Friday, January 3, 2014

Is Goodreads Good for You?

An email popped into my Inbox this morning. "Be my friend on Goodreads" was the subject line and in the body of the message I learned that someone wanted to add me as a friend on Goodreads. But wait - there was another email - another friend request. And another one. Every day I get invitations from five to ten people, none of whom I know, and they all want to be my friend.

I currently have more than 760 friends at the "world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations." I joined Goodreads a number of years ago in order to keep track of the books I was reading and to list an occasional review or two. My account lists 185 books, but I haven't been updating it lately with my latest reading accomplishments or opinions.

What I can't understand, and here I'm hoping that you can help me, is how to leverage Goodreads as a platform for a self-published author of fiction.

Limited success promoting my books


I have listed both of my books on Goodreads. Valley of Thracians has 22 ratings (4.27 average) and 14 text reviews, and 15 people have the novel on their "to be read" list. The Virtual Kibbutz has 6 ratings (4.00 average) with 5 text reviews. The short story collection is listed "to be read" by 11 people.

Okay, great. So where do I go from here?

Here is one thing I previously did on Goodreads. Shortly after I published Valley of Thracians, I joined a Goodreads group called "Read 4 Review". I listed my suspense novel and connected with readers interested in reading the book in exchange for an honest review.  I gave away 7 digital copies and in return, two readers wrote reviews. Not exactly a huge success.

I receive occasional messages inviting me to events and giveaways, and with recommendations of books to read. I'm sorry, but I don't have a clue what a Goodreads event even is.

And so, readers of my blog, in the past I have given advice based on my experiences in writing, editing, and marketing a self-published book. Now I am turning to you for advice.

Please tell me, where are all these friend requests coming from? (How do people find me on Goodreads?). Here's another question I have: Goodreads was purchased in March by Amazon, so are you allowed to post the same book reviews on the two different websites?

As an author, have you had success promoting your book on Goodreads? If so, what did you do? Please explain to me what an event is, and how you organize a giveaway. What else can an author do? Any and all advice is warmly welcomed!

Please comment below with your Goodreads suggestions!

115 comments:

  1. Clicked on your twitter message to read this entry. I am not an author, only a blogger, but love Goodreads for various reasons. It was 1) my first account with a book lovers community on the internet and I felt thrilled, 2) I have since joining the site, read about 200 books I would never have found on my own 3) encouraged me to do the crazy blogging thing 4) joined other similar sites.

    Goodreads are, as far as I am concerned, the best book-sharing site in my experience. I normally look at all the people reading the same book(s) as I do and invite them to be friends. I get similar invitations. For me personally it is about shared interests. Perhaps this will help you ;-)

    I am not impressed with any of the groups: not on Goodreads and not anywhere else. But you never know. Some of them are popular and exposure on them might be a winner. I am not convinced though. The books I decide to read and review comes from sites such as NetGalley and Edelweiss.abovethetreeline.com. I would say that most of my choices are from Goodreads reviews I have read though (for those I buy)

    But apart from answering your question and sharing my point of view. Thanks for being my friend on Twitter. It is highly appreciated.

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    1. Thanks Margitte for stopping by = you're right, as a reader, Goodreads introduces you to a lot of books and readers with shared interests. The question I'm asking, though, is more from an author's perspective. I will keep on investigating this issue!

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    2. Ellis, I also look at book reviews before chosing especially if the author is unknown to me. I really appreciate all friend requests, especially any book recommendations but I can't say I know where they're all coming from. I've read far more books this year alone from Goodreads recommendations which is why I really enjoy the site. As an author, I have received more reviews (little by little) and more people have added my book to their shelves. Only a few, Ellis, but a few very special people nonetheless. I'm still looking for a way to promote more so if anyone has the answer to this question, count me in! Thanks for being a friend on Twitter, Ellis. What a great blog. Humbled and much appreciated. Claire.

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  2. I joined Goodreads because everyone raved about it and kept telling me it was a "must join". I found it cumbersome and that it appeared similiar to a bunch of high school "groupies" all gathered in one place. AND a LOT of bullying and flaming. Not my kind of place and knowing some of the authors and their friends I also don't trust the reviews there for being any more accurate/honest than those on Amazon.

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    1. Thanks Susan for stopping by. I am also wondering whether Goodreads is a "must join" social community. The things you've noted are quite disturbing!

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    2. Maggie's reply is pretty comprehensive and I agree with all of it. You have to start somewhere, and reading a book requires commitment, and it is a slow curve to build sales/brand/awareness.There is no better recommendation than that of a friend that has read your book and loved it.

      When I giveaway books between 1K- 1.5K enter, this allows you to connect with people showing a real interest. I would not be surprised in the near future if both Goodreads and Amazonbooks do not link directly. Goodreads is the best large universal site to reach a massive audiendce. This is where readers and writers are. This is also the best place to blog about writing (and Blogspot as it pushes you up Google search). I went from 67 views to over 900 in 7 weeks (Twitter helped massively here), but put it on Google and Wordpress as well. Make sure you are putting lots and lots of tags on your work.

      I blogged about social media a few weeks ago. https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/5825261-7-social-media-ask-it-to-be-your-friend-twitter this was mainly aimed at those that did not fully engage with it already. By 2020 half of all book sales will possibly be from self-published books. If you build 'the brand' slowly, the financial rewards could well be as high as lots of established authors. This is all passive income - happy days.

      Keep building on with the Goodreads fellowshipess Illuminati - it make sense.

      Big Love,

      Ian

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  3. Hi, Ellis! I recommend Michelle Campbell-Scott's book 'Goodreads for Authors', an excellent book that will answer all your questions. In the meantime, I'll do my best:
    1. Friends can find you in a number of ways - Goodreads can suggest members who have similar tastes in books, there are links on there to find friends, people will have seen your posts in Read and Review. Goodreads is a very friendly site and people like to connect.
    2. No reason that I know of why people can't post the same reviews on the two websites.
    3. As for book promotion, giveaways are a good start because they get people interested in your book. It takes about a minute to list a book (has to be a physical copy, not an ebook) and it then gets added to the list of giveaways. Members get the fun of entering a competition and it's a great way to get people to add you book to their 'to read' shelf and once it's on there there's a good chance they'll buy it and read it. Here's the link to the one I'm running - it might give you a better idea of what's involved. https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/77021-his-kidnapper-s-shoes
    As for events, they can be whatever you like. For example, authors can host Q & A sessions with members, so that counts as an event, to which you can invite people, letting them know when you'll be hosting the Q and A.
    4. The groups are also great and there are ones specifically to connect writers and readers. In these you can promote your books, your giveaways and events, as well as connect with readers on Twitter, Google+ etc, and promote your blog. There are groups for different genres which come in handy if you're a genre writer. Talking of blogs, you can sync your blog via its RSS feed to Goodreads, thus getting it more exposure.
    Hope this helps - I'm short on time, so can't reply as fully as I'd like. Goodreads is a huge site, so finding your way around and sniffing out all the possibilities takes time. Michelle's book explains it really well. To put it in a nutshell, Goodreads is the biggest reader site there is - and as authors, we naturally want to connect with potential readers. Goodreads does that, and it's fun as well!

