Monday, April 29, 2013

The Benefits of Goodreads

Goodreads is a social reading platform that allows readers to track everything about books from choosing what they want to read, to rating and reviewing those books, to interacting with authors. It's also a great platform for authors to connect with readers. (For a better description, click here to go to their About Us page.) 

Recently, Goodreads has been in the media a bit due to the fact that Amazon has now purchased Goodreads and, according to many authors and readers, the jury's still out on whether or not this union will ultimately be beneficial. Some say it will be the same as before; others have already deleted their accounts; some are convinced having Amazon on their side can only be a good thing; and many authors, like me for instance, are willing to wait and see what actually goes down as things change over before deciding how they feel about it. This point of this post isn't to open up that whole can of worms, however. It's to enlighten fellow authors (especially indies who tend to have to do so much more of the interaction/publicity themselves) on the benefits of Goodreads, because, let's face it,  the site does offer authors great ways to get their books in front of readers in a timely and organized manner. 

We're going to go over a few ways to maximize your readers' viewing potential, but first, if you're still unsure about boarding the Goodreads train, allow me to share some stats straight from their website: 

There are currently over 15 million members23 million reviews, and 525 million books on Goodreads.

Wow. I'd say those stats alone are pretty good reasons to check Goodreads out from an author standpoint, wouldn't you? And now, for the breakdown:

1) In 7 Splendid Articles on Using Goodreads As An Author (link), Iain Broome points out the best articles regarding maximizing the benefits of Goodreads according to Writer's Digest, Writer Unboxed, The Indie Exchange, Rachelle Gardner, Books & Such Literary Agency, and more. It is definitely a good read (pun not intended) and worth saving to refer to later.

2) Goodreads giveaways: This is mentioned in the above article but I think it should be mentioned again. The simplicity alone of doing a giveaway makes it worth the few minutes of set up. The facts that readers see the giveaway on Goodreads (you can easily share it on other social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, your website, et cetera via one simple link or by using a widget) and the giveaway gives the option for readers to add it to their Goodreads shelves (thus showcasing your book to all of their friends as well) are just bonuses. (You can view the giveaway form here.) 

3) Goodreads' Author Program (link) suggests and explains how you can maximize your potential using not only their giveaways, but publicizing upcoming events, participating in discussion forums, sharing excerpts of your writing, advertising, writing quizzes, and more. There's even a video for those of you who appreciate a visual description, not to mention a video on pretty much everything they offer (reviews, giveaways, groups, advertising, and so on). (link)

Bottom line, readers interact. They share what they love, what's stuck with them, what they want to read, what made them think, who they love to read and would love to read more of, and much, much more. Considering the fact that Goodreads' potential can only grow larger, it makes sense for authors to use this social reading platform in their favor. 

Feel free to share your Goodreads experiences in the comments!

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