This past Saturday at a meeting of Bay Area Independent Publishers Association, I led a roundtable about the reasons that every independent author and publisher (as well as every “dependent” author) needed to have an active presence on Goodreads.com. It was one of three roundtable sessions at the time, and I assumed that most BAIPA folks (who are pretty savvy) would already know most of what I had to say. I was surprised to find that not only did they not, but they were very hungry to hear about the world’s largest book review site
Because they all found the material I presented to be helpful, I thought I’d share my major points here. This is why you have to be on Goodreads:
- The readers are there. What if I told you there was a social networking site where more than 40 million book lovers gather daily to review, discuss and share their favorite books and find out about new ones? Goodreads.com is that site. There are readers interested in every subject and genre — and lots of them. These people are passionate about their books; that’s why they’re on Goodreads.
- Your books are there. Goodreads members (and Goodreads affiliate companies) have added 1.1 BILLION books to the site’s database — ebooks, print, audiobooks, not-yet-published, out-of-print. No matter how you cut it, that’s a lot of books — and if you’ve already published a title or two, they are probably already there.
When I led the BAIPA roundtable, a number of author/publishers found their books already on Goodreads, ranging from thirty years old and out of print to a book that hadn’t been released yet. And if your book (or edition) isn’t there, you can add it — including the cover, description, publication date, and a link to the page that you want readers to visit to get more information (ideally on your own site or blog). You can even do this before the book has been released. For example, I’ve created a record for my YA novel Risuko, which isn’t due out until this time next year. That will give me a place to send ARC reviewers to share their reviews pre-publication.
Another easy promotional opportunity is the self-serve advertising available to folks with Goodreads Author accounts (see below). These small ads can promote a book’s page on Goodreads, your site, on a retailer, a Goodreads giveaway — whatever. The ads can be tailored to show only when books in a certain genre or by a certain author are being displayed.
As I mentioned above, most groups also have an area where you can let you share information about your book and any promotions that you may be running. These are especially effective if you’re an active member of the group.
I’m still learning about Goodreads and the opportunities it affords. If you know other ways that the site serves authors and publishers, please let me know!
PS The support on Goodreads is terrific. Still, sometimes it’s helpful to get just a bit more information. A great resource for exploring all of these points in more detail is Michelle Campbell-Scott’s Goodreads for Authors. It was published a couple of years ago, but she’s kept it fairly up to date. It’s available as a paperback as well as through KindleUnlimited.
PPS Goodreads was bought last year by Amazon. To date, they’ve been very hands off. The only visible change is that it’s now even easier to buy a book from the Amazon link on the book’s page. (There are also links to a wide variety of other retailers, and even libraries.)
Image: Books by Telmo32. Used through a Creative Commons license.
Mirrored from Stillpoint Blogs.
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