Bookfessional: My Trip to Goodreads (@jessicadhaluska, @goodreads, @gailcarriger)

Posted October 19, 2016 by Jessica in Jessica, Miscellaneous / 33 Comments

Bookfessional: My Trip to Goodreads

A couple of months ago, I received an email inviting me to the second annual Goodreads Power User Summit. Airfare, hotel accommodations, and meals would all be covered by the good people at Goodreads.

Sounds like a scam, doesn’t it?

I would’ve thought so too, but I know people who went last year, so I was more optimistic, and good on me for that, b/c it was completely legit.

I know this b/c I spent last Friday in the Goodreads’ San Francisco office.

*throws confetti in the air* *moonwalks* *booty shakes*

But before I get to that, let me tell you about the hotel they put us up in . . . Prior to getting there, I didn’t think much of it. I was fairly confident they wouldn’t put us in a dive, but all I saw in my “final details” email was that I was staying at Hotel Rex.

Should I have looked it up beforehand? Probably. Not doing so could even be considered irresponsible, but whatever, I didn’t. *shrugs awkwardly*

So it was a complete surprise when I arrived and looked past the front desk into the LIBRARY BAR. B/c of course Goodreads would send us to a hotel with shelves and shelves of books (and alcohol). They’re classy that way. *tips hat*

And it was the perfect way to end a day of eight hours worth of flight delays. A glass of sauvignon blanc and a bowl of mac-&-cheese can fix just about anything.

Moving on . . .

I can’t tell you the specifics of what we talked about at the office, b/c I signed an NDA, but I can say that we primarily gave feedback about how we thought Goodreads could be improved.

To better facilitate this, we were split into four groups, based on our primary use of the site: librarians, moderators, reviewers, and . . . wait for it . . . AUTHORS.

This was the first year authors were invited to attend, a fact I learned when I realized I was sharing an elevator with GAIL-friggin’-CARRIGER. Who, YES, really does look that fabulous in person, FYI.

Other authors in attendance were Susan Ee, Jason R. Koivu, and Ayelet Waldman.

And while we spent a significant portion of the day with our individual groups, there were many opportunities to co-mingle with everyone, Goodreads employees included. Like the taco bar lunch I shared with fellow reviewers Dan and Bill and author Jason where we were joined by Otis Chandler (CO-FOUNDER of Goodreads).

Oh yeah . . . That happened.

The next time the whole gang got together, we were given personalized (Goodreads) gift bags, each including a book from our want-to-read bookshelf, signed with messages of welcome by what I can only assume was the entire staff at the San Francisco office, plus a few imports who were there for the summit, and also a mug that catered to our individual interests—books and cats for me. πŸ˜€


Then came the Happy Hour that begin with a raid of a table covered in stacks of ARCs, and progressed into many conversations with Goodreads users and employees alike, including how one of my fellow reviewers came to have a bionic ankle and how thoroughly disappointed one of our hosts was with HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, but how riddikulously cool it was to see it live in London. I learned that I had all kinds of things in common with the other Goodreads guests: Lori from TNBBC and I both hit the same NIN/David Bowie tour when we were in high school, and Steph from SOS and I had just met two weeks ago at NOLA StoryCon.

After that they fed us again, this time in a restaurant, before ensuring we returned to the hotel safely, where librarian Melanie and I (and many other drop-ins, including the amazing Susan Ee) shut the (LIBRARY) bar down (I’ve always wanted to say that) with Gail Carriger. Who is awesome. And tells great stories. Seriously, if you ever meet her, ask her to explain tea dueling. You will roll with laughter.

Saturday most of us made our way back to our homes, so we said our goodbyes Friday night, but by midafternoon Sunday, I was Goodreads friends with all the awesome people I’d met, and I already have plans in place to keep in contact with many of them.

Basically, the entire experience was EPIC, and I’m so, so glad I had the opportunity to attend. Goodreads rocks, y’all.

