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I've used the site for the last bunch of years to keep track of series -- proper order and how far along I am in reading. I've popped in several times over the last week to update. This morning, there's this message:


We recently lost our primary source of income, Amazon Associate sales. Due to a minor error on our part, we unknowingly had in infraction of their terms. We tried to appeal after we corrected the issue, but was not successful and they terminated our account. Over the years, we have had donations from our wonderful supporters, but it is not enough to cover our operating costs. We are extremely sad to have to close down the site after almost 10 years. Thank you for all your support over the years!!

Please login to download your book data as a CSV file before July 1, 2019.


Unfortunately, while I'm perhaps inclined to be sympathetic, I'm mostly annoyed that they gave no warning to the folks who'd been using it. As I said, I've been on the site several times in the past week and there was NOTHING to indicate that there was anything wrong. Further, the word 'login' in the text above, as displayed on the site, is a link which does take you to a log in page. But when you try to do so, nothing happens. I'll check again over the next few days in case it's a transition issue, but mostly I just think they've handled the problem badly.

Will have to check into what Goodreads has as far as tracking series, I guess.

quick llink to new post about the new site: https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,311929.msg3927013.html#msg3927013
 

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If a series has been set up on Goodreads, you can click on the series name (for example, the Jessie Cole series by T R Ragan. Then it will show you a list of the books and their status on your shelves. Here's how the series shows when I look at it in my web browser on my iPad.

 

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On the plus side, I just checked again and the log in worked and allowed me to download a spreadsheet with all the data in raw form. Pretty cumbersome but at least I'll be able to figure out what series I was following. And probably can work it around to a more useful format for myself.

Still p*sses me off, though, that there was ZERO warning at the website.

With knowledge at least of the series I should be able to keep track via GR ... I did find where it does have some series available; my problem was not remembering all the ones I'd theoretically been following! :)
 

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This is disappointing to say the least. I've been using this for some years - in fact it was Ann who recommended it to me and it's been a real help in keeping track of my series.

Like Ann, I've been using it this week and in fact I still had a window open on my PC with my entire profile showing. When I read Ann's post I quickly copied everything on screen before I refreshed it and got the message. Luckily I was also able to login and get the spreadsheet file.

Only the other day I submitted a new series to them and I wondered why it was taking so long to be processed and now I know the reason why. As Ann says, zero warning.

I'm not a fan of GR so if anyone finds a similar site out there like FictFact, please let us know.
 

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I didn't have much use for Goodreads early on.  But now that it will automatically note which books I'm reading and which I've finished, I find it much more useful.  It's also gotten less cumbersome to use, though still not great, at least on the iPad app, which is how I primarily use it.)

EDIT:  It looks like you can follow an author but not a series...I've not followed an author on GR before, not sure what info one gets.  I've followed TR Ragan so I can see what happens.

Last update said I could load in my Amazon books...which I thought I could already do, so I haven't checked that yet.

Betsy
 

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It sounds like they had problems, tried/hoped to fix things, ran out of money, and had to close -- even if rather suddenly (I've seen the same thing happen even to B&M stores! no (or at least little widely-public/noticeable) warning, just one day you hear about it or go over & *poof!* no store!

I'm just wondering how many FF users now upset & complaining (whether or not it's here, not aiming this at **anyone**) have $-supported the site over the years.
(standing back w/ flak-jacket & helmet on). I've looked at FF but not ever gotten into it; I do follow some other ad+donor-supported sites and donate to those that I find useful.

I guess I'm (semi-)old-school, I keep a (computer) notebook about any authors/series/whatevers that I'm interested in tracking. Especially useful that way since I can add any notes about content & sources, how/when/where/$ obtained, other options, etc.
 

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It's a good point but I've donated to FictFact in the past so I have a clear conscience in that regard.

Having said that, surely if they thought they had enough users to support the site, they would have asked how many were willing to pay a subscription to keep it going so they could find out if it was a viable option. For whatever reason, they don't seem to have tried that.
 

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Betsy the Quilter said:
I didn't have much use for Goodreads early on. But now that it will automatically note which books I'm reading and which I've finished, I find it much more useful. It's also gotten less cumbersome to use, though still not great, at least on the iPad app, which is how I primarily use it.)

EDIT: It looks like you can follow an author but not a series...I've not followed an author on GR before, not sure what info one gets. I've followed TR Ragan so I can see what happens.

Last update said I could load in my Amazon books...which I thought I could already do, so I haven't checked that yet.

Betsy
Yes ... GR would be better if you could follow specific series, and not just authors. Besides, I think when you follow 'authors' it means they'll contact you with promos and stuff. I'm not sure I want that. I just want to know when new books come out in series I read. Fictfact was great at that ... really barebones and not much at all in the way of 'community'. Just a good way to keep a database.

