Where did our love go, follower #31?

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.

How did I end up in a love triangle (technically a triacontakaitrigon) with Sir Arthur and 31 others?

How did I end up in a love triangle triacontakaitrigon with Sir Arthur and 31 others? It’s his bedroom eyes, isn’t it?

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:

When this is the height of your fame, they don't even bother with your name, because who cares?

When this is the height of your fame, they don’t even bother with your name, because who cares?

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?


I have 12 Goodreads followers and I still have to do my own plundering. What’s up with that?

It’s been said in many places that Goodreads is not the easiest site to navigate. Be that as it may, I’ve been trying to get more involved in Goodreads as an author. I’ve done a few giveaways and I even broke down and added a photo to my author profile. It’s the same photo on the sidebar here, so don’t rush off to Goodreads excited that I might be any better looking there.

Going to Goodreads periodically to see how a giveaway is doing, there are things I don’t often notice. Today I saw something I hadn’t noticed before. Somehow, I magically have 12 followers on Goodreads. My first thought was, “Wow, that’s awesome! I’m getting so popular. Yay, Me!”

I’ve had one follower since the beginning. This is an author friend of mine who has a very supportive personality and does all kinds of sweet things for other authors, like giving them a follower of their very own. For the longest time, she was my sole follower. And I was fine with that.

A few months ago, I noticed I had picked up two more followers. I link to my other blog on Goodreads (as far as I know I can only link to one, and the other has a more general appeal). I think these two followers had liked posts from my blog on my Goodreads page. Each of my posts gets between zero and two Goodreads views. Honestly, I don’t know how they found me or my blog but it was nice to have followers, with an s.

Today, I was playing on my author dashboard when I happened to see faces of a dozen people boxed off to the side. And guess what? The label over their heads said they are my followers. 12 followers – an increase of like 400% over the three I knew about before. That’s gangbusters, right?

That’s when it hit me that I really don’t know what a Goodreads follower does. They certainly don’t bring me tea or plunder enemy villages at my command. Are they reading my books? All 12 of them? I doubt it. So who is this motley gang of people who are suddenly part of my literary life?

lonely tea party

I still have to pour my own tea. And with all the tea I drink, that eats up a good part of my day.

I did an online search for “Goodreads followers” but it didn’t shed any light on the purpose or activities of my new crew. I even clicked the follow button on my author friend’s page, which I’m ashamed to say I should have done years ago. But after becoming one of her followers, our relationship did not noticeably change. She has many followers so I’m not even sure she’ll notice I’ve joined their ranks.

My best guess is that my followers get some sort of notification about new blog posts. I think they are following my blog (via Goodreads) more than they are expressing some sort of personal devotion to me. I guess I can live with that. It was exciting for a minute to think I had my own band of disciples, but I’m used to getting my own tea, and I don’t really have any enemies with villages right now, so . . .