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How Does Goodreads Work?

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by Philip Overby, May 19, 2015.

  1. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    So I hear a lot of people say Goodreads is a good place to find people interested in fiction. I've heard joining groups is a good way to interact with potential readers, but I'm not sure how to go about doing it. If anyone has experience with Goodreads and what is the best approach, could you mention it here?
  2. PaulineMRoss

    PaulineMRoss Inkling

    The first, and possibly only, thing you need to know about Goodreads is that it's a place for *readers*. Authors are welcome to join in *as readers*, but should be ultra-cautious about putting on their author hat. Goodreaders are merciless to authors who are deemed to have overstepped the mark. That means: NEVER respond to reviews of your books, or join in discussion about them, or even mention them in chat groups.

    The groups can be fun places to socialize, but I find they're not as interesting as they used to be. They're also (like all social opportunities) a terrible time-sink. Join in if it interests you, but be cautious, and don't expect to make sales or fans that way.

    What you should do on Goodreads is to set up your author account (you have to ask for this) and then make sure that your books are properly listed. A librarian can help if there are problems. Then make sure that your author page is an appealing hub for your books, just as you do with your Amazon author page. You can link your blog if you want to.

    The other useful thing is a Goodreads giveaway. If you have print copies of your book, you put 1 or 2 up as prizes, loads of people sign up for the freebie, you get loads of publicity. You then send the books to the winners.
  3. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver


    Thanks for that.

    I've been "active" on Goodreads for a while now, and I'm still not sure what to do there. :)
  4. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    Thanks Pauline. I suspected Goodreads is for readers and that's how I've used it in the past (but I've gone back and forth on it), mostly just to find new books. But I've kept hearing writers talk about it like it's good for marketing. Setting up an author page is a good idea. I don't have print books to give away, so I'd have to hold off on that.
  5. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    I echo what Pauline said, but would add perhaps a bit more. Because it's a place for readers, it can be (depends on genre) a good place to *listen to readers*. Listen to what gets them excited or makes them angry. I don't have many fellow readers around me, and I don't read nearly as much as I used to. It's good for me to hear readers become passionate about fantasy books, or just books in general.
  6. kennyc

    kennyc Inkling

    I wouldn't say it's quite as vicious as Pauline indicates. The truth is that any author who promotes their work there or here or one other reading or writing forums can strike the wrong chord.

    I would agree it appears to have gone downhill a bit in the last few years. There was a big controversy over certain types of posts the deleting them. Also since Amazon bought them things have changed a bit. I don't find the discussions nearly as interesting as in the past and pretty much avoid it at the moment. Oh and the navigation etc. really sucks. Difficult to understand, get around, figure things out...

    You can set up an author site, (here's mine) post information on your books etc. You can promote said books in the appropriate places -- many groups have designated 'promotion' subforum/threads.

    Just one more avenue for learning about books and promoting yours if you so desire.
  7. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

  8. MineOwnKing

    MineOwnKing Maester

    Goodreads is not just for readers.

    I'm not sure why people here are saying that.

    There are many groups, including groups designated for self-published writers of fiction.

    Many writers get together to do review swaps, share work and experiences.

    There is also groups dedicated to readers, but by no means is the site only for them.

    I removed all my group activity when I read about a group of trolls that purposely seeks out writers on Goodreads to dish out 1 star reviews both there and on Amazon.

    I found the forums to be very friendly and helpful, but none of them for me matched the interaction found on this site.
    TheCatholicCrow likes this.

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