friend) and still see their updates. If someone follows you, you had the option to add them as a friend or remove from your followers. If you send a friend request to someone, you start following their updates before they approve.

goodreads friends

There’s SO much more you can do with Goodreads but these are probably the most popular uses and features. I have more in my previous Goodreads post if you want to check out even MORE that the site has to offer!

GOODREADS LINK-UP

Here’s the part where we share and explore! Feel free to add your Goodreads account to help others find you on GR! Part of this process is also to find other people to follow and for us to support each other on social media so please do click on at least a few accounts that you don’t currently follow to check them out. It’s just a common courtesy since people will be doing the same for you!! Try to find at least a couple accounts to follow, or follow back some people who will be new followers to you. This is all about community!

Some of us have Goodreads user names that are different than our blogs/other social media accounts so please add your first name and your Goodreads user name to the “name” section. (So for me it would be “Brittany/bookaddictsguide” — I’ll get it kicked off here!) Your link should be the link to your Goodreads account, NOT your blog! 

** This feature is mostly directed to book bloggers since I feel like that is who will use it most but authors and other active book community members are also welcome to link up and share as well! Again… community! ** 

Seriously Social! Survey, Infographic, and Giveaway

One of the things I really wanted to do in 2014 was work on my social media. I’m on Twitter a LOT but I tend to neglect the other forms of social media on my blog like Facebook and Pinterest, and let’s be honest — I have no idea what I’m doing on Tumblr.

There are SO many forms of social media to use for your blog that I really wanted to explore what other bloggers had to say and see what we think is best for our blogs. I created the “Seriously Social Survey” to check out what other bloggers had to say! I collected all the data, spent lots and lots of time on this infographic and HERE IT IS!

Social Media Infographic Survey

 So what do you guys think? Agree with the general results?  Twitter seemed to take the cake on almost everything, including most visually appealing which I was actually surprised about!

THE NEGATIVES

  • FACEBOOK. Facebook was declared the least popular form of social media. You guys said that Facebook is the social media site that’s on its way out, especially with Facebook users having to pay for ads in order to reach news feeds. This pretty much renders most blog Facebook pages useless, in my personal opinion. I know I’ve noticed that I’m getting FAR less views on my Facebook posts and that really discourages me to use it as a form of social media because it becomes far more work than it’s worth. That seems to be a general consensus with Facebook also being the website that was voted the most work to maintain and a chore to keep updated.
  • DRAMA. There seems to be an increase in author/blogger drama this year (which I try my best to avoid!) with the most drama-filled websites being Twitter (61%) and Goodreads following (19%).
  • TOO MANY SOCIAL MEDIA SITES. Like blogging, updating social media should be fun, but there’s no denying that sometimes trying to cover all the bases gets overwhelming. If you try to keep up with all of the social media sites you can use to promote your blog, it becomes quite a chore to post to ALL of them. We already mentioned that Facebook was the biggest chore, but Pinterest wasn’t too far behind. Juuuuust behind Pinterest were Goodreads (which I was surprised!) and Twitter (even more surprised).

IMPORTANT THINGS TO TAKE AWAY

  • TWITTER IS KING. Twitter is the winner for almost all of the positives and seems to be a crucial way to interact with bloggers, authors, AND publishers. Ever since I joined Twitter, I can clearly see how it’s the most valuable social media site for bloggers! Even with its occasional drama, it’s still the most important blogging tool when it comes to social media, and there are ways to avoid the drama if you don’t want to see it in your feed. It was also a landslide vote that aside from directly emailing an author or publisher, Twitter was the best way to interact with them!
  • UP-AND-COMING SOCIAL MEDIA. Twitter was also voted the most up-and-coming social media site, but that may be because it’s just so dang popular. The survey-takers also had their eye on Tumblr and Instagram being used more and more for promoting blog posts and reaching out to followers. What else do we need to keep an eye out for? StumbleUpon, Snapchat, and Vines. StumbleUpon isn’t so much used for social media but is a good place to start posting your blog posts to help get them out there in the blogosphere!
  • DONT OVER PROMOTE. It can be a little overwhelming with bloggers promoting their posts all over the internet. I think the most important thing is to make sure you mix it up! I totally think it’s okay to promote your links a few times a day on places like Twitter where information comes and goes within minutes or even seconds before it’s out of sight, but Twitter also really supports our blogging community and it’s also where we talk to each other. If ALL you’re doing on Twitter is promoting yourself, it’ll get tiring fast. I asked if using a large amount of social media and various forms is helpful or hurtful and 27% people agreed HELPFUL — you need to connect with people wherever you can. A whopping 71% of people said it’s a mix of both. It’s helpful to cross-promote, using different sites to reach different groups of people but seeing the same links over and over can get tiresome. Only 2% said that large amounts of social media is absolutely hurtful.
  • NEW SITES CREATED BY BLOGGERS. There are some awesome new sites made just for bloggers by bloggers. If you’re not aware of them yet, you should definitely go check out BookBlogging.net and Literally.io! They’re still being developed although BookBlogging.net has been around for longer and is much further developed at this point, definitely keep a lookout for both of these to really start taking off!

