Unlocking Goodreads

Unlocking Goodreads
Published on: May 21, 2015

I was approached by a fellow author yesterday who inquired about my success on Goodreads. If you’re familiar with Goodreads then you may know about the work I’ve been doing there with the Brain to Book Blog Tour and the Author & Reader Cyber Convention.

Several authors have expressed their confusion with Goodreads. May you find this article helpful.

Och! Goodreads! I was a child lost in the cyber wilderness when I started social media back in October 2014. Goodreads was one of the two most difficult platforms to learn for reasons mentioned in a previous article.

So what am I doing now with Goodreads? Well…everything.

Most social media platforms work like community “bulletin boards.” Twitter gives you 140 characters to say “buy my book” while Facebook allows you an unlimited amount of space to get your message through. Google+ also has the same lay out. And Pinterest…Get your book cover on Pinterest NOW. I’ll wait…

Done? Okay. Goodreads is not a social media “bulletin board,” but many people come into it expecting a glorified Twitter. Goodreads is one of a kind. It is an event room. Imagine, if you will, an American Legion online. The world is global so let me explain. “American Legion” for you US out of towners is…Okay so the explanation is a lot longer than I realized. Here’s the Wikipedia on that, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Legion

In short, the American Legion (to most non-veteran members) is a building you can rent to hold your event such as wedding receptions, birthday parties, and anniversaries, family reunions, and more. Libraries do this, only they offer space rent free and focus on book discussions and author appearances.

That is what Goodreads is, a cyber library with unlimited amount of free space to hold your event.

What event? This is where I come in.

First, think of your Goodreads profile page as a glorified “author bio” because that is really all it is. The problem is, most people don’t know what to do next.

Here is what I did. Invent a plan and create a group for that plan. What kind of plan? All groups on Goodreads aim to do only three things.

“Help indie Authors” groups
“Share a genre” group for readers
“Discuss a specific topic” groups with members of like interest

I also invented a…

“Promote yourself” group (yeah, I went there.) More on this in a moment.

My first attempt at group creating was to “Share a Genre.” To be blunt, the “Share a Genre” groups are the most popular on Goodreads and there are MILLIONS of them. Too many to find exactly what you are looking for and too crowded. To start this group up, you need to be unique because the competition is high. Be prepared to compete.

My “The Epic Group” has 18 members and is dead.

Then I came up with the “help out indie authors.” Groups. This is what I learned. Indie authors are starving for assistant and need all the help they can get. I utilize this for networking purposes only. What indie authors need help with the most is reaching readers and Goodreads is flooded with readers!

Since I started on Goodreads, I developed a reputation for creating innovative new ideas that most likely will help others. The authors who follow me have learned to watch me because they know, every few weeks/months, I have another huge idea that will help them. I have followers who openly say, “where Angela goes, I will follow” because it will land them a chance to promote. I know this about them and welcome their support. Those same people also have access to thousands of readers and help me out in turn.

My first idea for a group was Brain to Books. “I’m helping authors,” I said. I 13 people joined and the group went dead. I was on the right track, but was still too vague.

My third group and second attempt at the “I’m helping authors” group was “The Bookshelf.” It’s Goodreads! So I gave it a library. 151 members and growing. The Bookshelf not only promotes authors, it also reaches out to readers and brings them together.

It helps authors and readers and it was specific!

My next idea was huge. “The 2015 Author Cyber Convention.”

I refuse to pay for writer’s conferences. Brent Weeks posted his experience with writer’s conferences online and revealed their secrets and the benefits of going so you don’t have to. I read his site instead of attending a writer’s conference.

I am a nerd and love comi-con! So, I stole the idea of the sci-fi convention and held it online for all genres. Our first year brought in 161 members and landed me some PHENOMENAL networking opportunities. It connected me with many wonderful authors who returned their thanks.

It helps authors and readers.

During the Convention I developed “Giveaways,” which is not bringing in the hype I hoped for. 36 members. It is slowly growing, but is also geared to help authors and readers. Giveaways is simple a group where you can stop in and see what books are being offered as Giveaways.

With two websites, Brain to Books, my writing career, my “help the author” projects, and my book launches, plus my nine social media platforms, I was stretched thin. So, I created “Angela B. Chrysler” a goodreads group. A fan club. The mother ship to my following. In twelve hours, I had 30 members. These were the authors who were watching me.

Sure enough, three days later, I hatched another idea. “The Brain to Books Blog Tour.” Another event to help authors reach readers. I revisited my old “Brain to Books” group with 13 members and changed it to “Brain to Books Blog Tour.” I made it specific.

Honestly, that should be any author’s goal. To network and help authors connect with readers. In most cases, you will tag along for the ride.

So my suggestion when creating groups on Goodreads? Focus on promoting authors and entertaining readers. Create an event that will promote authors and throw yourself in there too!

Create a list of all the steps of promotion and marketing and there are your options.

Oh! And I turned “Angela B. Chrysler” into a help authors by holding interviews as well. It isn’t a group about me or my books. It is a group about helping others. Give people reason to look you up. Don’t say “buy my book.” Say “I will help you” and they will want to look into what you write along the way.

The Bookshelf: –

Helps authors promote
Connects readers to authors
Help readers find books without “book blasting”

Brain to Books Blog Tour:

Helps authors promote
Connects readers to authors
Help readers find books without “book blasting”


Helps authors promote
Connects readers to authors
Help readers find books without “book blasting”

Author Cyber Convention

Helps authors promote
Connects readers to authors
Help readers find books without “book blasting”

The Epic Group

“Share a genre/read a book” group for readers

Angela B. Chrysler Group

My mother ship
Help authors
Organize my stuff

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