Goodreads has more than 90 million users, and readers use the platform to discover, read and promote books. It’s a great site for authors to have direct access to readers. Authors have various options for free and paid book advertising.
So here are some ways of using Goodreads to promote your book.
Open an Author Account
Goodreads allows you to open an account as a regular member or an author. It has interlinked books featured on Amazon. Authors who published books on Amazon can find their books on Goodreads search.
If you’re an author, open an author account by searching for yourself on Goodreads, then clicking on your author name. Clicking on your author name opens up your author page profile, which is separate from your member profile.
Click on ‘Is this you? Let us know’ to request joining the author program.
Once Goodreads has granted you access to the author program, you can add all your books on Amazon to your Goodreads profile. Readers can easily find you and see the reviews of your books.
Add Your Blog
If you’re an author, you should have a personal blog. Relying solely on book platforms for sales may be devastating to your career if those platforms ban your account or go out of business.
Don’t build your empire on somebody else’s land, so have a blog. The great perk about having a Goodreads author account is that you can link your blog to your account. That’ll save you from reposting adverts/events/stories on Goodreads, which imports your blog entries.
The other perk of having your blog URL on Goodreads is SEO. Goodreads has a high domain authority, so having a backlink on the platform scores you points with Google’s search function.
Run a Giveaway
Opening an author account and adding your blog to Goodreads is free. Running a giveaway is paid advertising on the platform. You can use the giveaway to drive awareness of your book. As the name implies, a giveaway means that you gift Goodreaders members your book.
You can choose to gift digital or paperback copies. Authors are responsible for the shipping costs to send books to readers. Goodreads enables authors to gift up to 100 books to readers.
If you enroll your book into the giveaway, interested readers submit their request for the book. The perk for the author is that readers see all the listed books. Even if a reader doesn’t submit a request for your book, they may discover it.
As an author, you can select to advertise to a category of reader interest, but Goodreads randomly chooses winners. Every reader that enters your giveaway automatically gets your book added to their Want-to-Read list on Goodreads, so other people can see what they’re interested in reading.
Another perk of running a giveaway is that authors may get reviews from readers who received their books. The standard giveaway costs $119, and the premium costs $599, which entitles you to placement on Goodreads’ Giveaway page, with tens of millions of monthly visitors.
Readers love interacting with their favorite authors. The best way for them to meet authors is at live events. Events enable authors to capitalize on the best form of book marketing—word of mouth.
If readers enjoy your event, they’ll post pictures on social media and tell their friends about it. But how do they find out about your event? You can use social media to advertise your event, but that reaches only your followers. The other option is to boost your post, which costs.
Goodreads allows you to advertise your event for free. It displays it on your profile page, so your followers and everyone on the platform can see it if they search for your name.
A paid form of advertising on Goodreads is running ads. You can drive awareness of your book by advertising it. Even if readers don’t click on the ad or buy your book, they may find out about it.
Goodreads advertising platform is set at a $0.50 bid. If you want to increase your chance of reaching a high number of readers, you’ll have to bid higher. You determine the budget, and the advertising stops when you reach your budget.
The click-through rate on Goodreads is low—usually .05%. Many readers may see your book, but only some will be interested in exploring it further. But you pay only if somebody clicks the ad, so their interest may lead to a sale.
Host Ask the Author and Reader Q&A
If you can’t host live events where your readers are, you can enable readers to ask you questions. You can set up Ask the Author on your profile, enabling readers to post questions. Engaging your readers will lead to a deeper conversation and an invitation for others to participate.
You can also host a Reader Q&A. It appears on the book page below ‘Recommended in Fiction.’ The box states, ‘Ask anything about the book.’
Rate and Review Books
Don’t wait for readers to rate and review your book. You can review an author’s book, and they may return the favor. If you leave insightful reviews, readers may appreciate it and could visit your page to see more of your reviews. That’s how they’ll find out about your books.
Rating and reviewing books enable you to connect with readers of similar interests and may enable you to establish a network. It’s debatable if you should rate your own book. It could come across as desperate.
Spread good karma in the book world by reviewing people’s books, and it could come back to you.