Goodreads vs Fandom
I have seen some posts going around about how some authors have found their fics on Goodreads. Angry and scared about the fact that there is a masterpost on a “foreign” reading website, some have lashed out against the people who have it on their shelves.
But I want to talk about how Goodreads is an unrealised tool for fandom.
See, when Tumblr was created, its original purpose was not to host fandoms. We made it that way. We saw potential in a website that looked like crap, and look where it is now.
Goodreads is a website where you track what you’re reading, have read, or want to read. How many people have complained about getting into a fic and realised midway that they’ve already read it? Frustrating, right? Goodreads can help mitigate that issue.
See, the way that fics are added to Goodreads works like Tumblr redirects: it has a title, author, summary and link listed. The link goes to the platform where the fanfic is hosted. It is NEVER posted on Goodreads.
“But people can rate my fanfics and I don’t like that!”
Okay it’s widely accepted that the rating system on Goodreads is flawed. Here’s what the ratings mean:
1-star: didn’t like it.
2-star: it was okay
3-star: liked it
4-star: really liked it
5-star: It was amazing.
On Goodreads, it’s not considered a bad thing to rate books two stars and up.
“But people can leave bad reviews there.”
Not a lot of fanfics get reviews on Goodreads, only ratings. However, popular fics have a tendency to be drowned in 4/5 star ratings accompanied by gushing reviews. The lesser known ones just get ratings, and if they’re lucky someone will review it.
“Okay, but what can I do as an author to have a bit of control over my stuff on Goodreads?”
Claim your author bio. Everyone gets one. Just create an account with your username if you want, but you can also look up that username in the database, find your profile and claim it.
Also, you can become a Goodreads librarian if you don’t want to claim your author profile. For this, you may have to apply a few times as only a few people are chosen each week, but essentially this gives you the chance to add in/take out information in a book’s page.
There are how-to manuals on the website for both of these things.
“But what else is Goodreads good for?”
Recommendations. Don’t know what to read next? If fandoms become popular on Goodreads, you’ll get personalised recommendations of things you could read next. How many times have you wished you could figure out what to read, but you feel scared to go and ask someone for recommendations? Goodreads can help, but only if you let it.
Goodreads is not a scary place, and fanfictions do have a place there. They are allowed.
To anyone still worried, give it a shot. I beg you, let Goodreads have a chance in fandom. If, after a month, you don’t like it and want your fanfics removed, I am more than willing to assist.
But please consider the potential Goodreads has, and that all traffic goes to AO3, Tumblr or FF.Net and it is never hosted in its entirety (like, masterpost and story) on that website.