Goodreads: so many opportunities, so little time

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This spring has been full of challenges as my primary client published 3 new books (and republished one), and another client anticipates publication of his first novel just days from now. Where will I get the most bang for my publicity buck?

A true story very similar to The Fault in Our Stars.

A true story very similar to The Fault in Our Stars.

an imaginative telling of society adrift as a result of climate change

an imaginative telling of society adrift as a result of climate change

I will admit looking into Goodreads as a publicity resource on several occasions, but usually my ADD kicks in and I go after easier hits like newspaper articles instead. But consider this — with 20 million users (last year’s number) the potential is staggering. For the same reason, it’s intimidating. You hear that being too promotional could get you in trouble… and the process for proper usage can’t really be achieved in one hit. We all need a map to find this goldmine of readers, and here are a few directions:

This article helps you get established as a Goodreads contributor if you aren’t already, and tells how to get involved in groups. It suggests introducing yourself as an author and joining this group at a minimum.

This is Goodread’s own road map to getting an author page.

This author suggests doing give-aways on Goodreads to get people interested (every eyeball is important in this business!).

This slideshow provides a ton of data about the possibilities in marketing to Goodreads users: imagine 5,500 people interested in your book before it’s published? Wow! But note some of the data relies on investing in ads, which few part-time authors can afford (I haven’t looked at the cost of ads or sponsoring the newsletter, which is noted on one slide).

the power of including Goodreads in your book marketing plan

the power of including Goodreads in your book marketing plan

Well, I guess I have convinced myself that it’s time to buckle down and really give Goodreads some time and TLC. After all, I enjoy contributing and I love a challenge.

Market your work visually with Pintrest and Tumblr

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Medium is a new website for sharing thoughts, akin to a TED talk without the video. This week they’re trumpeting the fact that author Walter Isaacson solicited feedback for an unfinished book on the site. It goes without saying that he has garnered a wider audience for that book already. Brilliant.

Oy vey, what’s a part-time writer to do? Keeping up with all of the newest portals to publicity is so time-consuming!

Yet if you carve out a little time each week to read up on Galleycat and your Twitter feed, you may be able to pick out one or two to pursue (yes, this is on top of blogging, feeding the cats, paying the bills, etc., etc.).

In fact, I was checking out Medium and found a great post about a two-month-old Tumblr blog, GoBookYourself.co that has exploded into the stratosphere. Like many new online vehicles, it’s image-based, yet is about books. Check it out: the concept is so simple. I’m still working on getting my client’s books in there.

the tumblr blog GoBookYourself.co is a visual way to make book recommendations

the tumblr blog GoBookYourself.co is a visual way to make book recommendations

Speaking of visual marketing methods, we know Pintrest is very popular — but were you aware that it’s second only to Facebook for driving click-throughs? And more than that, just hours ago data was released that shows 1/3 of women are on Pintrest. Of course you  know that women lead in book purchases. That’s simple math.

Of course big companies like Lowe’s have Pintrest boards. When they want to sell grills they post recipes and photos of shish-kabobs. Take a peek at ways they use the site and try to think of how you can expand your repertoire:

If you create a character who enjoys a good wine, why not pin images of wine, beautiful artistic labels and grapes on the vine with references to your character (“Sukey Jones would never drink before dinner, unless it was a light Reisling.”) and a link back to the site where your book is sold.This article has already expanded my knowledge of Pintrest exponentially. I’ve pinned images of my client’s Coast Guard rescue books and labeled them as Gifts for Men/Gifts for Sailors and Boaters and Inspirational People but I really haven’t spent a lot of time on the site. That’s going to change with this new knowledge.