Well, I’m sure you’ll agree that is a very bold statement, but I stand by it, and here’s why. Goodreads is the single biggest website on the Internet for bringing authors and readers together. Currently over 16 million members use the Goodreads website. It provides a platform both to share your books, read the books of others, enjoy engaging forums, promote new releases with a giveaway, link up with your followers from Twitter/Facebook etc etc.
I want to use this post to highlight three aspects of Goodreads (and there are plenty more) which you can use to help with marketing your book.
When I initially published my book I decided to give away a few paperback copies. I thought, optimistically, a hundred or so people on Goodreads would be perhaps interested in receiving a copy. I was staggered when over 1,800 people requested one of the free copies. That, straightaway, meant 1,800+ people (and all those who saw it, but didn’t request it) knew my book now existed. I also had over 300 people place it on their ‘to read’ list. There are a few rules regarding the 'giveaway' programme on Goodreads, but it certainly will create some immediate exposure.
2) Harvesting Twitter followers
This is a tip I was given by an author friend. You’ll find with Goodreads you’ll only be permitted to add a certain number of friends per day, before the system blocks you until you enter a new day. However, Goodreads do appreciate you may have Twitter followers on Goodreads, which you currently haven’t yet befriended on the site. These they will allow you to add as friends in bulk. You can do this by going to your profile page, scrolling down to your Friends list, clicking where it indicates how many friends you have, and then clicking on ‘Find Friends From’. Then select Twitter (and you can use the other social sites too) from the choices available. The system will then tell you how many Twitter followers you have on Goodreads that you can send a friend request to. Those who do agree to be friends on Goodreads will then slowly start to populate your 'friends' list.
If you have a book riding high in one of the Listopia ‘lists’, it provides a good opportunity for further promotion. Currently I have a book which has been in the top ten ‘Thrillers You Must Read’ category for over 16 months, of which for two months during 2013 it was #1. This particular listing on Goodreads has given the novel some excellent exposure. (I’m sure, now that I’ve just said that, one or two will see it as their duty to topple it, sooner rather than later. C'est la vie. However, any additional votes will be gratefully received.)