G is for Goodreads, or rather, tweaking Goodreads shelves so that the info you need appears together.
Although I'm a little skeptical about the long-term effects of Amazon purchasing Goodreads, at this point in time, I get a lot of use out of the service, and so, at this time, I'm still recommending it. I've blogged before about how its progress-tracking tools have resulted in a huge increase in my reading this year, and I think it's a great service. And one thing I think is particularly great? The shelves.
Sure, you have the default shelves: reading, currently-reading, to-read. But on top of that, you can add your own. I've seen shelves that serve as metacommentary on the books themselves: "swoony-book-boyfriend" "obnoxious-vapid-female-leads" "drop-everything-and-read-now" and the like. And then there are people who mark things like genre, etc., with their shelves, for instance, "YA," "New Adult," "Paranormal" and the like. But there are a lot of other great uses for Goodreads shelves beyond simply identifying how much you liked the book or what genre it is.
The great thing about Goodreads shelves is that they cause your books to appear in groups. So it's a great way to keep your data on books in one place. For me, as an author who hopes to get back on the query-go-round later this year, one of the big things I'm concerned with is who is repping what. So as I find out a book is repped by Agent A, I will shelve that book under "Agent A." That way, when I go to query, I can quickly bring up all the books I know that are repped by that particular agent.
Having worked in publishing, I also got used to thinking about books in terms of the imprints that publish them, so you'll also see my goodreads full of shelves like "Ecco" and "Sourcebooks Fire" and "Ember." I can bring up a list of books published by any given publisher, and, at a glance, see which publisher's books I'm reading a lot of.
Some other things I use Goodreads shelves for: identifying advance copies versus published titles, books on my nook versus books I have physical copies of, and I have one shelf (that I really need to go to town on!) called "needs-review."
So think about what information you'd like to have easily at your fingertips, and shelve your books accordingly. It's a great way to keep tabs on whatever it is about your books that is most important to you.
How do I create my own shelves? (Goodreads FAQ)
This month I'm participating in the A-Z blog challenge. My theme is "writer hacks," or 26 shortcuts you can do as a writer to get the most out of writing and the journey toward and through publication. Find out more about it at a-to-zchallenge.com, and hop around to read the other cool blogs that are part of the challenge!
Jessica S. Schley was once a pusher of very important papers for a small commercial nonfiction house. Nowadays, she divides her time between bookselling, being a grad student, and writing contemporary fiction for young adults.
- Get to Know You
- Wrangle Story Research With Zotero
- Use X-Ray to Improve Your Structure
- Take Word to the Max
- Edit Better by Switching Views
- Get Started Easily with Unfinished Work
- Mind the Time
- Using Scrivener to Straighten Out Your Novel
- Format Pretty and Share Like Crazy with Rich Text ...
- Give Yourself a Quota
- Make Creative Playlists -- Post 100!
- Use OmmWriter to Write Your Zen
- Make Writing a Sport with NaNoWriMo
- Foster Pavlovian Creativity with Music
- Let Your Library Work For You
- Speed Up Your Keyboard
- Tsjuz Your Blog With Jump Breaks
- Instant Inspiration with iTunes
- Cancel Noise With Headphones
- Shelve for Your Purposes on Goodreads
- Get "Freedom" From Distraction
- Capture Ideas with Evernote
- Make Your Desk Environment Work
- Use Children's Nonfiction for Research
- 7 Things a Writer Should Do at The Bookstore
- Use Amazon to Find Great Comp Titles
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