I said I would work my way through, what I consider to be, the most popular of social networking sites. Today I am going to focus on Good Reads.
Because I know there are so many authors out there who abuse social networking sites for book promotion, I am going to remind you all that these are first, and foremost SOCIAL NETWORKING sites. They were designed to get like-minded people together and socializing–see the connection? In this instance, the topic of conversation is books. Woohoo!
So, with that in mind, Good Reads is the perfect place for us to talk about our books. Notice I did not say promote our books. So what the hell is the point? I know that’s most of you are thinking. The point is to promote our books. Whoa baby, confused? Your head spinning? Promote your books; don’t promote your books. ACK!
This is where you get to show how creative you are. Like any social networking site you should be developing those ever-popular relationships with readers on Good Reads. Don’t just sign up and blast all your new friends with snippets and excerpts on your books.
Here are a few suggestions on how to let readers know about your books.
- Talk to them.
- See what they are reading and discuss those books
- Find readers who read in your genre.
- Find readers who share your interest in topics.
- Set up a discussion group for yourself and your books.
- Set up an author page.
All of these things are quite simple, but totally useless if you don’t follow through on them. Do NOT ask a public question and then never respond to those who answer it. You need to converse with them. Interact. I promise it won’t kill you, despite what the media says to the contrary.
Before I go into the direct options for authors, please note how IMPORTANT the interaction with readers is. Don’t just blast people with your books. Let the programs do the work for you while you talk about books with the other readers.
- Post the books you are reading.
- Post your reviews when you finish a book.
- Add books you’d like to read.
- Randomly look at other peoples pages and comment on their reviews.
The key to interacting is to communicate with others. I know, we are often solitary creatures, but we alone will not make our books best sellers. We need readers to buy our books.
Good Reads Author Program http://www.goodreads.com/author/program
The first thing you should do if you plan to promote your book is to set up your Good Reads Author page. After you have done that, then you can look into all these other things.
Good Reads eBooks http://www.goodreads.com/ebooks
For those of you who only have eBooks, there is a section where you can upload books for giveaway (use your freebies). You can also use this section to put up excerpts for people to read and get a taste of your style.
Good Reads Giveaways http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway
You can also do giveaways on Good Reads. You decide for how many copies and for how long people can sign up. I don’t suggest giving away large quantities, but it is a GREAT way to get attention.
Good Reads Events http://www.goodreads.com/event
This is a good one. I am a HUGE fan of events and I think more authors should find ways and places to do them. We don’t need no steenking bookstores to do events. The more unique, the better. But my point here is that Good Reads has a section specifically for posting your events. How cool is that?
Good Reads Self-Serve Advertising http://www.goodreads.com/advertisers/ad_home
Advertising a book has never been so easy, or inexpensive. I am on my second ad and while it was a not a huge success, I know of four books I sold because of the ad and I spent less than $10.00.
MOST IMPORTANT TIP!
Don’t be an asshat on the social networking sites. Don’t go blasting in with your book promotion and expect everyone to give a hoot. They won’t. Subtly goes a long way and since Good Reads gives us so many opportunities to promote our work, the only thing we really need to do is to get to know the readers so they know to go look for our stuff.
You can set up your account to post an update when you post a article on your Blog. You can also make sure that when you post a review it goes up on Facebook and/or Twitter. This gives you a little extra exposure without having to actually go to Facebook and get sucked into the cute kitty pictures.
Promoting through social networking doesn’t have to be hard and certainly doesn’t need to be a time suck. But like anything in life, you will only get back what you put in. Of this you can be sure.