Monday, March 1, 2010

The Goods on Goodreads


Goodreads is a great place for marketing your books! For those who don't know anything about Goodreads - it is a social networking site that orbits wholly around books, books, and nothing but books. Similar to Facebook, you create an account, make friends, and then start discussing your favorite books.

If you are already published, this post will give you a quick overview of several ways you can use Goodreads to gain exposure for your titles. And if you aren't published, it is still a great venue to familiarize yourself with. But this post will focus towards those with books already available.

Ways to Publicize with Goodreads:

  • First, you should register yourself as an author. To do this, search for one of your books. Then click on your published author name. This will take you to an author profile page. Scroll down to the bottom of that page and there should be a link that says, "Is this you?" Click on that to request admission to the author program at Goodreads. After you are approved you can upload an image of yourself, enter a short biography, add a link to your website, and even add blog posts if you want. (You can also update the Goodreads blog from your current blog via RSS.)
  • Adding your book trailer. To add a book trailer, go to your Goodreads author profile (created in the above step.) On that page there is a section that says "Videos about Your Name." Click the little link that says "add new." Fill in their form and upload the video. The tags are important, because the tags you use will add your book to various video lists on Goodreads. So before you tag your video you might want to peruse the video lists to see which ones you would like your book to appear on and then tag your video appropriately. (Click "Explore/Videos" to see the lists.) To see my trailer on Goodreads click here.
  • Add your book to lists. Goodreads allows their users to categorize their books into lists. To view the lists go to: http://www.goodreads.com/list . You can put your book on a list by either creating a new list or by searching the already existing lists and adding your book to that. Getting a few of your friends to drop by and vote for your book will help it to rise closer to the top of the list and thus gain it more exposure.
  • Join groups that might be interested in your topic. The Goodreads groups are also another great way to make friends with readers who might be interested in your topic. They are not a place to go to simply drop a line about your book - but to make real friends with others of like interest. There are groups for just about every genre. The link to explore groups is one of the main links at the top of the Goodreads home page.
  • List your book for a give-away. On your book's page toward the top right there should be a link that says "list this book for a give-away." The book has to have been released in the last 6 months, or be coming soon to be listed for a give-away. Once you click the link you will be walked through all the steps you need to take to get the book listed. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will gain you some nice exposure for your title. The more tags your book has the more exposure it will get in the give-away lists, so check out the give-away "top" lists and tag your book appropriately.
  • Run an Author Q&A session by creating an author group. You can read more on how to do this here: http://www.goodreads.com/author/featured_groups.
  • Advertise your book. More information about that here: http://www.goodreads.com/advertisers. The price seems a little steep to this first-time author, but if you have a marketing budget set aside, it might be worth the investment.
I've only been on Goodreads for a few months and these are just a few of the ways I've discovered to market my book. There are more options that I haven't gotten to yet. Check out the links under the "Explore" tab to create quizzes, trivia questions, etc. that will draw attention to your title.

If you know of a good way of marketing on Goodreads that I have missed in this post, please feel free to add it to the comments.

BTW, to see the image at the top left of this post in full size you can go here: http://www.photos8.com/view/books_shop-other.html

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11 comments:

  1. Love the step-by-step instructions, Lynnette. Great post!

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  2. You'll be putting these to use before you know it, Linda! :)

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  3. Interesting! I've seen Katie using Goodreads on Twitter and just never bothered to check it out! Though, with my borderline-ADD, the last thing I need is one more social networking/forum site that will keep me procrastinating and not getting my projects done! :p

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  4. Lynnette:
    Great post on how to promote on GoodReads. Just want to add that most of these opportunities are available on the other book social network sites like librarything.com and shelfari.com.

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  5. Liberty, I hear your concern. One of these days I need to write a post on organizing a writers time. But honestly, once you are set up, it doesn't take that much time to cruise through and post a few comments to the groups and keep up. Maybe take a day when you need to be away from your writing anyway, and sign up then.

    Sarah, thank you for mentioning LibraryThing and Shelfari. Those are also excellent sites to be part of. Personally, I've found Goodreads to be the easiest/most active, followed by Shelfari and then LibraryThing.

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  6. I'm on Goodreads--as a reader. I'm not very good, though, at keeping things updated or posting reviews. I need to do better. Hurry up on the organizing writers' time thing, Lynnette!

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  7. GoodReads is great little site. I was so excited to see a reading site working so hard to help authors.

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  8. Sandra, The only problem is I'm not sure I've got the time thing figured out! lol

    Katie yeah, they do offer a lot for authors.

    Karen, I'm glad it was helpful.

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  9. Wow, thanks for this, Lynnette. I will print this article and check into this one.

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  10. Glad you found it helpful, Jeanette! Nice to see you hear.

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