I lost a Goodreads follower. Even though I’ve never been quite sure what the relationship between Goodreads authors and their followers is supposed to be, I feel a little sad about this. Sure, I didn’t really know that person; but I still feel rejected. The disappearance of their tiny thumbnail image from my Author Dashboard leaves a little, square hole in my life.
As far as I can tell Goodreads followers see pretty much the same side of you as Goodreads friends do, except they are not necessarily people you know.
For the longest time, I had one follower. Then, one day, I noticed I had a dozen. From there my group slowly grew until I had 31 followers. How I got this many followers I don’t know, but I naturally chalked it up to my snowballing popularity. Who knows? Someday I might hit 40, and from there the sky’s the limit.
Yesterday I noticed my followers numbered only 30. Somebody made the conscious decision to stop following me, and like a jilted lover, a part of me longs to know why. Why did you leave me? What could I have done differently to keep your love? – or in this case, your passing interest.
I don’t think I did anything offensive. I did rate The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle with four stars. Was that not enough stars? Too many? Now, I fear I’ll never know what drove my 31st follower away.
Aside from the personal rejection, I’m left to contemplate what this contraction means for my long, but mostly secret career as a writer. Has my popularity peaked? Did 31 followers represent the Golden Age of my appeal? Will they all begin to trickle away now, leaving me clutching at withered laurels as I struggle to regain my renown? I can see it on my headstone:
I suppose I’ll never know why I was kicked to the curb. I’m left to piece together speculative theories. The most plausible is that one of the 18-26 people who are following me by accident, ever since they clicked the button next to the button they intended to click, took the unlikely step of auditing the list of authors they are following. Finding no justification for my name on their list, they took immediate corrective action, this time taking care about who they unclicked.
Either that or one of the 6-12 people who followed me as a lark during a carefree, and possibly drunken, moment of web surfing, decided to begin taking their online decisions more seriously and eliminate all their irresponsible Internet relationships.
Either way, it was clearly a mistake. It has now been fixed. Follower 31 and I have gone our separate ways. It’s probably best for everyone involved, with the exception of me. What happens when the other 30 get word that there is a way out of this mess?