Amanda Luedeke is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. She posts about growing your author platform every Thursday. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her wheelings and dealings as an agent.
NOTE: Today's post is from one of my authors, Jennifer Murgia, and it's geared a bit more toward those who on their way to being published (whether with a big house, a small house, a digital house or something they're doing on their own).
Jennifer is one of those authors who started out with a small press. But she didn't let that slow her down. She worked tirelessly to promote her first book, Angel Star, and ended up with the kind of sales numbers that impress both agents and publishers. Here, she talks about one of the methods in which she was able to gain a following.
If you’ve been following Thursdays with Amanda, then you’ll see a growing pattern: promoting yourself as an author via various social networks – and learning to do it well. In recent posts we’ve learned the tips to Tweet to your audience and how to grow a speaking platform. One of the best vessels I’ve been able to promote myself as an author on has been Goodreads.
Goodreads.com is a reader’s social haven. Here you’ll find bookworms, virtual librarians, discussion groups, and the fun part – a complete online cataloguing system catered just for you. It’s the easy way to keep track of the books you’re reading, want to read, and have read, along with a place to share what you think. For an author, this is a promotional wonderland!
Here’s how it works: During the initial stages of publication, your book’s info is fed to Amazon, which feeds directly to Goodreads. In some cases, adding your book manually may be necessary. Yes, it’s true your book will show up here way before Barnes & Noble.com – which is great, because this is where your readers and targeted audience gather! Once you create a member account, you can link yourself to your book. This takes a few days but trust me, the Goodreads fairies are working diligently behind the scenes to create your Author Dashboard and once that happens, you are officially a Goodreads Author.
Your profile page is loaded with possibilities for your book(s) – members can “FAN” you, add you as a friend, follow your reviews, see your uploaded videos or book trailers and most importantly ADD YOUR BOOK TO THEIR LIST.
As a Goodreads author, I’ve been able to host a Giveaway of both my books. The number of copies given is completely up to the author, as is how long the Giveaway will run. There’s no limit to how many copies or which countries can enter. I played it safe. I gave away only one copy of each of my titles, and you know what? My book ended up selling better because those who didn’t win went out and bought it.
On Goodreads, I can create hype over what I write (amazingly enough, I’ve had a Fan Group made for me by some dedicated fans!) and I can join the hype about fellow author’s books (which is something I enjoy far more than talking about my own). But the best part is being able to become accessible to those sharing the love for what you’ve written, or just books in general. As an author, I’ve learned what it means to put myself out there – the digital age holds no boundaries – I’ve been able to speak with fans in other countries about what I like to read and write. I’ve been able to see what they think of my craft, and also accept what someone might not like.
The long and the short of it, if you’ve written a book and are not actively on Goodreads, make a point to check it out, if not for the purpose of self promotion, then surely for the enjoyment as a reader.
Feel free to share questions or suggestions below!