5 ways to utilize Goodreads

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I recently updated my Goodreads author profile and it occurred to me how few authors (myself included) really take full advantage of being a Goodreads Author. Sure, maybe you’ve filled in the data for your author profile, but have you really explored the website? Check out these five tips for taking full advantage of Goodreads.

1. Be a reader who also happens to write, not vice versa. Go into Goodreads as a fan of writing. Go into the discussion groups as a reader. Is it ok to talk about yourself as a writer? Yes, but you can’t lead with it. Make good comments and have something to say as a reader first, and people will check out your profile. If they bring up writing, then feel free to interject. The temptation will be there to sell your books. You will more than likely anger folks if you do this in the wrong context. Find the groups that are talking about books like yours. Do you write young adult fantasy? You can bet there’s an active group talking about it. Also, be on the lookout for groups that allow you to post sales or freebies. This can be just as good as a paid advertisement. Be an active member first and a passive bookseller second and folks will eventually figure it out on their own.

2. Connect your blog. Remember that this is another venue through which potential readers may come. Get your voice out there. Maybe they won’t immediately click on your books, but connecting your blog gives them a little snippet of the kind of writing they can expect.

3. Fill out your Ask the Author interview questions. This is an opportunity to engage random readers. Be colorful. Be interesting. Show potential readers what’s in store for them if they read your books.

4.¬†Use the self-serve advertising. While there’s no guarantee for success here, advertising on Goodreads is relatively inexpensive and gets you face time with your primary customer.

5. Host a giveaway for your paperbacks. Goodreads is filled with rabid readers who love nothing better than getting a free paperback. It can generate reviews and good karma and is well worth the relatively low cost of printing and shipping a handful of books.

Do you have a Goodreads good practice? Please share in the comments below!