Using Goodreads

I’ve always found Goodreads difficult to use, it’s clunky and what you see is not always what you get. There are lots of things that I don’t like, a lot that is not user friendly and simple things are made difficult. However, this post is about using Goodreads in a positive way. First things first, come and friend me over on Goodreads.

Like many authors, I’ve been using Facebook to spread the word about my stories. It’s a free platform and the growing Indie community use it for free advertising. Facebook are now tightening up and stopping the free advertising of our books.

Imagine going into a well known book shop and, because you spend everyday wandering around, you feel like its yours. You then begin putting your books on their shelves and the space you take gets bigger and bigger. The managers start objecting and knocking your books down as they want you to pay for your space and even then they’ll be selective as to who your audience will be.

So now imagine a place that is dedicated solely to books where there is no limit on what you can post and how often. Well, we have Goodreads, and no, it isn’t perfect but it is improving.

Amazon own them and little by little they are improving it.  It makes sense to be there for me, both as a reader and a writer. Except I kept running into trouble and became  negative about my experience.

Then I read Good Reads: How to find Reader by Gisela Hausmann. More than anything it taught me how I should be working with it rather than against it. So over the last few months, that’s what I’ve been doing and feel I’m getting somewhere at last.

The biggest thing is to get people using it, which is why I’m writing this article. First and foremost, let’s be positive about this. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Let’s try and work with what we have and make it work for us.

So I’m giving you some suggestions to enhance your experience and get you interacting with books, readers and writers. After all, you wouldn’t have read this far if you weren’t also passionate about books.

As with Facebook, you need to be seen and be active in the newsfeed, which is called Updates. Your updates look different on the phone app than they do on the computer. I use an iPhone.

26176661_530248210681659_2102037442_nThis is the Update feed and I do everything on my phone. Although the app doesn’t let me have access to my author dashboard. I can be a reader with my own profile.

The idea is to get yourself on the Updates feed and each time you do anything, it will appear here, thus raising your profile and enabling you and others to interact.

So what can you do here?

  • These are people in your friends list, so the more you have the better it will be.
  • Like what they do and they will soon reciprocate.
  • Better still, comment.
  • Regularly update your reading progress.
  • Add books to your shelf.

 

26236657_10157077062262627_409678052_o

 

 

When you open the Goodreads app you will get the Updates Feed. There is also a section that says more and it will bring up this page on the left.

Recommendations – suggested books for you to read.

Set your Reading Challenge for 2018. This will also go in the Update feed and you can comment on it, see it grow and it will be something for you to interact with others about.

Friends – grow your friends list. also use it to look at their books shelves, see if you have books in common and like or comment.

Groups – this tells you about the groups you belong to. I’ve got some, but haven’t use them properly but plenty do. To find groups you go to Communities on your computer. You’ll find this on the top toolbar. You can start by joining mine and the link is further down.

Events – Literary events seem to be mainly in the US. But if you have one, there is nothing to stop you adding it it.

Best Books – you’ll have to check this out, its currently on the best ones of 2017.

Settings – You could start by going to Account Settings and checking over your profile and adding in anything you wish.

The next thing you can do is click on your profile picture and it will take you here.

26237676_10157077062097627_1449449967_o

As you can see, this shows an Update Status section, which I’m told is not showing on Android phones as yet.  So if you are lucky enough to see it, use it. Anything you write will appear in the Updates. Use the Edit Profile to make yours the best it can be.

If you click on the Updates rather than the About, you will then see something akin to your Facebook profile page.

At the moment, I don’t understand the difference between Friends and Following, which you’ll see at the top.

Viewing Goodreads on the computer is much more self explanatory and easier to use. Your homepage where the Updates are is nicer too.

So what else can you do?

Try some of these and use Goodreads as often as you use Facebook.

  • Review the books you first added. Did you write a review? Can you add to it, make it more interesting?
  • When you update the progress of your current book, rather than just adding the page number or percentage, write some text about how you are enjoying it.
  • Check out the books read by your friends, if you find a book in common, comment on their review.
  • Check out the author’s pages, there is usually somewhere to ask questions.

