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Goodreads Usage for Authors Pt. 3: Just Be Yourself

Goodreads is the social media for readers. As such, you are expected to engaged other users mainly as a fellow reader. But as an author, you want to attract attention among this rich environment of readers. Here are some tips for doing just that on Goodreads without turning off prospective readers.

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1. Be primarily a reader – and what’s so hard about that? After all, we writers are some of the biggest readers there are!

2. Join reading groups – stay mainly in your genre(s) and focus your participation on relevant discussions and monthly book readings. Avoid just trumpeting your book to everyone. Check out the group guidelines, introduce yourself in the correct thread and promote your book only in the designated thread.

3. Engage with other people in discussions that interest you. Over several months people will come to accept your comments – as a reader. Don’t suggest your own book for a monthly reading and don’t mention you’re and author – be a reader.

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4. Once you have established yourself as someone who doesn’t flood a group with constant notifications, look for opportunities to discreetly engage someone as an author. If they like books similar to your own and you’ve been conversing about ideas you like, then contact them to ask if they would review your book – even offer a free copy for an honest opinion.

As a final note, this process is one which takes focused, patient effort for several months or more. It is one-on-one marketing and takes time. It may not immediately bring in lots of sales and reviews but it will help you build a solid group of fans that know and like you. From this group may well come some very avid fans who spread the word about your work in ways that speak louder than anything you can post on any social media – this is the main way books are sold, by word of mouth as well as favorable reviews.

So don’t shrink away from Goodreads and the seeming wall against promotion. Instead, tread softly and respectfully and you may find that some patient nurturing of relationships yields longer-term success for your writing. For this reason, I suggest you begin building your reach on Goodreads now with regular visits to cultivate connections that become relationships. It takes longer than Twitter and Facebook but the rewards may be more far-reaching than you realize. For some further thoughts on approaching Goodreads well as an author, see these articles from Michael J. Sullivan who built much of his following with this method.

Are you on Goodreads? How do you approach interactions on Goodreads? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events. You’ll be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. Speaking of which, it is now available on Amazon – Kindle. Additionally, I have FREE book, What Is Needed is available at Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks and Smashwords & Amazon.

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