Goodreads is the social media network every Self Publishing Authors should be on. In fact, Goodreads to me is just like a Facebook for Authors and readers. it’s all a wonderful gathering for authors and readers to meet and connect on common ground.

One major problem most Self Publishing Authors especially newbie and starters face is how to market their books. There are lots of ways to market books; it all depends on what you know and what you can do.

In answering the question of how do I market my books, the best thing to say is for authors to know who their book audience and readers are and where they can be found but the problem now comes in another question of how do I know where my book readers do normally gather.

To such a question of where do, book readers gather, one of the smartest and savvy answers to that is “Go find them on Goodreads”.

That answer might be somehow near a rare one to get in response to such questions in the Self Publishing world but I must say with conviction that it’s one of the best answers to the question of “where and how to find my book readers” and “how do I market myself published book”. To the question of how do I market myself published book, in this course of this post, you will get to learn how to market your Self Published books using Goodreads.

To learn more about How To Use Goodreads To Market, Promote Books And To Find And Connect With Your Book Readers On Goodreads, You can get a copy of my book – Goodreads Marketing For Authors: How to Market and Promote Books on Goodreads

Table of Post Contents

What Is Goodreads?

Good question!

Goodreads in a simple and dump language is the Social Media Network of book authors and readers for book reading and writing.

Sound like a lingo right? Yes, maybe but in a short word, Goodreads is the Facebook of Book Authors, Writers, and Readers. Think you get the idea right?

Think of Goodreads as the meeting and gossip place (just like Facebook) of book readers and authors where anything related to book and eBooks is discussed and talked about. A network and gathering where authors and readers can connect, interact and network with each other. So if you can connect, network and interact with fellow authors and book readers as well, why can’t Goodreads help you connect with your book audience and readers and also with fellow authors? You simply can’t just ignore the potentials Goodreads has to offer you as a Self Publishing Author.All of th

Yea, enough of the Goodreads hype (if it sounds so, I can’t just help myself doing that).

Why Goodreads?

I will like to share my personal experience with Goodreads here.

As a Self Publishing Author looking for ways to market and promote my books, I just stumble on Goodreads, hurriedly glance through the homepage and register an account for myself. it looks a little bit confusing for a newbie getting it right with what Goodreads really is and how to use this wonderful Social Networking site for Book Authors and Reader but with time and the mind of learning, I gradually just find myself knowing and appreciate what Goodreads can do for me.

The first thing to do after you have an account on Goodreads is to signup for Goodreads Author Program.

With a basic Goodreads membership or account, you don’t have much to play with as a Self Publishing Author but with a Goodreads Author membership, you have a lot of features and opportunities to take advantage of as an author. This post will assume having a Goodreads Author Account.

In my experience, there are lots of advantages for Self Publishing Authors using Goodreads and some of them are:

Book Marketing

Goodreads is a wonderful book marketing tool that every Self Publishing authors should use.

What are the ways Self Publishing Authors can market and promote books through Goodreads?

1. Free Giveaways

Goodreads offer authors the privilege of organizing a free book giveaway. With close to millions of Goodreads accounts and people using Goodreads, you don’t need to have a large author base on your blog to get words out about your book with a giveaway promotion for your book,all you need to do is leverage the traffic and audience based existing on Goodreads to help with your book giveaway.

Listing your book for Goodreads Giveaway is a great way to get exposure for your book during and before your book launch, a great way to create buzz for your new book.

Goodreads giveaway is one of the many Goodreads programs you can take advantage of to promote and market your book even as an unknown Self Publishing Authors.

Note that Goodreads giveaway program is for only Print Books and it works simply as you creating a book giveaway on your Goodreads Dashboard as a Goodreads Author, add all your book giveaway details and the rest is for you to wait and see the wonders of people responding to your book giveaway.

You can give away as many copies as you want and as many as you can avoid sending by postal mail to your book giveaway winner.

Note this giveaway program is only open for authors in the US unlike it used to be for authors from other countries in the past.

Goodreads will after the end of your giveaway date, send you the list of your book winners with their postal address and you are required to send them your books as promised in your book giveaway details.

Below are some important things you need to take note of Goodreads Giveaways:

– You agree to supply the indicated number of books on the date the giveaway ends.

– Goodreads will list (for free) the giveaway book on the giveaways page.

– Goodreads will collect interest in the book, and select winners at our discretion. Our algorithm uses member data to match interested members with each book.

– After the giveaway stop date, click the name of your giveaway (listed under “your giveaways” on the main First Reads page) to see the list of winning addresses. You will also be emailed a list of winners. You are responsible for the shipment of the books. Failure to do so will result in us not inviting you over for cake ever again.

– You agree to not store the winners’ mailing addresses and to never mail anything to the winners except the indicated book.

– Winning members are encouraged but not required to write a review of the book they receive.

– EBooks are not allowed. Every winner must receive a physical copy of the book.

With Goodreads Giveaway, you stand the chance of getting reviews for your book both on Goodreads and Amazon.

Such is the beauty of Goodreads to create buzz for your book, getting reviews for your book and connecting with your book audience helping you build a fan base of readers.

