Monday, March 7, 2011

Four Reasons Authors can Feel GOOD about Goodreads

Well, you can thank my good bloggy buddies Heather Sunseri and Tana Adams for forcing--er, suggesting I talk about Goodreads. Actually, I'm so glad they did, because it's one of my favorite online places to visit daily. :)

So what is Goodreads exactly? According to wikipedia, it's a website that permits individuals to sign up and register books to create their library catalogs and reading lists. It also allows users to create their own groups of book suggestions and discussions.

Sound cool? It is!

So who is joining Goodreads anyway? Book reviewers, librarians, authors, readers, and/or some kind of combination of that list.

I first joined just to have a bio linked to my books, but then it became much more. I still feel as if I have yet to tap into all the nuances of the website, but here are my...


TOP FOUR REASONS I FEEL GOOD ABOUT GOODREADS:

1**I can easily follow new blog posts.


One of the nice things about Goodreads is the ability to link your blog feed to your homepage. Once you do that, all your friends (as well as any new person checking out your page) can see your latest blog update. I've also discovered new blogs that I wasn't already following through Google Connect.

2**I can easily see what new books my friends are reading and what they have to say about them.

Sometimes people actually "suggest" reads to friends through the click of a button. But if you check in daily like I do, you can just scroll down and just see updates to what your friends are reading and decide on your own if you're interested. I got introduced to new books I never would have heard of otherwise.
In fact, one of my friends recently read and wrote a review for the Jenny B Jones book, Save the Date. Well, I happened to see her gushing review. So I checked it out and the book sounded so...me that I ordered it.

See how that works?

3**I can easily do more Social Networking.
FRIENDS: When I first started on Goodreads, I naturally gravitated to all my blogger friends first. I knew them, liked them, and was interested in what they were reading. Then I started to expand that...
In Kristen Lamb's book, We Are Not Alone: the writer's guide to social media, she suggested ways to find friends on Facebook and Twitter. I took those ideas to Goodreads, and started looking at readers who have read books I've read and enjoyed. Chances are, our tastes in books are the same, so I may send them a friend request. There is a chance they might read your book or add it to be read at a future time. It doesn't matter if they don't, because you'll still be seeing ratings and reviews for books you'd like to read. WIN-WIN. :)

GROUPS:
For authors, there are plenty of groups on marketing, blogging, and social networking in general where you can get and exchange ideas as well as meet other authors. Also, if you have an interest in a particular author or genre, there's a group out there on Goodreads for you. Some of these groups are great places to meet people who have similar interests (and even potential readers).

I recently joined a group there called "Clean Reads", a group of readers as well as authors who are looking for just that: a nice, wholesome clean read. I decided to join since that's exactly where my books belong, so I introduced myself and added by books to their catalog. Because of doing that simple thing, I've already gotten the nicest review for one of my books and have my other book added to their TO BE READ list.

4**I can easily participate in or host a giveaway.

Did you know you can get free new books there? Explore their giveaway section and see all books listed by genre. All you have to do is click on the book of your choice and you'll be notified if you win.

I joined Goodreads after my book was out and after I had already done blog giveaways, so I didn't get a chance to list there.

But you better believe I will list my next book on Goodreads and here's why:

Say you have 500 to 1,000 blog followers (and that's a good number) and you do a giveaway. Will you actually get all 500 to 1000 commenters trying to win your book? No, probably not. Maybe at best you'll get, 100 people really excited and anxious to get your book to enter your giveaway. That's good.

In fact, I'll be doing a little blog giveaway this Wednesday... (hint hint)


However, if you list a giveaway on Goodreads, you have the ability to run the contest for a longer period of time as well as get an expanded reader/viewership. I've seen anywhere from 1000 to 2000 people requesting to win on one book!!

Best yet, you've just been introduced to new people who've never seen your blog or heard of you before! And although the book winners aren't "required" to do a review, they are encouraged and most likely you WILL get one. Isn't that what really sells books in the long run?

More WIN-WIN!
And THAT'S really something to feel good about. :)


What about you? Have you joined Goodreads?
What do you like or not like about it?
Do you see the value as an author in joining?

