When we ask new clients if they have a personal account on Goodreads, we are often met with blank looks. Goodreads? What’s that?
If you’re having the same reaction right now, then grab a cup of coffee and keep reading—because if you’re an author and you’re not using Goodreads, you’re missing out on a key tool in your marketing box!
If you’re not even sure what Goodreads is, then let’s start there. Goodreads is social cataloging website that allows authors and readers to keep track of what they’re reading, find recommendations for what to read, collect quotes, participate in group discussions, and more. To summarize, Goodreads is low-commitment social media for bookworms. Launched into the online world in January 2007, sold to Amazon in 2013, and reported to have more than 90 million members as of July 2019, Goodreads is a readers’ resource.
How To Use It
That depends on whether you are a reader-only, an author, editor, or illustrator. In addition to my official page that links to my work as an editor, I personally use Goodreads to keep track of every book I read, discover new authors and books that interest me, and write reviews (which are conveniently linked to Amazon through Kindle—so I finish an ebook, immediately write an Amazon review, and it also publishes on Goodreads).
Most authors already have a page on Goodreads, they just don’t realize it and haven’t taken ownership of it yet. If your book has been listed on the site by your publisher, publicist, or a member of the reading public (like your launch team), then your name is automatically linked to that book… and maybe a whole lot more.
By claiming your official author page, you are able to link yourself (with the help of Goodreads or one of their librarians) to the books you’ve written, optimize your page to include a current bio and headshot, upload book trailers, link to your Twitter account and blog or website, and add quotes from your book(s) for others to find and share. Think of it as free publicity!
Why It Matters
I have lost track of the number of times I have searched Google for a quote, an author, or a book title and the top result is from Goodreads. It’s even better when the top result takes me to a page or a quote for an author whose page I have assisted in optimizing, because it means it’s working.
Once the initial set up is done, Goodreads requires very little time. You might find that you like being able to catalogue your current reads, or you might find that you only log on once or twice a year to make sure everything’s still up to date. Either way, if you’re not utilizing this resource, you’re missing out on search results, connecting with readers who are looking for books in your specific genre, and the opportunity to reach a wider audience for your book.
For information about how to get started as a verified author on Goodreads, visit: https://www.goodreads.com/author/program.
Carrie Koens joined the Weaving Influence team in May 2012 and has held a number of roles, including three years as the Book Launch Director (a title she stepped away from in June 2016 in order to focus on the needs of her growing family), and she currently serves the team as a Writer and Consultant. An INTJ with a penchant for culture, book stores, Parisian cafés, Indian curry, British mystery shows, and her passport, you can find her on Twitter @CGKoens.