Jessica Signature

My name is Jessica and I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m trying my hand at writing, but mostly I read. My favorite genres are Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and the YA versions of those genres, but if there is a book of a different color getting lots of buzz, I’ll read it too, just to be informed. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably on Goodreads or Pinterest or baking blueberry pies because I love them.



33 responses to “Bookfessional: My Trip to Goodreads (@jessicadhaluska, @goodreads, @gailcarriger)

  1. Wow! That is so cool! I had no idea they did this – but it sounds like they select a pretty small group (considering the # of goodreads users is probably gigantic). Did they ever tell you what put you on their list? I’m curious if it’s about use of their groups, books read, years of use, etc it certainly wouldn’t be random for them to get the types of users they did. So cool, glad you had fun!
    Berls recently posted…A Hectic Christmas! MacKenzie Family Christmas #review

    • Yeah, it was pretty small. There were around 20 of us, and no, I have no idea how I was chosen. I mean, I know it had something to do with consistently being on the best reviewers list, but I don’t know why they picked me instead of one of the others who are also regulars on the list. Just lucky, I guess. πŸ˜€ I think there were separate criteria for the individual categories we were selected for though . . .

  2. That sounds really cool, and I’m kind of a little bit jealous… Who are the power users? the 1%, or an even smaller percentage?? I would definitely have flown to SanFran for a day if I had been invited πŸ˜€
    I’m glad you had such a great time, and the hotel must have been so cool *sighs* a library bar… When I retire, I plan on starting a coffee house / library, where people can come drink coffee and tea (and wine!!) and read books, chat and just hang out… I also plan on winning the lottery before I retire, so that I don’t have to try to make money πŸ˜€
    Thanks for sharing, Jessica!
    Lexxie recently posted…Review: Sweet Ruin – Kresley Cole

    • I don’t know, Lexxie. I did get that email they sent out to the top 1%, so that’s probably a part of the equation. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, they’re just picking people who are already state side. But who knows? Last year there were no authors, maybe next year they’ll expand the pool. πŸ˜‰

      Duuuuuude, the hotel was EPIC. And that’s an excellent plan for retirement, with or without winning the lottery—sounds like a money maker to me!

  3. Wow. That was a great invitation. It is nice to have input from so many perspectives on a website we all use so much. I hope we see some of your suggested improvements.

  4. I’m glad you had an awesome trip inspite of the stupid flight delays! So cool you got to meet some awesome authors too, I’d love to meet Gail Carriger.

    Now I’m going to keep hoping that they implement whatever changes you suggested. Most of the updates they’ve done recently have all made the site harder to use and less fun to hang out on so I’m thinking ANY suggestions they get from power users can only make it better. I miss the old goodreads so fingers bloody crossed lol

    • You know what? Flight delays are no big when you’ve got a LIBRARY BAR waiting at the end of it. And YES, you would love to meet Gail Carriger, b/c AWESOME. πŸ˜€

      I miss the old Goodreads too, but I’m looking forward to a lot of the changes they have planned. *crosses fingers*

  5. Cristina  

    I’m so excited you got to go!!!

    1. That hotel looks beyond fabulous!!! I want to have an adult beverage at a library bar!!! *raises hand*
    2. I can’t believe you met Otis Chandler!!! *throws confetti in the air*
    3. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand you SHUT THE BAR DOWN!!!

    I seriously could not be any more excited for you than I am right now! β™₯

    • Me tooooooo!

      1. EVERYONE should want to have an adult beverage at a library bar.
      2. I know, RIGHT?! *fangirls*
      3. I did, I DID shut the bar down! With GAIL CARRIGER!!!

      *hugs* That’s b/c you’re the BEST. πŸ˜€

  6. StephB  

    Great recap! What a blast it was meeting everyone and so fun seeing you AGAIN! Seriously, STOP FOLLOWING ME! hehe JK! It was fun meeting you in NOLA and a hoot seeing you at Goodreads’ summit.