So, the Goodreads event didn’t go nearly as well as the Indiegogo campaign. I sent out 234 invitations in my Goodreads friends list, and most didn’t answer. I got 11 yays to 4 nays, and 1 maybe. But the thing is, roughly half of the yays came from Twitter promotions. (What a shock, Twitter coming through again like that.) So, not really having much luck using Goodreads as a social hub for meeting readers. Of course, I might have had more response on Twitter if the event ran longer, but the point wasn’t to attract Twitter peeps. I wanted to see if my current Goodreads friends would be willing to try my stuff if they knew they could have any book for free. (As opposed to only offering a single book in one genre and maybe missing out on a few more potential readers for an older title.) The answer there is a silent rejection. Kinda like what I get with publishers and agents, really. Boh.
I haven’t had much luck doing anything social on Goodreads. I visit groups, but don’t want to read the books they’re buying for monthly discussions, and I don’t see a point to promoting in these groups when most self-promotion seems to be ignored. About the only thing I get out of Goodreads is, it helps me keep track of what I’ve read, and what’s in my TBR pile. I don’t really mind that, because that’s why I joined Goodreads. Not to promote my stuff, but just to keep track of my books and tell the difference between print copies and ebooks. So I don’t really mind that the promotion failed.
I DID join Wattpad to find readers, and I’m seeing traffic on all the stories I post there. Maybe not enough to climb the ranks to the top 10, or even the top 100, but certainly not so few that I’d give up on the site. I think I could pick up a few more as I post new chapters, and it’s still too early to decide if this is a success or not. So…yeah.
I have found a number of stories that I want to read on Wattpad, and my read later list is growing with stories that sound interesting to me. So I’m not just peddling my crap and walking away. I’m finding stuff to interest me and give me a reason to hang out and see what the other writers are up to. The story I’m currently reading and loving is Windswept by Gwen Cole. The paranormal angle concerns people who are “drifters,” and they have the ability to teleport anywhere they want. The story so far has kept me turning pages, and although I think I know a major plot point in advance, I’m enjoying the characters so much that I don’t mind feeling like I’ve guessed where part of the story is going.
One thing that’s turning me on? Parents who act like parents. This impression is made with little details dropped at just the right moment, like when Sam says she’s going upstairs to finish the homework she never started, and her mom smiles and asks, “You mean start your homework?” It’s only a single line, but it conveys an awareness of her child’s habits, and it’s a little good natured ribbing that feels very mom-like. In another chapter, the mom is thinking to go on a trip with her hubby to Australia for the weekend, but before she goes, she asks Sam if she will be okay on her own for the weekend. She’s noticed that Sam is feeling antsy recently, and she doesn’t want to go away if her daughter needs her. Sam tells her to go and lies about why she’s antsy, and both of these things feel realistic and believable.
I can’t tell you how many times I roll my eyes while reading YA stories where it feels like either the parents are non-entities shoehorned into the tale without having any role in their kids’ lives, or the teen’s actions are unbelievably stupid or just plain unrealistic. When teens act horridly stupid in some YA stories, it makes me feel like the writer hates teenagers, and is only writing the book to exploit the market. And that shit pisses me off. So seeing this book play both the adults and the teens straight, it really makes me happy to see an example of great YA that doesn’t insult my intelligence or make the characters feel dumbed down just for the sake of maintaining a PG-13 rating. Good stuff, in other words.
In other news, for as much as I’m enjoying the graphics in Gravity Rush, I’m not liking the combat because of the lack of a lock-on button. I’m sorry to say that the majority of reviewers were right, and this game suffers a lot when it forces players into the same old “defeat all the monsters to advance to the next arena” cliché. The game is so much fun when I’m flying around and exploring areas for items. Even fighting the lower-level Nevi isn’t so bad, but the boss fights are nothing short of infuriating. Just like the reviewers said, this is a great game with a unique concept that suffers when it forces you to to stick to the path using the same tired themes that have been done to death by games with much smoother combat systems. This would be more forgivable if there were a way to lock onto enemies, but sometimes the bosses are aggravating because they move in such a way that instead of hitting your target, you fly though their body, out the other side, and 1 Km away from the fight before you can stop to reorient yourself. (Usually getting shot in the back by what seems like homing missiles in the process, of course.) So what I’m saying is, while I love exploring the game world, I also hate some of the core decisions the game makers made about the combat aspects. So I suspect this will bring down my score from a glowing 5 to a 4, possibly even a 3.5.
Aaaaand that’s my update. Still no sign of the muse, so for now, I’m gardening and goofing off to pass the time. I hope to have news of her return soon. But if not, fuck that bitch. She’s a fucking stuck up diva who won’t even let me make honest criticisms about her ideas. So if she wants to stomp off to Tahiti because I thought her werewolf story needed more tension, I don’t care. I’ve got better things to do than put up with her speshul snowflake ass. (Still feels weird to talk like this about a piece of my own psyche, but oh well.)