Fogeydc said:
It sounds like they had problems, tried/hoped to fix things, ran out of money, and had to close -- even if rather suddenly (I've seen the same thing happen even to B&M stores! no (or at least little widely-public/noticeable) warning, just one day you hear about it or go over & *poof!* no store!

I'm just wondering how many FF users now upset & complaining (whether or not it's here, not aiming this at **anyone**) have $-supported the site over the years.
(standing back w/ flak-jacket & helmet on). I've looked at FF but not ever gotten into it; I do follow some other ad+donor-supported sites and donate to those that I find useful.

I guess I'm (semi-)old-school, I keep a (computer) notebook about any authors/series/whatevers that I'm interested in tracking. Especially useful that way since I can add any notes about content & sources, how/when/where/$ obtained, other options, etc.
I never sent money, but my conscience is still clear. :) I have clicked through to Amazon from there frequently. But, frankly, that's beside the point. My issue isn't that they had to shut down, it's that they did it with no warning whatsoever. At least it does seem that the data is still available for the next month or so.

Linjeakel said:
It's a good point but I've donated to FictFact in the past so I have a clear conscience in that regard.

Having said that, surely if they thought they had enough users to support the site, they would have asked how many were willing to pay a subscription to keep it going so they could find out if it was a viable option. For whatever reason, they don't seem to have tried that.
Yes! If I'd had advance warning, and that option had been offered, I would have considered it as I found the site very useful. I'm thinking that, really, though, there wasn't much traffic -- as I said, there was nothing in the way of community discussions or anything, and I don't even think they hosted any ads. (I certainly don't remember seeing any, but I often use an adblocker.) But, really, the site hadn't been updated at all the whole time I used it, which was probably around 10 years. I know it was one of the first sites I started using not too long after I got my Kindle.

But even if there were ads to generate revenue, I suspect it's also the case that visits/users were way way down. GR has gotten popular -- has better discussion/community features -- and it's likely a lot of folks don't want to bother to keep track of things on two sites.
 

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Playing around on the GR site a bit, it's not straightforward how to find authors to follow. You pretty much have to know you want to, then have to find a listing for one of their books and then click the author name. Then you can follow them. Even if you don't it looks like it does provide a listing of books, and also shows what series they have. I looked up an author who I know has more than one series and, sure enough, they're both listed on the author page. Followed a couple .... will see if I get bombarded with promos. :-\
 

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Ann in Arlington said:
Yes ... GR would be better if you could follow specific series, and not just authors. Besides, I think when you follow 'authors' it means they'll contact you with promos and stuff.
I'll let you know! I think there are "Goodreads Authors" and just Authors. TR Ragan, the author of the series I mentioned earlier, is a "Goodreads Author." For Louise Penny, it just says "Follow Author." Can't imagine Louise Penny contacting me often.

Betsy
 

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Ann in Arlington said:
Playing around on the GR site a bit, it's not straightforward how to find authors to follow. You pretty much have to know you want to...
I kind of assumed that's how you used FactFict. (Never having used it myself.). I expected that when you found a series you liked, you went to FactFict, searched for it and then clicked "follow" or something. Did you browse there looking for books?

...then have to find a listing for one of their books and then click the author name. Then you can follow them. Even if you don't it looks like it does provide a listing of books, and also shows what series they have. I looked up an author who I know has more than one series and, sure enough, they're both listed on the author page. Followed a couple .... will see if I get bombarded with promos. :-\
I did a search for "In Death Series" on GR, then clicked on the author name. Also searched by the author name. Wasn't difficult. That seems pretty much how one would do it on any site? Again, I don't recall ever using FactFict more than maybe once, years ago, so I really have no idea how it worked.

I also signed up for a couple of authors. We'll see. We should also send a request into GR to allow us to follow series.

Betsy
 

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Betsy the Quilter said:
I'll let you know! I think there are "Goodreads Authors" and just Authors. TR Ragan, the author of the series I mentioned earlier, is a "Goodreads Author." For Louise Penny, it just says "Follow Author." Can't imagine Louise Penny contacting me often.

Betsy
I'm already on Louise Penny's email list. :) She's the only author whose newsletter I've ever signed up for and I actually very much enjoy them.

Betsy the Quilter said:
I kind of assumed that's how you used FactFict. (Never having used it myself.). I expected that when you found a series you liked, you went to FactFict, searched for it and then clicked "follow" or something. Did you browse there looking for books?

I did a search for "In Death Series" on GR, then clicked on the author name. Also searched by the author name. Wasn't difficult. That seems pretty much how one would do it on any site? Again, I don't recall ever using FactFict more than maybe once, years ago, so I really have no idea how it worked.

I also signed up for a couple of authors. We'll see. We should also send a request into GR to allow us to follow series.

Betsy
Well, yeah. But it just seems like it was fewer steps. Like, on Fictfact you could search for the author by name and go directly to their page and see their series. On GR, you get a list of their books, but have to pick one and then link to the author page. Unless I'm missing something. Not that big a deal, though.

