Social Media Best Practices for New Authors: Goodreads

Many authors know how important social media can be to their platforms, and in turn for reviews, buzz, and book sales for their new titles. In this new series of posts, I’ll be going over the best practices for social media by platform. To start off: Goodreads.

If you’re at all involved in the bookish community, you know how influential Goodreads can be. It’s a place where readers go to add books to their virtual shelves. They can add to the TBR lists as well as record and review the books that they have read. It’s also a place for authors to connect to readers through Q&As, giveaways, and one-to-one interactions. Social media specifically for book nerds!

First of all, if you’re not on Goodreads as an author yet, you should go ahead and make a profile. You can connect your account through Facebook and it will automatically sign you in and give you the option of adding any and all Facebook friends who are also on Goodreads. Below are some steps to building up your presence on Goodreads.

  • Add your favorite books and books that you want to read to your own shelves.
  • Make sure books related to your own genre of writing are included on your shelves.
  • Rate and review titles that you’ve read.
  • Join a few groups and get involved in discussions.
  • Interact with readers who may be interested in your books by replying to comments, reviews, and discussions.

If you’re published already:

  • Claim your profile for the Goodreads Author Program.
  • Update your author profile with correct photos, social links, and bio.
  • Check and make sure that all of your titles link to your profile and have the correct cover, description, and metadata.
  • Run a giveaway for new or upcoming titles (run this by your publisher to make sure that they aren’t already running one).
    • The best giveaways on Goodreads usually run for a week and involve 2 or 3 books (ARCs or finished copies) as the prizes. If you want to go the extra mile, make them signed!
  • Host an author Q&A through Ask the Author.
  • Take out a self-serve ad for your books (again, check with your publisher first to see if they’re already running ads on Goodreads).
  • Start an author blog on Goodreads or import your blog posts from an already existing site.
  • More Goodreads Author guidelines, straight from the source.

I will come back to this all the time, but social media is all about connecting with readers and building a trusting relationship. Goodreads does this by allowing you to interact with readers in many meaningful ways. Users come to the site specifically to talk about the books that they love, so make sure you’re communicating with them in a positive and supportive way! Once your loyal following is built, your followers on Goodreads can become amazing advocates for your work.

Do you have any tips for using Goodreads as an author? Add them in the comments!

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