Goodreads giveaways are a wonderful thing. For readers, we get the opportunity to receive free books both well known titles & authors and indie/self-published books that we may never have come across otherwise. I’ve won a number of giveaways and only one is from a fairly big, well known author. I revel in discovering hidden gems, the unknown books that only have reviews from family and friends. These are titles that have no marketing behind them but they absolutely are just as important as the books with 50k advances and movie deals coming in.
But now, Goodreads is setting up a new system. A new system that will do everything in its power to keep the independant and self-published books tucked away, once again blocked out by the big publishing house competitors who have money to throw away on big billboards and sponsored reviews on youtube and blogs.
The once free platform will now charge between $100-$600 to post a giveaway as well as being US only at launch. Wether or not books out with this area can be listed I am unsure of. Goodreads is claiming that this new version of giveaways will bring more promotion to books by adding in certain features including emailing winners 8 weeks after the giveaway has closed reminding them to rate and review as well as my personal favourite: automatically adding the book to entrants ‘want-to-read’ shelf.
Where to start? I'm actually incredibly angry at this news having just found out about it perhaps half an hour ago and I feel the best thing I can do is use my small platform to shout about it, to spread our disgust for what Goodreads is doing.
I suppose my biggest grievance as a reader is the automatic addition to my TBR shelf. This may seem petty but it threw me over the edge. I use my exclusive 'want-to-read' shelf for books I own, not books I want. I have OCD (yes, really. I know - someone who isn't making a mockery of mental health) and I have separate shelves for pretty much everything; standalone books I want to buy; books I desperately want; books I need to look into more. I even keep first books in series to buy separate from the second, third, fourth, so on and even have a specific TBR shelf for books further on in a series: for example, if I’ve only read Philosopher’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets I obviously can’t read Goblet of Fire etc before I pick up Prisoner of Azkaban, but instead of having five books in my TBR, I only put the next book I have to read in my main TBR shelf and the rest go on the shelf for series TBR.
Anyway. My point is that I don't want giveaway entries in my TBR shelf. I don't own them. They are not to be read.
It’s already a faff to enter giveaways (confirming address, unchecking the add to TBR and then accepting the terms) without having a book automatically added to a shelf it doesn’t belong on and then having to go in to the shelf and move it and uggghhhh. Not to mention the amount of times I have removed a book from a shelf only to discover later it ended up being added to my read shelf?? I love Goodreads, don’t get me wrong. Being able to properly catalogue my books and reading is so incredible but there’s definitely some bugs in the system.
As for authors, I can only give an opinion but I certainly do not see this as a positive for anyone but Goodreads themselves.
Big 5 publishers do not need Goodreads for promotion. They have plenty of marketing budget for their books and the titles they tend to list are already popular ones that people will buy anyway. They also have a massive social media following where they can host their own giveaways for free. Sure they will probably continue to list giveaways here but that's because cost really isn't a concern for them - they know they're going to turn around a profit.
The best thing about the Goodreads giveaways are the self-published books, the indie publishers - the books you’ve never heard of - and these are the books that are going to suffer. There is so much love and care put in to getting the book out into the world and you can really tell this in comparison to big titles. Every self-published and indie book I have received from a giveaway has been signed and a few dedicated to me. Big names? Nothing. I appreciate that an author sending out one or two books by their own accord has the time to sign whereas a publisher may not have the author around but the indie/self-published authors take so much time to write messages and dedicate the book to you and it just feels so much more personal. It makes it a book you want to talk about and promote unlike the big name ARCs that you know have been sat around someone's office that they want rid of. You can tell which books have been wrapped up carefully and put in a bubblewrapped envelope instead of being thrown into one - it's always the big names doing the latter.
At three figures to just LIST the book, let alone shipping costs, these wonderful small books are going to get lost in the sea of big names. In fact, they won’t get lost in the sea, they just won't be in there. They aren't going to be discovered and that is such a shame.
I for one will not be entering any giveaways if this proposed change goes ahead. The cost is absolutely preposterous. By all means place a small fee but I’d have said $5 maybe $10 per listing is more than sufficient - especailly as the additional features are absilutely menial. I don't know if I missed something on the article but I'm pretty certain $600 would get you a LOT of big name bloggers promoting your book and I'm telling you, that's 100% going to bring in more readers than a Goodreads giveaway.
If Goodreads is so desperate to generate income then place more ads or... I don't know? Something? Something other than extorting money if not promotion from small authors. Honetly, this is just plain nasty. It’s difficult enough for indie and self-published authors to gain promotion without such a massive financial obstacle in their way. Yes, the book will now pop up on dashboards when someone enters and it goes into their TBR pile but I, like most people I know, use Goodreads for personal tracking, not keeping up to date on which books others have read so I am doubtful this will do much to help. As I said above, six hudnred dollars is a lot of social media promotion.
I urge Goodreads to rethink their decision. As I mentioned before I absolutely love the site for giving me the ability to catalogue my books easily but quite frankly with the way they are going I am more than capable of figuring out my own system via my countless notebooks or through one of my mac/iPad’s thousands of apps.
Self-Published and Indie authors, I may not have the millions of views that Goodreads can generate but I am more than happy to help promote your book in anyway I can without any cost. I’m happy to review, host a giveaway or just write up a post about your title - I’m also happy for you to write something if you wish or share a sample of your book. EMMANOVELLA is a space for books and writing and I think time for us littles to get out there. We need less big name promo and more indie promo. At the end of the day the book community is always there to share their love of ALL books, big and small.