Once you start talking to others, they will start responding. At the moment I’ve found that people don’t talk much, but as I said earlier I am beginning to see results now. I’m getting ‘likes’ for a lot of my updates which is encouraging.

As with Facebook, you’ll will get notifications, so check these out regularly.

I’m still learning about groups. Although there are a lot of them and there seems to be quite a bit of activity, I haven’t really understood how they work or found one I like. If its the same for you, why not start your own?

I’ve added a Using Goodreads Part 2 with some further information.

 

Advertisements

Home For Christmas

HomeForChristmas CoverChristmas lights zigzagged across the road and shoppers hurried for the warmth of department stores. An icy wind brought a chill to the falling snow.

Louise looked into the store window. The tree lights twinkled giving off a warm aura. She turned away with a lump in her throat

Happy faced shoppers passed by, including a lady with two young boys, whose eyes shone with excitement. Louise thought of her brothers, and the lump grew bigger.

“Ho! Ho! Ho!” boomed a voice. The jolly Santa mechanically waved its hand from the doorway.

Last Christmas Louise had been helping Mum with Christmas dinner. Mum held the plate as Louise stuffed the turkey. Louise’s missing limb wasn’t an issue and at school, some thought it was.

Steven and Shawn, her little brothers had played with their car track, Dad, with his computer game and oldest brother Lee, strummed his guitar. Mum and Louise had been in the kitchen preparing dinner. It seemed a long way from the cold streets of London. The lump exploded and tears streamed down her face.

Stopping outside a telephone box Louise wondered what to say. Hi Mum, it’s your long-lost daughter, or Hi Mum, Merry Christmas. Can I come home?

Louise fingered the last coin in her pocket. She placed it in the slot and listened as it rang. Lee answered. The words stuck in her throat, “Mum,” she whispered heard her name being spoken. Lee was one year younger at fifteen, no, sixteen now. She’d had a birthday too. Her friend, and fellow runaway Simon had lit a candle and sung happy birthday. It was their only light. He had to blow it out to relight it.

Somewhere carol singers sang Oh Little Town of Bethlehem. Then her mum’s voice came on the phone, “Louise! Louise!!”

A commotion of voices sounded loud in the background. It’s where Louise wanted to be and the phone handed over again.

“Lou?” It was Dad now. Louise trembled and it wasn’t just from the cold. “Where are you, Lou-Lou?” he asked softly.

Her old childhood name opened the floodgates. “I’m in London, outside Harrods,” she sobbed.

“We love you. Please say you’ll come home, darling?”

“Yes, Daddy…”

Afterwards, Louise had one important job to do before she waited in the designated place for the people Dad had said would come.

She had come to London full of dreams and adventure. At Euston station, a man befriended her offering her somewhere to stay. She soon realised what she had to do for her keep and ran away.

Then she met Simon in an arcade, he wasn’t much older than she. He’d been on the streets longer and knew the dangers. He showed her the best places to beg for money and how to steal food. He never once suggested she play the sympathy card as people did with their animals. They stuck together and Simon introduced her to the Help Shelter and their soup kitchen. When the snow fell they found an old house to squat.

“My dad remarried,” Simon confided one night as they huddled together for warmth. “We didn’t get on. She’d pick on everything I did. She forgot it was my house first. When Dad sided with her, I knew it was time to go.”

“Did you have brothers or sisters?” Louise asked, fascinated to be learning about him.

“Two, one of each. They barely remember Mum, not like me. She came in and stripped everything of Mum’s away. I minded, but no one cared what I thought.”

“I’m sorry. It must have been awful.”

Louise told him about her dad losing his job and how her parents had argued. She told him of the school bullies and being born without a limb, and the challenges that brought. Simon was sympathetic, but matter of fact. “We all have our crosses to bear. We do what we can and never look back.”

Early in December, as the days grew frosty, Simon suggested they move to the Help Shelter. Louise liked where they squatted, liked it being the two of them against the world. She enjoyed listening to his stories. They argued, as she did not want to lose the intimacy of their isolation. The following morning, Simon had gone.

