Reconnecting to my Goodreads page has been a reminder of how far I’ve come since I started self-publishing… as well as how far I haven’t come since then.
I originally set up my Goodreads page, on the advice of readers and other writers, as the place to display my books, promote and generate buzz for them, and participate in discussions about books in general and mine in particular. So I dutifully created my profile page and added my books and their details, hoping to see some churn on the books in due time. But no churn came… and after a year, I stopped going to the site, and my page.
As time went by, I made changes to my books site… then changed my author name from Steve Jordan (of which there were only a few thousand of us to find) to Steven Lyle Jordan. I tried to do updates to my Goodreads page, but after so long away and forgetting past passwords, my efforts to update my page only resulted in creating multiple pages. Recently, I got in touch with the Goodreads librarians and asked them to consolidate my pages… which they did, thanks.
This had the advantage of putting all of my old and new content under one profile. Wow, check it out, my page shows no less than 17 books, making me look like a very prolific writer! It also consolidated all the reviews, giving visitors plenty to read and making me look like I actually knew what I was doing.
But with all those books, all those good reviews, and all the time that’s gone by… you’d think I’d’ve made good progress as a successful author. Which only makes my yearly single-digit sales all the more galling. Where are my fans? Hell with fans… Where are my customers? How did I fail to sell so totally and spectacularly?
Now I remember why it had become so hard to go to Goodreads… as well as many other sites that I frequented and participated in, in order to promote myself and my books: They all eventually become painful reminders of my failure as a self-publisher, and I can’t bear to be seen there. And eventually, I put on a brave face, go back and try to pick things up… only to be reminded of my past and continuing failures, and shame prompts me to move on again.
I wish I could find someone who could look at my situation and tell me exactly where I went so incredibly, unbelievably, comically, imbecilically wrong in trying to cultivate buyers… because I admit to having a hard time believing that it’s all just up to a cosmic bad roll. And without that information, all I have is a Goodreads page that openly, annoyingly mocks me, sarcastically flying a flag that looks pretty to the public, but hidden in its folds is the word “failure,” obscured from everyone’s vision… except mine. Goodreads has become my troll face, giggling joyfully at my misfortune. Every time I visit, it drives me away.
So, I guess I’ll be letting the Goodreads profile go fallow once again. Thanks for letting me in; now I’ll just let myself out.