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    1. Hi Maggie, thanks for stopping by. I was going to sign up for your giveaway to get a better understanding how it works, but I noticed it's restricted (by country). Do any authors do giveaways for digital books? It would be much easier for me to handle if the prize was an ebook.

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    2. Goodreads don't offer giveaways on ebooks at present (shame) but they say they're working on it. I suspect most authors would prefer a digital giveaway.

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  4. Hi Ellis, just wanted to say that you can definitely post the same review on Amazon and Goodreads. I do it all the time.

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    1. Thanks Julia, I was wondering whether that was allowed.

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  5. Hi Ellis, I have a Goodreads Author page but I only really use the platform for my personal reading needs. I use the recommendations to find books and I try to leave reviews as often as possible. I don't really know how to promote my own books on Goodreads and the group events baffle me! Could be fun trying to work it all out though!

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    1. Hi Shelley, thanks for stopping by. We seem to be in the same situation, so let's figure this out together!

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  6. Hey Ellis :) My own experiences on Goodreads has been mixed. When I first joined in August- I believe it was, I joined a group, I don't recall which, right now, to hopefully get reviews for my book, Pawn of Innocence, I had just published. I could no longer see the forest for the trees on it, and needed some fresh eyes to tell me the ugly truth. I got 2 responses. One from a lady I later became friends with. She loved the story, and raved about it to many of the people we both became to know on Facebook.
    The other woman took about 2 months or more to read it, and when she finally did write a review for it, I was a little stunned. Though she gave me four stars, she really should have given me 2 stars according to what she really thought. She stated the plot was sometimes not plausible. I needed to know if I needed to clear something up via editing, so I asked her via email what was unclear, in her opinion. Well, ask and you shall recieve! She sent me back an email easily 3 pages long describing all the places she thought it didn't make sense, left hanging, implausible, etc. I was floored. Had she really read my book? It sure didn't look like it, or at best, she skimmed it.
    I went through my book, one complaint at a time and copy/pasted excerpts from the book that explained, either in dialogue, or narration, the items she was complaining about. She never answered that email.
    I pulled out of the group, thinking there had to be a better way. I did find one, finally. As for my good experiences, well, I've connected with my friends on there, and that's led to some of their friends sending me friend requests, but I don't see any evidence yet that any of it's done any good. I did start a blog there, and did some posts, and though they gotten quite a few views, I've relocated it to a place I can be more creative.
    SO, in my humble opinion, I'm not real sure either what good it does other than being just a different kind of social media site.
    I see you are on G+ , will follow you there :)

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    1. Hi, it's great to connect with you here, and on Google+. I'm not sure you did the right thing about responding to that woman's questionable review, but that's an entirely different subject! In short, it looks like we bother feel that we're not sure about how to relate to Goodreads. :)

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  7. Goodreads LISTOPIA lists area also a great place to find books that are interesting. They range from broad headings, such as "History World War 2" to "Best books with a bird on the cover". Browsing them can be hit and miss but I found great books through them.
    It also got some of my books the right attention by people looking for a book on Slovakian history for example.

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    1. Thanks Christoph, you have a valid point. What did you do to make sure your books would be listed for "Slovakian history" so that those readers would find them?

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  8. Hi Ellis! I saw your request via Twitter. I've tried to be but am not a big fan of Goodreads as an author. The advertising I've done there has been ineffective while the groups have been too big and busy to be effective for me. I tend to see a lot more readers than authors being active, and as a reader, I like the site. As an author, it's not been a good way to get the word out about my latest releases. But, that's just been my experience and my first novel published in late August. So someone with more history and followers may have better results.

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    1. Hi Laura, I think you have a valid point = Goodreads might be better for readers, than for authors. Or am I missing something?

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  9. Good question Ellis! Goodreads has the potential to reach tens of thousands of readers. I think it's important to keep an updated profile there for that reason. Unfortunately Amazon does not offer us referral stats, so its not implausible that readers are seeing your work on Goodreads and then clicking through to Amazon to buy. Thats my take on it anyhow :)

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    1. Hi, thanks for stopping by! If Goodreads has that potential, how do we make the most of it? I try to keep an updated profile, but I'm questioning whether it's worth the time and effort to do something more than that.

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  10. I clicked on your tweet about this post too. Here is what I've been learning about book marketing and Goodreads in general. https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/5504275-a-tale-of-two-marketing-campaigns

    The fact is that self-published authors have to sell each and every copy of their books. I believe that events are the way to go based on two experiences I've had.

    In one, I was in the audience;
    https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/3550568-the-old-cover-judgement-issue

    In the second, I was one of the readers:
    https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/5108788-entertaining-mischief-and-mistakes

    Since I don't have a hard copy of my book, I am thinking of making an arrangement with the local bookstore to see if we can sell downloads via their in-store download stations.

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    1. Hi Kate, thanks for stopping by! I will take a look at those articles and see if I can better understand how to use Goodreads as an author.

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  11. Goodreads is like any other social networking venues; it can be fantastic once you find the right combination of friends/groups. I am not yet using it for book promotions, but plan on doing so when my book is published in June. I do like the ability to connect to the author of books that I have read, and have found that it can be a mutually gratifying experience so long as engagements are brief and to the point. I have developed some close friendships in this way with authors on Goodreads.

    As a reviewer, I have found that the authors with the best "free eBook for review" exchanges occur when the author maintains contact through the review process, as well as to offer incentives. For the last book I reviewed, the author set some review requirements (length, not mentioning characters, etc.), and in exchange I was given the next book in the series. I received two great books, and the author received a good review and the subsequent book 3 and book 4 purchases made by me. The author now sometimes bounces ideas off of me as well, and I do the same.

    Yes, some of the boards and groups are nonproductive or full of "flame" type posts, but I drop those and maintain a select listing. Goodreads can be great overall...but it does require attention. And of course, you do not have to accept everyone that sends a request.

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    1. Hi Cary, thanks for stopping by! You are right - an author can definitely form a direct connection with his/her readers in this manner. But the bigger question, is how to get those readers in the first place!

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  12. Like you, I never really found a use for Goodreads. There are a lot of self-published writers in the writers' forum, and lots of advice that strikes me as the blind leading the blind. Lots of jealousy, anger, and cluelessness in those groups; and if you've been fortunate enough to have been published commercially, as I have, you're regarded as an outlier and possibly an industry spy.