SOUND BITES FROM THE BLOGGERS

  • “FB on its way out is maybe more wishful thinking than anything else. I’ve never used it for blogging, only personal, and I hate how it works. I think if everyone who complained about it would stop using it, instead of sticking with it out of habit, the site would lose a lot of its power to do anything for its advertisers with no regard for its users.” (Maybe we should all stop using it… I actually think I might shut mine down soon seeing the results of this survey!) 
  • “My only comment is about over promoting. Making sure you space out your tweets, making them interesting without all ME ME ME. It’s difficult and I think it takes time and finesse to get there. Also, people need to turn off their Pinterest updates via Twitter. No one needs to see that.” (See: overpromoting.)
  • “I don’t really distinguish between my personal and ‘blog’ social media. I don’t want social media to feel like it’s a chore or a job and I’m not so worried about privacy, so I don’t see the need (plus I do social media for work, so this would be triple rather than double duty for me).” (I totally agree with this! My personal life, although initially completely separate, easily seeps into my blogging social media accounts. I often Tweet about daily life and post personal pictures on Instagram as well!) 
  • “I try to only post positive things on social media and only @ authors if my review is a 4 or 5. I have no desire to get sucked into the drama.” (Yay, no drama! I still post my negative reviews but I don’t mention the authors or publicists on Twitter if it’s a negative or generally blah review.)

GIVEAWAY

So that’s it for the Seriously Social Survey! I hope you guys got some great insights and I have to thank you again for all of the awesome responses!
Now that we’ve got some fresh ideas and thoughts from other bloggers, let’s get connected! In 2014, I really wanted to work on connecting with people through social media other than Twitter. Let’s get together! If you already follow me through various social media sites, you get bonus entires in the giveaway below! Don’t follow yet? It’s never too late! Let me know what social media sites you use and I can follow you back!

IMG_2334

Enter to win this stack of books! One winner will receive them all! It’s a mix of ARCs, hardcovers, and paperbacks (and the one on the top is a spiral-bound copy of The Break-Up Artist). Good luck!!!
Must be 13 or older to enter — Sorry, US and Canada only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge: How to Make Goodreads Work For YOU!

I first joined Goodreads in 2010 when one of my friends introduced me to this awesome website that let you make lists of books and keep track of what you read. Awesome! In the beginning, I didn’t do much except for add all of the books I read and keep track of what I was currently reading. Then I found out that there were a LOT more features on Goodreads that I didn’t even know about. Back then, they still had their book exchange feature which quickly became my main purpose for using the site. (I do miss it… Although I don’t do a lot of swapping anymore!) Then I found out they had giveaways. I could win free books! Even books that… *gasp* weren’t published yet! (Side note: Clearly this was before I knew about ARCs and a year and a half before I even THOUGHT about starting a blog.) This Goodreads site was AWESOME.

As the years went by, I found more and more features hiding in the depths of Goodreads and once I started blogging, it pretty much became an essential tool for helping me review books, create blog posts, and fill out the weekly memes.

The stars aligned when I saw the blog post about signing up for a Bloggiesta mini-challenge and I had thoughts of Goodreads dancing in my head. I knew a lot of people did instructional-type mini-challenges but just having been blogging for a year and a half, I surely didn’t feel like I knew anything more than those blogging pros (from whom I do pick up lots of tips)! Then it came to me… I could talk about Goodreads! Not so much as an instructional post (despite the fact that I titled it starting with “How-To”) but more of a mass-sharing of how people utilize Goodreads and what exactly we may be missing out there!

Before putting my post together, I went to the best possible source I had to help me gather information: YOU! A huge thanks to everyone who filled out the survey because it was so interesting and great to see so many responses and how different they all were! After crunching all the numbers and gathering all the data, here’s what I got from all of the responses:

GoodreadsInfographic

SHELVES

Shelves seem to be the number one thing you guys LOVE and could not live without. The shelves on Goodreads are fantastic because not only can you add books to the Goodreads-supplied “Read/Want to Read/Currently Reading” shelves. Readers can create ANY amount of shelves for ANY kind of categories they want. Personally, I have shelves for various genres, some to indicate where I got the book, some for the age range (YA vs adult), and any other variation you can possibly think of.
Another beauty of the shelves is that you can create MORE exclusive shelves than just what Goodreads offers. For example, I needed a place to put the books I chose not to finish. I still wanted to keep track of them but they didn’t belong under “read” to “to-read” so I created my own “did-not-finish” shelf and voila! Organization at its finest!

