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.