    So then I tried hanging out in readers groups---mysteries, primarily, since that's what I write. But the conversations were not that interesting, and it's not cool to push your own books in those forums (understandably), so I found it fairly useless in terms of promotion.

    Since time is money, I've pretty much given up on participating in the groups. But when A DANGEROUS FICTION came out, my publisher offered some give-aways on Goodreads, and it did create some early buzz and reviews.

    I'm sure there's more that can be had from the site, but I haven't found it yet.

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    1. Hi Barbara! Thanks for stopping by and listing your comment. It's interesting to hear this from the perspective of a traditionally published writer.

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  13. I think that Goodreads is an excellent platform for authors. All those people that wanto be your friend are potential readers of your books. Who cares how they find you? (If had to guess I would say your tweets and blog posts you want other people to follow are a sure fire way for people to know who you are and find you! I say use everything you can to build an author platform and get noticed.

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    1. Hi Abby, thanks for stopping by! I agree that authors should use everything they can in order to build their platform, but I'm still confused how this particular platform works!

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  14. Great article. I personally don't use it. I have an acocunt but only because far too many writer blogs claimed that it was essential. As far as I'm concerned, it's one of those background time-sucks. Too much time, too much efforts, and no real results to show for it. I think it's time better spent writing that next book.

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    1. Hi Barry, thanks for your comment. Yes, Goodreads does appear to be a time-suck. As for results, that's exactly what I'm trying to determine - what results are authors getting from spending time on Goodreads.

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  15. Ellis,

    There is a feature on the Goodreads app for iPhone that allows the user to send "friend" requests to Twitter and Facebook friends, as well as to contacts in the iPhone address book. I decided to "friend" Twitter followers who have Goodreads accounts because many of mine are avid readers, writers, and/or bloggers. You are one of them. I thought it would be interesting to see what you and the others are reading and writing. There are so many books that I could read, but only so much reading time -- I thought I could focus my reading in this way. The jury is still out on this idea.

    Like many of your other commenters, I haven't yet found Goodreads groups to be very interesting or valuable. Since I haven't participated in many groups yet, I haven't ruled out the possibility of finding a good one.

    I like to do my book reviews on Goodreads because the settings allow me to post the review to my blog. I am also a fiction writer, but haven't a clue about how to use Goodreads to promote a book. Right now, I'm concentrating on my New Year's resolution to finish a text rather than trashing it before it's done. When I have a revised and edited text that's in a marketable format, I will be consulting the sources that your other commenters have mentioned to promote it.

    Thanks for the useful post!

    - Bill

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    1. Hi Bill, thanks for stopping by! You've cleared up part of the mystery for me in that explanation of how you found me on Goodreads. But, you're right that the jury is still out on a lot of things. I just posted a review on Goodreads for the first time in quite awhile. I had originally posted it on my blog, now I rewrote it for Goodreads. My goal was to help another author by giving him a good review for his book.

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  16. As a reader, this bookish social network is great because you can get recommendations about books and updates about the latest apparitions of the authors you are a fan of. As for the authors, maybe connecting the posts to the author profile can increase the visibility on the web. Also, they can connect to their readers and follow up their reviews. Otherwise, it cannot make wonders on its own, at least not right now, with the current features.

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    1. Thanks Ilana for stopping by and taking the time to write a comment!

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  17. Hi Ellis,

    This is an interesting set of questions. I'm new to both self publishing, and - as an active user - to Goodreads. I have been looking at reviews on Goodreads on and off as a reader for several years, in much the same way that I browse the reviews on Amazon, but I'd never felt compelled to sign up.

    So far I've been wonderfully encouraged by how warmly supportive the online self-publishing community is, but I have been wondering how to reach out beyond the community of fellow writers to people who are simply readers (not that I'm not delighted to be in the company of other writers!). Goodreads does seem, to a newbie, like a place where it's easier to rub shoulders with casual readers than many other places.

    As always, it will be important not to be fall into the trap of being spammy - but I think there are probably great opportunities there, so long as you remember to contribute as a reader as well as a writer...

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    1. Hi Alex, thanks for stopping by! You're right that authors who are members of Goodreads need to contribute both as readers and as writers. Maybe that's part of the problem - it's so time-consuming!

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  18. Hi Ellis,

    My book A STONE FOR BENJAMIN was not self-published. While Iguana Books does provide some marketing support, it is limited. After all, my name is not Alice Munro or Stephen King! However, my book though available as an e-book and paper-back is only available on-line (Amazon, etc) not brick and mortar stores.

    I have to spend several hours a day working social media. I did a give-away of 5 paperback editions of my book on Goodreads that was successful although I'm still waiting for four more reviews! Still it brought in close to 1,000 interested readers and just over 480 put it on their to-read list. I have no illusions as to how many of those readers will actually purchase the book. But, overall I would say the exposure was worth while.

    I too believe that you have to contribute as both reader and writer on Goodreads. But between twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and Pintrest I'm convinced that twitter and Goodreads are the best vehicles for authors.
    Yes, all of the marketing is extremely time-consuming!

    My 2014 resolution is to better manage my time so I market A STONE FOR BENJAMIN during the morning and write each afternoon!

    Ask me how successful I was at time management next December!

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    1. Time management is indeed the challenge facing us all. I will try to remember to ask you how successful you were, time permitting of course.

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  19. Hi Ellis,
    I saw your Goodreads message. The fact that I did is at least one testament to the value of Goodreads as a form of social interaction. Have I found it worthwhile? I believe you are asking worthwhile as in a worthwhile marketing tool. I once thought it might be.
    I ran a fifteen copy giveaway specifying ten copies for North America and five to the rest of the world. That translated into four reviews on Amazon and that’s okay. I did some follow-up and as far as I can tell, only five of the winners actually bothered to read the book they won in the contest they entered. The remainder put it on their bookshelf. Hope none of them are available on Amazon’s “used books” listing for my title. Some of the winners do nothing but enter book giveaway contests. Two of the winners have been declared winners in other Goodreads Giveaways yet they list zero books read. Just telling you all this because there are two sides to every coin.
    I have come to accept Goodreads to be one in the myriad of marketing opportunities we as authors should show up at. Later this month I have an invitation to be at a reading club who have City of Promises as their January read and look forward to rubbing shoulders with them as well. It is only a one hour drive from my home. How to measure the benefit of that get together?
    Don’t sweat any single opportunity too much. Just keep pushing forward with them all.
    Cheers
    D. goo.gl/DkAMOQ

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    1. Indeed, we have to push forward with all the various marketing options we have available to us. Thanks for stopping by and for writing this comment.

