Goodreads Advanced Strategies – #BEA2013

Patrick Brown, Director, Author Marketing at Goodreads gave a talk on Goodreads. Good stuff!

First, some info about Goodreads:

  • 18 million members. Doubled in size in 2012.
  • Acquired by Amazon in march. Still working things out.
  • What isn’t changing. Goodreads is for all readers, no matter how you read.
  • Working on new features. Discovery, discussion, and author program.
  • 250 books added to the to read shelves every minute.

And now for some tips for authors using the Goodreads Author profile (here’s a link to my Goodreads author profile):

Build your platform.

  • Metadata – make sure the book record is complete!
  • 75,000 authors. I’m one of those. That’s actually a pretty small number compared to the number of member accounts

Get people talking about your book.

Your goal is to get reviews, especially early in the life of your book.

  • Reviews help new readers discover your book:
  • They help readers decide to read your book.
  • Goodreads work harder for you. Reviews are shared via Facebook and twitter

Giveaways help kick start book discovery. They help with this…

  • Who knew? ¬†You can actually do book giveaways via Goodreads.
  • They encourage people to add it to their to read shelves
  • They receive an email on the publication date

Some tips for giveaways:

  • Start early. 3-5 months before publication
  • Give it time. Run giveaway at least one month
  • Offer more books. More books = more reviews. Not everyone reviews the book
  • Do it again. Run multiple reviews for each title

Mobilize your existing fan base.

  • Talk about the giveaway in other places – twitter, etc.

Building anticipation and awareness.

  • A cover reveal – dole out information on the content over the months… To build buzz.

Bring it all together.
If you have a new book coming out, do these things on Goodreads:

  • 5 months before publication – first giveaway.
  • Second giveaway – ends at publication. Looking for awareness this time. Lots of people add the book on publication day.
  • Personal selection email – a paid advertising thing.
  • Sent to fans of the author’s backlist.
  • Then a sponsored poll – another ad unit. You vote.
  • Then a homepage roadblock – another ad unit. A hey, this book is out now ad. On the publication date. A awareness unit
  • Exclusive interviews. God reads interviews some people. top authors, popular stuff. Goes in their newsletters.

Trends and takeaways.

  • Social context. People add the book after they see their friends add it
  • Goodreads effort pays off. People will add the book to their lists…
  • The rise of mobile. Enormous mobile growth. 1/5th of goodreads users use the mobile app.

5 habits of highly successful publishers on goodreads

  1. Start early
  2. Involve your authors
  3. Pay attention to your stats
  4. Use content to build anticipation
  5. Keep the momentum up

Goodreads.com/author/how_to – helpful stuff for authors on using goodreads

pic by Jurgen Appelo

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.