As the Christmas season approached, Louise begged alone and the world felt bleak. Nobody cared for her. She was tired of fighting for survival and feeling unsafe.

She hoped they passed message to Simon, she really was sorry. Huddled in a doorway, felt felt despair.

“Louise?” Raising her head, she saw a man and women. They held up cards with their photographs. “We’re from the Missing Person’s Bureau.”

Now in the early morning of Christmas Eve, Louise lay warm and contentedly, safe in her own bed. She thought about her homecoming. How everybody had hugged her joyfully. Mum whispered she was sorry. “It was only because we love you.” She was referring to an argument Louise wasn’t supposed to hear. It made her feel they would be better off without her.

In evening, Louise sat on the settee looking at the tree lights, relieved that whatever differences her parents had were sorted out. Dad was back working and, more importantly, at 16 she could now officially leave school.

Lee was upstairs in the bath; Stephen and Shawn were watching Peter Pan on the television and Mum was embroidering.

Every so often Mum looked up and smiled. Dad read the paper, glancing over at her now and again as if he couldn’t believe she was really there. Louise was glad she’d made the decision to come home.

When the doorbell sounded, they looked up not expecting anyone. Mum passed Louise’s chair, kissed the top of her head and whispered, “This is going to be the best Christmas ever.”

The front door opened and someone entered. Carrying a beautifully wrapped parcel and wearing a shy smile, a clean and nicely dressed Simon said, “Happy Christmas, Louise.”

 

 

 

Pedicure from Hell

K A Neeson

Screen Shot 2017-12-16 at 15.42.00So I go to relax and get a pedicure. Anytime actual relaxation occurs for me, it’s a miracle of epic proportions. Who knows if miracles happen, but I was hoping for one!

I walk into this place and there are ten, maybe twelve, pedicure stations, the big chairs with the foot baths attached to them. So I sit down all comfortable, and another lady comes in and wants a pedicure too.

OK, so I already told you there are lots of free chairs available. Yes, you guessed it, she sat right beside me. I’m not having this. I am totally out of there. I ask the nail technician if I can switch seats. She utters something in her own language, then agrees.

The lady beside me apologizes profusely, “I’m sorry.”

I try to reassure her and say the whole “Oh, no; it’s totally me, not you!” thing. Christ, Becky, this is not a relationship; it’s just a game of musical chairs. I sound like an idiot. No, it’s not personal, I have high anxiety, and I would prefer to sit alone. That way, I don’t have to fake smile if you should happen to look my way. I don’t know how to make small talk, absolutely no good at that. If you should try to strike up a conversation, I do not have to pretend to care. See, it’s all me. Please enjoy your pedicure.

Shit, I’m an idiot; she hates me. The technician keeps looking over here like I’ve committed a crime or something. Well, this has worked—I am completely out of my comfort zone. I may even vomit! Hooray! Mission accomplished—I’m uncomfortable, but the cognitive therapy assignment has been completed. I am the most hated person in here. After my toenails are dry and I run out of here, I am never coming back. Terrific, just terrific. I have to find a new place to get a pedicure. Man, all because I moved friggin’ chairs.

Can’t anyone try to relax in this place? Wait, that’s right, no, because that would be a friggin’ miracle, and we all know miracles do not happen every day!

copyright@kaneeson.com

A Gold Ranking Award

Nessa Stimson submitted a GOLD Bookworm for “The Truth Will Out” by Karen J Mossman.

This is the third GOLD Bookworm rating, which means this title has earned a GOLD RANKING BADGE!

The author is welcome to share this badge anywhere she deems appropriate to proclaim that her book has earned the highest honor we can bestow from the RRR!

25075018_2063570257195957_4256243844077575174_o

Congrats, Karen J. Mossman!

Read Nessa’s review that put this title over the top, here:
http://readersreviewroom.com/books-by-t…/the-truth-will-out/
#ReadersReviewRoom #mystery #suspense #romanticthriller#womensfiction

Kelly needs to escape from her abusive and controlling boyfriend, but she’s terrified to leave. She’s then given a chance to start a fresh, but is the cost for her freedom too high?

