I have to admit, I let my Goodreads account sit for a long time. I signed up right away in April, after I read an Amanda Hocking post referencing the site, but I didn’t use it for more than six months.
I had no idea how to use it.
Tomorrow I will be on Valerie Comer’s blog with a guest post about how to leverage it, but today I just want to talk about how an author gets started on the site and obtains that little, but powerful, note next to his or her name.
First, sign up. Easy, right? Well you can create a fresh account or you can do like me and just connect it with Facebook, which was lazy. Remember, I had no idea what I was doing last April?
I connected it with Facebook and for the longest time my profile picture on Goodreads was the same as my FB profile picture when I signed up – my 2 year old holding a giraffe.
Not very author-ish.
You can change it, but I’d really recommend you treat Goodreads as an independent professional resource that will play a role in building your ‘brand’ as an author.
Now that you’re signed up (right?) the second step is to act like you want to be there. Make it clear that you didn’t just wander onto the site. Put a nice picture, such as the one that’s on your Author Central page on Amazon (you have that, don’t you?). Fill out your shelves. You’re a writer, which I hope means your a reader too. I have a couple hundred books up there and I know that’s just a fraction of what I’ve truly read, but it’s a start.
Once you’ve spruced things up a tad, claim your author page by jointing the Author Program. Things really change once you do this.
Cool Writer (Goodreads Author)
Now you’re ‘official’ and your books show you’re a Goodreads Author when they pop up. Nice, but that’s only part of why this matters.
Now you have control, but you have to know how to use it.
To begin exercising a bit of that control, the next step is to fill it out! Add some more pictures, fill in your information (such as your genre), and add a welcome blog. Introduce yourselves, so that when people hit on this page it doesn’t actually look like filler.
Once you’ve got the page looking nice, and really it shouldn’t take long, then you need to get people into the party with you. Start inviting friends. Let it search your Gmail for contacts, then your Facebook. After you’ve exhausted those routes, move on to your Twitter. That will likely keep the site busy for awhile (you have daily invite limits to consider) but also bring a lot of people to your page.
That’s pretty much it – but don’t let it just sit there. Keep the ball rolling with fresh invites as your followers/connections grow on other sites and remember you now have a new page you can share for visibility! Tweet it, FB it, whatever – just don’t let this fledgling helper die off.
For tips on how to make the MOST out of your spiffy new author page, visit Valerie Comer’s blog tomorrow for a primer on how to make Goodreads work for you as an author.