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  20. Hello to Ellis and to all messegers. I enjoy goodreads simply as a place to look for the next decent book to read. As once you connect to your fellow 'twits' it does not take long for those to add you back. So a very quick response the second i joined.
    You can easily see what people are reading or had finished reading, that I was spoilt for choice as what to read next. As in how good it could be for your own promotion, I have yet to find out, but it is another place to keep in touch and so a thumbs up for me for my initial reaction. good luck everyone

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    1. Thanks for the thumbs up, and for taking the time to read the article and write a response. Take care!

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  21. Ellis. Every single time I use goodreads, I suffer intestinal bleeding from the interminable strain of dealing with the user-unfriendly interface.

    Sometimes it feels as though it would be easier to punch a hole through the screen, dive through the back, and wrestle with the spiky cogwheels and other inner workings of the system in the insane hope that this would speed things along.

    After publishing in December, I went along to the site today to offer my latest production to the sacrificial altar of time-sucking.

    There's a little-known button on the site that allows users to bypass the time-vortex.

    All you need do to activate this magic time-saver is sell your eternal soul and one kidney. The kidney need not be yours, or, indeed, human.

    Other than that, it's plain sailing all the way.

    That's always my experience of goo dreads. I seem to be having difficulty spelling that.

    It is telling that most of the book-based updates and notifications that run through to my e-mail address are dumped in a folder I titled gr vault. Perhaps I should have used the word TOMB instead.

    The lack of user-friendly capacity built into the site throws my GRUMP meter into the EXPLODING zone, just past the twenty RED lines it takes to reach that steam-driven category.

    I have toned down this commentary, to avoid offending public taste, decency, and the bulk of your readers.

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    1. Goo dreads = wow, that is really an interesting take on it! Thanks for commenting. I hope the intestinal bleeding clears up soon.

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  22. Ellis. Every single time I use goodreads, I suffer intestinal bleeding from the interminable strain of dealing with the user-unfriendly interface.

    Sometimes it feels as though it would be easier to punch a hole through the screen, dive through the back, and wrestle with the spiky cogwheels and other inner workings of the system in the insane hope that this would speed things along.

    After publishing in December, I went along to the site today to offer my latest production to the sacrificial altar of time-sucking.

    There's a little-known button on the site that allows users to bypass the time-vortex.

    All you need do to activate this magic time-saver is sell your eternal soul and one kidney. The kidney need not be yours, or, indeed, human.

    Other than that, it's plain sailing all the way.

    That's always my experience of goo dreads. I seem to be having difficulty spelling that.

    It is telling that most of the book-based updates and notifications that run through to my e-mail address are dumped in a folder I titled gr vault. Perhaps I should have used the word TOMB instead.

    The lack of user-friendly capacity built into the site throws my GRUMP meter into the EXPLODING zone, just past the twenty RED lines it takes to reach that steam-driven category.

    I have toned down this commentary, to avoid offending public taste, decency, and the bulk of your readers.

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  23. Bill,
    Thanks for asking the question. I had the same one and some of the responses might be useful promoting my novel, The Girl With the Cinnamon Twist. Not sure how to have an "event" but I'm going to find out.

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  24. Hi Ellis,

    I am totally new to the GoodReads thing. I am an indie author who have published the first novel in my vampire series called, "The Turning". When I first published, I joined all of these different sites in order to try and promote my book (sites such as GoodReads, WattPad, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc). Well, all of this is new to me as I only joined in December when I published my around the 12th, 2013.

    I don't know how to use GoodReads yet as most of my time is spent on Facebook or Twitter (and now declining because I seriously have some book reviews to do). I did find that 7 unique users have added my book to their list and I also had to join the "Librarian Group" in order for them to get my book cover on the site (it was on the site for a while without the cover). I'm sorry I'm not much help in this case. Eventually, I will learn and participate more in GoodReads, but for right now, I have no idea what is going on.

    You were added to my GoodReads list because we're friends on Twitter. GoodReads allows you to search for friends on Twitter, Facebook, Google, and all the other social sites we each have. That's how I befriended you. As to searching for a particular member on GoodReads, I don't even know how to do that yet either!

    But I do wish you the best of everything and much success and happiness for the new year. Eventually, we'll learn GoodReads and help each other. Right now, I'm going to stick to Facebook and Twitter for a while longer. Take care.


    Always,
    Xao Thao

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  25. Hello Ellis!

    I'm in the 'mixed feelings' group about Goodreads. As a reader, I love it. Any platform that encourages people to pick up a book is A-OK with me.

    As a writer, I appreciate that readers can find my author profile and my books. I've also linked my blog to my profile and I do get a flow of blog hits from that. My real beef is with the giveaways.

    Three giveaways under my belt and only two people ever left a review. Did the rest of the people hate my book? Are they using it as a paperweight? Did they sell it at a yard sale? I don't know. I thought in the beginning that the giveaways would be a great way to promote my book. I'd be reaching readers who didn't even know I existed! Did I really? Or did I reach a bunch of people who will sign up for anything that is free?

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    1. I'm sorry that the giveaways didn't work out for you - thanks for sharing your experience!

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  26. Hi Ellis,

    You reached out to me on Goodreads with a link to this post. I am new to Goodreads and can't comment much on its' value thus far. However, I do want to offer you and your audience another point of value that I've discovered - links. Goodreads is well ranked by search engines and can give you good links on search page results.

    PS - I originally found you on Twitter and followed you there.

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  27. I think the main reason I use Goodreads is, as you said, to track my reading and to recommend and see what books lots of my friends IRL and my digital, internet friends are reading. I also like it to follow authors as it is a good place to let me see all the books they've written in a to-do list and facilitates creating reading "to do" lists too.

    As for promoting myself as an author, it's rather limited in that regard, but I've been clued in to a lot of interesting events and forums to promote my work by participating in different Goodreads "Groups."

    Also, and this is the biggest point, Amazon bought Goodreads. Considering my book is published through amazon, I would be deeply surprised if Amazon isn't planning on integrating their website with Goodreads in the future or, at a minimum, doing some interesting things with Goodreads data. Thus, I find it good to get in on the ground level so to speak.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to write your response to the article!

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  28. Is Goodreads good? Yes, it can be. It can also be a waste of time.
    Listen, as a self-pub author or like myself, a first time published author, we're, I'm sorry to say, no-bodies. It's going to take awhile and alot of hard work for people to even be able to see us through the piles and piles of people just like us, who are also out there trying to get noticed.

