Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant
Every author and/or publisher who has attempted to publicize a book knows that the greatest challenge is that title’s being “discovered.” Since we readers seldom stroll through a bookstore’s aisles any more, we aren’t snared by a book’s cover, intriguing title, or our intuitive sense that this might be a book we’d enjoy.
Goodreads, with its audience of 19 million, can help to build awareness of your book. Here are five ways you can increase visibility.
1. Join the Goodreads author program (for free). Once you do, you can help readers to discover your books these ways:
2. Set up your profile.
–Customize your profile with photos, a bio, and other information about yourself.
–Create a blog or syndicate one from another site. (Great way to increase blog traffic!)
–Edit your book information and upload cover images.
–View stats on how many readers have added, rated, and reviewed your books.
–Promote your upcoming events.
3. Work to get reviews. You’re likely already doing that via Amazon, but Goodreads’ reviews work harder for you than other reviews because they are syndicated to USA Today.com, ecommerce sites, and library-related sites. You can stimulate reviews by:
–Posting excerpts of your book on your Goodreads page.
–Linking your blog to your Goodreads page and creating a blog post announcing your book is available for review.
–Joining Goodreads Groups and reviewing others’ book from your Groups.
–Putting a Goodreads widget on your website. When you sign up for your account, you’ll see instructions on how to obtain the widget. You can attracts more Goodreads followers via the widget.
–And the most effective way of all: scheduling a Goodreads giveaway.
4. Give away copies of your book.
–Giveaways are free for you.
–The average 20-copy giveaway in the US attracts 940 entries.
–Nearly half of all entries will add the book to their shelves.
–Giveaways have directly generated more than 18,000 reviews in the first half of 2013.
–Run two giveaways for maximum effect: one pre-publication to generate reviews and build buzz, and one at publication to increase awareness.
5. Stay active. I know. We already feel over-the-top with social media commitments, and here I am, ranting about yet another place for you to while away your hours. Here’s the good news: You don’t need to monitor what’s happening on Goodreads 24/7. Checking in about once a week should do the trick after you’ve established your profile. When you check in, follow this to-do list:
–Add a new book to your shelves, either one you’re reading, one you want to read, or one that inspired your writing.
–Write a review for a book. If you already created one for Amazon, re-post it on Goodreads. You also can post a Goodreads review on Amazon.
–Rate books. All you have to do is give a starred rating; you don’t have to review these books.
–Post to a group, comment or respond to someone’s question.
–Add friends. You’ll find people in the Groups that you want to friend or reviewers you want to follow. Building a healthy friend list is key to expanding your network (and getting more reviews) on Goodreads.
Okay, so it’s not painless. Still, adding Goodreads to your publicity arsenal can be a strategic way to attack the discoverability conundrum.
In what ways are you engaged in Goodreads?
Which ideas strike you as most effective–either from my list or something you’ve tried?
Note #1: I’m traveling today and will have limited opportunity to join in the discussion. Drat!
Note #2: Special thanks for some of the marketing tips to Penny Sansevieri’s “The Book Marketing Expert newsletter,” a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques, and to Patrick Brown from Goodreads, who supplied the statistics.
5 ways to increase an author’s visibility via Goodreads. Click to tweet.
Why authors should be involved in Goodreads. Click to tweet.