Goodreads for Publishers, Booksellers & Librarians #BEA

BEASo this morning, I was hopping around between the BEA Bloggers Conference and the BookExpo America (BEA) conference. I will be crazy like that all week – because Blogworld Expo is in the same building. I’ll plan on tagging my posts #BEA, #BEABloggers, and #Blogworld.

First off, I listened to Patrick Brown, Community Manager & Author Program Manager at Goodreads, talk about Goodreads for librarians, publishers, and booksellers. My library uses Goodreads, so this should be interesting!

Goodreads: largest site for readers and book recommendations in the world. Think of it as social networking around a love of books. 9 million readers! It includes recommendations, reviews, shelves, and book clubs.

They get 21 million monthly unique visitors, and 140 million page views a month.

Wow – goodreads users have added 315 million books to their shelves so far.

Goodreads’ mission is Discovery – help people find books they love and share them with friends.

Your goal (publishers, authors): get reviews, especially early in the life of your book.

  • it helps new readers discover your book
  • help readers decide if they want to read it
  • spread beyond Goodreads (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, syndication to Powell’s, Google Books, USA Today)

Publishers can place ad campaigns in Goodreads.

Erica Barmash, Harper Perennial – explanation of an ad campaign for a book.

  • banner ad on the homepage and throughout the site
  • total impressions – 4.7 million, 10,315 actual clicks. Goodreads got them more clicks that People or Entertainment Weekly.
  • Cost per click as about $1.12
  • she felt they got the best ad value with Goodreads – Goodreads gives stats on how many people added the book to their shelves and marked the book “to read.”
  • did a video chat with the author (had hundreds of viewers).

Back to Patrick:

42,000 Goodreads authors. Benefits:

  • build your community online with an author profile
  • find new readers with giveaways and text ads
  • connect with fans

Advance giveaways generate pre-release buzz

  • 35,000 people enter giveaways each day
  • average giveaway gets 850 entries.
  • it shows at least some engagement, and an interesting way to get interest
  • give more books in a giveaway – helps get more reviews (so like 25 books to give away)

You can also purchase text ads (around $50) to drive readers to a giveaway

Goodreads Groups:

  • 20,000+ book clubs on Goodreads
  • create a masthead (use this for branding), add prominent links to videos
  • add your events and invite friends
  • host an author chat in advance of your event

Use your staff picks to good use!

Salt Lake City Public Library (or maybe Salt Lake County Library System – he sorta mixed both libraries up a bit) group case study:

  • librarians act as moderators to control group content
  • use challenges and polls for easy participation (i.e, read 5 short stories in May, then post about it)
  • Some groups use Google Plus hangouts, Skype, etc to get more interaction happening

Tips for a successful group:

  • book clubs around a single title are stifling
  • reading challenges let people choose
  • don’t ignore the long tail reader
  • anticipate conflict and plan ahead (set up ground rules in advance)
  • let all users join in – more fun that way.