I had a friend once who carefully and patronizingly explained to me that if you want to catch fish you have to go where the fish are. The more fish, he stated, the easier it is to get a nibble and make a catch. As an author, if you want more readers you had better follow this same advice, pack up your book tackle and head on over to Goodreads and lay down some hooks.

If you’re not experienced with Goodreads you’re in for a surprise. It’s sort of like the super mall of the universe for readers. It was created in December of 2006 by Otis Chandler as a privately run cataloging site for books. One year later it had over 650,000 members and over 10,000,000 books in its system. Now, five years later, the numbers are astounding. 330 million books have been rated. It has almost ten million readers and attracts twenty million (that’s right, 20 million) visits a month.

Whoa. So it’s not surprising that you will also find that there are over 58,000 card-carrying, registered authors as well. James Patterson leads the list with 13 books, 395 friends, 13,938 fans and 2,481,373 member reviews. How would you like those numbers on your contact list?

If these statistics are not enough to convince you that you should be spending some quality time at Goodreads, I don’t quite know what else to say. Ellen Lee, of the San Francisco Chronicle had an interview with Otis Chandler in July of this year. In probably one of the biggest understatements of the year he casually stated that, “Goodreads is fast becoming the best way on the Internet to find a book to read. Everything we do is pretty much centered around helping users find books, discuss books and share books with their friends.”

As an author it doesn’t get much clearer than this. If you want to find new readers and get your books off the shelf and into the hands of readers, definitely make Goodreads a part of your book marketing strategy for 2013.