    As for how people find you, well, it could be the way you pop up in social networks; you may've commented on something or your interests are linked, so you showed up that way...someone might've even take the time to scroll through friends, links and connections, through various sites, and come across you, saw that you're a writer, and shot you a "hello" message. And really, that's all many of these sites are. Ways to reach out and talk/promote, from time to time, with people like our selves and almost all in the hopes that person will go to your blog or site or w/e and like what they see and decide to buy your book.

    As to the review piece, well, there are lots of ways to get reviewed. Unfortunately, some involve a kinda payment (I don't recommend these at all, for a variety of reasons); but they're also other ways as you've mentioned. Personally, I don't really Read for Review and therefore I don't really ask for the same in return. If you read my book and like it, I hope you would drop a review; if I know you got it (say, friend, family, someone online I know) I might ask you to post w/e it is you thought. I also have yet to give away a copy of my book...as I buy people's books that I want to read, I expect mine to be bought as well. Now I'm doing this knowing full well that I'm a nobody and this process will be slower than most, but oh well. That's just me. :)

    For me, Goodreads is kinda hit and miss and that's kinda what I expected. I post. My blog is linked to my page. I can see things if people are checking out my book, where, how, when and so on; I can promote it. I can chat with like-minded-people about w/e. In the end, you get out kinda what you put into it, but remember, the best promotion is being read with the next thing you're working on.

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    1. Indeed, Goodreads can be a hit and miss, and also a waste of time. Maybe it's not just you! Thanks for taking the time to write your response, Wade.

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  29. Good topic. At present I only use Goodreads as an organizing tool to keep track of my personal reading lists. I did subscribe to a couple of the discussion groups but am not finding them particularly useful. Not GR's fault; just too busy to fool with them right now. I have been wondering what the 'Goodreads Author' designation meant, and thanks to this discussion I took a minute to look it up and check it out. Is everyone who responded to this post registered as a 'Goodreads Author'?

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    1. I'm not sure if everyone responding is a Goodreads author. The question is posed to readers as well. Thanks for stopping by, Lissa!

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  30. Hi Ellis, I appreciate your questions, many of which I share. I'm a newbie so my experience on GR is limited.

    E. Van Lowe, author of My Boyfriend from Hell among other titles, shared his thoughts about it in his blog in 2012. Not sure how much holds true today. I'm sharing the link in case it's helpful http://vanlowe.blogspot.com/2012/10/use-goodreads-to-drive-aamazing-amazon.html

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  31. I'm a newbie, and joining to see if it will be good for me as an Indie Author. I'll look with interest to the answers you receive,so perhaps some of them will be of help to me in my journey. :)

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    1. I hope the answers posted on this article have been helpful, Bev.

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  32. I'm not on GoodReads as much as I'd like. While it's a great place to connect with people who like the same books as you do, it's a slow process until you get to really interact with one another. I've tried the groups there and the responses I've received for the groups I've started a discussion or commented on have been NIL to SLIM, IMHO

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  33. Hi Ellis,
    I joined Goodreads as a reader and found the Author part by accident. I have only just released my book and as such I cannot comment on how successful the site is for advertising purposes, but I try to use all types of social media to promote my book. I ask other people who have purchased my novel to leave a copy of the review on Goodreads purely so the number of reviews grows and if I am lucky and the star ratings are high enough, my work will be noticed and recommended more often. I do this for other sites as well purely as best practice.
    As a reader however, I have found the site to be superb and the more friends I have, the more people get to know that I am an author and by the laws of statistics, the higher the chance of some of them purchasing my work or recommending to someone else. On the flip side I do get some very good recommendations about books I would never have noticed myself.
    Hope this helps
    Andy

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Andy. Good luck with your book - if you learn any tricks of the trade marketing it on Goodreads, let me know!

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  34. Hi Ellis,
    I agree with most of what has been said in other comments: Goodreads is great for readers and a bit hit and miss for authors. I have read many books I would never have come across if I hadn't befriended, been befriended by, a person on the site. As an author, I think it's better to get into a community of like-minded people on Twitter, i.e. not the people who continually self-promote but the ones who read and review books honestly, post their reviews and build up goodwill that way. This being said, I keep my profile up to date on Goodreads and offer books through their Giveaways, which have brought me a few reviews. However, Goodreads giveaways don't have the same impact as Amazon giveaways, simply because during a one-day giveaway on Amazon you can get a couple of hundred downloads of an ebook and thus, statistically, more of a chance of getting the book read. Cheers, John

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  35. Hi Ellis,
    I'm completely new to goodreads but have heard the same things from various other sites on the net. I connected with you by syncing my twitter account which spawned a flood. I'm learning as I go just like everyone else. :)

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  36. Dreamah H LockwoodFebruary 7, 2014 at 8:02 AM

    I am joined Goodreads because I read it would be good to promote my books. So far I haven't figured out exactly how. Like a lot of the other people commenting, I spent my mornings on Twitter, Facebook and my blog and then concentrate on writing. I work one day a week on my oil paintings that have brought in more money so far than my novels even though I have received a lot of five start reviews. Is Goodreads worth it? I don't know yet. I have to wait and see. You appeared on my friend list due to Twitter. Thank you for friending me on Goodreads. Promoting my novels takes up a lot of time.

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    1. If you learn any tricks of the trade how to promote your books on Goodreads, let me know!

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  37. Hi there, I am one of "those" that allowed Goodreads to go into my Twitter account and make friends for me. I haven't done too much with Goodreads as an independent author, but I know it's one of those "must-do" platform builders. You've had greater success that I have. I have focused on social media to build readership to my books and my blog. I have done 2 Goodreads giveaway, but only 1 winner has actually written a review...apparently my genre wasn't exactly what they enjoy. Why they entered to win my free book...I don't know. I joined 2 discussion groups but all they have done for me is take up space in my inbox. After requesting reviews in one of them...I received zero, although one lady said she loved my book and would write one (this was 3 months ago). I am glad you sent me a direct message. The comments that you've received here are helpful. I've wondered if I need to take more time and post reviews of other ppl's books or comment on other blogs...like this one. I'll see if that works. Thanks for accepting my friend request. (smile)

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    1. It's a pleasure to be friends with you, Tina. (smile). Thanks for stopping by and commenting on this post.

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  38. I am just new to most all of this as well, building a social presence for my new book is a challenge. Having a nonfiction title in the outdoor genera is a tough spot to be in, Goodreads has some amazing outdoor books and will at least allow for my title to be found by those interested in outdoor titles. Like you Ellis, I am struggling with how a lot of it works, but will share as I learn new things. At the very minimum Goodreads is a must for all authors to have their book listed. For the Leverage I'm going to learn more.

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    1. Hi Gary, thanks for stopping by! If you learn any tricks of the trade how to market your books on Goodreads, let me know!

