The 3 Key Steps to Get Started Promoting Your Book on Goodreads
With over 20 million members and counting, Goodreads is one of the most visited websites and certainly the most popular for book lovers. For major publishers, promotion via Goodreads has become a must. But how can self-published authors harness the promotional power of what has become the Facebook of books? Below are the 3 most important steps to take to make Goodreads work for you.
1. Join the Author Program
After you register as a basic user, you’ll need to apply for an author upgrade and wait for the account to change (usually in a few days). Once you have an author account you can add biographical information, add all of your books, find followers through other social media profiles and even link your blog posts to your Goodreads account so that new content is viewable on your Goodreads page.
2. Add Reviews
Why are reviews so important for online book sales? Study after study shows that readers use recommendations or reviews more than they use any other factor when selecting books. A 2011 study by Smashwords, for instance, found that 29% of e book buyers find new books based on recommendation first. BazaarVoice, a social media site for e commerce, has done extensive research on the impact reviews have on sales and consistently has found that customer feedback increases the likelihood of purchase.
How can you increase the number of reviews your book gets on Goodreads? Again,
engagement and interaction are key. The more you network, the more likely you are to get reviews by:
Asking. If you are involved in a group on Goodreads, there’s nothing wrong with asking other members to review your book.
Giving. Goodreads makes the process of running a book giveaway easy. And about 60% of all winners post reviews. With an average of 825 entries per giveaway, you can expect a substantial surge in reviews.
Socializing. Use badges on your website, blog or Facebook page to encourage visitors to review your work on Goodreads.
3. Join Groups
Goodreads has 2 kinds of Groups: Featured Groups and Goodreads Groups
Featured Groups allow you to network and talk with readers, creating organic buzz for your book. You can create Q & A group, where you agree to answer readers’ questions for a limited period. To begin, sign up for a Featured Group and see if you can get just a few existing fans or friends to join. Goodreads only requires that a Featured Group have a few members to get going. Once a Featured Group has some members, Goodreads promotes it for you.
Goodreads Groups connect readers with similar tastes and interests in a particular genre or niche. They are NOT meant for promotion, so you should be careful about pushing yourself too hard if you join a Goodreads Group. But if you write in a particular niche, it’s important that you join a Group dedicated to that niche and that you interact with members regularly by answering questions and posting comments.
Harnessing the Power of Goodreads
Goodreads, like any other social network or, for that matter, any offline group of people who come together around a specific interest is most effective when you use it consistently and often. Once you’ve taken the 3 crucial steps for promoting your book on Goodreads mentioned here, commit to spending some time on it each day. By getting to know the features Goodreads offers authors and by networking with book lovers, you can expect to see sales increase. What you get out of your experience on Goodreads depends on how much you put into it.
This is part of an ongoing series of articles on free book promotion resources for authors. If you would like to be notified when new articles in the series are posted, please enter your email below.