I have TONS of shelves (all of which are necessary).

I have TONS of shelves (all of which are necessary).

Another fantastic feature of the shelves is that you can SORT THEM. Where would I be without this feature!? I’ve found that it’s especially handy for things like Top Ten Tuesday (and other memes). Want to find out what the longest book is you’ve read? No problem. Go to your “read” shelf, make sure you have the “number of pages” column visible (if you don’t, click on “shelf settings” and you can add any columns available there to the shelf you’re currently viewing), sort by page number. VOILA. I use this constantly. Not only for page numbers but sorting by pub date, rating, date added, date read… I’m always always always sorting and re-sorting my shelves to find things. THANK THE HEAVENS that Goodreads has this feature because I don’t know what I would do without it.

shelfsettings

Another fan-favorite is the “Currently Reading” shelf. This was something a lot of people were very vocal about and how much they loved it. I know so many people like to update their page number (or percentage, if that’s the case) as they’re reading and one of the best things is that you can make comments as you read too! Sometimes I even go back to the comments I’ve made to help me remember quotes, specific instances, or OMG moments for when I write my review! Some people even use this instead of a bookmark!

RECOMMENDATIONS

One of the things that the survey participants felt that people underutilized was all of the different ways to send and receive recommendations. Understandably, one of the biggest pet peeves from Goodreads users was people spamming them with recommendations, event invites, and book pushing. I definitely fall into that category myself… I’ve actually unfriended a few people on Goodreads because of over-spammification (the technical term). I had approved a friendship and instantly I got event invites and books suggestions. Unfortunately there isn’t way to reel in the spamming with filters (that I know of… I’ve searched!) so the only option to filter out those spammers is clean up your Friends List.
Reasonably, the recommendation options can actually be touchy subjects… But from your trusted & close friends and by exploring your own personal recommendations, you can probably find some great new books!

One of the easiest places to start is to click on the recommendations widget on your Goodreads home page.

Recs

This takes you to a glorious page that lists TONS of recommendations based on any of your current shelves. (Another reason to make many, many shelves!!!) The more books you rate, the better your recommendations get. Don’t like a recommendation? No problem. Just hit “Not Interested” and you won’t see that one again. When this feature first came out, I spent hours looking through these and adding ALL THE BOOKS to my TBR list. Golden.

Recs2

And here’s a two-for-one picture… Love a book? Want to see books similar too it? There’s a little widget on the book’s info page called “Readers Also Enjoyed”. Scroll through the books listed there and you may find a book very similar to it and see what else people who liked that book also put on their lists!
Want to recommend that awesome book to a friend? Just click “Recommend It” and you can quickly send that recommendation off to your fellow Goodreads friends.

recsandreaders

EXPLORE GOODREADS

Goodreads has an “Explore” menu — some of which I’ve explored, some of which I haven’t — but that’s where we find some of the “hidden gems” of Goodreads, if you will.

Genres: Genres is one I don’t use a lot, but if you’re a subscriber to the Goodreads newsletter, it looks a lot like that format. It lists some books under… well, genres. From “Movers & Shakers” to “Young Adult” to “Paranormal” and of course many, many more. One of the good things about the Genres feature is that you can search for books and get a lot of suggestions for very specific subgenres/related genres. Like science-fiction but looking for something different? No problem. Click on “Science-Fiction”, check out “Related Genres” and hey… There’s a whole page of space operas. Yeah. Goodreads is where it’s at, friends. We get pretty specific here! This feature is probably really similar to the personalized recommendations if you utilize a variety of shelves, but this is a good way to hunt down recommendations if you’re not interested in creating genres for your shelves.
Listopia: Listopia is a user-driven feature full of lists, lists, and more lists. You can browse user-created lists by tags (most often which are different genres), do a specific search, or browse recently updated lists. Some are not as well-put together as others, but most are pretty good! Readers are allowed to vote for books for each list as well, so the more people who vote, the better the lists get. I’ve used Listopia for finding books by a specific publication month (i.e. searching “October 2013”), a specific theme (“Egyptian mythology”), or just a general genre.
Giveaways: Goodreads First Reads Giveaways are a wonderful feature on the site! Giveaways are usually hosted by a publishing house or author. They can be for physical copies, advanced reader copies, or even ebooks and audiobooks. They’re always changing and always being updated. Sometimes hard to win, but I’ve actually won a few here and there (two when I first joined Goodreads and I actually JUST won a copy of Antigoddess… three years later).
Popular: I actually don’t use popular much (or ever), but that’s a good place to see what books are gaining readers and reviewers if you’re looking for a book that everyone else is reading!
Goodreads Voice: I haven’t visited Goodreads Voice in a while but it’s a cool little place! It has everything from Author Interviews to Author Suggestions (Good Minds Suggest) to Debut Author Snapshots and even more literary articles. It’s a great place to read up on some authors and find out what else is going on in the book community!
“Fun”: There’s also a “Fun” section filled with Trivia, Quizzes, and Quotes for bookish fun! (Tailored to the books on your shelves!)
“Community”: Lastly is the community section — which I don’t personally use as often — where you can explore Creative Writing from other users, fellow Goodreads users, and search upcoming events.

