Where Your Goodreads Reviews Go If You’re Not Paying Attention

Posted 2 June, 2011 by Amanda / 22 Comments

Today, I found a review that I had posted on Goodreads had been reposted onto Sony’s e-book store.  Not only was I unaware my review had been posted there, but I always include a link to my review on my book blog in my Goodreads review, and while most of the URL was there, it was text, not a link.  You can click on the Goodreads icon next to “my” review, which leads the clicker to the book’s Goodreads page, not my review (or anyone else’s review).  My first thought was, “WTF? Can Goodreads do that?”

Apparently, they can.  But, warning: if you’re not fluent in legalese, you’ll probably gloss right over the Terms of Service portion that talks about it, like I did.  However, you are able to opt out of sharing.  What I did not realize was that the default option is to allow Goodreads to share your reviews if your reviews are public.  So if you are like me, and don’t always pay attention to the oodles of privacy options, you may be unintentionally allowing Goodreads to share your reviews.

The good news is that this is easy to fix.  First, go to your My Account page: http://www.goodreads.com/user/edit.  The check box you are looking for is in the right hand column.  See it?  Was yours checked?  Mine was.  It isn’t now.

Filed under: Bibliobanter,

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22 Responses to “Where Your Goodreads Reviews Go If You’re Not Paying Attention”

  1. Felicia

    Such good info to have! Went to check mine and it was unchecked but I have to wonder how many reviews were shared before I did that (because I have no idea when I unchecked it)

    • Felicia, I ended up emailing Goodreads about the whole thing when I couldn’t find any information about it, and from the answer I got, it sounded like the reviews are removed from partner sites after you uncheck the box. I also asked if there was some way users could be reminded if they’ve opted to share (such as in the “your review has been saved” box that appears after submitting a review).

  2. Kyle

    While I agree that it should have been more obvious that they would do something like that, I’m not sure I understand. Why wouldn’t you want your reviews to be published in more locations? By having it in Sony’s e-book store (and other possible Goodreads partner sites), don’t you increase your chances of getting more viewers to your blog? Or did I read it wrong?

    • You read it wrong. There was NO link back to my Goodreads review, nor was the link to my blog active (and it wasn’t a complete link, so you can’t copy and paste it in the address bar). While yes, it is good to get my reviews published in more than one location, allowing places like Goodreads or Amazon to publish and republish my reviews means that I lose the right to say where my review goes, how much of it is included wherever they republish it, and I may not get any credit other than my name, which – if my name is “Amanda” – isn’t really much credit at all on the Internet.

  3. Yeah, even being fluent in legalese doesn’t guarantee much :) Can I count this as my third language? Ha!

    Glad you found a fix though!

    • I am pretty sure legalese can be counted as a foreign language. You can run readability tests on texts, and legalese is the densest and most difficult kind of language to read.

  4. As someone with a hubby who happens to be an attorney, I still don’t get all the legalese. Definitely another language and that’s what they told him in school as well, that he was learning a new language. lol

    But seriously…thank you! This is fantastic information! I’m going to check out Library Thing, Amazon, B & N and the other places just in case. Thanks!