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  39. Hello Ellis I am a newbie to writing and I am on a journey of self discovery through writing and trying to get myself known out there in the big world. So I don't really know much about this site yet since I have just joined today, I will let you know if you want just contact me, and you were suggested through twitter because you are following me

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  40. Ellis,
    I have many of the same questions about Goodreads. I really have no clue what a Goodreads event is, or how it works for any type of promotion. I originally joined for the same reason, to share books and have a collected profile of what I've read; I was curious to see what recommendations for new books I would get. After I self-published my book, I got a few reviews (4 reviews/ 5 ratings) and like you I wonder what effect the ratings have here versus ratings/reviews on Amazon.

    I get the occasional friend request and have linked my Goodreads with other social media sites, resulting in sending out more friend requests. I think the adding of friends is neat from a reader perspective as it brings more books into my line of sight so to speak. I've read a few books that I really enjoyed that came recommended from friends on Goodreads.

    As for a promotional tool, I don't see it as being worth much. Although, it could just be that I don't understand how Goodreads should be utilized in this manner.

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    1. Hi, you could be right about Goodreads not being all that great as a promotional tool. If you learn any tricks of the trade to prove otherwise, let me know!

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  41. I have found, since listing my book on Goodreads, that my kindle sells have doubled. I would have to say that being here has been good for me. I am in the process of my first giveaway so I don't know what value it will have on it. 300 plus people have signed up for it though, that means 300 people at least read enough to be interested to sign up. That is just good exposure. I don't mind mailing out a signed copy because it builds my reader platform.

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    1. Amazing! You have reported a true success story. This is good to hear, because for many of us Goodreads has not been a successful promotional tool. Thanks for stopping by to let us know.

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  42. Hi Ellis,

    I wish I could give you a savvy advice but I have been on Goodreads for less than a month. However, I do believe that it is a good site for readers and authors as they have something in common...books! The same promotional strategy will not work well for every author as certain variables will have an impact on the result, such as if the author is already known well enough. For emerging authors it is a case of trial and error, determination and probably luck! :)

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  43. Saw this on Google+ today. Near the end is a tip that may help authors, related to creating and using Goodreads Author links. http://www.joelgoldman.com/get-goodreads/

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  44. This comment was sent to me by Ilyan Kei Lavanway, who for some reason wasn't able to list it directly. I found it very informative so I agree to post it in his name.

    ***

    For me, so far, Goodreads has been completely ineffective as a venue for generating book sales or getting books reviewed.

    I have done a couple of book giveaways and have not received a single review from the giveaways, yet. I offered a free coupon for an eBook a while back and all I got in return was a one-star review, so in that sense, Goodreads has hurt potential sales more than helped.

    People will avoid buying books because of one-star reviews but will not necessarily buy a book just because it has four-star and five-star reviews. Several of my books have some great reviews on Amazon and Smashwords, but they still do not sell well. Interestingly, the same book that got a one-star review on Goodreads has four-star and five-star reviews on Amazon and Smashw ords.

    One of my printed books sells well by word of mouth but has not yet received any reviews, anywhere. That tells me reviews have little to do with book sales, and sales have little to do with getting reviews, and Goodreads has little to do with getting either.

    Once, I participated in an author review swap where a few authors got together and agreed to read and review some of each other's books, and I did get a couple of good reviews out of that, but no profitable sales. We bought each other's books, so nobody really made money on the deal. I didn't, anyway. Perhaps other participants fared better.

    I have had several potential readers mark my books as "to-read" but then the books sit on the "to-read" list for months or years with no comments.

    I think Goodreads is a great place to meet other people and network. I guess you could say it's like a Facebook for readers and authors. For unknown, independently published authors, like m yself, or for authors, such as myself, whose works often express controversial perspectives that require readers to think outside their comfort zone, Goodreads does nothing for sales.

    Granted, I am not a marketing expert or a public relations guru or a social media whiz kid, so I am probably not tapping the full potential that Goodreads could offer. Perhaps Goodreads is a tool I have not yet learned how to use effectively.

    Do NOT waste money on paid Goodreads ads! I cannot stress that enough. I have tried doing ads for several of my books, and the ads did not result in even a single sale or review. I have heard other authors express the same observation.

    So, why do I stay on Goodreads? Maybe I'm just stubborn and stupid, or perhaps I'm foolishly optimistic that someday the right readers will come across my work and love it and stir up a buzz that will generate a few sales. I'm not holding my breath, but it could happen. All I know is that if I don't make my work available through as many venues as possible, it will never get noticed.

    I have had recent success in selling my true life adventure, An Aviator At Heart. However, I have sold that book entirely by word of mouth and personal contact with people in my local area. Goodreads has not helped create a single sale.

    Okay, I realize somebody out there is going to say, "Well, if nobody is buying your work, then you must suck as an author, and nobody wants to read your crap."

    The truth of the matter is, I am an exceptional author wielding a gifted command of the English language, having developed undaunted confidence in my ability to express myself to my fellow man. Everyone should read my work, because it provides unique perspectives and insights that no other author out there is ever going to give you.

    "The pen is mightier than the sword, for by the sword are mortal battles waged, but by the pen entire cultures swayed, eternal societies arrayed, and souls of men saved." - Ilyan Kei Lavanway

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  45. I'm new to Goodreads and have yet to find my feet I'm afraid so have yet to develop an opion

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  46. Hi Ellis. Thank you for contacting me. I will be honest. I've been a member since last year, I love finding all the wonderful books I've ever read and I do use it is as a filing system of those books. But someone asked me to friend them, then a message came up, find more friends. I pressed the button, it connected with my twitter account and all I can say is, we are connected through twitter. As I have over 700 followers there and speech is limited I thought it may be a a good idea. That's about it. Mainly I write and try not to get too distracted by social media - but it is good and I have found some fantastic connections through it.

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  47. Good to hear your thoughts. I'm a new self-published author of Girl Act & Ava Anderson Case of the Strippers & so I really like being apart of a Book Lovers Community with GOODREADS...Meanwhile my eyes are back on the page. More writing to do. Cheers, Kristina Shook

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  48. Hi Ellis,

    In answer to your question about where all the goodreads friend requests come from, I can answer how it is that I came to request your friendship on goodreads. I reached out from goodreads to people who are already following me on Twitter.

    I assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that goodreads can only forward a friend request to those Twitter friends of mine who already have goodreads accounts. Therefore, my thinking was that--at least in some cases--if there was something I wanted say or ask on social media about a book, it would be better to reach out to goodreads members than to the whole world on Twitter.

    Meanwhile, as a writer, I subscribe to the school of thought that it will be better in the long run for me to find 1,000 true fans who will pass along comments about my work by word of mouth rather than to blast with a very broad appeal many thousands of people who aren't interested in my kind of writing or who, for that matter, aren't interested in reading at all. Some of those fans-to-be may very well be goodreads members.