PERSONAL NOTES ABOUT A BOOK/REVIEW SECTION

Did you know that there’s a lot more you can add to your personal notes about a book? Besides just writing your review, you can keep tracking of where you purchased a book from, what date you purchased it, who recommended it to you, how many times you’ve read it, and so much more — all under your review of that book.

review

I actually filled in a lot more than I usually do for the sake of example, but if you do a great job on keeping up with your personal notes in the review section, you’ll have TONS of info at your fingertips at all times.
This is a rough example because this is my review of WHERE SHE WENT, which I recently re-read. One thing a lot of people said is that Goodreads should make it easier to show and update re-reads. I originally read WSW in June of 2012 but when I marked it back to “Currently Reading” when I picked it up again, it reverted back to my last page number before I had marked it as complete. There’s also no good way to update the dates on a re-read without wiping out your previous data and starting all over. I chose to just leave my original start date and add my new “Finished reading” date. (The finished reading date is also important if you want that book to count for your yearly Goodreads challenge! All books towards that challenge need a finish date in that calendar year otherwise it won’t count.) I also used the “Number of Times I’ve Read This Book” to help me keep track of re-reads, but the actual progress could be set up better!
In this section, you can also update where you got that book, when and if it was a recommendation, who suggested it to you. If the person who recommended it to you is a Goodreads member, you can tag them in the recommendation. You can also mark specific notes about that book in “Private Notes” that only you can see. (One survey-taker’s absolute favorite underutilized feature!)
This is also the section that Goodreads has for you to mark that you own a copy of the book. I actually don’t use this section so much anymore because I found it hard to keep track of my books through their system. I just created a shelf for my “currently-owned” books because it’s MUCH easier to sort and search, in my humble opinion!

PERSONAL STATS

One of my favorite things — especially for my monthly recaps here on the blog — is personal stats. You can go to “My Books”, scroll all the way down and in the left hand column under a heading called “tools”, you’ll see a link to “stats”. You can see ALL or your reading statistics since you’ve signed up for Goodreads, separated by year. (You can also find this under the Goodreads Reading Challenge widget!) If you click on details, you can get a LOVELY picture that will look somewhat like this:

STATS

PHEW. It was a long adventure discovering all the ins and outs of Goodreads but now you have some good insights to the hidden gems and fun features!

I hope you’ll join in the Bloggiesta mini-challenge that I’m hosting to help Goodreads work for you and make your reading/blogging life easier!

The mini-challenge is simple: Pick anything (or everything) that you’d like to utilize more from Goodreads. It can be linking up your reviews to your blog, investigating Listopia for recommendations, cleaning up your shelves, or organizing… well, anything! The sky is the limit! During Bloggiesta (Sep 20 – 22), designate some time to make those changes, explore Goodreads a little bit more, and get a bit more organized. Then write up a mini-challenge post to let us know what you did to use Goodreads to your advantage and how those changes or discoveries make your life easier as a reader and/or blogger! It can be as simple as cleaning up/creating Goodreads shelves, updating your full reviews & blog links to Goodreads, or really digging in deeper and exploring new features. The choice is yours, but whatever you choose, we want to hear about it!!
Once you’ve got your post, link up to the Linky below so everyone else can see what you’ve accomplished with Goodreads during Bloggiesta time and what new things you discovered!

Before I close this post, I just want to say that I know there’s been a lot of drama surrounding Goodreads and some instances of negative author-blogger interaction… Another survey-taker said that as long as you don’t let the drama get to you or invade your experience, Goodreads can be a fantastic tool for anyone — And I totally agree. When it all comes down to it, Goodreads is what you make it! Don’t let the negatives intimidate you because you’d be missing out on some really great tools, features, and community!

I think Goodreads is a fantastic tool, especially as a blogger, and I completely agree with one person who said that Goodreads is for readers and makes it easier for avid readers and casual readers alike.

UPDATE 9/19: The Bloggiesta list of mini-challenges is now posted! Don’t forget to check out the other mini-challenges for this Bloggiesta and let me know in the comments if you’re going to be taking part in my Goodreads mini-challenge! I can’t wait to see people’s posts!!

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