Author John Hancock asked “How do I connect with readers who would be interested in my books? I can locate authors who are, but every time I find a fan group site or whatever, they have rules about promoting your own work. It feels a bit like a catch 22.”
This is one of the most frequently asked questions that I get on The Author CEO. Marketing your books can be really intimidating. However, to connect with those who are most likely to purchase your product, marketing is a critical element of any book’s business development plan.
There are numerous social media sites that an author should be on, but I am going to focus on Goodreads here because it has the deepest concentration of pure readers.
When I think of Goodreads, I am reminded of an episode of The Big Bang Theory. When a new game comes out, Stuart gives slight “encouragement” to Raj, Leonard, and Howard to cave into the whim of buying the new game. They each get incredibly excited and purchase the game without thinking. Stuart says under his breath, as he is walking away to ring up the sales, that it is like shooting nerds in a barrel.
That is how I feel about Goodreads and, to some extent, sites like it.
Goodreads is the only site composed of nothing but readers. Readers join to find out about new books, to feed an addiction (as I do), and to discuss books with like-minded readers.
A word of caution: There are rules for authors to follow to make sure that when they market their books on Goodreads they don’t come off as a spammer. Trust me, as a Goodreads Top 1% reviewer and founder/moderator of the group Sisterhood of the Traveling Book, spamming is a very quick way to get the boot.
When I think of best practices when it comes to authors and Goodreads, the first author I think of is Bette Lee Crosby. I have so much respect and awe for how she navigates Goodreads. Bette knows how to make Goodreads work for her and not get involved in the cesspool that it can sometimes be.
So, let’s look deeper at how you can develop relationships with readers on Goodreads.
When you’ve developed your Friends List, events follow naturally. Again, I refer to Bette Lee Crosby.
The common thread in all of this advice is networking. A critical element is having bloggers, reviewers, and readers view you as a professional. As I frequently preach, don’t throw sand in the sandbox. Remember that there are numerous authors, moderators, and reviewers who want to help you reach potential readers, but being professional and appreciative are critical to maintaining this collaborative environment. Nothing is worse than busting a hump to help an author, then being treated like garbage not only as a thank you, but also a screw you.
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All content © 2018 by BadRedhead Media aka Rachel Thompson, author, unless otherwise specified. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author.
Naomi Blackburn, owner of The Author CEO, a consultation firm dedicated to helping independent authors navigate the development of strategic business plans and the marketing world, holds an MBA and has worked in the field of business development, sales and consulting for 12 years. A former social worker, she has helped hundreds of clients meet their life goals. A top 1% Goodreads reviewer, she comes to the world of books from a reader/reviewer’s perspective. She strives to help authors achieve their goals by teaching them to think of themselves as CEO/entrepreneur of a small business and helping them negotiate the business side of selling books.
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