How to Promote with Goodreads

how to promote with goodreads

What’s the Secret to Successfully Marketing your Book?

To be blunt; to get in front of as many readers as possible.  The more people who know about your book, the better chances that people will read it.

Goodreads LogoHere we are going to learn how to promote with Goodreads.  Why Goodreads?  Because Goodreads is a book lovers free social media website with over a million members.  Goodreads members create their own online bookshelf so that others can see what  they have read and reviewed.  There are also discussion groups and book clubs to join.  You can join for free by clicking this link, join Goodreads.

After you sign up, you can search and select books that you have read in the past or are currently reading and then rate them.  While you are doing that, you can create “bookselves” and name the shelves based on their genre or any category that you like.  It’s recommended to personalize your profile with a photo, favorite quotes from books, share your writing or add upcoming events.  Finding groups within Goodreads is a great way to connect with other readers who like the same topics/genres that you like.

Don’t forget to fill out your profile.  There are many settings that you can play with that will assist you further down in this post about how to promote with Goodreads.

Adding your Books

If the book is on Amazon, you can add it quickly to your Goodreads account by searching by author name or book title.  If not, you can manually add as a new title, then write a review for it and record the date that you read it.  Books come in different versions (hardback, paperback, digital) and editions, so you should pick the one that you have or closest to what you have.

Once you are done you can add a book widget to your blog or website to show off the book(s) you own or books that you have reviewed.

Joining the Author Program

The next step on how to promote with Goodreads is to set up your author page.  The Author Program is designed for those with published books or are in the process of publishing a book.  If you are an aspiring author and have yet to finish writing your first book, you can promote your writings in the writing section of your profile.

How to Sign up for the Author Program

It’s not something you can easily find if you are looking for a link to sign up.  It is however easy to find by searching Goodreads for your author name.  Once you search for your name, click on the “Is this you?” link below your name.  You will have to fill in some information and Goodreads will need to confirm some information, but once done and processed on Goodread’s end, you will have your Author Page.

If you aren’t published yet, you can still join however you will have to add a new book manually.  Use this link to manually add a book to Goodreads.  After you added the book, then search for your author name and follow the steps above.

Other features of the Author Program include:

  • A special profile, complete with your books
  • Sync your blog, events and videos to your profile
  • An author dashboard with stats, widgets and helpful links
  • Help readers find your book with giveaways, advertising and excerpts
  • Talk to readers in discussions and groups

Once you are signed up, your Author Dashboard will become your new dashboard for Goodreads and your log-in credentials remain the same.  On your new dashboard, you will see many useful links to assist your promotions for your book and you as an author.  There are reports available for you to track how many people add your book to their shelves and mark it “to-read”.

How to Promote with Goodreads

1 – Do advance copy giveaways.  On average, the giveaways attract a few hundred entries.  Many of the people who enter will add your book to their to-read list.  Schedule your giveaway 3 months before your publication date.  Look to giveaway 10-20 copies of your book.  Use a Giveaway widget to drive interest.

Giveaways for non-ebooks are free to list and you decide on the length as well as countries you want it promoted in.  Ask fans to follow your author page.

NOTE: Though Goodreads offers the giveaways free to authors with printed books, they do charge $119 for Kindle book giveaways.  Here is a quote from the Goodreads’ website explaining the cost difference:

Both types of giveaways give authors and publishers a powerful way to market their books, reach lots of new readers, and drive buzz. With a Kindle ebook giveaway, we give you the opportunity to offer a large number of free books, reaching even more readers. We also save you on both costs and hassle. No more printing books, hauling them down to the post office, filling out address labels, and paying to ship them off to winners (which can cost hundreds of dollars for a 100-copy giveaway). No more delays in getting your books in winners’ hands. The readers who win your Kindle ebook giveaway will get their Kindle ebook instantly and will be able to start reading right away, which means you can get readers talking about your title faster than ever. ~ read from the Goodreads website

2  – Inexpensive ads.  Combine a giveaway with a self-serve ad to attract over 50% more entries than doing giveaways without an ad.  Target fans of a specific genre or similar authors.  Target a relevant audience to help with a higher CTR (Click Through Rate).  For bidding, you can do as little as $.10 per click but according to Goodreads, they claim the site average is $.50 per click

Run two ads under the same campaign but two different purposes.  First one targeting about 5 genres and the second one targeting comparable well-known authors.  In the description section ask fans to follow your author page.  Add a Call to Action by asking readers to “add to your shelf” or “enter to win”.

3 – Connect with readers in groups and book clubs.  With over 20,000 book clubs and thousands of groups, you can connect with readers on topics that you are related.  A panel discussion allows new readers to meet you.

4 – Get reviews, especially early in your book’s life.  Reviews help new readers find your book.  When each Goodreads member reviews a book, their friends see the activity in their update feeds.  Reviews get syndicated to ecommerce sites and library sites and many  members post their reviews to Facebook and Twitter.

If you signed up for your Author Page, then congratulations, you just learned another great tool to help promote both you and your books.  If you have tips that you have learned, please leave them in the comments below.

How to book on self-publishingIf you are looking to publish your first book you might want to get my book, “How to Create & Sell Your Book Through Self-Publishing“.  It’s only $0.99 for the digital download or $5.99 for a printed copy.  It’s available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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