One of the easiest steps you can take to promote your book is to set up your Goodreads author profile. According to Goodreads, “Any author, anywhere in the world, can join the Goodreads Author Program for free.” Free marketing for your book? Sure, we’ll take it.
In case you’ve been living under an author rock, Goodreads is a reciprocal community for authors, bookworms, and lovers of literature; writers love to read, and readers love to see what their favorite writers are reading, recommending, and reviewing. Like all good social networks, Goodreads relies on engagement and paying it forward. But since Goodreads’ sole focus is on books, it has a much more targeted reading community than Twitter or Instagram, whose social noise can dilute your book marketing efforts. Users go to Goodreads for one thing, and one thing only: books. In other words, you have a captive audience of engaged users ready and willing to buy your book.
Goodreads also acts as a giant database of books, facilitating “want-to-read” lists, custom bookshelves, and reviews – which have been proven to have a direct impact on sales and pre-orders.
What can you do with a Goodreads author profile?
Once you have a Goodreads author profile set up, you can socialize your books with the Goodreads reader and author community, engage with your audience by answering questions, run giveaways, advertise, add friends, follow fellow authors, and more. It’s a fantastic free marketing tool that you can leverage to promote your book.
Remember, any profile or online presence is important in positioning you as a real person, with real interests. You’ll seem approachable and accessible if you start listing books you want to read, commenting, reviewing, and interacting with other authors. If all a reader sees is your book next to a name, then you’ll forever be just a name. A Goodreads author profile adds that human touch and shows that you are committed to your writing community: a huge pro in viral marketing. People want to buy from people. Readers want to view books as experiences, not products.
How to set up your Goodreads author profile
Setting up your Goodreads author profile only takes a few minutes and is incredibly easy to do, even for those not so well versed in digital marketing. So, what’s involved? Follow our step-by-step guide and you’ll be up and running in no time at all:
- Visit the Goodreads website on a desktop, tablet, or laptop (not mobile)
- In the top right-hand corner, click sign up or sign in via Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google, or email. We recommend signing in with your Amazon account, since Amazon owns Goodreads and the two are connected
- Alternatively, you can create a user profile by entering your name, email, and creating a unique password for Goodreads
- In the search bar, search for your book via its title, ISBN (International Standard Book Number), or ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number)
- You can also search for yourself by name
- Since the Goodreads database pulls in directly from Amazon, your book should appear. However, you may need to manually add the information if your book is not yet visible, or if it’s self-published (even on Amazon)
- Click on your Author name and navigate to your Goodreads author profile page
- Scroll to the bottom of your Goodreads author profile page
- Claim your profile by clicking “Is this you? Let us know!”
- Complete and submit the application. You’ll receive an email within two business days letting you know if you’ve been approved
- Upon approval, if you had a member page, it will be merged with your Goodreads author profile
- Congrats; you’re now a fully-fledged Goodreads author! Go to your author page, where you will find the fancy Goodreads Author badge next to your name, which you can add to your author website and socialize with your communities
- Upload a professional author headshot
- Add your author bio – keep it short and sweet to avoid truncation
- Add appropriate links to your website, social media, and blog’s RSS feed
- Add the genre you write in (up to three)
- Ensure all your books are added to your profile
And voila! You now have a professional Goodreads author profile where you can interact with reads and promote your book for free. See? We told you it was easy.