If you haven’t listened to our book marketing podcast episode on Goodreads networking – now is the time!
Goodreads has over 80 million global members and is owned by Amazon – so despite the love-hate relationship many authors have with the Goodreads community, at the end of the day it will really serve you well to ensure you have a well-optimized, professional profile.
Why? Because Goodreads is full of readers! Dedicated genre readers and people who value books as a source of entertainment and information.
Subscribe to our book marketing podcast to get the full episode of tips and recommendations!
Connecting with groups:
You can do a search, or you can browse by already established tags
If you click on Fantasy for example, once you get there, there are additional tags associated with those to help you further personalize who you’ll be networking and interacting with, similar to subgenres.
There are also general groups for book promotions, giveaways, etc. and you should join these as well. Yes, it’s not as personal as reaching out to your email list, but you know what, you’re gaining quality impressions.
Add group participation to your ongoing book marketing, check in with Goodreads once a week, and just see what’s going on and what you can genuinely speak to and add value to.
Just remember that most groups will have a code of conduct, rules, etc., so check for that post and just be respectful. That’s another great reason to join the promotion and giveaway groups.
Connecting with readers:
Check out who has your book on your to-read shelf!
Click on the book. On the right hand side you’ll see Genres, then a link for See top shelves.
Click on See top shelves for a list of not only shelves, but the profiles those shelves belong to.
These are the people you should start networking with. Send them a personal message, mention that you see the book on their shelf, let them know you’d like to add them to your network and you’d love to hear their feedback on the book someday.
If you notice they’re a really prolific reader and reviewer, consider offering to gift them a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Networking is important for a lot of reasons, but specifically for creating events on Goodreads. Create events for everything you can brag about and promote, and when you do so, you can send event invites to your network. Building that network improves your book marketing efforts in numerous ways.
Connecting with authors:
We’ve written about this on our blog because networking with other authors in your genre is always a smart idea.
There are so many ways to help cross-promote each other’s work, but to be honest, you have to have a platform that makes you seem like a worthy partner.
So, growing your mailing list, upping your game on your social media engagement, including Goodreads, is a great way to make yourself a more attractive collaboration partner.
Check out the Browse option and see who else is writing in your genre.
There are lots of places to look. There’s “most read” of course, they are great to connect with and learn from. This is smart networking.
Enter a few giveaways if there are books similar to yours, this is a great way to introduce yourself to the author once the giveaway is over.
If you’re looking for authors to collaborate with, be realistic about who is on your level, and who is a mutually beneficial connection. The “Lists” option under the navigation bar is an insightful place to look.
Plan to network with 6-12 authors a month, again, to start building relationships and gain some useful insight on what others are doing right.
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I was about to reach out to a reader who had my book on her “to read” shelf. Goodreads had a warning that they frown on authors contacting readers and I could be punished. I refrained from sending the message. Could you address how this plays into your section on reaching out to readers, please.
Sorry for the late reply Avery, I encourage you to check out the Goodreads category for the entire blog because we cover a lot about how to engage with readers, we’ve also done a number of shows on our podcast too. But at the end of the day I always encourage authors to engage with readers but in a meaningful, personal way. The more personal you are, the less likely they will be to report your outreach as spam.