3 Tips for Using Goodreads as an Indie Writer

August 28, 2013

As a newbie to Goodreads, I’m still enthralled with its amazing use as a book management tool.  Finally I have a place to store that to-be-read list that until now has only existed in my head.  Further, Goodreads plays very nicely into my need for absolute organization.  Every little book that I’ve ever touched or handled or thought about handling can go nicely into a little spot on the shelf.

As a reader, I can’t believe it has taken so long for something like this to come along.

Now as a writer, my feelings change entirely.

Goodreads is this big scary thing that terrifies me.  As a writer, we often hear the same thing over and over.  “Goodreads is for readers, not writers.  Do not intrude.”

And this I understand completely, but as an indie writer, I’m looking to raise awareness for my work where ever I can.  But in the reader dominated arena that is Goodreads, it can be daunting.

So here my first 3 tips for using Goodreads as an indie writer:

  1. Make sure your books are on there.  You may need to manually add the books to the site, but this is easily done once a search fails to bring up your books.  There’s a link on the right that says: Manually add books.
  2. Join groups.  The people in groups are so amazingly nice!  And they offer special forums where authors can talk about and promote their work.  These groups are inviting you in, so why not accept the invitation?
  3. Use the tools Goodreads offers to its authors.  There’s an entire tutorial that walks you through the widgets and tools that authors can use from attaching your blog to uploading an excerpt from your book.  I found a tremendous response when I allowed readers to view an excerpt from my works, and this is a tool that Goodreads provides for you.  So use it!

Using the tools that Goodreads provides for its authors, it’s possible for you as an indie writer to attract new readers through the uploaded excerpt, by running giveaways and by interacting amongst the groups.

But be forewarned, this is a reader’s domain.  Be careful where you tread.

I also caution not to go too heavy into social media outlets that may or may not give you the bang for the buck.  Always, remember to write the next book.  That’s where your focus should be.  But in case you want to go nuts, you can find more tips on Goodreads here.

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