Like a lot of authors, I accept friend requests from nearly everyone who asks on Facebook and Goodreads. It's never been a problem in the past, but now Goodreads is dividing their reviews between "Reviews from Friends" and others. The "Reviews from Friends" don't show up for the general public, only on the author page. What this means is that while I have XX number of reviews, only X are showing.
Apparently, Goodreads doesn't want authors to accept "friends," but to have "fans". Which is fine, but I didn't know of the change and now have to manually go through hundreds of "friends" and delete them one at a time. Goodreads doesn't make "un-friending" fast or easy.
Amazon seems perched to do something similar. Signing into my paperback product page, I was surprised to find a link at the top that told me which of my Facebook "friends" had an interest in the book.
While I do see the rationale behind the changes, it doesn't take into account that an author's "friends" and "fans" are most often interchangeable. I don't know any of the 300+ friends I have on Goodreads and only a handful of the thousands on Facebook. They came to me organically, through writing, blogging, and requests.
I know this is an older post, but I'm curious to know more about the "friends" and reviews with Amazon/Goodreads.
I've read on this community site plenty about Amazon not posting publicly any reviews flagged as coming from an author's friend or family. Does this apply if you've "friended" a reader on Goodreads too?
I'm just getting started with my Goodreads account and frankly I'm seriously behind the times on the online marketing. So knowing ahead of time if I should be more judicious with my friend requests and acceptance would help!
This is a foolish move on Amazon's part. Here's why:
My 'Friends' list on Facebook and on Goodreads is composed mostly of people I've never met. I happen to be an internationalist, so I have 'friends' from around the world. Chinese, Mike Chew reviewed a book, but so far as I know, we've never been on the same continent at the same time. He read the book and liked it. I've also got friends from Finland, Turkey, Africa, Australia...get the idea?
So why are they friends? They know me solely from my writing. Of the people on my FB friends list, that's true of probably 75% of them. They read my blog, they read my facebook posts, they read my books, whatever, then they add me as a 'frend'. I rarely initiate such, and I frequently ask why before approving the requests.
But I do post information on my blog and on my FB pages. I'm admin of a group and I frequently post comments about writing, where I'm at, what challenges I'm facing. Others do too, but this is advertising in a sense. It works. I've sold books in Germany, in Australia, in France, other places because people got the information on FB.
IF Amazon had a better means of advertising, perhaps their system would make sense. Wouldn't it be nice if AMAZON sent out summaries and offered books free in exchange for unbiased reviews? But they don't. Amazon collects a lot, while providing little. Compare with royalties paid by other outlets, you'll see what I mean.
Also note that I've already spent a couple of hundred promoting my books, Amazon's spent nothing, but for every 35 cents I collect based on what I spend on advertising, Amazon spends nothing and collects 65 cents.
And even the freebies and countdowns have stopped working. Only when they're linked to a paid advertising campaign through someone like ENT do they provide return for the effort. As for the 'friends' effect on FB, I tried advertising through FB and got nothing. Total waste of money. So much for the benefit of friends on social media.
But there is one effect from all this: where I published on Amazon's Kindle Select before, I'm now removing my books from that as soon as the 3-month period expires. Two books are already off and are published now on Apple's iBooks, B&N's Nook, Kobo, and others.
The one program that looked really promising was the KU lending. Early royalties to writers were in the $2.20 range. But even that lost its luster. Borrows account for little, and the royalty payments last month had dropped to $1.35.
I'm a true independent now; I publish through at least six outlets, I advertise on independent emailers, I don't expect anything from any publisher except what they do, act as a middleman between me, the writer and publisher, and my audience. They collect a fee for that, and I'm prepared to go with whoever pays most and provides most service to me.
The information presented here is not accurate. "Reviews from Friends" shows you reviews from people you've friended; the same reviews will show up for people who aren't friends with them in the "Community Reviews" section on the book page.
We absolutely want authors to have friends and fans, you do not need to unfriend your fans in order for their reviews to show to others.