Last night the wife and I stayed up past our bedtime, for the sole purpose of making a literary quiz on Goodreads. No, I don’t know why either. Except that it’s the end of the week, the end of the year, it’s raining, everyone (but me) is on holiday…seems like a good time to comb the bookshelves for some literary treats.
It also seems to me that Goodreads quizzes are neglected babies. If you love reading, Goodreads is the site for you–it lets you track your reading and share reviews with friends and see what other people (including authors) say about titles you’re considering. It’s great, and pretty user-friendly. I use it to track my reading over the year–and can proudly say that I’ve read 65 books this year, with one more almost finished. Thanks, Goodreads!
But quizzes seem like something the Goodreads folks thought up and then sort of dropped. When you make a quiz you don’t seem to have options to add media, like pictures or links. You don’t get an obvious “share” link when you’re done, to push it to FB or Twitter or whatever. You do get an embed widget, which I’m using here–but you have to dig like a badger to find it. You have to manually tell Goodreads to notify you when people comment on the quiz, and while you get a ping in your notifications if someone likes it, the likes don’t show up anywhere others can see them. Star reviews do show up, but they’re mysterious–how many of them have been given? By whom? You also don’t get notified when people take the quiz, and you don’t get a badge or anything else you can use on the site to, you know, promote the quiz.
It’s no big stuff obviously–and I’m not an author desperately trying to promote a book or drive traffic to a blog or whatever–but it seems like a lot of missed opportunities are just sitting there, waiting to be grabbed. Book people like quizzes. We like them a lot. I can testify to that. I stayed up late last night typing last lines into boxes for no good reason. It was fun, an I may even do it again. But I’d sure love to see some more handles on that suitcase, for me to take it more places and show it off.
And Goodreads, feel free to use any of these ideas to improve your quizzes. Freely given! Just email me when they’re ready so I can try them out.
Last line number one: “I lingered round them, under that benign sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath, and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how anyone could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth. ”