Have you published a book? Are you working Facebook groups and Twitter trying to connect with readers and market your work? How’s that working for you? If I were a betting woman – and I am – I’d bet that it’s been a pretty tough slog that isn’t much fun and that takes you away from your writing. Marketing isn’t easy. Marketing through social media without turning your audience off from your message is even harder still.
What if I told you there was a place that you could meet readers and make friends, ask questions, participate in discussions about books, rate and review books and find new things to read yourself? Does that sound like a great site to you? How about if I told you that, not only can you do all of that, but that you can do it as an author and connect your own work to your profile? Does that sound even better? I thought so!
If you’re not a member of Goodreads, you should be. It’s quick, easy and free to join and start a profile. Follow the simple instructions provided to have your account recognized as an author account and the site will then find and link your own books to you. Disclaimer: Goodreads is now owned by Amazon. Amazon linking is nearly fully automatic. Your books can be added to Goodreads from all of the other major sites where they are available as well but it might take a little bit more input on your part.
If you join and then actively participate on the site a little each day, before you know it, you’ll become known and your own books will start accumulating star ratings from readers and, possibly even reviews. Unlike at Amazon and at other major online retailers, star ratings are possible to leave on the site without having to do a full review. More readers are inclined to help you out and rate your book when they don’t have to write a review.
I spend 10-30 minutes a day on the site and, frankly, it’s time well spent. My typical routine is to check my notifications and messages and answer any messages that need answered. After that, I’ll review the rest of my home page. I can see updates from my friends on the site and I can see discussions from the groups I participate in. I read new answers to discussion topics that are of interest to me or that I previously participated in. I’ve asked some questions and I’ve learned quite a bit by being active in a few select groups on the site that fit my author genres and my own reading interests.
So, what should you do once you’re a member of Goodreads? Simple:
- Find some friends that are already members
- Follow some authors you love
- Join some groups
- Start a group
- Ask questions
- Respond to questions
- Pick genres of books your’re interested in and review your recommendations
- Rate and/or review books you’ve read
- Click “Want to Read” for books you’re interested in reading
- Let site users know what you’re reading now and what you think about it so far
- Link your blog
- Schedule a giveaway
- Post videos
- Check out the quote of the day and, tweet it or post it to your Facebook wall if it hits home for you
You should be where your potential readers are. They aren’t hanging around at Facebook waiting for someone to mention a book they might like. They aren’t looking for Facebook Fan Pages to like either and they sure aren’t paying attention to all of the book links on Twitter. They’re holed up at Goodreads interacting with other readers and authors and finding highly recommended books they’ll really like.