I was hoping, in time, to put up a copy of Haraclix & Pomp as a giveaway book on Booklikes. So, being curious, I went to the Giveaways page, entered one myself (that book of chocolate recipes was too tempting to pass by), and started poking around. Of course, if I'm giving a book away, I hope to get it in the hands of a reader who will appreciate it and maybe even review it. So I picked two books at random, an e-book and a hardcover, to see what kinds of readers here at Booklikes sign up for giveaways.
I have a lot of outstanding book-lover friends here, many of us GR refugees (or at least vacationers). I thought I'd peek in to see lots of other book lovers that I don't currently know, all eager for the chance to be that person who is lucky enough to win their desired book (did I mention that chocolate book?).
Alas, I walked into a ghost town.
The first giveaway, for an eBook, had 45 people signed up to win. As I started to look at profiles, I noticed a pattern: many of these "people" had no blog entries, very few followers, and, most disturbing of all, zero books on their shelves. Zero. In fact, only two out of forty-five users had one or more books on their shelves. Two.
Now, I don't know about you, but, in my eyes, a book lover on a book lovers' site who has no books is an awful lot like a ghost, bereft of life, bemoaning its continued existence somewhere between life and the pallor of death. The buildings were there, but the living were well outnumbered by the dead.
Strange, I thought. So I next looked at the hardcover, for which there were ninety-four people signed up, hoping for signs of life. Here, things were a little more lively. A little over 10% of the inhabitants were still alive.
Still, that's pretty darned disappointing.
So I'd love to know, where have all these ghosts come from? Are they coming from the ranks of self-promoters who want to make it seem like there's more interest in their books than there really is? Or are these simple freeloaders who sign up for an account just to win books? Or (and I think and hope this is dfalse, but the possibility must be raised) does the Booklikes team need to show continued growth to please investors, so these fake accounts are made up to give a semblence of life where there is none, in the Giveaways section? Or is it that the vast majority of people on Booklikes simply don't know how to add books to their shelves? Not likely, but another possibility.
So where do these ghosts come from? More importantly, what can the Booklikes team do to return this ghoulish graveyard back to the living?