Making the most of Goodreads’ author resources

Brad Meltzer’s author photo on Goodreads
Brad Meltzer is an example of an author who chose a unique photo for Goodreads. At top is a typical photo Meltzer shares with news media, looking all authory among those library shelves. For Goodreads, however, he chose a fun photo with his nose deep in a book. Click the image to watch a video interview with Brad.

In an earlier blog post I encouraged authors to join Goodreads and to claim their author page and earn a Goodreads Author Badge. Did you earn your Author Badge? Congratulations.

Now it’s time to make the most of Goodreads. Make sure that you let the world know that you are a Goodreads author on all of your social media.

Then, take another look at your author profile. Is up to date, complete and accurate? Is your profile photo professional and inviting? Look at the profile photos of the authors you read to give you some ideas of what is appropriate. Some are typical studio photos; others are clever; some are informal. Make sure that yours reflects the image that you want to portray.

Your Goodreads Author Dashboard is where all of your Goodreads marketing needs can be found. Make sure you bookmark it for easy access. Did you sign up for the Authors & Advertisers Blog? It’s a great resource for marketing ideas, provided free from Goodreads.

Is your book listed in the best category it can be? Is it where the most readers will find it? Is it a category where you have a chance to shine among all the other options? Do you have a blog? Did you list the link to your blog in your profile? Have you listed your Goodreads author page on your blog? Make it as easy as possible for fans to find you!

A great way to stay in touch via Goodreads is to take advantage of their Ask the Author feature. Interested readers want to know more about your writing—so, give them the scoop on your world. (Got questions about this feature? Goodreads offers and extensive FAQ page about how it works.)

I recently heard an interview with New York Times bestselling thriller author, Brad Meltzer, discussing his brand new novel, The Escape Artist. Brad explained that the gripping opening chapter of his novel was actually the last chapter that he wrote. He also revealed some fascinating information about how he researched this book. I won’t spoil it for you, you can see the interview here. As a fan, this information made me want to grab my e-reader, download the book and start reading it immediately.

Consider following that example for your readers. Give them the juicy background information that they won’t find out unless they keep track of you via Goodreads and your other social media. Also, use Ask the Author for research with other authors. Ask them questions about their writing process or research—and you may be surprised by the thoughtful responses you get.

Finally, Goodreads has a very effective Giveaway program. Books are listed for giveaway by publishers or authors, and Goodreads members can enter to win. Winners are picked randomly at the end of the giveaway. These interested readers will often write a review of the book, especially if it is requested by the author. The giveaways are for residents of the 50 United States, they must be 18 years of age or older, and they must have an active account. When a reader enters a sweepstake for your book, your book will be automatically added to the readers Want-to-Read shelf on Goodreads and remain there until the end of the sweepstakes. When you run your next giveaway, Goodreads emails those readers letting them know, which reminds them again about your book.

Care to learn more about Goodreads Giveaways? Note that the rules have changed as of , so if you were involved in this program some years ago—please take note of the current rules. In addition, here’s a helpful Five Tips overview of the new program, which was published a week after the rules changed.

Meanwhile, please connect with us—your Front Edge Publishing columnists—on Goodreads.

Here is David Crumm’s Goodreads page.

Here is mine: Susan Stitt’s page.

About Susan Stitt

Susan Stitt is marketing director of Front Edge Publishing. Over the years, she has guided many authors through the challenging process of launching books and developing strategies that will grow readership. She also has worked widely with nonprofits. Now, she shares her expertise twice each month on our Front Edge Publishing website.

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