Whether you write it yourself or use the help of a ghostwriter, creating a book is a significant accomplishment, and it’s easy to breathe a sigh of relief once you’ve released your title into the wild.
However, the hard work doesn’t end just because you’ve completed the project’s publishing portion. How does GoodReads work?
These nine easy tips will help you harness the powers of GoodReads to maximize your book’s success!
What Is GoodReads?
GoodReads is a book-centric social media platform that lets readers review books and interact with other users.
The site launched in 2007, and since then, has developed a robust author platform. Utilizing the author side of GoodReads will give you huge benefits in promoting your book and reaching readers.
You can even create an account by connecting your social media platforms, like Facebook or Twitter. You register for GoodReads this way for convenience, so you have one less password to remember.
You should consider how linking those accounts allows you to share your GoodReads progress and reviews on your personal social media pages. Sharing your account on other platforms is a great way to get noticed!
Since GoodReads is a platform for readers, make sure you add books you’ve read to your account! You don’t want people to come to an empty page and know you’re just there to promote your own work.
Reviewing your favorite books will help other fans of those books find you. Your reviews will show up on the book’s page, and readers can click on your review and profile and come across your profile organically.
An author page on GoodReads is kind of like having a Facebook page, except you know you’re going to be reaching book lovers at the source. Once you’re created your personal page and reviewed some books, you can claim your author page.
Find your book in their database, scroll to the bottom of the information page, and click “Is this you? Let us know!”
If your book isn’t in the database, never fear! You can submit it yourself by filling out a form with all of the publication information.
GoodReads will verify that you’re the author of the book you’re claiming and then grant you an author page and a GoodReads Author badge.
Fill out your profile and add your author photo so readers can follow you and get notifications of all the updates you post.
How GoodReads Works (For You as an Author)
GoodReads has a cool section called Listopia, where users can create lists and vote to rank the titles. You can tag your book, so it will come up as an option to include on lists. Having your book on Listopia will help interested readers find it organically.
Anyone can create a list, but first, do a little research and see if the perfect list for your book already exists. You can create a “Young Adult Sci-Fi Romance” list, but if a similar one already exists, the lists will merge, and your book might get bumped off in the process! It helps to be creative but not obscure with your list naming.
When you find a list that fits your book’s topic, click “Add Books to This List” at the top. Search for your book title and then click “Vote for This Book” to submit it!
Now you can sit back and see how other users vote on your book. You don’t need to whip out your sales pitch to get votes; just let it happen organically! This is a passive way to get your book out in the GoodReads universe.
It’s important not to push your book too hard because Listopia isn’t actually a promotional portion of GoodReads. Having your book on lists will help potential readers find it, but if GoodReads thinks you’re trying to sell it, they’ll take it off the list.
GoodReads has a targeted ad platform, much like Facebook. If you run an ad on GoodReads, you can select who you want to target. You might choose to focus on readers who like books in the same genre as yours. You can also spotlight people who like authors that are similar to you.
You can even choose to focus on people who have read your other books or who have added your book to their “Want to Read” shelf. This is an effective option because you know these readers are interested in you, but they might not be aware that you have a new release.
Ads cost about $0.15 a click, but since you’re on a platform where you know users are going to buy books, it’s worth the investment.
GoodReads giveaways are a great way to drum up hype for your book while getting it into the hands of interested readers. When someone enters a giveaway for your book, it will automatically be added to their “Want to Read” shelf, so even if they don’t win the giveaway, the book will still be on their shelf.
For a giveaway, you can give away any number of books, and you can choose to give away physical copies or ebooks. If you give away physical copies, you’ll have to add in the price of shipping and make sure it’s affordable.
Some authors limit their giveaways to their home continents to keep from spending too much on shipping, but you might want to have no restrictions in order to get your book out into the world!
When your GoodReads giveaway ends, consider sending a message to everyone who entered so you’re reaching out and making a special connection with them.
There are two different options to optimize Q&As on GoodReads. On your author page, there is an option for anyone to ask you a question. Pro tip: you can even ask yourself questions you think will help drum up engagement!
Besides having the Q&A posted on your author page, you can also host a Q&A Discussion Group about your book. You’ll create a “GoodReads Author” group from your author page and pick a date and time you’ll be available to answer questions.
You can start a thread with the topic of questions you’ll answer, and once people join, the group will gain popularity in the GoodReads community. When your Q&A is finished, you can submit it to be featured in the GoodReads newsletter.
Connect a Blog
If you already have a blog started, you can link it to your GoodReads Author Page, and the platform will automatically share all of your new posts!
Blog posts will be shared on your author page, and any fans who follow you will get a notification when there’s a new post to read. GoodReads also emails your fans once a week.
And if you don’t have a blog started yet—what are you waiting for?
Having a blog is a great marketing tool! Followers can read your posts and get an idea of your personality and writing style and will be drawn to your books.
Ask for Reviews
Remember how important it was to review books as soon as you started your personal GoodReads account? Sure, you don’t want readers to come to an empty profile and leave without looking around, but it’s also so others will want to review your book!
It might seem intimidating to ask fans and followers for reviews, but it pays off. GoodReads will feature books based on the number of reviews, so you want as many as you can get! The number is more important than what the reviews say, so don’t be afraid of less-than-stellar ratings.
Having many reviews will make your book look popular, so more readers will be interested in giving it a try. Consider finding other authors who need a boost and read and review their book, and they’ll be more inclined to help you out!
Similar to how you can use GoodReads to share blog posts, you can also use it to promote events. GoodReads doesn’t host the event on their own platform, so you’ll use it more as a promotional tool. Whether these events are online or in-person, you can share them on your author page so fans can see them and join in.
On your author page, scroll to “Upcoming Events” and click “Add an Event.” You can schedule a book release, a book tour, a reading, special sales, and more. You’ll have space to enter what type of event it is and share a short description so attendees will know what to expect. List your events publicly so everyone can find and attend, and invite all of your GoodReads friends!
Making GoodReads Work for You FAQs
You’ve learned many actionable ways to make GoodReads work for you as an author. You can promote your book, connect with readers, and share your blog posts. You can create events that fans can add to their calendars, and you can add your book to lists so potential readers will notice your title.
That’s a lot you can do with one simple platform! Make sure you’re using GoodReads to its fullest potential.
How do you get on GoodReads?
You can create a free account on GoodReads using your email or by linking other social media accounts. Once you have a basic account, you can upgrade it to an author page for no fee. Find your published book in the database, claim it, and get that verified author badge!
What is GoodReads and how does it work?
GoodReads is a social media platform for book lovers. Readers can rate and review their favorite books. Beyond that, GoodReads offers a robust author platform so you can share your blog posts, promote events, and even sponsor a GoodReads giveaway!
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