Just mention Goodreads to some indie authors and you may get a hostile response. There’s no doubt that there have been several nasty author vs reader fights. But there is no reason to treat Goodreads like a social media ghetto. Seriously, you don’t need to clutch your books tightly to your chest every time a reader passes by! Yes I’ll admit, there are trolls who wish to ruin your day, but on the flip-side, there are also authors harassing people on the site. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that several groups on Goodreads have banned misbehaving authors like this one called, Anti-Asshat Indie Authors.
You see, it goes both ways. My advice for social media has always been avoid drama, by having nothing to do with the people who cause it.
Things to do on Goodreads
Your first mission on any social media site is to claim some space of your very own. That means creating a profile and joining the author’s program. You have to do this in order to add your books and hold giveaways on the site.
Once you’re done with all that, you’re going to want to build up you fan numbers but before you go spending all your efforts on that, you might want to consider jazzing up your Goodreads author page. That means posting videos, creating quizzes, and sharing quotes from your book. Remember what I said about arranging your social media pages like a website?
Make Friends with the Cool Kids
If you’re going to follow someone, follow the people who are the power users. These people generally visit the site daily and sometimes have hundreds if not, thousands of reviews to their credit. Goodreads helps you find these folks using their People feature. It can help you find the most popular reviewers, and librarians who review books your genre.
Getting in the Goodreads Newsletter
Did you know Goodreads has a newsletter? Actually, they have two, one for adults and another for the young adult crowd. Though indie authors aren’t likely to get interviewed or reviewed unless, they buy one of the advertising packages, there is still a way to weasel your book into that newsletter.
Every month, the kind folks at Goodreads select the most popular Q&A sessions and put them in their newsletter which goes out to thousands people. If you can pull off an awesome Q&A then there’s a good chance you can wind up in their newsletter. However, you must contact them well in advance before your Q&A is scheduled.
Here are suggestions from Goodreads’ own website: “Create a special group ‘Ask [Author Name]’ or ‘[Author Name] hosts a Q&A.’ Make sure to categorize it as a ‘Goodreads Author’ group. The group description should clearly state what time range the author will be available to answer questions—we recommend running your group for a single day.”
You can contact them about it here and select Author Program in the question type drop down box.
The editors at Goodreads are open to book submissions from publishers (which you are by the way) so why not? Keep in mind, it’s very competitive, there are tons of authors and publishers submitting and wanting in, but it’s worth a shot.
Here is the list of the editorial team, as well as the instructions as to where and how to submit your book.
So there you have it, yet another book promotional hack for indie authors. Next week, I’ll talk about social media influencers and why Facebook may be the next big target for indie authors promoting their books.