Much like Facebook and Twitter are great for general social media marketing, every aspiring author should find him or herself on GoodReads. This is a social network dedicated to book readers and creators. If you haven’t made an account there, then I suggest that you do so right after reading this post. This is the perfect place for authors looking to connect to readers. Users can make a “Want to Read” shelf that includes all the books they want to read, and there are five books added every second (on average). Readers also leave an average of 30,000 reviews each and every day.
Here are a few ways to make this powerful website work for you.
You’re probably used to begging for reviews, but GoodReads makes the whole process easy. Not only are users willing to give reviews if they see your book, but those reviews go much farther than on Facebook and other websites. First of all, major websites and news networks (like USAToday.com) pay attention to GoodReads. They will syndicate reviews for popular books. Other websites, social networks and even ecommerce sites (yes, like Kindle) will automatically syndicate these reviews. This takes a lot of work off your back.
Here’s something else. Books with more reviews are added to more “Want to Read” shelves, which gives you digital badges and accomplishments that will further improve your marketing. All you need to do is make people aware of your presence on GoodReads. You can also use giveaways and widgets to improve your book’s circulation, which will lead to more reviews and free press.
Improve Author Exposure
Selling that first book is important, but what’s even more important is getting people to know you as an author. If people like your style and trust your ability to consistently deliver great books, then they will buy from you forever. Yes, GoodReads even helps with this. You can setup your account to automatically add your blog posts and videos from your blog to your account’s home page. Not only that, but people who become fans of your account (like a follower from Facebook or Twitter) will see your updates on their own page.
So, how do you get started? First of all, be sure to have a blog and constantly add new content to it. Aside from that, you need to be heard on GoodReads. The rules to this are simple. Join good groups that work with your writing style (like groups dedicated to your genre or particular writing voice) and make good comments. This might seem like simple advice, but it works regardless of where you use it. Good commenting is the number one best way to make people pay attention to you.
You’re really going to step outside your comfort zone with this, but one of the best ways to generate attention for your book is to do some offline marketing. That means book signing events, discussions and other events where you talk directly to your readers and potential customers. So, what does GoodReads have to do with offline marketing? Unlike the other two strategies where there are tools to help you out, this is all about informing people about your events.
After garnering a large number of fans, you can make a post about your book signing event. Be sure to tell people where it is and try to ensure that at least a good number of fans are from your area (or willing to travel a short distance). You’ll be surprised by the attention you get. These events only go well if you have people, and GoodReads can help get your readers involved in these events.
Or, you can do a semi-offline event. These are events that are streamed directly to libraries and various online resources. You can live stream a book reading or discussion to get some marketing attention. Just give your fans the website and see how many show up. This can really improve your event’s success.
GoodReads is a great resource for authors both new and seasoned because it helps you get followers, reviews and the attention you need to sell your books for years and years. If you want more sales (and who doesn’t?), then it’s time to join GoodReads and get your books out there. If you don’t have any books, then start now and gain a following so that your book launch is as powerful as possible.