Tutorial – Using Goodreads Listopia to Your Advantage

This week’s Tuesday Tutorial is written by our own Melissa Pearl. Thank you, Melissa!

For those of you who haven’t spent much time on Goodreads, it is an amazing site. I love it. There are some fantastic features that benefit both authors and readers.

From a reading point of view, adding books to my “TO READ” list, totally rocks. It’s such an easy way to keep track of all those books I want to read.

Goodreads EXPLORE!Another feature that is really beneficial to both the reader and writer is LISTOPIA. You can find this by looking at the top of any page (if you’re logged in). You will see EXPLORE with a drop down menu. Listopia is first on the list.

This then takes you to a page where you can search for specific lists or see which ones are recommended based on your personal preferences (the types of books you’ve rated highly). Here is a direct link to the most popular lists.

Most people glance at the Top 10 – 20. This no doubt sparks reading ideas and multiple books are added to people’s “TO READ” lists.

This is where Listopia is completely brilliant for authors. Getting on one of these lists is simple. You can either Create Your Own List or you can find a list that suits your book and ask someone to add your book to it. Continue reading “Tutorial – Using Goodreads Listopia to Your Advantage”

Baby Got Backstory (Part 1)

Backstory presents a challenge to a lot of writers. Not the writing of it. We’re pretty good at that. We can dream up plenty of history about the guy down the street who likes to wear pink, patent leather go-go boots to water his azaleas. Trouble is, some writers don’t know when to stop, or where and how to work it into the story.

There are no hard and fast rules about backstory; like most things in writing, it depends. Readers need to know enough to become invested in the story, but not so much that they get distracted from the action. Some genres need more than others. If you build worlds from scratch, you probably need to provide more explanation than those of us who set their stories on Earth as we know it. You may need to tell the reader that there are two suns, six moons, and seven species of sentient beings on your fictional planet because the rest of the universe exploded, leaving only these survivors, who all speak different languages and would hate each other even if they could communicate. Readers of fantasy and science fiction probably expect a certain amount of backstory.

In other types of fiction, particularly contemporary, less is more, and in all types, how you use it matters. Continue reading “Baby Got Backstory (Part 1)”