As the author of the IA series, I’ve had some success on social media,
and people often ask me for tips. Well here’s the skinny.
I use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter equally, but it’s my firm and
religious belief that Goodreads is the past, present, future, and end
all be all for authors, especially new and/or self-published authors.
I say new because there are a lot of new traditionally published
authors out there who think they’ve crossed into the promised land but
will ultimately find themselves wading in the fire and brimstone of
You have to promote yourself and there is no better way
to do it than on Goodreads.
It should be academic that a social media site that has as its focus, readers, and to a lesser extent authors, should be your first point of attack as an author.
That being said. I’m not the only user to have found the Goodreads site to be less than user friendly and the learning curve staggering. Don’t let that deter you. Goodreads is still a necessary evil. Here’s a few easy tips on how to tame this social media literary monster.
A man that has friends must show himself friendly (Proverbs
18:24) Actively seek friends on Goodreads every day, i.e. make friend
requests daily. Try not to skip a day because there is a limit. Reach
your limit every day (total limit of 5000). For maximum effect choose
your friends strategically. If you want only readers, send friend
request to only readers. Keep in mind, readers are great, but there’s
definitely something to be said for developing friendships with
like-minded authors on Goodreads, so be balanced and versatile in your
search. When you’re thinking about selecting friends also consider
genre. If you write sci-fi/YA like me, you want to seek friends with
similar interests. Find this feature in the dropdown menu in the upper
right-hand corner of the homepage next to your little circle profile
Try and run continuous monthly giveaways, even if you’re
only giving away one book a month.
What readers don’t want free books?
Add to that, a percentage of those who win (albeit small) will read and post reviews, but all most all entries add you to their shelf (it’s the default setting) when they enter, and this generates a buzz about your book. That’s a good thing. Find this feature under the “Explore” dropdown menu (3rd one down) of the homepage.
Try to read and review as many books as you can. Why? First
of all it’s called Goodreads, not Goodwrites, and you want to become a
part of the community. Good writers read more than they write so this
is a no-brainer. Exchanging reviews is a way to get reviews, but make
sure you’re not getting scammed and that you’re reading something you
think you’ll like. Also make sure you’re posting honest reviews. After
you finish reading a book and select “Read” underneath the book, a box
will appear asking you to rate and review the book. Just do it.
This is an excellent way to be active and part of the
community. Start with one group in your genre and participate as a
reader first. Be a part of the conversation and discussion. Be
patient. Whatever you do, don’t suggest your book. Create a signature
with your book and book info that you use when you send direct
messages to your friends or respond to friend requests. Get close to a
member or two and have them suggest your book as the monthly read. My
book was the book of the month in the Blerd book club, and I gave a
talk about the IA series on Sunday January 17, 2016.
Check out the video of the Blerd book club discussion on my Goodreads page.
Find the “Groups” feature dead center at the top of the home page.
One of the things I’ve recently discovered is lists.
Have one or more of your friends vote for you in appropriate Listopia
lists i.e. Sci-fi, Romance, Young Adult, etc. The importance of
growing your friends and being a part of the community on Goodreads
becomes clear here. This will increase your buzz on the site as well.
Find this feature under the “Listopia” dropdown menu (2nd one down) of
This is just an overview, but dig in and get started on Goodreads by
claiming your author page.
What are you waiting on?