A reader lives a thousand lives
But never endures their own
A reader survives a hundred wars
But always goes back for more
A reader has their heart broken
Yet never is alone
A reader suffers unimaginable grief
Yet never gives a groan
A reader will handle all that these lives throw
A reader takes the pain and suffering
And the happiness to go
A reader knows
A reader knows
These lives are the best
A reader knows
A reader knows
Just how they are quite blessed
A thousand lives,
Is what they say
A reader will go through
But there’s one life
A reader lives
That’s quite remarkable too
Each one life
Is as important as the next
But a reader spends theirs
Learning of the rest
They stay safe inside, warm
And learn of the world
Without going through the storm
The last few months on this blog have been amazing and given me great opportunities including chairing my first event but after thinking it over for a while, I think it's time to say goodbye to Booklycat.
Wait, no! I don't mean I'm shutting it down. I'm 100% still blogging - I've just decided that it was time to rebrand. In case you haven't realised, you're no longer on booklycat.co.uk...
*ARC PROVIDED BY NETGALLEY*
"My name is Alex. I am fifteen years old, and I don't know where my sister is. Or if she will ever come back."
On New Year's Eve 5,000 blackbirds dropped dead. The same day Olivia McCarthy went missing from a small coastal village in Orkney.
Now Her younger sister Alex is on a mission to find out just what happened to Olivia. But does she really want to know all the answers?
Blackbird is a YA mystery set in the small Scottish island of Orkney. We follow Alex, whose older sister Olivia has gone missing and the duration of the criminal investigation. Though it focuses less on the investigation itself and more on Alex and how she is coping etc, this was still an enjoyable read and one I would recommend to those just diving into mystery novels.
*ARC RECEIVED FROM NETGALLEY IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW*
"They have lightning in their souls, thunder in their hearts, chaos in their bones."
Nikita Gill's poetry has captured hearts and minds all over the world; her inspirational words have been shared hundreds of thousands of times online, been plastered across placards on international women's marches and even transformed into tattoos. This collection will showcase mostly unseen poetry and prose, delving into ideas about passion, identity, empowerment and femininity.
Poetry is not something I like to give star ratings to as it is so subjective and individual to each person that reads it. I felt many of these poems on a deep level, even though it was clear the author and I had gone through very different situations.
Wild Embers is a feminist collection. It is empowering and inspirational. It is heartbreaking, emotional, beautiful, and uplifting all at once. It is an assemblage of words that will stick with me for a long time and that already helped fix some wounds in my heart.
WHY AM I DOING THIS?
Back in 2015 I won NaNoWriMo, but last year I was working a lot so I wasn't able to participate. I signed up again this year but when November came I didn't write. I didn't even think about actively participating in NaNo. I was adamant I'd start working on my novel in the new year - a fresh start.
Apologies for the brief post, but as I'm sure you know, NaNo is crazy and being so far behind (15-20K!!) I'm writing like mad.
*COPY PROVIDED BY BLACK AND WHITE PUBLISHING*
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Continues...
Seven years after the death of Edward Hyde, a stylish gentleman shows up in foggy London claiming to be Dr Henry Jekyll. Only Mr Utterson, Jekyll’s faithful lawyer and confidant, knows that he must be an impostor – because Jekyll was Hyde. But as the man goes about charming Jekyll's friends and reclaiming his estate, and as the bodies of potential challengers start piling up, Utterson is left fearing for his life ... and questioning his own sanity.
This brilliantly imagined and beautifully written sequel to one of literature's greatest masterpieces perfectly complements the original work. And where the original was concerned with the duality of man, this sequel deals with the possibility of identity theft of the most audacious kind. Can it really be that this man who looks and acts so precisely like Dr Henry Jekyll is an imposter?
O'Neill brilliantly captures the essence of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic in this long-awaited sequel to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde that none of us knew we needed until we were given it
'To-Be-Read' piles are scary things. They appear out of nowhere. One day, you have but a few books to read, then suddenly you have 300 or more and just cannot keep up.
I honestly don't know how I'm going to get through all the books I own - even if I were to be ruthless and unhaul a bunch of them, I'd still be left with more than I can read anytime soon. But, I have four tips that have helped me to read more and, little by little, tackle (some of) my TBR.
*ARC RECIEVED FROM NETGALLEY IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW*
When fairy tale obsessed Lottie Pumpkin starts at the infamous Rosewood Hall, she is not expecting to share a room with the Crown Princess of Maradova, Ellie Wolf. Due to a series of lies and coincidences, 14-year-old Lottie finds herself pretending to be the princess so that Ellie can live a more normal teenage life.
Lottie is thrust into the real world of royalty - a world filled with secrets, intrigue and betrayal. She must do everything she can to help Ellie keep her secret, but with school, the looming Maradovian ball and the mysterious new boy Jamie, she'll soon discover that reality doesn't always have the happily ever after you'd expect...
Undercover Princess is the first novel by Youtuber Connie Glynn and whilst it is by no means a masterpiece in literature, it is a very fun and enjoyable read. Here, we follow Lottie who has won a scholarship to the prestigious Rosewood Hall school and gets roomed with Ellie, a rebellious, very unprincess-like... princess. Ellie wants nothing to do with her royal duties and, after a mix up with people thinking Lottie is the unknown princess, decides to have Lottie continue pretending to be her so that she can live a normal life.