Goodreads Tips for Indie Authors

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Goodreads is a platform for book lovers to interact with each other, post book reviews, recommend books, track their yearly reading goals, and other bookish things. Unlike other social media platforms, everyone on Goodreads loves and reads books, and as an author, getting good reviews on Goodreads helps generate more readers. This platform is often new to authors when they’re releasing their first book, so the question authors often ask is, “What can I do to stand out on Goodreads?”

Understand that Goodreads is a Social Media Platform

Would you create your Facebook or Twitter page, add some info and pictures, and then just leave it there to magically collect followers? No, you probably wouldn’t. Unfortunately, that is often the attitude authors use toward Goodreads. Instead, an easy way to gain exposure for your book is to get involved on Goodreads as a reader. I’m sure you loved books long before you became an author, so enjoy the platform like any other member would. Explore it and see what you find!

Join Discussions and Groups

Goodreads has tons of discussions and groups talking about genres, libraries, and book clubs—truly anything bookish. If you are a mystery author (and if so, I assume you love mysteries), join a mystery group or book club and start meeting new mystery lovers. All it takes is one click on your name for people in the group to see that you also write mysteries, and now they know who you are and can easily talk to you about what you’re working on.

Don't Be Too Self-Promotional

Let your writing come up naturally from having normal encounters with other Goodreads users. You probably wouldn’t start a conversation with a stranger by saying “I wrote a book.” Social media is a digital extension of normal social interaction, so if you don’t like strangers calling or knocking on your door to sell you things, odds are good you wouldn’t like it in digital form either.

Maintain Your Author Blog

Authors can post blogs on Goodreads, and it’s definitely in your best interest to maintain one. You might be thinking, “But wait, I already have a blog on my author website. Why should I care about Goodreads?” The difference is that if you’re interacting with other Goodreads users, they are likely to click on your name at some point, and when they do, your blog will appear on your profile page. This makes your blogging much more accessible to people on Goodreads.

Check Out the Goodreads Authors and Advertisers Blog

Goodreads has a blog specifically for authors on Goodreads. It’s filled with industry insights, Goodreads events, and tips for authors as they set out on their journeys of creating, publishing, and marketing a book. It’s a great place to learn more about Goodreads.

So now it’s up to you to get out there and explore the many features Goodreads offers and maybe even find a few new books for your to-be-read list!


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Sydney Mathieu

Sydney Mathieu is a digital marketing expert who creates innovative campaigns for author and publisher clients for JKS Communications. She is a well-respected book publicist with a graphic design background that makes authors' visual promotions and social media pop. She focuses much of her time on promoting authors through social media, Amazon SEO, Goodreads support and creatively getting promotional material into the hands of tastemakers.