But there is one issue with Goodreads Giveaway and that is the fact that you can only give away copies of your Print book.

What about eBooks?

How can you use Goodreads to give away your eBook and get tons of traffic and download for your Kindle eBook?

2. Goodreads Events

Goodreads Event is another tool offered by Goodreads for Author to help get words out to book readers about various Author events.

These events can range from eBook giveaway to book launch, blog tour, author appearance, book swap and many more like that.

Goodreads events are simply organized and invitation for your event will be sent out to your Goodreads friends. This is a wonderful opportunity to get people to follow your blog tour when you organize one and also to get readers and audience for your book launch and for the fact that Goodreads Giveaway isn’t for eBook, Goodreads Events is a nice avenue to have an eBook giveaway.

For your book launch and blog tour, you simply set up a Goodreads event pointing your invitees to your book launch and blog tour page on your blog (a page dedicated to giving all the details and information about your book launch and blog tour).

For the eBook giveaway, this is this the best usage of Goodreads Events as you can use this to promote your Kindle Select days and also give away as many copies of eBook as you like, unlike the Goodreads Giveaway where you are restricted to print books and spend money to send your books to winners.

With Goodreads Events, you don’t need to have a winner to win your eBook, all you need is create a page on your blog dedicated to your eBook giveaway or even your Kindle Select days and include the link to it when setting up your Goodreads Events.

The advantage of this is that you can get as many people as possible to download your eBook and you can include how your eBook readers can give their honest review after reading your eBook on the eBook giveaway page on your blog. This will help a lot to get reviews for your eBook on the Kindle Store and other places where your eBook is been sold.

If Self publishing Authors want lots of reviews for their Kindle books, this is a very good way to get loads of them. As another way to build your book reader audience base, you can include an opt-in form for readers to fill before they can access your eBook download link. With this, you can include another book or something of value to them to encourage getting their email in exchange for your eBook download. Apart from getting readers to download and read your eBook, you also get the chance of building a mailing list of your book reader and audience.

3. Listing Your Books

With Goodreads, you can add and list your Self Published Books and eBooks to your Goodreads profile page for everyone to see.

This lets the whole world know about your books as everyone visiting your Goodreads page will see all your Published books and with that, they can give reviews and comments on your books, rate them and discuss them.

No matter where you book is been sold, be it Kindle Store, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Lulu or Smashwords, you can add your books on these sites and link them to your Goodreads page where book readers can visit your book page and buy your books – ask me, I will say this is an unpaid, free and easy advertisement for your book sales page.

Also on your Goodreads Author profile page, you can add and upload a copy of your book in eBook format for people to read. This gives your book a broad exposure whenever anyone searches for a book on the topic you write on. You can either upload your book in ePub or ePub.

You can also sell your eBook on Goodreads! For you to sell your eBook on Goodreads, your eBook must be in ePub format.

With eBooks upload, you have the option to give full access to your eBook or cut off excerpts at any percentage that you like. With an excerpt, you can direct readers to your book page after reading some portion of your book.

Such is the Amazing world you can have with Goodreads listing of your books and eBooks. 

3. Goodreads Advertisement and Premium Author Program

if you have some money to spend to promote your book, Goodreads offers a good platform to advertise your Self Published books.

You can Gain access to a massive audience of more than 13 million book lovers. With more than 140 million page views and 19 million unique visitors a month, Goodreads offers advertisers integrated advertising and promotional programs to reach our highly affluent and educated audience of book readers.

With Goodreads Advertisement, you can

– Bull’s-eye targeting of a highly desirable target audience of people passionate about books!

– Extend and amplify the buzz about your books using social networking viral media.

– Be a part of the conversation as readers update their friends about what they are reading.

– Drive awareness, buzz, and sales with this highly engaged and influential audience of readers!

You can also promote your book launch using Goodreads Self Serving Advertisement which will let your ads be shown on Goodreads in locations where members and readers are searching for and exploring books. You can also target your ad by book genre and create a budget of any size you like.

Where Do You Go From Here?

This post shows only a bit of what Goodreads has to offer self-publishing authors as book marketing and social networking tools to reach more audiences as well as fellow self-published authors.

Goodreads at first seem a complicated place to be for many authors but despite this, it has a lot of potentials for you as an author.

The question now is:

How can you get started on Goodreads?


What are the many other opportunities for you as an author on Goodreads to sell more books and reach more of  your target audience?

You can get all the answers to these questions inside my book – Goodreads Marketing For Authors: How to Market and Promote Books on Goodreads.

The book contains several tips, ways, and strategies that author; especially self-publishing author can use to market and promote their books as well as interact, connect and network with fellow authors as well as book readers.

And if you also interested in learning how to build a review/launch team for your book on Goodreads and how you can spend 15 minutes in a day and get lots of reviews for your books for free, get a copy of my book – Goodreads Hack: How to Use the Power of Goodreads to Get Reviews for Your Book and Build Your Book Review and Launch Team Using 15 Minutes a Day

Now It’s Your Turn!

Has Goodreads helped you in marketing and promoting your book?

Let’s hear your view and experience. Kindly leave your comment at the comment box below and don’t forget to help share this post for others to enjoy.

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