Goodreads—you need to be there. Alright, I know what you’re saying, “But, I do the social media thing! I have a Facebook page, a Twitter profile, I even started blogging…that isn’t enough?” Unfortunately, the answer is no. I set up my Goodreads account a year or so ago, but that’s as far as I got. My profile was a ghost town with tumble weeds blowing across the screen, covering the 3 books I said I’d read with a thick layer of dust. But, recently I decided to get involved. There was a new sheriff in town and things were about change…yeah, I totally took the ghost town reference too far there, didn’t I? Anyway, I set out to conquer Goodreads, and this is what I learned…
Why you need to be there:
Goodreads is a site of 25 million readers. They doubled in size for the second year in a row. Every second 4 books are found by users. There are 29 million book reviews on their site. You write books, they read books. Don’t you want to hang out where the readers are hanging out? All the cool kids are doing it. *grins*
It may be easy to sign in using your Facebook profile and allow Goodreads to link to your profile there, but I don’t recommend it. I did this for convenience, but soon after I discovered that everything I did on Goodreads was posting to my Facebook feed, pummeling all of my friends with my thoughts on every book I’d ever read. Undo, undo, undo…avoid this mistake by keeping things separate at least until you learn how to use the new site. It will save you many apologies on Facebook and a lot of embarrassment—trust me.
Other than this, the set-up is pretty simple. You mark books that you’ve read or want to read, write reviews or just give a number of stars to books you like, and find friends. Add a picture and say something about yourself and you’re done. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy as my little monkey would say.
There are several ways to get the word out about your book(s) once you’re on the site. Getting good reviews will encourage people to add your book to their to-read shelf and so will being included on a list of books. They offer advertising, which I have not tried, but I’m having the most luck by offering a giveaway.
I’m in the middle of my first giveaway. My giveaway ends in 2 days. (Check it out here!) I ran the giveaway for 2 weeks. In those 2 weeks 735 people entered to win a copy of my book and 406 people added my book to their to-read list. Compare this to the 114 people that added my book to their to-read list over the previous 2 months–just for reference. To set up this giveaway I read Goodreads’ instructions here and then I ignored half of what they said and followed Novel Publicity’s instructions here. As a debut author, I don’t have a huge advertising budget, but for the cost of postage on one book I added 406 potential readers and put my book in front of 735 more readers. I call that a win! I highly recommend offering a giveaway if you have a new release.
There are some other great ways to connect with readers on Goodreads and draw more people to read your books as well. You can join a group and post a message, vote on lists of books or create a list, join a reading challenge, like someone’s review of a book or get involved in a chat. The goal here is to get to know people just like with any other social media outlet. So, have fun with it!
Are you on Goodreads? Let’s discuss it in the comments.
PS. My debut novel, Must Love Dukes, releases in 2 weeks on Feb 4th! Are you excited? I’m excited!
— E. Michels time of shameless self-promotion for the day