Always Learning. Always Writing.
RSS icon Home icon
  • Goodreads for Authors

    Posted on March 27th, 2012 jean 4 comments

    Over a week ago week a bunch of us had an informal chat on AgentQueryConnect about the social reading site, Goodreads, and what it can do for authors.

    Earlier in that week I had read a piece claiming that most readers find the books they read on Goodreads and not on Twitter or Facebook. Granted, this information was accumulated over on Goodreads so those results may be a little skewed. Either way, it shows something I’ve wondered about for some time. Twitter and Facebook are great ways to connect with your audience on a different level as well as network with other industry experts. But showing off your book? Not so much. It’s hard to market your book in 140 characters or less without being so obvious that it lacks intrigue and turns people off. Still, it is another place to create a touch point (more on that later).

    Where Readers Find Books Bar Graph via Goodreads

    Source: Goodreads

    In the chat we also talked about things such as lists. Lists on Goodreads are big. Lists of YA books coming out in 2013, Best Summer Reads, or what-not. Getting on one of those lists can be huge in terms of getting your book in front of your audience. You, however, should not put yourself on a list as that just looks bad–and people can see who put a book on a list. Asking someone else to add your book to a list–providing they are comfortable with it–is perfectly fine.

    Giveaways! There are tons of giveaways going on all over Goodreads. Often there will be literally hundreds of people asking for a handful of copies. Why? Because it is so easy! You just click and you are entered to win. Authors, ask yourself… for the price of a couple of copies, how many people are being exposed to your title? (Rumour is that a person must see/hear/read about your title up to 7 times before they pick it up!! Every touch point counts!)

    Connect with your competition’s audience. Find them. Woo them. But don’t be a you-know-what about it. Learn what they like to read. Use that information in your marketing.

    The author’s dashboard. When you become a Goodreads “author” instead of average joe, suddenly you get a fancy dashboard in your account. People can become fans, you can see all reviews for your books, see what lists your books are on, and much more. It sounds pretty cool.

    Speaking of reviews, it came up in the chat that reviewers on Goodreads can be downright mean. And a few authors have gotten slammed. We’re not just talking 1 star which means “did not like it.” (Get over it, your book isn’t going to be for everyone! And sometimes 1 star reviews can entice people to read your book and see if they are right.) But we’re talking nasty-a$$ed comments that get personal. And a few authors have responded. Not good. If you are a Goodreads author, don’t read your reviews.

    As an author, be very, very careful about your own book reviews and what you say about other writers. You can come off looking very, very bad. Ungracious… poor sport. You get the picture. Some authors create a separate, private account for their reviews, or they simply leave the stars rating off, or only review books they feel passionate about–in a good way.

    Seeing a book on a friend’s shelf on Goodreads is one of the biggest ways readers find new books to read. Think of it this way, are you more likely to read a book you randomly see in the bookstore or one you see a friend reading? Most likely, you are going to be more intrigued by the book your friend is reading. And so it goes with seeing books on your friend’s Goodreads bookshelf. (When people you have friended add a book on Goodreads you get an email update as well as see it in a ‘stream’ on Goodreads.) As an author, get people to add your book to their ‘to be read’ shelves if you can, and people with friends in the publishing world–add their books to your shelves to support them.

    Want to find out more? Check out this must-read Goodreads blog post.

    How about you? Do you use Goodreads? How about LibraryThing or others? What are your thoughts on authors and review sites? Good, bad, ugly?