Goodreads isn’t the only social network devoted to library cataloging and discussions about books, but it’s the one I use and appreciate. I’d like to know why Goodreads and sites like it, including Shelfari, LibraryThing, Revish, and aNobii, aren’t very well utilized by authors and publishers. After all, the members of these communities are book buyers or borrowers. Not only that, they’re gathered in one place and identified by the books they’ve tagged as owned, already read, to read, in the process of being read, and favorites. On other types of social networks, not all of the users are book lovers.
Authors seem to discover and congregate in author communities online, which is fine, but relatively few authors seem to know much about Goodreads. For the moment, it’s an uncrowded platform. As an author seeking readers, you’d be wise to jump on the Goodreads stage in 2012, before your competitors discover it in 2013. And if you’re not thinking of other authors as friendly rivals, then you’re not reading this post anyway—and, heck, you might not even own a computer.
To assess the potential of Goodreads, explore the site until you’re comfortable with its features and navigation.
You can install apps that link Goodreads with your social networks. You can join a few Goodreads groups to see how they function and whether they’re active. You can add books to your Goodreads bookshelves, and then the site will recommend other books you might like based on what you’ve shelved. But that’s not all.
After you’re familiar with the Goodreads site, and you’ve seen how others are taking advantage of it, you’ll be better able to imagine how the Goodreads Author Program can be used to promote your own books. Best of all, it’s free.
Goodreads: How to Use the Goodreads Author Program
Jane Friedman: 2 Ways to Make the Most of Goodreads
Patrick Brown: Goodreads Stats Show Which Media Outlets Really Sell Books
Goodreads: Goodreads Author Feedback Group
Jason Boog: How to Add Goodreads to Your Facebook Timeline
Sarah Pinneo: An Author’s Guide to Surviving Goodreads
Perhaps Sarah Pinneo’s survival guide answers my question. Authors don’t use Goodreads if they fear they’ll make targets of themselves, or worse than being targeted, they’ll go unnoticed. Meanwhile, the authors who take risks get all the attention.
Writing a book is risky. Why stop there?