Today I want to talk about the different ways you can post a review onto Goodreads. I’ve struggled with this a lot over the past few months, and want to get your advice about the “right” way to do this…or, at least the right way for me.
Back when I first started blogging, I never thought this would become a problem. I just posted all of my reviews on Goodreads as soon as I wrote them. And then I’d transfer them over to the blog when I was ready for them to go live (currently I’m scheduling reviews for September…so there’s quite a large amount of time between when my review goes up on Goodreads vs. when it goes up on my blog). But now that my blog is getting a little bit more popular, I’m wondering if this is really the best way to do things.
Sometimes people see in my Weekly Wrap-Ups that I’ve finished reading a certain book, they’ll ask about my thoughts! This is awesome — I love discussion…but what do I do? Share the link to my Goodreads review that’s already posted, or tell them that the review will be up on the blog in a few weeks? Usually I just share the Goodreads link, because if I’ve already written my thoughts down, I’m excited to share them, even if I end up losing that pageview. It’s not really that big of a deal!
But at the same time, I’m friends with a lot of bloggers on Goodreads. Is it annoying to them that they will read a review I’ve written on Goodreads, but then a month later have to read it again on my blog? They might not even realize they’re reading the same review until they’re halfway through it and then go “ugh, I’ve already read this on Goodreads!” or something.
It’s not like it’s a huge problem, but it is a little weird that there’s such a huge gap in between when I write a review and when it gets posted on my blog. Since I’m not going to start posting 5 reviews a week in order to fit them all in, I’ve been considering some of the ways that I’ve seen other bloggers deal with this problem:
1. Post a review on Goodreads, then post it on your blog. This is exactly what I’ve been doing. I’ll post a review on Goodreads as soon as I finish a book, and then a month or so later, it’ll go up on the blog. I’m not really happy with this option, but it does seem the simplest.
2. Post a sentence or two about your feelings, then add the review later. So, basically, I would say “Just finished this book, I loved it! Review coming later” or something. Then I’d write up the real review in WordPress, schedule the post, and then, when the post is live, I’d copy and paste it to Goodreads.
3. Post nothing, then add your review later. This is sort of like #2, except instead of posting a few sentences about my feelings, I’d just add it to a “to be reviewed” shelf and post the complete review at the same time it goes live on my blog. I know that sometimes it gets confusing for me if somebody posts two different reviews for the same book, even if one of them is short placeholder and the other one is the long “real” one. I have to sit there and look at it, wondering if I’ve already read it or not (especially since sometimes older reviews from other people do end up in my Goodreads feed sometimes). Posting one review instead of even a short sentence or two just seems like it might make everything easier and more clear.
4. Post an teaser excerpt on Goodreads, with a link to your review. I’ve seen a lot of people do this — they post a teaser to their review, and then include a link to the t0-be-posted review. This always annoys me, though. Like, I can see that you’ve already written the review, but I’m not allowed to actually read it until that specified date? Ugh. But, if I happen to stumble upon it after the link has gone live, sometimes the teaser does make me want to click on the review and read more. I want to know what that person thinks! And I honestly don’t ever mind giving that one extra second of effort in order to give them a pageview. But do other people? I also like how, if I did this, I wouldn’t have to go back and add the review at a separate time. I think that having to remember to cross-post my blog reviews to Goodreads would be such a hassle. I like not having to think about it!
5. Post a mini-review, with a link to your review. This is almost exactly the same as #4, except instead of having a “teaser” excerpt, I’d write all of my feelings about the book, just in very small amount words — enough to give somebody the basic idea of how I felt about it, but they’d have to click on the link to get the full review. I like how I wouldn’t have to go back and add a review at a different time, but I feel like if I do a mini-review instead of a teaser, it would stop people from clicking on the link altogether. Why would they want to read the whole thing when the snippet is right there? I feel like this might bum me out, too, because it takes a lot of effort to write a review…a paragraph about the pros and cons of a book doesn’t showcase my review style or give details into what I thought. They’re not really getting the “whole picture” — the picture that I put lots of time and effort into!
I also think that it’s important to mention Ashley @ NoseGraze’s point about how Goodreads is now affecting SEO. Because of how that works, she’s decided that she’s going to “post on Goodreads with an immediate reaction. I’ll post maybe a paragraph about the book and what I thought—but not my review. I’ll give quick reasons about why the book sucked or rocked. Then I’ll schedule my real review to go up on my blog.”
Personally, I’m kind of looking at this more from the perspective of generating pageviews while not annoying people at the same time…I’m not as worried about SEO. But she still has a great point, and I think that it’s worth it to take her opinion of going with Option #5 into consideration, since she has a lot of experience with this stuff.
Speaking of which…even though this is a problem that I’m struggling with now, hopefully in the near future I’ll never have to deal with it again! As I’m sure you’ve heard, Ashley is hoping to create a competitor to Goodreads called LitRate. I’ll talk more about the benefits and just sheer awesomeness of this in my post about it on Thursday, but basically…when she creates the site, she’s going to try to fix this problem by integrating a “schedule review” feature! So you should totally go donate (even $1 would help!!) to her Kickstarter campaign to help make this thing happen!
But since we still have to deal with Goodreads in the meantime…