You can find me on Goodreads HERE. :)

47 comments:

Maria Zannini said...

I'm especially fond of being able to invite people to an event or contest on Goodreads.

It even reminds you that the event is imminent. That's helpful for someone like me who has a memory like a sieve. :)

Laura Pauling said...

Yes, I'm on Goodreads. I did it basically to keep track of what I read - anything else is just bonus! It's fun seeing what my friends read.

Matthew Rush said...

I'm a member, but I had no idea it was so extensive. Very interesting. Thanks Jennifer!

Julie Jarnagin said...

I'm on Goodreads, but I don't really keep up with it. Now I'm going to start :)

Anne Gallagher said...

I haven't joined yet, because I don't read while I write but this summer I plan to investigate all the social netowork sites and see which one I can handle besides blogging. Goodreads sounds like it's a great one.

Thanks for the info.

Linda G. said...

I joined, but I have to admit I totally suck at keeping up with it. So much social media, too little time! You make some good points, though--maybe I should look into it more.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I'm looking you up, Linda. LOL

Tana Adams said...

Thank you!!!!! Really, you go there everyday? I'm going to have to follow in your footsteps. I'll go over now and check out your page. Sounds like you were the right person to write this post after all! =)

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Joined last month (as you well know).

Valuable, yes! Seemed like a logical move for me seeing as I dream in books, eat books and speak in books.

Love connecting with writers and readers there!
~ Wendy

Carol Kilgore said...

I haven't joined. It's on my to do list, but hasn't worked its way close enough to the top yet.

Joanne said...

I've heard so much about GoodReads, but have not checked it out yet. It seems like it's really growing in popularity. Will definitely give it a look!

Sheila Siler said...

Thanks for the info - I've never heard of Goodreads! I have my bookshelf on Facebook, but haven't kept it really up to date. I shallcheck this out!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Tana: I do check in daily!! Seriously! In fact, I shouldn't spend so much time there. LOL

Linda Kage said...

I've been lovin' me some Goodreads lately too! It can also keep track of which books you read and when!

Bossy Betty said...

Sounds great. Would you believe I had not heard of it until now? Thanks for the info.

Terri Tiffany said...

This is awful but I think I joined before or maybe it was a similar site. But you have shared some good information about it, more than I thought it was about. Maybe soon!

Cameron said...

Thanks for the info I will have to check it out. I had no idea that it was as big/feature-laden as you described.

Laura Marcella said...

My creative writing professor in college suggested Goodreads to me. I love it! I've discovered a lot of great new books there. I like that I can keep my to-read list in one place (and keeping a record of the books I've read each year!). It's a fantastic site!

Lynnette Labelle said...

Great post, Jennifer. I'm on Goodreads, but haven't figured out how to benefit from it yet. This helps.

Lynnette Labelle
www.lynnettelabelle.com

Lydia K said...

I'll probably do Goodreads before I twitter. Going to bookmark this post, thanks!

Kristine Asselin said...

Great post Jennifer! I'm going to track down your clean reads group. I thought I knew Goodreads pretty well, but I guess I didn't!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

One Goodreads negative I'm watching unfold with my friends debuting a few months ahead of me is the temptation to read every review. The nice ones are nice, but those ugly ones hurt.

It's weird to see someone has given my book stars...a book that hasn't even gone through line edits yet!

I think if you have either nerves of steel or a lot of self control, this aspect of Goodreads will be no problem. For the rest of us, I'm going to try my hardest to stay away from all my eventual reviews.

Cindy R. Wilson said...

I've heard of Goodreads but haven't joined it. Sounds like a great thing, though. Thanks for telling us more about it.

Debora Dennis said...

I'm on goodreads and aparently have not being using it to its full potential - thanks Jennifer! :)

Diane said...

I feel like I am getting pulled into another social media. I've been hesitant but may need to take the plunge.... :O)

Jeanette Levellie said...

I have heard of it, but not signed up yet. Thanks for the great review!

Jill Kemerer said...

I love Goodreads! I think you were my first friend over there! It's a great way for me to keep track of the books I read.

