Authors, Readers and GoodReads

GoodReads has quickly become one of my favorite websites. Every writer should know they have to get their book onto the GoodReads site as soon as it’s published. I cruised over there after “Joshua’s Tree” came out last June and put in my ASIN as they requested (that’s the Amazon code for your book) and was disappointed when my novel didn’t immediately pop up on the site like it was supposed to. I fumbled around for a day or so and then found the GoodReads Librarians. If you are having any trouble creating your author profile or getting your book up, they are super helpful and quick to respond. When I requested they put my book on the site, my expectations for their service was low. But to my surprise and satisfaction, they resolved my issue quickly, and I was off to the races.

Shortly after my book was put on GoodReads, a reader placed it on the GoodReads 2013 Summer Reads list.   https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/35263.2013_Summer_Reads#181  36339

It quickly shot to the top of the list (above over 800 other novels) and has remained there since. Being on the list has gotten me lots of free publicity, something we newly published writers are constantly on the search for.

Another thing I love about GoodReads is I can see when anyone adds my book to their “to-read” list, which happens almost every day and sometimes many times per day. Each time someone adds me, it validates my marketing efforts. I’ve had people add “Joshua’s Tree” to their “to-read” list all over the world, from Singapore to Seattle. Very motivating. And, of course, it is also gratifying to see the reviews of “Joshua’s Tree” pilling up on the GoodReads website.

Many of us know that Amazon purchase GoodReads last spring, and I remember reading some concerns about GoodReads loosing its independence on different blogs I follow. So far, I really haven’t notice any change in the GoodReads platform, though I wasn’t overly familiar with the site before it was purchased. Below is a link to an interesting article from the Washington Post about why Amazon bought GoodReads. It also address a question that should always be on the published author’s mind, how are consumers deciding to buy a book?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/04/02/why-amazon-bought-goodreads/

What’s your thoughts on GoodRead–the good, bad and ugly? If your a writer, what do you think is the most powerful platform for promoting your work?

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About nwharrisbooks

Born and raised in a small town in north Georgia, my imagination evolved under the swaying pines surrounding my family's log home. On summer days that were too hot, winter days that were too cold, and every night into the wee hours I read books. My face was rarely seen, always hidden behind a binding. I was nurtured on fiction. Now it is my turn to create some of my own. I live in sunny southern California with my beautiful wife and two perfect children (I may be biased). I write like I read, constantly. I studied anthropology at UCSB and medicine at SUNY Buffallo.
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12 Responses to Authors, Readers and GoodReads

  1. MishaBurnett says:

    Personally I haven’t gotten anything from the site. I think it depends a lot on both the genre of the book and how much effort the author is willing to put into it. Since I don’t care much for spending time in discussion groups and it shows, I concentrate my efforts elsewhere.

    • Pray tell, where do you find the most success in promoting your work, Misha? Always on the lookout for new forms of promotion.

      • MishaBurnett says:

        I’ve had some good results from StoryCartel.com. They have a program where authors can upload their books for free download in exchange for honest reviews.

        My main promotion, though, is word of mouth. I have some very enthusiastic fans who tell everyone they know about my work. One reader who is excited about a book is worth a million “likes” or “follows”.

      • Thanks Misha! I’m off to check out StoryCartel.com now. The stats agree with you, word of mouth is the number one driving factor in getting books to sell. I think people are jaded to advertising at this point and are mostly relying on their friends recommendations for what they buy. And the beauty of it is, once the word-of-mouth machine is in motion, it tends to grow like a snowball, getting you more and more sales as time goes on.

  2. Jade Reyner says:

    I have to admit to being a bit apathetic about Goodreads also. I have my book on there and an account etc.. but I have not really progressed it any further than that. I am in some discussion groups but the emails I get are endless and so I tend to ignore most of them. I would love to hear in more detail how you have found success via this website as I am sure that it does have huge benefits for us. 🙂

    • Hi Jade, I think you might want to find a list in GoodReads Lystopia that you can get your book on (anyone, including you, can ad a book to the list). Find one that is big enough so you can get some publicity, but not so big that you’ll never get enough votes to make it high on the list. Put your book on the list and then get all your friends to vote. What ends up happening is everyone that goes on the list to vote for other people’s books will see your book (if you are high enough on the list, say top ten). This results in lots of free publicity for your novel. Also, you can try friending people on GoodReads like you would on FaceBook. Once they become your friend, you can message them about your book, another great bit of free advertising. And make sure your blog is linked to your author page on GoodReads so that your blogs are showing up there. Thanks for stopping by, I always enjoy your visits to my blog.

      • Jade Reyner says:

        Thank you for that information and for the compliment – I enjoy your blog. I have got lots of ‘friends’ on there but I have no idea what to do with them and for some reason only known to WordPress, my blog and Goodreads just don’t want to play. I’ll look into that list thing though – that sounds like a good plan. 🙂

  3. How do you know where people are adding your book from? I have yet to find that. I too really love Goodreads and yes, it does give an idea if your strategies are working. I have also sold a lot of books from there.

  4. Pingback: Good Stuff Happens | My NaNoWriMo Adventure

  5. Ms. Vee says:

    I am happy to hear that your novel is doing so well. Great information about GoodReads.

  6. I am only recently come to GoodReads but I love it as a reader – it’s so much fun to use and it’s amazing what you can find and get recommended by your choices – things you would never necessarily come accross browsing amazon or a bookstore. As a writer I am pleased it is there should I every get to the point to need to promote my work (fingers crossed!) as it is so user friendly and accessible. I hope it remains so.

    Congrats on Joshua’s Tree doing so well. It’s onwards and upwards now 🙂

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