Electronic books are projected to skyrocket over the next decade, both in authorship and purchasing. Amazon’s Kindle is one of the biggest platforms when it comes to publishing, reviewing, and selling e-books, and now that Amazon has acquired the well-known bibliophile site Goodreads, there is no better place for marketing your book.
All About Goodreads
Every author on Goodreads has the same goal in mind: promoting their book to get sales.
If you’re new to Goodreads and wondering what all the fuss is about, think of this site as an educated social media platform where writers and readers can share their love of books. You can discover new authors as easily as bestselling ones, follow their publishing, and ask them questions. It’s a book lover’s paradise, all for free.
So, how can you harness this nerd-powered social media platform to promote your book? Here are five ways:
1) Build a Following
First, you have to realize you aren’t just marketing a book; you’re selling yourself as an author. People want to buy books from interesting writers who have something say, who’ve built a following, and who appear knowledgeable about whatever it is they’re selling. Goodreads is the single best place for an author to build the following necessary to create buzz and interest.
Start by setting up an author page for yourself on Goodreads. You’ll notice there’s an option for people to “follow” you. Add an intriguing bio, a professional-looking photo, and answer a few standard questions about why you write and what you write. That gives people something to know about you; it pulls them in and leaves them wanting to know more. That’s when you can start adding blog posts and status updates, keeping your followers engaged.
It will take some time to build a following, but once you do, you will have a built-in audience for everything you publish.
2) Get Reviews
The most valuable feature on Goodreads is its ability to get your book reviewed. Your book will not sell if you do not have reviews. It’s honestly that simple. Most people who review your book on Goodreads will also post a review on Amazon, and this directly translates to book sales.
There are three primary ways to get reviews on Goodreads: 1) join a critique group; 2) search out book bloggers and request a review, or 3) make friends and ask for a review.
Honest reviews are the best way to market your book–it’s like digital word of mouth. Each one is valuable, but aiming for a minimum of 50 reviews is essential. Books with at least 50 reviews begin to receive attention from Amazon, resulting in more exposure to customers and more sales.
3) Discover Opportunities
Join some Goodreads groups geared toward authors or your genre to discover some unique ways in which to market your book. Some examples include opportunities to add your book to swag bags, donate your book to libraries, participate in author interviews, and enter your work into book catalogs for sales. There’s also groups of reviewers looking for books to review. You can join, comment, and offer revie copies of your book to the group members. These opportunities are plentiful on Goodreads but challenging to find elsewhere, so take advantage. The more you interact, the more traction your Author page will get.
Goodreads giveaways are one of the prime reasons readers flock to the site. Everyone enjoys the chance to win a free book, many of which are signed by the author. But giveaways are also an invaluable marketing tool for authors.
Goodreads giveaways are free to set up and only cost the author printing and shipping costs for the number of books they choose to give away. You can opt to give away a single copy if you wish. The exposure is the same as if you choose to give away 100 copies, and the cost-to-benefit ratio is low (which is a good thing).
There is no other site with a larger audience of book fanatics eager to hear about your giveaway than on Goodreads. Many of the people who enter your giveaway will add your book to their “to-read” shelf, and some will instantly purchase your book upon seeing your giveaway listing.
5) Build a Network
Apart from building an audience (readers who adore your writing), Goodreads provides a platform for building a network (connecting with other authors). There is no better place than Goodreads for building a network. As your connections increase, so will your opportunities. The greater your following, the bigger your voice is for marketing your books.
Overall, Goodreads can provide you with everything you need to promote your book successfully. It’s the single most valuable resource for authors, with a global reach. Invest your time wisely on the site, and you will be guaranteed an uptick in book sales.