Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Social Media: On the Fence about Goodreads?

Authors Need to Connect! (Indiana ACFW)
I've heard a lot of talk about social media and how to use it as an author/writer. We all set up our pages. We watch others. Ask questions. And wonder--am I wasting my time? Do I really need to be here?

I love Goodreads! As an avid reader and long time published book reviewer and columnist in the past, it has really been fun for me, like a hobby, to pursue/friend authors there, as well as load up the books I've read. I have met lots of like-minded readers, too.And of course, as a writer now writing my own manuscript, I hope to be already there if I do publish.

One of the things I love are the focus groups there.(There are legions of them.) For example, Love Inspired authors have discussion groups, which are like bulletin boards with topics—we talk about more than the books, but I think the authors like getting feedback and even information from their readers who join up with the group because these are their true readers. There are other groups—some started by authors but some started by readers. You need to look for them. Find your corner.

Here’s a link to the Love Inspired group: just to get a look at how it's set up. (You might even want to join if that's your area.) I get the discussion on digest  in my email. I can enter in as I have time or if a topic interests me.

Also, I want you to know as a reader when I go to look for you, the author, or for your book, it frustrates me to no end if you don’t even have a profile or your books loaded up. Argh! And you probably need to be checking in occasionally because I notice if you just put up the profile and that’s all you do. As a reader it’s fun to see your blog there (yes, you can load up your blog feed to it so I can catch up with you,) and also just to see if you have a new book. 

I also love to see what YOU read or who your favorites are. On the Books & Such Agency blog they have a feed in the sidebar showing what they’re reading and I take note of that, but it's especially interesting to me on Goodreads, a place for books.You don’t have to rate those books (unless you want to show your favorites.) Here’s Debbie Macomber’s page. Learn from her, grasshoppers. (She’s a bestseller.) She may have assistants doing hers now, but you can be your own assistant until you’re a bestseller :

Also, you can add your Goodreads feed to Facebook and to your blog. You can get all kinds of html to add to your blog from Goodreads, even your reviews, complete with the book cover. People can see what books I have made my favorites on my blog and on my Facebook profile.

I love entering the book giveaways! I have my address already in the Goodreads giveaway site (only the author will see it if I win.)A list will show what books are up for grabs and when you can enter.

AND it’s a place for advertising your book, as well. So many authors and publishers have put up their book ads on it and yes, I click them if I’m interested!

I know there are more aspects, like the quotes. You can put your own quotes up from your books as an author. You can like them, and have them show up on Facebook, too.  

 I haven’t gotten half the books I’ve read up, but I’m working on it. You and I both don’t have time to spend too much time in any particular social media, but this is one place you at least want to have a presence. I uploaded several friends’ books there and I really didn’t have time for that, but it’s one of the places I do influence for friends. (So I did.) If your book isn’t even up there, how am I supposed to put up my review? I might go the extra mile for a friend, but not for everyone.

Goodreads also shows you people who have books similar to your list. You can do comparisons or find a new book. Your friends can send out a recommendation, too, to their list of friends.You can send out recommendations, too.

There are Listopia lists to vote on, too. I like doing that and seeing what others like. You can create a list, vote on lists, find lists (and see if your book is there!)

Anyway, as an author, you should have at the least:
1.    Your profile, bio, a photo, your links.
2.    Your books uploaded so people can find them to put them on their page or review them.
3.    Friend your fans.
4.    If you get a good review on Goodreads, you can message that person to thank them. (There’s a way to send a message on Goodreads.)
5.    Get your influencers (ones who’ve agreed to influence) to put up reviews on THEIR Goodreads page. (Suggest it, don’t bug them to death about it, though…fine line….Ha. Cry a little, I guess.)

It takes time to build a presence, like anything else worth doing. Spend some of your marketing time there, because most (not all, of course) on Goodreads are readers.

Don’t ask me about Shelfari. I never liked it there, but I loved Goodreads. I don’t know why. And be sure to friend me on Goodreads!



  1. Thanks for this post on Goodreads. I'm on Goodreads, but don't use it like I should. It's there and neglected. Thanks for the great tips here, Crystal.

    I'm a member, and I'm going to have to come to a Indiana ACFW meeting to meet you all!

  2. That was a very helpful explanation of Goodreads. Thanks, Crystal. I don't have a book published (sniffle), but I can be there as a reader, right?

  3. Yes, Steph, you definitely can be there as a reader and helping your favorite authors, too! Thanks, Steph!

    Hi, Loree, thanks! And it will be great meeting you. I think we have a meeting coming up in June. Check the list above on the tabs. Are we connected on Goodreads? I know about not getting to it--it's hard to keep up with everything.

  4. This is a great post and my next focus. I had to interrupt working on online presence to finish a rewrite, but am closing that up now. You've packed a lot of info here that I need. Thanks.

  5. You're getting there Mary--and maybe just in time! Keep writing, girl!

  6. Crystal,

    First, thanks for the interesting information.

    I'll be honest. Right now, any new social media is a competitor of my time with writing, as is playing computer games/doing puzzles, wanting to work on playing piano and guitar, getting back into ceramics which I loved when I was younger, eating, and sleeping.

    Have a blessed day.


  7. Thanks for the reminder, Crystal. I rarely have time to post anywhere but my live feed, but I need to schedule in a goodread once a week! Nice post!