    I hope these thoughts help, and I appreciate your online friendship.

    Best regards,
    Gary

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    1. Thanks Gary for stopping by and taking the time to list a comment on this article.

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  49. Ricardo M FleshmanMarch 7, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    Ellis- thank you for reaching out to me. I am new to Goodreads, as I was once new to Twitter and Facebook and whilst I am not privy to the bullying or inflammatory comments mentioned in the groups, I intend to use GR as another tool in my toolbox to help promote my works and get the word out in whatever capacity. Like you, I heard that this was a "must use" site for fledging authors and I set up my account for that reason. I have been able to find people that I am connected to on Twitter (and they me) and Facebook. It truly does take a full time effort to navigate through this world of self marketing and promotion from a social media perspective and I would argue, like most writers we would rather be writing than playing in the social media sandbox, but as with all other venues it is a necessary evil for a new author trying to get your name out. How involved you want to be with the groups, etc. is really an individual choice but I don't expect many sales to come from this...only to increase my presence. Hope that helps!

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  50. Ellis,
    I've read through every comment submitted regarding this question of yours, "Is Goodreads good for you?" It surprises me that the one thing I did not see mentioned is the opportunity at Goodreads.com to list out author quotes and connect these quotes to the books they are pulled from. I was initially fascinated by and attracted to this feature for authors, probably because I love quotes, but I've come to realize that there is a HUGE population of readers who spend time browsing through quotes, often checking out a book linked to a passage that perks interest. Readers 'like' your quotes which are then automatically 'shared' with their entire list of friends. For me, it's a simple, compact, FREE way of advertising a book--attracting people to those special lines taken directly from my writing. If I'm not mistaken, Ellis, I believe you and I met via the internet when you wrote to me requesting the use of two of my quotes for your blog. Had those quotes not been posted on Goodreads, you would never have found them. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I've seen my quotes show up on blogs, tumblr, news articles, twitter, facebook, inside other books, etc all because I took the time to list a few here and there on Goodreads. I even saw one on a car advertisement with my name listed as the author! How cool is that?
    Yes, I like the site for other reasons too (book giveaways have been a successful promotional tool) but this little 'quote' gem has been my favorite sweet surprise.
    :)
    -Richelle E. Goodrich

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    1. Richelle this is news to me! Thanks for sharing!

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    2. Hi Richelle,

      I did not know about the possibility to list author quotes at Goodreads = thanks for enlightening me! Just for the record, when I used two of your quotes for my blog, I found them by doing an ordinary search on Google. I will look into the quote listing possibility.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  51. Sorry, Ellis- but I'm far more in the dark than you are! Yes, I'm a member of Goodreads too. But I must be a moron: I find it utterly baffling to navigate. I don't care to know what others are reading, and I haven't got time to tell others what I'M reading. This book promotion process is difficult enough. I haven't written a word on my next novel in 2 months. It's taking up so much of my time I have none left over. I'm surprised I have time to eat and sleep. Like any other writer, I simply want to sell books so I can make a living. Period. I have no mystical message or great lesson in life I want to altruistically share with the world. At least not yet. If this sounds crass or selfish, I'm sorry. There are only 24 hours in a day, and at this point in my life I need every one of them just to survive!

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  52. I am about to go the same route as you, and have only just started building my goodreads contacts, so can't really comment from experience. It seems to me it's like a giant chain letter: if you get enough hits you might get the odd bite. I'll let you know how I get on in a few months!

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  53. My thanks to all who wrote in response to Ellis' question. Good feedback about this social network marketing business. I, as others, have tried a bit of this and a bit of that. The best outcome is that I've managed to ferret out all the freebie ways to go about marketing. Most are a major time suck. But I spend some time and energy on each avenue, seeing which are most productive. I haven't explored all the possibilities on Goodreads yet, but have my paperback version of DEGREES OF OBSESSION updated, ready for a "give-away". Also had great fun making a book trailer. So much so, that I might switch gears and offer to make them for other authors.

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  54. Hi Ellis, I have just recently joined the community. I'm hoping my experiences will be favorable!
    :o)kat

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  55. Goodreads is like going to a big party. You can talk to people, make friends, join groups of people talking about a certain subject. As in a party some people might listen to you, others might not. Some will read your book and review it, others won't.
    There is one thing Goodreads is good for authors: to pass the word around about your books. It may take a lot of time to talk to people, but now you're 28 ratings and 20 reviews richer than you would be doing nothing. Is it worth the time? You need to decide it for yourself.

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  56. I actually joined Goodreads for the same reason as you, simply to keep track of the books I've been reading. But then I had a couple people add me as friends and mostly these are people that have similar interests as I do and just wanted someone to talk books with. I don't know how it would be for a self published writer on Goodreads, I've added some as friends simply because I'm curious about their work and want to keep updated with that, also I'm curious as to what they read! I think by continuing to reach out to readers who like the genre your books are in is really a plus, honestly there's a bunch of writers I wouldn't have heard about if it weren't for Goodreads, so it is definitely helping get authors out there.

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  57. Well, dear, how I found you on Goodreads is because you had followed me on Twitter and I followed you back and then I connected my Twitter account with Goodreads and asked it to look up contacts because I follow a lot of authors on Twitter that I wanted to connect with on Goodreads without having to go through each and every one.

    Now, I'll be the first to admit I haven't read your books, and I'm sorry! I do remember your name because I refuse to use a program to follow or tweet my new followers or whatever, I do it all personally. So I check out each new follower I have, and if they like/do/watch/blog about basically anything related to what I'm interested in, be it reading or writing or blogging or video gaming or anime or environmental or animal causes, I will follow them back. I *love* meeting new people and making friends online.

    Now I'm not sure how you decided to follow me but I decided to try to connect with the lovely authors whom I connected with on Twitter to Goodreads. It does it automatically and you might not of recognized my name or something, but there, mystery solved.

    Now is Goodreads good for you? Honestly, I think yeah. I've had the time of my life meeting (even just over the internet) some of my favorite authors. I *love* the site Goodreads.

    As for some of the issues of only having a few reviews despite having twice as many people wanting to read or have read the book, honestly, I think that goes for any site. There is like a percentage of people who will follow through on reviewing after receiving ARCs, and being given free books, etc.

    Anyway, if I were you - and I'm not a published author on Goodreads so take my advice however you want - I would remember those people who didn't follow through and don't gift them a book again if they contact you to ask. I would also try to keep in mind, being an author is hard. Basically, at first, you've got to love it to stick with it.

