To fully harness the power of Goodreads as a social media platform, you must make a Goodreads author page and learn to effectively use the author program. Not everyone qualifies to become a Goodreads author, but the bar is within reach for any author whose book has an ISBN.
Benefits of the Goodreads Author Program
Created specifically to attract book lovers, Goodreads offers a wealth of benefits for writers in its author program. As a Goodreads Author, you get:
- Access to the Goodreads Author Dashboard — The dashboard centralizes your author resources so you can see your stats, account settings and marketing options in a single location.
- Access to the Authors and Advertisers Blog and the monthly Goodreads Author newsletter — If you want to succeed on any social media platform, you have to go all-in on the tools offered by that platform. The blog and newsletter are how Goodreads helps authors make the most of their time on the social media platform.
- Insights and advice on how to best connect with readers on the platform — Like any social media platform, Goodreads is a social network with its own rules of engagement. Learning how to best connect with readers on the platform will make the most of the time you invest on Goodreads.
- Opportunities to participate in Goodreads contests and giveaways — Everyone loves a good giveaway, and book lovers are no different. As a Goodreads Author, you can get your book featured in Goodreads contests.
- Advertising options within the platform — As with any marketing effort, paid advertising makes sense when you get a return on your investment. Advertising on Goodreads allows you to target people who are known book buyers, increasing the likelihood that your hands will result in sales.
The Goodreads Author Dashboard centralizes your author resources so you can see your account settings and marketing options on a single page.
Are You Eligible for the Author Program?
Goodreads allows anyone who has published books or is in the process of publishing books to join its global author program. Authors with books for sale on Amazon.com or other booksellers will likely get their applications approved faster, but independently published authors can and should apply to the program as well.
How to Make a Goodreads Author Page
If your book is part of the Goodreads database, you will already have a Goodreads Author Page but it won’t actually be “yours” until you claim it. Follow these simple steps to set up your Goodreads Author Page:
- Create your Goodreads account. You can’t be present on the platform if you don’t have a profile, so your first step is to go to www.goodreads.com and set up your account today.
- Find your books. Use the Goodreads search bar to search your name. Your published books should already be listed. If you don’t see your book in the database, you’ll need to add it. If you have trouble adding your book, you can ask for help in the Goodreads Librarians group.
- Find yourself and claim your profile — If your book is in the Goodreads database, you can click your name to find your basic author profile page. The author profile page is separate from your member profile, and must be claimed before you can make any changes to it. One you find your basic author profile page, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click “Is this you? Let us know.” You’ll be directed to a request form to claim your account and join the Author Program. It takes a few days to confirm your application. You’ll be notified by email when your request is approved.
How to Customize Your Author Page
Consider your Author Page your Goodreads welcome mat. This is where members will go to find out all about you and your books. Make time to build out your Author Page with a professional photo, compelling bio and don’t forget an inviting call to action. Help members stay connected to you by linking to your website, your blog or your email subscription form. Make your Author Page more interesting by uploading additional photos and videos. If you have a blog, you can connect it to your Goodreads Author Page using an RSS feed. Make sure to turn on the “Ask the Author” feature to increase your connection with readers.
How to Build Your Authority on Goodreads
The Law of Reciprocity teaches that you get out of something what you put into it. If you want to get the most out of Goodreads, you have to invest in it. Invite your friends from Facebook, Twitter and GMail to connect with you. Add books from your Amazon account to your Goodreads bookshelf, and start rating the books you’ve read and the ones you’re currently reading. Vote in polls, join groups and take part in reading challenges. Have fun on Goodreads and you’ll build authority and trust in the community.
How to Use the Goodreads Author Program to Market Your Book
Like any social network, Goodreads rewards you most when you take full advantage of its features. Answer questions from readers, respond to reviewers (skip the negative ones; nobody wins a keyboard war) and update your blog regularly. If you link your website blog to your Goodreads Author Page, it will automatically update every time you post.
Cross-pollinate your network as much as possible. If you’re planning a Facebook Live broadcast, add it to your Goodreads events, along with conferences you’ll be attending and other opportunities to see you live and in person. Make sure to connect every social media platform you actively participate in with your Goodreads account.
Simply put, make it easy for Goodreads members to find you outside of the platform, and make it easy for followers on other social networks to find you on Goodreads.
When you’re ready to pay for exposures on Goodreads, consider all options. For as little as $119, you can host a Goodreads giveaway for either Kindle or print versions of your book. There are other advertising opportunities, but giveaways are a great way to start promoting your book in a way that puts it in the hands of more readers.
Wondering whether Goodreads is the right place for you to grow your audience and promote your books? Borrow my brain for 20 minutes so we can explore whether you should include Goodreads in your marketing strategy. You can book your free session here.