One of the problems with searching by series names (or authors or book titles, really) is that if you don't have it exact you might not get any results, or get irrelevant results. Gotta be sure you're spelling names correctly -- it's not as good as Amazon or Google at figuring out what you meant to type. :D (But, neither was Fictfact.)
 

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In the absence of any other ideas at the moment I'm taking another look at GR.

I don't want to record all my books there, just series so I know where I am with them. So I've been setting up various series I follow as individual shelves and marking the books as read or next or want to read. It's a lot more long winded than FF and there's no way to add tags like you could there - you have to create a shelf for everything.

I'm following the authors in the hope I'll get notified when a new book comes out - is that how it works? I've had to bookmark my 'authors I'm following' page as there's no shortcut that I can see to get to it - you have to go an author page and click the arrow by the follow box and the option is in the drop down menu - a bit of a palava to say the least.

It's not ideal and nowhere near as good as FF - at least not for this purpose. One series I'm following, half the books were listed under the author's pen name he uses for the series and the rest under his real name.

I just finished the book I was reading and wanted to pick the next one - the first thing I would normally do is go to FF and see what was next on any of my series and without that option I was a little bit lost.  :'(
 

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Linjeakel said:
In the absence of any other ideas at the moment I'm taking another look at GR.

I don't want to record all my books there, just series so I know where I am with them. So I've been setting up various series I follow as individual shelves and marking the books as read or next or want to read. It's a lot more long winded than FF and there's no way to add tags like you could there - you have to create a shelf for everything.

I'm following the authors in the hope I'll get notified when a new book comes out - is that how it works? I've had to bookmark my 'authors I'm following' page as there's no shortcut that I can see to get to it - you have to go an author page and click the arrow by the follow box and the option is in the drop down menu - a bit of a palava to say the least.

It's not ideal and nowhere near as good as FF - at least not for this purpose. One series I'm following, half the books were listed under the author's pen name he uses for the series and the rest under his real name.

I just finished the book I was reading and wanted to pick the next one - the first thing I would normally do is go to FF and see what was next on any of my series and without that option I was a little bit lost. :'(
What I do with GR is mostly rate and review what I read. I'm thinking I'll take the basic spreadsheet I got from FF and adapt it for my own use -- though I've not yet figured out the best way. Most of the authors I really care about, I 'follow' on Amazon so hear when there are new books anyway. But, yeah, FF was GREAT for just seeing "what's next". Easier than either Amazon or GR.
 

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This is really disappointing. I am upset quite frankly. I use goodreads already extensively. But I also used fictfact extensively. They work very differently for me. Fictfact is strictly for following series. And it was nice to see in one tab how far you were in each series you follow, seeing the new releases in each series coming up and also which one you finished. More like a record of were you are at in all series then tracking what you read like on goodreads. There is nothing like it on goodreads to substitute for those particular functions.

I did donate each year to them. Wasn't required so I don't put blame on anyone really. In the past I am sure they got revenue from associates. I just had no idea it was going away.

I don't really know what to do with a CSV file. I think I tried one of those before, might have been goodreads? All it was was a total mixed up thing with words all over the place and not sorted. Someone said I had to fix some formatting in the thingie and I just went huh? So what good is that for me.  :(
 

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This is what I mean. Its what I get when I open that file. Its just a bunch of numbers letters in different columns making no sense. I have no clue what I am suppose to do with this to make it readable. I wish I had known and i would have at least taken screen shots of my lists. Would have taken a while, but at least I could read those. here is a screenshot of the mess. There are many more columns scrollling the the right and they all look like this. :mad:
I been using the site for years and now all of that is gone. Just gone.

 

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Yeah .... there are a lot of columns and it's not particularly clear what each one refers to. I haven't gotten the energy yet to start playing with it much.
 

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One thing I've noticed with the spreadsheet is that it only includes series you've started - actually read at least one book. I had a load of series on there for which I have the first book but hadn't actually started. None of those are included. Luckily I read Ann's post on here and had a browser tab open from the previous day showing all my series and was able to copy and paste the whole list.

The other thing I can't see on the spreadsheet are the series tags. There's a column labelled series tags but nothing in it! Tags are the one thing that's missing on GR. You have to put everything on a 'shelf' for any aspect you want to sort it by.

I'm trying it out by putting all my series on seperate shelves and adding to the 'exclusive' shelves one for 'next read' so I can see at a glance which are the next books to read - so each book on any given series shelf is also either on the read, next to read or want to read shelves.

It's a lot clumsier than FF and the results aren't as simple to read, but then GR isn't really designed specifically to keep track of series as FF was. I have no need or desire for the rating, reviewing and social aspects of GR.

Like everyone else, I feel the most irritating part of this was the lack of notice that would have enabled us to retrieve the information in a way that would have been far more comprehensive and helpful.
 
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