As a reader, you may have participated in a Goodreads challenge, using it to motivate you to read at least two or three books a week. Or, you might use it every once in while when you’re looking for an inspirational quote to share on Instagram or Twitter. But as a self-published author, you have to think of Goodreads from a different perspective: boosting discoverability and improving your brand.
Why is Goodreads Important for Self-Published Authors?
When used effectively, Goodreads can be your secret weapon for boosting discoverability. Readers read reviews on Goodreads to find out if a book is worth reading. Then they go back to discuss the book with other people who have read it. It’s similar to Amazon in that it can help people make buying decisions, but different in that it allows for group discussion about a book.
This can affect the opinion and buying decisions of more potential readers, especially people who read in your genre but haven’t discovered you yet. The word-of-mouth effect that Goodreads has can help get more eyes on your book, without you having to spend a penny on advertising.
That’s why it’s essential to be active on Goodreads, or at the very least, use the platform to enhance your online brand as an author. Below we’re exploring the fundamental tips to succeed as a self-published author on Goodreads.
Tip 1: Build a concrete author profile
Readers want to get to know you. Write a bio that’s personal and interesting, not just a list of your accomplishments or previous publications. For tips on writing a great author bio, check out our quick guide here.
Goodreads is ultimately a place for readers, so be sure to also talk about the kinds of books you like to read in addition to the ones you write. Ensure that you have photos and links to your website and social media handles. Once you have a link to your Goodreads profile, include it across all of your accounts and in the emails you send to your mailing list.
Tip 2: Review your favourite books
After creating your profile, don’t just “set it and forget it.” Show that you care by reviewing books in your genre and books you’ve recently been reading. When a Goodreads user sees that you have thoughtfully reviewed books that are similar to the ones you write, they might be more inclined to read your books too.
Tip 3: Ensure your books have complete information
The truth is: we do judge a book by its cover. Covers are huge factors in decisions to read and buy a book. Ensure that all of your books have covers and that all the necessary information you must fill in for every book is complete.
Taking the time to fill in tags, keywords, and find similar books to yours will make your book more discoverable. This also gives a more professional touch to your Goodreads presence. Readers can tell that you’ve put the time and effort into providing all the information they need to know before deciding to buy your book. They might be more inclined to read reviews and see the discussion when the book looks complete – and cared for – on the site.
Tip 4: Be active in groups
Just like social media, Goodreads is a place where authors can directly engage with readers. It’s the nicest feeling in the world when someone who has taken the time to write a thoughtful review, or said something positive about your book in a discussion, receives a response from you. It shows that you’re paying attention.
Goodreads isn’t just for storing book-related information. It’s for genuine connection with others who like to read what you also enjoy reading and writing. Staying active in groups also helps you see how your book fits in with current trends and reader expectations for your genre.
A solid Goodreads strategy can work hand-in-hand with your overall marketing strategy to improve discoverability, which is key for succeeding as a self-published author. If you’d like to maximize discoverability even more, consider going wide with PublishDrive. Our network of over 400 online stores (including major retailers like Amazon, Google Play, and Apple Books) will allow you to reach millions of readers worldwide. We also have a free ebook converter and built-in marketing tools to streamline the entire publishing process. Sign up today to get started!