Goodreads has over four million readers on their site. Where else can you get the attention of that many readers in one place?
The key to successfully promoting on Goodreads is to meet and mingle with other readers in your genre. Think of Goodreads as one big party. Don’t be a wallflower and sit in the corner. In other words, do more than just put up a nice photo and profile. Meet other members by joining book clubs that read the type of book that you write…and enjoying reading.
The first thing that I did (after making my profile) was join three book clubs that enjoy reading women who write mystery/suspense books. Most groups have an “Introduce Yourself” thread. I first introduce myself as a reader of mystery/suspense novels and list a few of my favorite authors. Lastly, I mention that I am an author and invite them to read my blog (or go to my website). I also participate in monthly book reads. Most groups have two books that you can choose from to read each month. I found that most times I have either already read the book or it’s on my TBR list. After reading the book, participate in discussions about the book. There are other topics to visit and comment on as well. For example, on Women of Mysteries group, there is a thread called “What do you like to read”. I interact with other readers on books that I enjoy. Here is an opportunity to mention for example, “I really like reading Sue Grafton. I feel like we have the same writing style.” If a member of the group likes Sue Grafton and reads that, they will probably click on your member profile and see what books you have to offer. Look for other opportunities to interact such as Pen Pals, Monthly Challenges, Favorite Author Discussions and Games.
Another way to interact is to send friend requests to other members in the group. I try to “friend” about 10 new people a day with my book club groups. I also “friend” other authors that I know or enjoy reading.
I do all this before I promote my book to the group. I spent at least an hour a day on Goodreads participating in the forums. I believe in the philosophy that you what you give, you get back.
When it comes time to promote your book, always ask permission from the group’s moderator. I send a simple email introducing myself and ask if it is okay to post a topic about a free book giveaway to all members of the group. I find that the moderator appreciates the fact that I asked and is more likely to help me spread the word.
Once you have built up a substantial friend list, invite those people to visit your website or blog. Run contests and other fun things on your blog to keep them coming back for more.
Also, remember to spread the love. Recommend other indie authors to your book club members. They will appreciate it and return the favor!
Just remember, don’t overdo it! Be friendly, casual, and most importantly, be yourself. It takes time to build up a following, but with patience, you will get there!