Goodreads.com is one of the premiere social networking sites for a course in miracles lovers. At this site you can make friends, share book recommendations, create virtual bookshelves to show off what you’re currently reading, the books you’ve read in the past, and titles you intend to read in the future. The article below details a few functions of the site as well as several ways that I have successfully promoted and marketed my own book. I won’t get into the technical side of things as far as how to join the site or set these things up, as the website itself is good at walking you through the process.
If your new book has an ISBN number or is posted for sale on Amazon.com then it’s more than likely that your title will be searchable in the site’s database. Once you have signed up for a Goodreads account and located your book, you will be able to click a magic button to tell the site that you are the writer of the book and will be led through the process on how to set up an author page.
You’ll be able to create an author biography for yourself that will list the books you have written, a link to your website, your genre, your favorite writers, as well a picture. Make sure everything is professional looking and sounding so you immediately have credibility as an author. This is likely the first information your potential readers are going to see or read about you. Make a great first impression!
Goodreads has its own blog service which will display any posts you make to your profile, but hopefully you’re one step ahead of the game and already have a blog (and a professional looking) website of your own. In the blog settings you can insert the web address of your blog’s feed and anytime you update your regular blog, it will automatically cross-post to Goodreads where friends and potential fans will see it. It will put the first few paragraphs on the site and then link externally to your regular blog… and once those readers are on your real website, hopefully you have enough material to keep them there, ultimately leading them to that fateful Amazon.com link where they can purchase your title!
If you have any big events coming up, whether it’s the actual release date of your book, a blog tour, or a book signing, list it here! You can then promote the event to your friends and they can decide whether or not they will attend. If nothing else, it shows potential readers (and publishers) that you’re a hard worker and willing to do your own promotion.
Video book trailers are all the rage this year, so if you have your own hosted on YouTube, or other online video service, you can link it here and your readers will be able to enjoy it right from the Goodreads site (and hopefully purchase your novel soon after!). Other good videos to post include author interviews, public speaking engagements, or a personal reading from a chapter of your book. It’s easier to sell a book when someone feels like they know the author, so get personal! Just don’t get so personal that you end up revealing your social security or credit card numbers to your viewers! That would be silly.
Another section on your author page lets you post writings. This can be whatever you like! Often times you’ll see good reviews of the book reposted here, sample chapters, and more and more authors are putting brand new material online in order to get feedback as they write the sequel to their current novel. Interactivity is the key to a strong and loyal readership!
Goodreads.com encourages all of its members to share quotes from books they love. You can put quotes from your favorite books, inspirational sayings, or (if you’re crafty) you’ll upload quotes from your book that will be attention grabbing. These quotes will also show up on your book’s Goodreads page. Between the “Writing” section and the “Quotes” sections, there’s enough room to add some good snippets to get people reading your work, and hopefully it also makes them feel like they HAVE to finish it, and subsequently buy the book!
The last section of the author page that I want to mention is the “Fan” area where people can click a single button and become a fan. Your name and photo will then show up on their profile underneath their “Favorite Authors” section, and they will be updated whenever you post a new book, new writings, or a new blog post. Whatever keeps them coming back! Remember that the average person has to be exposed to something almost seven times before they decide to purchase it!
Since authors love to read, it’s easy to share what book your nose is currently in with your Goodreads friends and fans. With status updates, you can tell them what page you are currently on in any given title you may be reading as well as any thoughts or emotions you’re having on the book thus far. You can also leave a general status update where you can share 140 characters of anything you want! This is seen by anyone who is currently your friend, or has clicked the “Fan” button on your page. Is summer coming? Suggest to your readers that they sit outside and enjoy a copy of your book (with a link to the Amazon.com product page, of course).
Remember that sharing which books you enjoy is another good form of interaction. By clicking on any book’s title, you’ll be able to see which of your friends and fans have read it. Strike up a conversation! Find out what they liked and disliked about the book, and if your novel is in a similar genre, don’t forget to recommend it to them!