Utilising Goodreads for book promotion

On many of the forums that I participate in, I repeatedly hear that Goodreads is a great place for book promotion. I’ve never really used Goodreads much before, mostly because I’m normally so busy writing that I don’t read many books. I’m a slow reader. I’m intent on reading every word rather than skimming through pages, to the point that if I feel I’ve missed something, I’ll re-read a paragraph. Thus, I don’t get through many books at all and therefore can’t participate in many of the discussion’s within Goodread’s boards.

Many people seem to warn against simply spamming Goodreads with book links, or risk facing a rebellion of readers and a multitude of one star reviews. I completely agree with this. I’d far prefer to not participate at all, than to simply dip in and out, posting book links all over the place. Communities such as forums and Goodreads are about communicating and being part of the group, and so I feel that you should never look to simply advertise. You get far more out of a community by actively engaging with people, than by being the annoyance who self-promotes and gives nothing back.

Herein lies my issue with Goodreads though because, whilst it seems to be highly populated, I HATE its interface. It’s forum interface must be one of the most horrible things I’ve ever come across, and I find it very hard to want to participate in groups. Not only is finding active discussions near impossible, but trying to keep updated with everything that is going on can be quite hard.

In the next month I’m going to persevere with Goodreads and see if I can get to grips with its horrible UI. If this challenge can be overcome, I’m sure I might be able to find some friends, readers, and even sell a few books. I’ll keep you updated on my findings. In the meantime, if anyone has any helpful pointers, I’d be more than happy to hear them.

2 thoughts on “Utilising Goodreads for book promotion

  1. Catana

    I’ve joined and unjoined several groups there. I can’t find any that are focused enough to hold my interest, and trying to keep up as a lurker is just a waste of my time. Other things you can do — blog, comment on reviews, rate and review. I don’t have a lot of followers because I’m not a big joiner, but people do seem to appreciate my reviews. You can also have giveaways for your print books (not for ebooks, though — boo), and you can upload samples or complete works. I’m not sure how the last works since I haven’t tried it yet. Don’t know if authors’ uploads get any special treatment or are just dumped into the creative writing section. The thing is that if your books get on people’s to-read lists, that may result in sales somewhere along the line. Every little bit helps, and if you can do it without being obnoxious or putting too much time into it, it’s worthwhile. Besides, I’m a heavy reader, so I’m always checking reviews, and adding books to my shelves.

    • geoffwakeling

      I agree completely with the need to not be obnoxious….that is a big turn off for everyone in my opinion.

      I find it so hard to follow the groups, though I’m making a concerted effort to persevere.

      Thanks for the tip of rating, reviewing and comment. That’s a great idea in addition to participating in the forums 🙂

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