Several authors, bloggers and readers have encouraged me to utilize Goodreads to market my book. It's the largest site for readers on the planet--7,000,000 members! It's like Facebook for readers. Members share what they are reading and see what their friends are reading too. They can review the books and those reviews are also shared. Goodreads tracks your interests and recommends books for you. Membership is free!
I signed up in October of last year as a regular member. It has taken me awhile to realize the benefits and potential of this site. No one told me that there is an additional step required to activate an author membership--I think they assumed I knew that, but I didn't. Author memberships are also free.
I signed up today and I now have new options available to me to promote The Pet Washer. Goodreads offers widgets and buttons for my website, a free author blog, an upgraded profile page, an avenue to purchase ads to market my books, a platform to communicate with readers, to set up quizzes about my book and I have access to the Goodreads book giveaways.
I submitted The Pet Washer for a giveaway today. It takes about two days for Goodreads to approve it. I set the giveaway contest to end on March 10, 2012. I will be giving away two signed copies of my book.. While ebooks are welcome on the Goodreads site, they are not eligible for giveaways at this time, only physical copies. My request is pending approval.
Once my book is listed in the Giveaway section, members click a button for a chance to win one of the copies. There is no cost to them. It's free advertising for The Pet Washer and it creates a little buzz. It's an opportunity for me to offer something back to my "fans". I can also set up a giveaway to promote the pre-release of my next book (when it's ready). The whole month before I publish it--I will be promoting the Goodreads contest and five lucky people will receive the first autographed copies. Talk about buzz!
Next month I'm going to set aside $50 for paid ads. Goodreads has an ad creator. It's the authors job to write a few sentences about the book and set a budget. The max you can spend is $5.00 per day. For $50, I will get ten days of paid ads. I'll blog about it and let you know if I think it was worthwhile. When I look at the advertising budget at a big house, $50 is nothing. I will target childrens fiction as my genre so I don't waste my money advertising to romance or mystery addicts!
I will say that I find the Goodreads site confusing sometimes. I start clicking on things and I get lost and can't find my way back. It's not a bad thing, I'm always very interested in where I am even if I don't know how I got there, but I'm looking forward to getting more comfortable with the site. I recommend Goodreads as a "must" for all authors. Check it out!
Jennifer Lynn Alvarez
Author of The Pet Washer
Novel for girls aged 9-12, paperback and ebook