Author Topic: Free Webinar: what authors must do with Goodreads, and how to do it  (Read 428 times)

Thorvald Meyers

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Clipped from my email newsletter:
My first Goodreads webinar was a huge success! Over 300 persons signed up for it, and over 140 actually showed up! (With free webinars like this, there's always a significant "no-show" contingent: no cost = no skin in the game.) It went almost forty minutes longer than planned, and finally we had to just stop answering questions live and took them as emails. I answered every single one of them, though it took almost a week to do so.

Part of me is surprised by all this interest in Goodreads. I think of it kind of like Reddit, where almost everyone who will love it has already jumped in and made themselves at home in that idiosyncratic world, and everyone else has already heard about it but doesn't care and doesn't bother visiting.

But another part of me is not surprised at all. Goodreads is one of the most author-friendly places on the internet (well, as long as you are at least a moderately friendly author*), and it is an excellent place to discover the fans of your work. Or, if you haven't any fans yet, it's a great place to discover the fans of work that is very similar to yours, and then introduce your work to those fans, in a natural and non-spammy kind of way. Gradually, they become your fans too! Leaving Goodreads out of your author platform is leaving potential fans in the cold, and leaving money on the table.

Some authors don't mind leaving money sitting on the table if it means they don't have to deal with the Goodreads website. I've heard some profitable full-time indie authors openly scorn Goodreads even as they are commiserating about Amazon and Facebook's annoying social-reach algorithms and giving those platforms the benefit of the doubt. So, opinions run strong in the writing world, about Goodreads. In fact, I would love to know what YOU think of it: here's a very brief (like, about 45 seconds) poll.
https://forms.gle/DBMdbQrAtvJjaJDG6

Your response will help me make my Goodreads webinar even better. I'll share the results of the poll, and my own take on Goodreads, in the June update. And in a reply to this post right here on Writer Sanctum!

Meanwhile, you have one more chance to take this FREE Goodreads webinar this Thursday, May 20th, at 10:30 AM Pacific Time (1:30 PM Eastern... so it's just perfect for anyone in the Mountain or Central time zones who can take a long lunch break). This one will be a bit different from the first one, so if you enjoyed the first one and want a second take, come to this one too. I'm updating the handout too. It will be your last opportunity to get this content for free for at least another year. Sign up now! :banana:
https://www.authorlearningcenter.com/webinars/c/e/1828


*...about being "at least a moderately friendly author":
&authuser=0
 

TimothyEllis

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Goodreads is one of the most author-friendly places on the internet

When did that change then?

I've always found it hostile to authors, and most of my posts, which were pretty much the same as I post here or anywhere else, and didn't advertise my own books 1 little bit, were deleted. Solely because I was an author.

That was a few years ago now, but I've seen nothing to indicate that GR has improved in any way.

I've asked my fans about GR as well, and got a zero response for activity there.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.

   

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LilyBLily

No way do I believe Goodreads is friendly to authors. If it were, I could update my covers and combine reviews of my books (so when two people mistakenly start them for one title they get made into one list) without a fuss. Instead, there's some arcane thing about having to ask someone else's permission. Not interested.

And you know, my hackles rise when someone says I "must" do something with Goodreads. My best advice is to stay far away. The bullies hang out there.

 
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RPatton

Goodreads can be an effective tool if it's used from a distance and authors respect it as a reader space.

Engagement is minimal and not personal, but can still work well.

As with any tool, it's how its used. However, to dismiss it out of hand is ignoring a potential resource. At the very least, claim a profile, add your books and claim a profile. One of the benefits of Goodreads is that it doesn't hide things. So if a reader, who has a lot of friends, adds your book to their tbr list, likes it, rates it, or leaves a review, all of their friends will see it in their feeds. And if those friends doing any of those things, their friends will do the same.

I found an amazing reviewer on Goodreads. She found my book, wrote a review, shared it with her small group, and that group all went out and read it, some liked it, some didn't, but they were at least honest with why they didn't like it. One said, "it's not my favorite trope, but I read it because of Jane's review. As good as everything else was, I couldn't get past the trope. If you like X and Y, then you'll like this book, if you don't, then you might not." Of that group, I have a group of readers who pre-order every book, before I even send out any news that it's available for pre-order.

However, I don't engage with them unless they want me to. Also, I will add a "review" to my books, without any rating. Basically a note letting them know when it will be available, what's happening with it, and who they might see. All those "reviews" I leave get liked.

As I said, as long as you respect their space, Goodreads can be a great tool and shouldn't be dismissed just because a lot of people had bad experiences and relayed those bad experiences without disclosing the fact that they might not have respected it as a reader space.
 