Sarah is happy in her life. She has a dream job and a perfect roommate. But when a brick is thrown through the window, followed by a letter containing razor blades, her life starts to spin out of control. Detective Ryan Andrews is on the case and the two quickly form a close bond.

Will Kelly pay that price for freedom? Can Sarah’s secret past be kept from Ryan?

In the end The Truth Will Out.

A Gold Ribbon Review

A Gold Ribbon Review was submitted for “The Secret” by Karen J Mossman.

Read Julia Blake’s review and learn more about this romantic suspense novel here:
http://readersreviewroom.com/books-by-this-au…/the-secret-2/
#ReadersReviewRoom #romanticsuspense #mystery #romanticthriller

25352164_2064681653751484_2121110363257514083_o

‘Dear Diary

Kerry O’Brien has a hot new boyfriend! Yay!

His name is Tommy. He’s a biker and he’s gorgeous. He seems to like me too. He makes me feel good about myself and it’s been a long time since anyone has paid me that much attention. I also have a monster for a stepfather.

But I’m scared. I’m scared Bill will find out about Tommy and scared Tommy will find out about Bill. Tommy has a temper and he’s very protective of me. If he ever found out my secret, I think he would kill Bill.

He started again last night. Jodie and I hid under the bed. I don’t want him to ever touch her. Secrets like mine are only whispered about. But the bruises are getting harder to cover and I know once Tommy finds out the truth, I’ll lose him. I just can’t let that happen.’

˃˃˃ Everyone needs a guy like Tommy in their life.

“The author brings to light a lot of issues young people go through. Karen Mossman, I applaud you on this one, you’ve written it with the utmost respect and didn’t make it sleazy.”

˃˃˃ A charming, heart-warming love story.

“The story has many twists and turns, each time you think you know the secret there is another twist that has you wondering again.”

“The Secret is a very sweet, engaging book about how Kerry and Tommy learn to trust one another, and together find a way to unburden her of the secret that is crushing her.”

One Christmas

One ChristmasGenre: Family Life/Humour/Romance

Description

“My name is Tina and I want to tell you about what happened to us one Christmas. My story is sad and funny and ultimately the happy ending we all love.”

Life is full of ups and downs and even when things are bad, there is always humour, because life is like that.

Amazon link

Further information on the Electric Eclectic Brand of Books

The Secret – A Review

It is such a thrill when someone enjoys your book this much and leaves a review to tell the world.  You can read more about The Secret here and if you have family or friends in the UK, you may be interested in a very special offer.

the secret ebook.jpgCustomer Review

from Amazon
on 6 December 2017
I don’t think I’m going to be able to find the words to say how much I enjoyed this book. Not sure what to expect, as it was recommended to me by a friend, from the very first page, I was hooked. For a start, it’s based in the UK, which is a nice change from the US or an alternative, dystopian world, and furthermore was set in the seventies, an era I have rosy, childhood memories of, so the whole tone, language and music which featured throughout felt nostalgically familiar.

This book is by an independent author, and I’m always a little concerned as to what the quality of the writing is going to be, to say nothing of the spelling, punctuation, grammar and even formatting. Having suffered through books that should have been written in crayon, they were so full of childish spelling mistakes, to books where the author clearly didn’t have the first clue about how to format, I really have seen it all. I needn’t have worried. The formatting was exactly as it should be, the punctuation was all present and correct, and there wasn’t a single spelling mistake to be found.

So, technically it’s perfect, but what about the writing itself? I’m happy to report that this too was top rate. Using a crisp and pacy style, the writer is clearly one very talented lady, and her skill shines through each and every word. Her characters are instantly believable and three dimensional, and you really suffer along with her main character, Kerry. Guessing what her terrible Secret is fairly early on in the book, you’d have to have a heart made of stone, not to sympathise with her predicament.

I became so caught up in the story, I found myself becoming angry with the mother character, talking out loud and even slamming down my kindle in exasperated fury at one point – this is always a sign of a truly gripping book with me.

Overall, a gripping and extremely well-written novel which I thoroughly recommend, and I will certainly be looking to read some more from this author.