Public Relations Blog

Social Media 101: Using Goodreads as an Author Tool


The Goodreads Author Program is a fantastic author marketing tool that, from my experience, writers do not utilize enough. The “social cataloguing” website is owned by Amazon, so if you sell your book through Amazon’s services, most likely your book is—or will be—on Goodreads. So how can authors use the site to get the word out there?

Sign up for the Goodreads Author Program. Even though you may have an account for your personal use, if you want to be considered a Goodreads Author, you have to send in a request so they know what books you are yours. After they accept you (which can take a few business days), remember to flesh out your author profile like adding a biography and author photograph, and rate some books so readers know where your interests in literature lie!

Give away copies of your book. Participating in a Goodreads Giveaway is a great way to get your name out there. When people enter a giveaway, the website provides the option to add the book to their “to-read” list. If you have a hundred people who added your book to their “to-read” list, thats a hundred people who might purchase your book—plus their friends may see it on their news feed and take interest, too.

Join groups with similar interests. Is your book in the thriller genre? Cozy mystery? Romance? There are hundreds of groups for those genres alone, and there’s even groups and book clubs that are regional or state-wide who may want you in on their next meeting. Joining a group and finding out what readers love, hate, and talk about will help you figure out who your audience is—and isn’t.

Befriend or follow other indie authors in your genre. Starting a conversation with other indie authors may lead to them reviewing your book—and you may want to review their book, too. Indie authors are a community, not your competition, so helping another author in need isn’t going to hurt you. And hey, you might make some new friends in the process!

Don’t forget to blog or announce events. You never know who is in the area and may want to pop into your signing at the local bookstore. Blogging on your Goodreads page and linking back to your website may also result in more traffic. Don’t forget to add the Goodreads widget to your website, so fans can easily access your Goodreads page.

Do you use Goodreads to get more exposure as an author? Tweet us your stories at @mckinneypr!