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Tweek

It annoys me that my books are automatically loaded onto Goodreads and they won't update the freaking covers. Ever.

As for readers on Goodreads...*shrug*...never tried to engage, don't have a page, never posted, don't read the reviews or the star ratings, in fact, don't recall the last time I even looked at my books on Goodreads.
 
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RPatton

It annoys me that my books are automatically loaded onto Goodreads and they won't update the freaking covers. Ever.


It won't update covers automatically, but you can do that now without needing a Librarian. Still a bit of a pain, but at least you can get new covers up.
 
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Tweek

It annoys me that my books are automatically loaded onto Goodreads and they won't update the freaking covers. Ever.


It won't update covers automatically, but you can do that now without needing a Librarian. Still a bit of a pain, but at least you can get new covers up.

Thanks. But I've been ignoring Goodreads for 6 years now and it's working for me.  Grin
 
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R. C.

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It won't update covers automatically, but you can do that now without needing a Librarian. Still a bit of a pain, but at least you can get new covers up.

Not sure that statement is accurate. How? A few months ago, the librarians gave me a nastygram about "we can make the change but one at a time and it is not our preferred policy."

Cheers.
R.C.
 

RPatton

...
It won't update covers automatically, but you can do that now without needing a Librarian. Still a bit of a pain, but at least you can get new covers up.

Not sure that statement is accurate. How? A few months ago, the librarians gave me a nastygram about "we can make the change but one at a time and it is not our preferred policy."

Cheers.
R.C.

I just changed the cover for a book two weeks ago. I can't remember the exact steps, but my statement is accurate.

Took less than 30 second to do a quick search.

https://help.goodreads.com/s/article/Goodreads-Authors-How-to-edit-your-books-1553870940147
« Last Edit: May 20, 2021, 01:19:10 PM by RPatton »
 

spin52

Re: Free Webinar: what authors must do with Goodreads, and how to do it
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2021, 05:47:04 AM »
Author friendly? You can't be serious. I refuse to use a site where you can't even update a cover without having to raise your hand and ask permission, as if we were naughty children.
     


Traditional mysteries with a dash of humor -- no cats, no cupcakes.
 
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R. C.

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Re: Free Webinar: what authors must do with Goodreads, and how to do it
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2021, 05:58:59 AM »
...
It won't update covers automatically, but you can do that now without needing a Librarian. Still a bit of a pain, but at least you can get new covers up.

Not sure that statement is accurate. How? A few months ago, the librarians gave me a nastygram about "we can make the change but one at a time and it is not our preferred policy."

Cheers.
R.C.

I just changed the cover for a book two weeks ago. I can't remember the exact steps, but my statement is accurate.

Took less than 30 second to do a quick search.

https://help.goodreads.com/s/article/Goodreads-Authors-How-to-edit-your-books-1553870940147

I am going to have to differ... This is from the link above, emphasis added:

Upload Photo

Here you can upload the front cover image of your book. The only image that should be uploaded is the specific cover associated with the ISBN of the book you are editing.

To add a photo, browse an image, .jpg or .gif format, on the top right where it says Add a cover image for this book. Then click on upload photo. If you are adding other book data while adding the cover image, just scroll to the bottom of the page and click on save.

Delete Photo

When it comes to editions that have already been published, we can't actually delete or replace the existing cover images. This is because we don't want to delete an image that a member might have on the book they purchased. Instead, you can create an Alternate Cover Edition and set this as the default edition. That way, anyone visiting your author profile or searching for the book will see this edition first.

To add an alternate cover edition of your book, you can navigate your book's page and click on Add an Alternate Cover Edition. This will transfer all information from the existing edition over to the newly created edition, excluding only the publication date and cover. It also removes the ASIN/ISBN from the old edition and adds it to the new edition. A Librarian Note is added to both editions. You will then need to add the new publication date and cover to the new edition, and save.

----

What they are saying is: you can't change the cover. Create a new edition and move on...

R.C.
 

RPatton

Re: Free Webinar: what authors must do with Goodreads, and how to do it
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2021, 09:10:00 AM »
Welp, I just changed a cover three days ago, and didn't have to set it as a new edition. It was relatively simple to do. My understanding is that each cover can be changed once if you uploaded/created the listing. I also know of other authors who have done the same thing in the past year (it was one of them who told me that you could change the cover). If you rely on Goodreads yanking your book from Amazon, it might be different.

But you do you and I'll do me. I've found that keeping a healthy, but distant, presence on Goodreads has been good for me, especially when it comes to finding new readers.