Why Goodreads Needs to Be On Your Social Radar

It’s not unusual for me to receive a blank stare when Goodreads is brought up in a professional conversation. In my experience working with authors (and bookworms, like me), I have found that Goodreads can be one of the most overlooked social sites, despite the fact that it can make a big impact with very little effort.

Many authors balk at the idea of social media in general, offering the excuse that they don’t have time to interact and engage, or they don’t want to be tethered to technology. And while I completely understand that, for social-shy and time-crunched authors Goodreads offers some of biggest bang for the least buck. With very little effort, it is possible to reach people who you know enjoy reading (and cataloging the completion of each book), thereby exposing your work to a broader audience each time someone adds your book to their virtual shelf.

Apart from the initial set up of your personal account and claiming ownership of your author page, the time investment is minimal. In fact, if you choose not to use Goodreads for tracking your yearly reading or gleaning book recommendations (two of the reasons I love it), after set up you’ll only need visit 2-3 times a year to ensure that everything is still currant (bio, website, books you’ve written, etc.).

Having a properly optimized Goodreads author account won’t be the difference maker between having a bestseller or a flop, but it will put a face to a name for your target audience: readers.

Goodreads gives you exposure. You see, no matter who you think your target audience might be, the reality is that anyone who sees your book, is a possible buyer of your book, and thus, your target. While your intended reader might be someone totally different than Joe Smith, when Joe sees his friend Amy shelve your book with a 4 or 5 star review, he’s going to be more inclined to click on your book title – and from there, to your author page – to see what’s up.

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, Goodreads can offer some unique opportunities for authors to engage with readers. You can host a Goodreads book giveaway (read this is a helpful how-to post), and open up an “ask the author” conversation thread where people can ask you questions about your books. These forums can be fantastic resources if you are researching your next book, and a great way to begin building your team of supporters long before your next book lands on store shelves. You can add book trailers on your author page, load in quotes from your book that people can like and share, and link your website blog to your Goodreads account (as this one is) so that people who might not regularly find (or read) your blog, see your posts show up in their Goodreads feed.

Bottom Line: Goodreads is worth investigating and utilizing if you are not already doing so. Feel free to come over and say hello, from one bookworm to another!