One sidenote: unpublished authors can't link their blogs--that feature is reserved for pubbed authors like yourself.

One thing I like about Goodreads, too, is that I'm automatically connecting with other readers. My kind of people!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Jill, as soon as you sign up as an author (you can upload your title without a cover), your blog will go through.

I'm trying to remember if you're agented or agented with a book under contract...

Keep in mind!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Jill, as soon as you sign up as an author (you can upload your title without a cover), your blog will go through.

I'm trying to remember if you're agented or agented with a book under contract...

Keep in mind!

Katie Ganshert said...

Excellent overview! I just signed up for Good Reads last week but feel I'm not taking full advantage of it. I need to learn more about it so I can!

Caryn Caldwell said...

That's a wonderful list! I've been using Goodreads for years, but I haven't been doing any of those things (probably because I haven't been published yet). I especially loved your idea of finding people who've read books similar to yours and friending them. Smart! As for me, I love Goodreads because I can keep track of the books I've read. I can't tell you how many times I've tried to recommend a book to a friend but haven't been able to remember the title. Goodreads to the rescue!

Stephanie Faris said...

Do they have middle grade novels? I noticed there was a Goodreads app...I'm always looking for good middle grades to read and if they do that, I just might have to download it.

Abby Minard said...

This is great, I haven't joined goodreads yet, but I've been thinking about it.

Thea Atkinson said...

\i love goodreads for all the reasons you mention. I might not be as heavily active every week but when i visit, I glut myself on reviews and group discussions. love it over there.

anyone can feel free to friend me. I'm happy go lucky.

alexia said...

What a great post! I definitely want to join at some point.

lindayezak said...

I recently joined Goodreads to generate some interest in my new release. There is so much available for the author on that site! I can't wait until I have a little more time to explore.

Michelle said...

I joined Goodreads recently too. I had a look a while back and it didn't seem user friendly - so I'm not sure if they've changed - or if I'm a little more savy ... but I love it too!!

Tamika: said...

I'm going to need social media intervention soon! Goodreads sounds like a site that I would love!

Lacey Devlin said...

What a fantastic idea! Am off to check it out :-)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm only beginning to understand the benefits of Goodreads. Before I was just using it to find out what is new in YA. This is when things get dangerous. I end up buying the book.

I am frustrated with one aspect of it, though. Some people "friend" you, and when you friend them back, the PM you to tell you to buy their book--which is a genre I don't read. Also, I don't follow everyone. Only the ones who read the genres I'm interested in. But if you "ignore" them, they often keep trying to "friend" you not realizing what's going on until I send them a message.

KatieO said...

Isn't it funny - I was just wondering the morning whether Goodreads was worth my time... and now you've convinced me to try it again and spend a little more time figuring it all out. Thanks for the great blog post! I'm your newest follower ;-)

Elle Strauss said...

I'm on goodreads but I don't really spend much time there--maybe that should change? :)

Susan Fields said...

This is perfect timing for me. Investigating Goodreads is on my to-do list now that my wip is kind of in a holding pattern while I'm waiting for feedback. Thanks for the introduction!

Karen Lange said...

I like Goodreads but haven't spent much time there. Apparently I am missing a lot and need to check it out more thoroughly! Thanks for the info!
Blessings,
Karen

Name: Holly Bowne said...

Thanks so much for sharing that info, Jennifer. I've been hearing about Goodreads, but haven't yet taken the time to get over there to check it out. It sounds great!

TheBookGirl said...

I've been on Goodreads for a while and have enjoyed it. I like getting new suggestions for books, and making contact with other readers. I don't spend alot of time on the forums though.

Heather Sunseri said...

I am so, so sorry I missed this post, Jennifer!! I remember suggesting that you do a post about it, but I also see that this was right before my March 15th tax deadline, so I'm not surprised I missed it.

Anyway, thanks for the info. You're one of the reasons I stuck with Goodreads and started looking at it a little more closely. I'm seriously thinking Goodreads just might be the gem Writers need to actually make the crossover from blogging for writers to connecting with readers. There's a lot to offer on this site that I haven't fully tapped into yet.