To sell more books you have to let more people be aware of them. If your audience is small, the number of books you sell will be small. If you have a large audience but no one sees your book, you have to work to make it stand out. This article will show you seven ways to make your book stand out among the 14,000,000 readers on Goodreads.com.
1. Become a member of the Goodreads Author Program
This program is completely free. It is designed to help authors reach their target audience and promote their book(s) to them. Over 44,000 authors, including New York Times bestsellers and other national bestselling have their books listed with an author profile. If you are not on it, don’t waste any more time! Sign up and get started.
2. Advertise your book. Yes, sometimes you have to put a little money into the pot to make a decent stew. Goodreads has over 140 million page views and 19 million unique visitors a month. All these millions of people have one thing in common: books. They love to read. Start with a small test and if you get positive results do more.
Here’s the big tip: Make sure you have your target audience carefully in mind. Not all 14 million readers are interested in your book. You will be paying for each click your book receives. Make sure that “click” is targeted by the correct book genre, location, gender, and even age.
3. Book giveaway. Goodreads states that the average giveaway attracts 825 entries (many more views). Does any of that payoff in sales? It’s hard to say as readers often will buy books later or from a different site. There were 95 comments about the giveaway program and of the authors who commented most did not feel it resulted in direct sales. Many were also unhappy with the few reviews they got. Still, getting 800 people to look at your book is worth a try, in my opinion.
You can give books away before the book is published to build up buzz and after publication. You can also give away books later.
4. Lead a Q&A discussion group for readers. This is a way to connect with new and old readers. The recommendation is to start by creating a single discussion topic called, “Ask me something!” Start the thread by writing a post welcoming everyone to your group and asking for questions.
5. Participate in discussions on your profile, in groups and in the discussion forums for your books. Selling books is all about building relationships. All authors have to spend time and energy making connections; here is a place where you can do it without traveling and for free.
6. Become a Goodreads librarian. As a librarian, you will be able to edit and improve the Goodreads catalog. Other activities include combining editions, fixing book and author typos, adding book covers, and discussing policies. You will also have some librarian status over your own books and can edit. You must have 50 books added to your profile to sign up to be a librarian.
7. Rate books, leave comments, and write book reviews. Little bits of activity that build up your profile and help you to get involved in the Goodreads community.
Not only is Goodreads a great place to promote your books it is also a fun place to simply hang out around other book lovers. You can see what other people are reading and what they feel about different topics. This is a wonderful place to mingle with your target audience, read comments and reviews on books in your genre, and dip into the world of your favorite people: Book readers!
To find out more about marketing a book and about building your author platform, check out the Authors Academy.