Who hasn’t
heard of Goodreads? It’s an extensive website and app for readers to log their
reads, look at user-generated reviews, and find new books to read. But there’s
so much more. Goodreads is huge. And as a writer, if you aren’t using it, let
me give you a little push.
What is Goodreads? The site/app is owned by Amazon,
but in its beginnings,
it was a review site for books. Users can mark ones they’ve read, want to read,
and are currently reading. Friends can connect on Goodreads through Facebook
and see what everyone is reading. Users can rate reads with a 5-star rating
system and post a review as detailed as they wish. Finding a great book was
never easier. Readers can recommend titles directly to friends. Lists of every
variety are easily accessible. Need a book about a teen frog?—boom, there’s a list
for that. Goodreads also holds a yearly reading challenge. Users can create a
reading goal for the year and track it through the app. There are also
discussion groups on every topic.
How does the site differ for writers? I’m glad you asked.
As a writer, you should have a presence on Goodreads.
You need to have a published book to create an author profile, but that does
not stop you from using the site as a reader. To begin, create a profile with your author name.
Add books you’ve read (lots of ’em) or want to read. Add reviews, specifically
those in the genre you write in (without trashing your peers). Give people a
taste of your voice through those reviews. You can also link your blog to the
site or create a book blog easily. Join discussion groups about books in your
genre. Talk and listen to other readers. Build that rapport.
Once you are published, create an author profile. You
will need to link your account to your actual books for sale. Make sure the
site has the correct cover, blurb, and sale links. Be sure to add a
professional headshot to the account. Use the same picture you use on your
author pages from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or Amazon. By using the
same pic, readers become familiar with your mug. Next, answer some of the generic questions Goodreads
suggests to start a dialog with readers. Add book signings and appearances to
the events section in your profile. You can also add readers’ questions, another
great way to interact with fans.
A word of caution. Goodreads has a great Author
Guidelines page to help you navigate the site. It lists many of the things I’ve mentioned above. But most
importantly, it covers professional behavior. The site reminds authors not to
spam readers with requests for reads (when they have indicated an interest in
their book.) It also cautions authors not to interact with reviews. It’s fine
to put a heart or a smile on a good review or click the Like button. But do not
engage with people who gave a bad review. The site is user-run. Everyone and
anyone can post. If you see abuse, report it. This is NOT the place to take on
your critics.
When you are ready for bigger things, check out
Goodreads giveaways. (Ads are no longer an option on Goodreads…crossing out that section of
the blog.) Giveaways are for Kindle direct authors only or publishers. They
also cost a bit to get up and running. But they are a great way to get reviews
and new readers.
Giveaways price out at $119. It includes several perks. Anyone who enters the
giveaway has the book added to their “Want to Read” shelf, which is visible to
all their Goodreads friends. It also anyone who follows you to get a
notification about the giveaway. Anyone who has the book on their “Want to Read”
shelf is asked by email if they want to participate. Also, the title is listed
on the Giveaways page for Goodreads, so any readers perusing the list might
stumble on your contest and jump in. There is also a Premium Giveaway package
for $600. With this option, you get everything listed above, plus premium space
on the Giveaway page, emails to the winners to remind them to review, and
personalization of messages sent out to contestants.
Goodreads is a
great tool for authors to find new readers, establish themselves as an author,
and find wonderful books to read.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *