I’ll admit, I’ve been feeling a little blocked about what to talk about with my Wednesday posts. However, one of the greatest tools out there for an author today is the internet…so, how best to help you along on your journey than to highlight some of the tools on the utility belt super-highway….or something like that.
Anyways, terrible opening segue aside, you’ve, no doubt, heard about Goodreads. As an author, you’ve probably also actually gone out there and taken a look at the site. And you probably immediately jumped ship (at least the first time), because the site is pretty ugly and not exactly easy to use.
Okay, maybe that’s not everyone’s experience with the site, but it was definitely mine.
At first glance, the site is incredibly poorly put together. Actually, at the third, fourth, fifth and even sixth glances, it’s just not great. Things are not placed in places that seem to make sense, finding groups with similar tastes isn’t always the easiest, at least not without ending up in some ginormous (do people still use that word ironically anymore?) group where your involvement will easily be overlooked.
Interacting with your friends on the site isn’t all that immediately simple either, and outside of recommending books to each other and keeping track of what your friends think of the books they’re reading, the social aspect of the site is rather lacking…once again, at the surface, I mean.
Once you dig in, the site’s actually got a whole lot going for it. First of all, it’s pretty much the only popular location on the entirety of the internet where you can actually find people who are actually reading books. This means that you can go on there, as an author, and talk about your books, and actually have people be interested, as opposed to every other location on the internet where folks are immediately turned off by such discussion.
It’s also a fantastic place to market yourself. Simply put one of your books up for a giveaway and you’ll find that the numbers of people who put your book on their shelf to read will easily got up by a couple hundred (at least in my own personal experience as well as the experience of a few other author friends). You might not make a ton of sales (immediately anyways) from doing so, but the awareness of your books will grow…even if the people who are now aware immediately forget about it (that’s your fault though, isn’t it?)
The ability to interact with an audience is also quite spectacular on there. I have a goodreads group in which I use to sometimes put updates about my new books, but mostly to act as a soapbox to talk about whatever I might be reading at the moment. From time to time, my readers will actually stop by and chat, which is loads of fun, especially since these readers seem to be the ones who don’t leave reviews. I like any opportunity to talk to my readers and know that they exist, so having this alternative avenue is quite amazing.
There’s also the chance to have your book featured in a book club. There are so many groups on goodreads for so many very specific genres that you should quite easily (after the immediate growing pains of getting to know the site) find a group that would love to read your book. Many of these groups like to feature indie authors and often look for suggestions on books to read. This is one of those rare occasions where shameless self-promotion is not only allowed, but expected.
One caveat to these book clubs is that they are often times not incredibly well followed, meaning that even if you manage to have your book featured, you might find that not too many people actually end up reading it.
In short, if you’re an author and you’re not on Goodreads, you should get on it now. If you’re already on Goodreads and not spending at least a couple minutes on there daily, you need to make some changes. It’s a site which has a sole purpose of connecting authors and readers (well…and to connect readers with other readers, I suppose)…I don’t think I need to do too much yelling to show you how important of a place this is for you to be.
And look me up, I’d be more than willing to give you something of a tour…not that I’m, by any means, a site expert.
See ya on Goodreads! Have fun out there!