Goodreads are deleting books along with reviews of short stories that appear on magazine websites or in anthologies.[screenshot 1] [screenshot 2]
For some reason this doesn’t affect stories published on authors’ websites or Tor.com shorts, but at least two of my reviews have been deleted, for the 2014 Hugo Award winning Selkie Stories Are for Losers by Sofia Samatar published by Strange Horizons and Hugo nominated If you were a dinosaur, my love by Rachel Swirsky published by Apex Magazine, although it’s also available as an audio download. I actually received these stories in multiple formats as part of my LonCon3 Hugo Voter Pack.
I’m honestly struggling with the reasoning behind these deletions. What’s the difference between an author and a magazine publishing a free story online via their own websites? Why is one legitimate and the other not? I could understand if the story was only available in a print magazine, but online? This is splitting hairs.
Goodreads has yet again failed to email the review text to their owners upon deletion. I’ve received no notification whatsoever. I’m lucky that I’ve posted those reviews here on my blog and on Leafmarks. I feel sorry for GR members who haven’t backed up their data, either by exporting a .csv or duplicating reviews elsewhere. Then again, how will they know? Unless users frequent Goodreads Feedback and/or Librarian groups or keep a close eye on their stats, members will be oblivious.
My Goodreads account is no longer an accurate reflection of what I’ve read and when. This is the first time my reviews have been deleted. I suppose it was only a matter of time.
In other news…
About a month ago, Linda Hilton was banned from Goodreads. I didn’t post about this before because I was unable to express my anger in sentences that didn’t entirely consist of expletives. Linda was a valuable member of Goodreads, often doing GR staff’s work for them. As many have said, she should’ve been hired by Goodreads rather than banned. It made no sense. It still doesn’t.
Linda was a voice of reason on many threads in the Goodreads Feedback group. Like others, I valued her contributions, not just in conversation, but in the hundreds of manhours she voluntarily spent trying to clean up Goodreads: sniffing out fake paid for reviews, spammers, sock puppets and trolls. You could say she was the Goodreads Sheriff of Authorial Crime. Although she’s still posting on BookLikes, she’ll be sorely missed at Goodreads.