    I just attended a Facebook event (with over 20 authors over 3 days showing up and doing a ton of giveaways for each author) and guess what? They sent out over 13,000 invites to that event. Only 650 some said they were going to go. So honestly.... you've got a great percentage of returns. The hard part is to NOT get discouraged. ^_^;

    And if the friending thing bothers you when you have no idea why they're friending you, I'm sorry if you didn't recognize my name from twitter.

    One of my favorite authors - Yasmine Galenorn who has published over like 30 books now and a lot on bestseller lists had over 10,000 rejection letters before she became published. That's right, 10,000! She made a point of sharing that bit of info.

    Hope that helps some! And sorry for the long post!

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  58. Thanks for the posting, Ellis. I'm pretty new to Goodreads as an author and reader. I really enjoy the site, both for the reviews I read and the ability to connect to people that might read, or have read, my book. Like you, I've joined some reading groups in the past week, but as far as I can tell it hasn't directly led back to people buying my book (yet). I have made a point of reaching out to specific readers who have enjoyed books that I think might be grouped with my novel Come Find Me (http://www.amazon.com/Come-Find-Travis-Neighbor-Ward-ebook/dp/B00JH824DM). That seems to have led to people adding my novel to their "to read" list. I've really enjoyed posting related posts on Goodreads about my novel, and am trying to keep my Author page updated and interesting. I was really impressed by how easy it was to add my Twitter followers as friends on Goodreads. My attitude is: the more the merrier! This week on April 18 and 19 I'm offering Come Find Me for free on Amazon. It will be interesting to see if my Goodreads efforts lead to people downloading the book on those dates. I hope so!

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  59. Hi Ellis!

    I'm not an author but I have some experience in publishing, and I just started using Goodreads again after a long hiatus, so I thought I'd share my thoughts on it.

    First of all, I read all day at work, so I read a lot less in my free time these days. I used to read two or three books a week for leisure, and I really miss it, which is why I started using Goodreads again as a tool to help me figure out what books I really want to read. Deciding to read a book is a big commitment because I'm finding it harder and harder to find the time to read, so I really want something that I can relate to and something that I know will hold my attention. For me, it's not so much what other people think of a book, it's the subject of the book itself and whether or not I think it's going to hold my attention. I've bought many books that are bestsellers and people rave about them, but I can't bring myself to finish them because I find them tedious or elementary. A page-turner for some is not a page-turner for everyone. I'm more interested in reading the synopsis and the first few pages of the book to see if it grabs me.

    Secondly, I don't use Goodreads to post reviews, join groups, or make “friends” because I've been bullied by people on-line before who disagree with me and/or they think the site is "their territory” because they’re on it all day. Some people have nothing better to do than spend their whole day on these on-line forums talking to their “friends” and they don't like it when outsiders chime in. I have plenty of real friends, and I don't have time for chatting on-line with God knows who. I've learned to stay away from that. So, in a nutshell, that's how I use Goodreads.

    As far as giveaways are concerned, my experience has taught me to be careful of how many books you give out, and who you give them to. Just because someone has your book on their "to read" list doesn't mean they want to read it. I know when you enter a giveaway, it automatically puts the book on your "to read" list unless you remove the check mark in the box when you submit the entry. I think a lot of people just want to turn around and sell it to make a quick buck. I also think it's unfortunate that people can re-sell books on Amazon or eBay and the author doesn't get a percentage of the sale, but that's another subject. I think if you're the one organizing the giveaway, you get to choose the winners, so I would look at the entrants' shelves to see what types of books they like, and what kind of reviews they write to find someone you feel would enjoy your book.

    Every author struggles with figuring out who their audience is and how to reach them. Personally, the more I see and hear about a book or an author, it makes me go, “Hm... maybe I should check it out.” In our digital age, I think readers want to know more about authors and they want to connect with them and ask them questions, and I think authors need to keep putting themselves out there on every platform they can. Goodreads is a popular site for readers of all kinds, so I think it's good to have a presence there. How involved you get with others on the site is up to you. Ignore the bullies and the negative reviewers. Your book is not for them anyway.

    Best of luck to you!

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  60. Dear Ellis,
    I have only read a handful of your other replies and see that mine will be much the same.
    Like you I became a member of Goodreads to track the books I've read and to have a resource that would help me find other books to read. I love trying out new genre's but wanted it be directed. I wanted to read new material that was highly rated.
    Then as I became closer to publishing my own books I started trying to figure out how to market myself. Hence the launch into the world of Twitter, Google+, and Goodreads as an author.
    Yesterday I literally stumbled across the option to request Twitter followers as followers on Goodreads. I chose to do so for a couple reasons.
    I have so much to learn in the marketing and self promotion areas and thought that cross referencing promotions on Twitter and Goodreads would be good. Also, and here I am a bit cheeky, I love to see what others read. I think it gives on a more complete picture. As a writer we promote one aspect of ourselves (more if we are brave), but what we read tells other so much more.
    I love all genres. I will read vampire romance novels, die for Jane Austen, love John Le Carre and new writers, such as Gurjinder Basran.
    I have bearly forayed into the different groups on Goodreads. Mostly because I feel saturated with what I am already doing. The statistics you cited above are quite interesting.
    Thanks for writing this blog. I am going to pin in, and when I have a quiet moment (Monday when the kids are back at school) I will read the other responses and see what I can glean.

    Regards,
    Celia

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  61. Oh, meant to say, I write review books for authors (signed up on Premium Book Tweeting Services). I use the same review on all platforms.

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  62. Hi Ellis,

    I just set up my goodreads account and am about five years or so away from publication so here's my best answer: I hope so.

    ( :

    I've just entered all the books I'm re-reading and intend to review. So it will be good for all those authors. It's my way of thanking them. I didn't buy a book without checking out goodreads and amazon for reviews so it's a way of returning the favour. Good karma.

    (John Steinbeck is in trouble though. He devastated me yesterday when I got to the ending of The Pearl. Okay so it was still well written. Brilliant. Hate the ending, but it was brilliant.)

    I read Michelle Campbell-Scott's "Goodreads for Authors" and determined to sign up. I should look her up on Goodreads.

    Anything that connects writers with readers has to be a good thing.

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  63. Hi Ellis
    You sure got a lot of reply's to your question, just goes to show most people want to help, and that's great you got some good advice here in these comments.
    Personally I joined not as a reader or an author, but as a way of promoting my wife books, she is a excellent writer and that's not me as her husband speaking. So when I get an opportunity to mention her books I jump at it. Her latest book called Henri's Cellar by Amelie Rose is loved by all who have read it, such as my belief in her that a few month ago I created beezeebooks.com a site to promote not other her books but any author wanting to expand their reach and with no cost for one whole year, and that includes promoting the books on several social media sites. check it out and give it a try, what have you to lose.
    All the very best

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