Doris-Maria Heilmann with 111Publishing has offered to write a guest blog for everyone to learn the Goodreads platform. Thank you for your post, Doris-Maria!
Goodreads is an often under-estimated social network marketing tool – even so it is specifically geared towards book lovers and avid readers. Members can explore and share their love of books, discuss literature, make contact with authors and share some of their own work. Goodreads consists of people who not only read books, but blog about books, write book reviews, and discuss books in their group forums. Authors can increase their discoverability tremendously – and subsequently their book’s success, with all the tools that Goodreads has to offer.
The publisher Tim O’Reilly said: “It’s a lovely social network.” And author Emlyn Chand praised: “If there is one social media site that is most important for authors, it’s GoodReads. Not Twitter. Not Facebook. Not even my beloved Google+. It’s GoodReads, hands-down.” Members love seeing what authors are reading and can discover if they have common favorite books. Did I mention joining Goodreads is free?
Goodreads is home to more than 20,000 book clubs and has almost 15 million members. Goodreads has so many valuable features; the site is often overwhelming at first glance. Learn how to navigate your way through Goodreads. With every visit to their site you learn new features you can use to promote your books.
Goodreads offers so much to readers & writers
- Create a Goodreads author profile
- Promote all your online events or books signings
- Generate buzz by providing giveaways for your book
- Show your writing / book blog on your authors page
- Promote your new books and your book trailer
- Use Goodreads to help build your platform
- Interact with your favorite writers
- Follow other readers/writers to learn from them
- See what others are reading, what they like
- Store your “to read” list
- Show your friends what you think of books you read
- Check out reviews and ratings of books before purchase
- Connect with other readers via reading groups
- Write reviews and rate books
- Share your favored quotes
- Find groups that interest you and join them
- Automatically add friends to your profile
- Follow discussions and see what your friends are up to
- Your friends can improve your books ranking with “Listopia” votes
How to start your presence on Goodreads
Take the time to read the Help Section before you start. It gives you all the information and answers in their FAQ’s. Create a fabulous author profile. A Goodreads author profile gives an author several benefits: It is an excellent promotion for you and your books. Your readers can easily check out the latest information about you, see a photo of you, and browse which books you have written. And it allows readers to view the books you have read. Accurate metadata on your profile is absolutely essential for online discovery. Make sure that each of your books has the correct ISBN / ASIN, publication date, cover image and page count etc. Once you’re through the initial phase of registration, you can set up your own virtual shelves. The default set of shelves are read, currently-reading and to-read. Your friends can see the books on your shelves and find out what you thought of the ones you’ve already read.
Join the Author Program
It’s completely free to join this Author Program
and have a second page on Goodreads, dedicated to your books. It will allow you to manage your own book data, to participate in an online Q and A session with your readers, to list giveaways for print copies of your books, to share excerpts of any upcoming publications or to post videos about your books or anything you choose. How to join the author program and get this second page on Goodreads is described in their Help Section.
Get LOTS of friends on Goodreads
As more friends you have, as more the word about your books you can spread and as more readers will refer your book to their friends. You have the opportunity to add friends
to your profile automatically by signing in with your member ID from sites such as Google, Twitter, Facebook etc. – which saves you lots of time.
Or you can type your friends name in the Goodreads search window to find out if they are already members. The more friends that you have expands your popularity exponentially.
The most important friends you might choose on Goodreads are “top readers” and “top reviewers” or “most popular reviewers”. To find them, go to >community >people> and click on these to choose them as friends. These are the direct links:
To be more of interest to others and gain more friends, click on lots of books that you would like to read (on any of your friends pages) to have more books in your shelves. Another way to get more friends is just from clicking on other people’s friends; best are those with lots of books (not those with too many friends, rather lots of books).
Use all the features Goodreads offers:
Get the much needed reviews.
The number of reviews – no matter if good or bad – significantly impacts the interest in a book. When a Goodreads member reviews a book, it automatically appears in the updates of all their friends on Goodreads, providing word-of-mouth marketing. Reviews are also exported to many other sites, including Google Books, Powells.com, USAToday.com and more. A Goodreads review works harder for you than any other reviews. Find out who reviews in your genre and invite them as friends.
Connect your blog with your Goodreads profile.
Not only does your blog help to make your author profile more interesting, but each week an email goes to members with featured new blog posts from authors.
Promote your author and book events.
Just add your events and invite Goodreads friends to attend. You can do this with a single email to all of them! Virtual events, such as online discussions and book releases, are as welcome as bookstore signings and author appearances.
Introduce yourself to potential readers.
By fostering a reader community, you strengthen the ties between your work and the people who read it. Perhaps the biggest benefit of Goodreads is that you will have the chance to communicate with other people who love books as much as you do – and who will promote your books in the future.
Use giveaways to generate important pre-release reviews.
Goodreads recommends that you offer multiple giveaways, each open for about a month. The first giveaway should ideally start about three months pre-publication. Then, a few weeks before your book hits the shelves, run a second giveaway. There is no limit to the number of giveaways one can run on Goodreads. Learn in this blog:
how to run a Goodreads giveaway with maximal results.
Join several Goodreads reader groups.
Don’t talk about yourself as a writer initially. Use the group as a reader first. After you’ve been an active and enthusiastic member for several weeks, you can approach the moderator about hosting a discussion of your book. Popular groups like “The Next Best Book Club”, “Romance Readers Reading Challenges” or “The History Book Club” regularly host chats with authors. Read more about Goodreads groups:
Vote for your favorites and get voted on Listopia.
is a hidden gem in Goodreads book ranking. Ask all your friends to vote for your book and help it climb in popularity (and do it in return for them!).
There is more, your Goodreads friends can do to support you: Underneath your author portrait (and often some ads) on the left side of your page are icons for Google+ and Facebook – if you are in these networks. Your friends can click on the icons and a post, containing your image, will be automatically sent to these websites.
You might be registered with Goodreads already, but not really connected with it yet. I hope I motivated you to try it soon. No other social network can beat Goodreads if you are an author and if you know how to use this FREE PR tool for your books!
Doris-Maria Heilmann is the writer behind the popular blog for authors:
. She facilitates seminars for writers, as well as online book marketing coaching
and has studied e-publishing, business and marketing. Find out more