Demystifying #Goodreads~maximize its potential to promote your book

Unlike most social media, Goodreads often confuses authors on how to best use it to promote their books. Aside from buying ads or running giveaways, both of which take a chunk out of your wallet, it doesn’t seem to provide a direct path to sales.

What it does is to put another plank on your platform.

The power of Goodreads is that it is a reader-driven site built on networks of people who enjoy the same type of books that you write. The discoverability of your titles rests in old-fashioned word of mouth. In many ways, it is more social than other forms of social media.

There are five ways that Goodreads can help authors:

1.) Your author page—your author page features you, of course, but Goodreads allows you to do two cool things. One is to auto-update from your blog. (You can access this feature if you have one published title, even if it’s a self-pubbed book. The second is you can post your book trailer for people to see. And third, it will automatically update your page to show your published work. You can check out mine to see an example of an author’s profile:

2.) Goodreads accepts and posts any reviews, while Amazon is pickier about its criteria on what makes a “real” review. The ‘Zon’s purist notions are that anyone who is your friend on FB is much too close to you to post an honest review. (For this reason, writers shouldn’t “friend” their fans.)

3.) Book bloggers post their reviews on Goodreads, and if you’re lucky, they’ll post it to a Goodreads bookshelf, so your book is more discoverable. Individuals can create custom bookshelves to group books read in specific categories, which their friends and followers can access. There are also Listopias, which gather books of a certain genre and theme and rank them. This feature helps to keep your book discoverable by potential readers. An excellent feature of bookshelves and Listopias is that their shelf life extends beyond the ‘Zons discovery algorithm, so you aren’t as buried as you are on be on Amazon by new titles. Another nice feature about reviews is that not only are they listed on your book’s page but also on the reviewer’s page where anyone looking for their friends’ reviews can find it.

4.) Goodreads has many nook and crannies called groups, of all genres and subgenres. Find active ones and interact with the people there. Some groups allow book promotion directly to their members. Others do not. Some groups provide a place where authors could solicit reads from other authors, readers, and reviewers. Read the rules of the group and join ones that interest you.

5.) Author widgets. Goodreads has a widget function that gives you a piece of code you can install on your site that lists your published works and their reviews. Go here to see an example of the widget page.

Happy writing and book promoting!

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