Goodreads: 8 Things Writers Should Know
Many of you have probably already been on Goodreads forever, so I’m counting on you to chime in with your experience in the comments. For those of you who are new to Goodreads or haven’t ventured over there yet… I promise I’m not trying to send you screaming into the street with social media overload. But I really do think Pinterest and Goodreads may be cost-effective ways to use of your time if you want to connect with READERS, not just other writers, as I mentioned yesterday.
So once again, I’ve compiled a list of important things writers should know.
1. Goodreads is a social network for book lovers.
It’s where you’ll find readers and people who like to discuss books. Even if you’re not very interested in the “social” aspect, Goodreads is a fabulous way to keep track of your reading—what you’ve read, whether you liked it, and what you want to read in the future. I’ve been keeping a book journal for over 10 years (in an old fashioned paper journal), writing down every single book I read, which is a practice I recommend to everyone. Goodreads makes this so much more fun because I can easily give each book a star-rating, write a review of it if I want, and automatically have a record of when I read it. (Find me here.)
2. There are a lot of people there.
Goodreads has over seven million subscribers—that’s a lot of people, especially when you take into account the fact that they wouldn’t be on the site if they didn’t love to read. This is your audience!
3. Set reading goals and track them.
Goodreads encourages you to set a reading goal for the year, and when you enter the 2012 Reading Challenge, it will keep track of your progress. (Today it informs me that I’m 10% toward my goal, and I’m 3 books behind for the year.) Click the button to the right to enter your goal for 2012!
4. There are numerous ways for authors to connect with readers.
The folks at Goodreads have done a terrific job of providing ways for you to reach readers. They encourage a friendly conversational approach that doesn’t ever feel like “marketing” but is truly based on relationships between people with shared interests. If you have published books, then one of the first things you’ll want to do when you get on the site is create an Author Profile, where you’ll list your books and begin to learn all the different ways to get the most from Goodreads. Please see my companion post, How Authors Can Effectively Use Goodreads, for idea on tapping their author resources.
5. It features reader reviews.
Goodreads is one more place to read (or ignore) reader reviews. When people log the books they’ve read, they have the opportunity to assign 1-to-5 stars and write their thoughts. Of course, this has its pros and cons. As an author, it can be equal parts exhilarating and devastating. However as a reader, you may find the reviews helpful in choosing books to read.
6. It includes self-published books.
Goodreads is open to self-published books, and is one of the best ways self-pub authors can promote their books. The site’s reviews and discussions can be tremendously helpful when deciding which self-published books you might be interested in reading.
7. As with Pinterest, I’m not saying you HAVE to join.
You should choose the social networks that work for you. I encourage you to at least get to know Goodreads and make your decision based on knowledge rather than “If-I-have-to-join-one-more-social-network-I-will-implode.”
8. You can share your favorite quotes from books.
I love this feature! On the Goodreads site, click Explore, then Quotes. You can see other people’s favorite book quotes or enter your own. You can search for quotes through a list of tags. Below is an infographic from GalleyCat on Goodreads’ most quoted books of 2011. Enjoy!
Your turn: Tell us your experience with Goodreads so far.