Goodreads is the social reading platform that allows people to track their reading habits, review books they’ve read and interact with likeminded folks. However, it’s a site for authors too.
I’ve been on Goodreads for a while and I have my own author page, which has my novel, A is for Angelica, all linked up to it nicely. I have 200 or so (wonderful) friends and Angelica has been reviewed more than a handful of times, but I’ve been thinking there must be more that I can do with the platform.
Having a blog like Write for Your Life is all good and well, but other writers are not the people who will necessarily want to read my novel. There are loads of people who have read Angelica and likely have no idea about this website or the podcast. Yet those people might well be on Goodreads.
Wanting to find out more, I asked for feedback on Twitter. The silence was deafening. Actually, there was some noise: the sound of other writers wanting me to share the responses I received, which suggests everyone is pondering the same thing.
So, in the name of doing the work so that you don’t have to, I set about hunting for good articles on using Goodreads as an author. This is what I found.
1. 5 Ways Writers Can Get the Most Out of Goodreads
This list by Goodreads Community Manager, Patrick Brown is a smashing place to start. Not only does it provide practical advice, it also gives you an idea of Goodreads’ key features for authors, like giveaways, social media integration, and detailed profiles.
2. How Authors Can Effectively Use Goodreads
Here, Rachelle Gardner offers another fantastic overview of the service, along with a couple of interesting ‘what not to dos’, like spam your Goodreads friends and respond to negative reviews. You should do neither on any other platform too, of course. Apparently, there are groups specifically for authors, which could be useful.
3. Why Every Author Must Be On Goodreads In 2013
A fascinating infographic on the amazing success and growth that Goodreads has seen over the last 12 months. It doubled in size, for example. This is why we should all be using it. Readers are there. Readers like books.
4. Goodreads: 8 Things Writers Should Know
Rachelle Gardner again, this time on her own site, with a list of basics around the platform. The general gist is that we writers needs to remember that Goodreads is mainly for readers. We can’t pile in and start yelling about how brilliant we are. They won’t like that. They won’t like that at all.
5. The complete and unabridged guide to GoodReads for authors
This is a good one if you have absolutely no experience of Goodreads whatsoever. It provides a step-by-step guide on all sorts of things, from starting your author account to linking up your website or blog. I’ve done most of this stuff already, but if you haven’t, you’ll find it very useful.
6. Goodreads and Other Genuine Publicity Thoughts
Some sound advice here from Crystal Patriarche who has some interesting things to say about how authors come across online. She also talks about advertising on Goodreads, as well as Author Q&As and contests, which sound great, all be it a little daunting (what if no one turns up?!). I liked this post. Recommended read.
7. Goodreads for Authors
Finally, this comprehensive post by Donna Huber covers the importance of getting your book’s details spot on, such as its ISBN and what have you. She also says that many book bloggers use the site to track their reading schedule and leave reviews. I guess that makes sense and it’s certainly important to get as many reviews as possible.
So what now?
Well, I for one am going to have a giant think about how I can use Goodreads to promote A is for Angelica. Lots of authors simply exist without engaging with readers, and I really want to make sure I get as stuck in as possible.
My first step is to upload a free extract of the novel and take it from there. And of course, you can check my Goodreads profile out right here. Let’s be pals.
What about you? Have you got any Goodreads experience that you’d like to share? Any must dos or awful pitfalls? Let me know in the comments.