YES! Another social network! It isn’t new, but maybe you just haven’t succumbed yet. Here are the reasons to use the free features on Goodreads to increase your author platform or book reviewer cred.
Use it at home on your desktop or on the subway with your mobile device. Goodreads is not just an extension of Amazon any more, although it is an amazing database library, this one costs nothing more than signing up. It’s Free. It’s an immense collection for book lovers, bibliophiles, readers, writers, authors, and catalog programs across all genres. Within a year of launch in January 2007, the site had more than 650,000 members and 10,000,000 books.
Add a Profile
So start by filling in your profile, including your own picture and basic (contact) information. If you are an author, you want info on your own books out there and this is where you can input them to increase their exposure and establish your platform. You can personalize the profile with a bio and include your own upcoming events or a favorite quote. Link your blog or website to Goodreads and ask your reviewers to post to Goodreads as well as Amazon. Become a “Goodreads Author” and join the Author Program.
You want more? How about:
- A place to keep a listing of all the books you’ve read (or written)
- The rate and reviews you’ve made to Amazon and/or Goodreads for books you’ve read (you may rate and review your own)
- A list of the books you are currently reading
- A list of books that you might like to read–your own TBR (to be read) list
- Upload your videos–(I uploaded my book trailers)
- Post at least 20 reviews to unlock additional features
Book Shelves are your way of sorting your reads; i.e., Read, Want to Read, First Reads, Short Stories. (I’ve also added Abandoned, although I have not had to use that very often.) Point being: Have some fun with it–add “Chick-Lit,” or “Non-Fiction Bores” (By the way, rating a book that you’ve read automatically adds it to your books or “Read” shelf.)
But it doesn’t just end there. There are myriad discussion groups from “Historical Fictionistas” to my favorite, “How to Promote Your Book on Amazon.” There is also one for Book Trailers and so many more–you just have to survey the list to see what grabs your fancy. Fancy “Unapologetic Romance Readers?”
- Get ahold of your favorite author
- Check the quotes
- Browse recommendations or the Choice Award lists (I blogged here)
- Vote on a list or poll
- Like others reviews
- Sign up for a Giveaway, another of my personal favs! (It’s hidden under “Browse”)
Add a Widget (or two)
Are you a widget fan? Widgets allow you to show what you are currently reading on your blog or website.
Want to add Goodreads to your signature that includes a mini-cover of your “currently reading?” Fun, huh? You can do that with a widget.
Extend your blog to include Goodreads or start a separate Goodreads blog, add friends (heaven knows they make that simple enough and at least you can use a filter).
Link and Utilize
The important thing here is “get active.” Participate. Get in on discussions, join the groups that interest you.
I’ve received some amazing books through the “Giveaway” section and I’ve also offered books for Giveaways–you dictate the terms and where the book will go, but it definitely gets your titles out there and I think I’m about due for another. I’ll let you know what and when…soon.