Building Flawless Author Foundations
We’re continuing the series on building author foundations by claiming your author profiles on GoodReads. Even if you’ve done this already, there’s a good chance you’ve missed a few gems in this profile. So stick with me until the end!
Once an intimate, standalone platform for writers and readers to connect, GoodReads was purchased by Amazon in 2013 and its popularity grew. It’s still a great place to connect with readers, but it’s been made more powerful, in terms of reach and SEO, since being purchased by Amazon. Like any social media platform, it allows for followers, but instead of sharing pictures of children and dogs, you’ll see what your friends are reading and reviewing. In addition, authors can link a blog, host giveaways, answer Q&As, join communities, share reviews, and interact with readers.
Setting up your profile
You can set up your profile anytime by logging in to GoodReads using your Amazon account login. I suggest this method over email or Gmail because once connected, GoodReads pulls your book purchases from Amazon to create your bookshelves. You determine which books to show since shelves are public. In my case, I skipped books I purchased for my family and friends. Think of it as sharing your home bookcase with followers. Of course, people are nosey and like to see what you’re reading, but there’s also the idea of reciprocity among authors. If you’re consistently reading and sharing reviews, there is the hope that others will reciprocate by reading your work and writing reviews for you.
Your profile is like your Amazon Author Profile with a few additional details. You’ll need your headshot, short bio, and blog’s RSS feed, but you can also include your website and blog’s RSS feed. Until you “claim” your book(s) and create an author account, your profile looks like everyone else’s. To do this, search for your book in GoodReads, scroll to the bottom of the book summary until you see “is this you…”, click, and follow the instructions. You must prove you are you, so you’ll need your email address, website, Amazon author profile link, and social media links. It takes a few weeks for the GoodReads catalog to catch up to Amazon’s so if your book is new, it will likely show up two to three weeks after it appears on Amazon. Then it takes a day or so for GoodReads to confirm you are you and for you to gain the distinction of becoming a GoodReads Author. Yay you!
Your book listing
This is the most underrated piece of author real estate on the Internet for authors. Your book listing on GoodReads shows your cover, book summary, links to purchase your book in each format, reviews, a place for readers to ask questions to the GoodReads community about your book, a list of GoodReads readers have indicated they have or plan to read your book, reader-created lists that contain your book, a reader-driven Q & A section, community discussion of your book, and a place for you to add trivia about your book.
But wait, there’s more.
Lots more. You can host giveaways, join groups, host book clubs, add quotes from your book, answer questions for readers, connect your favorite literary quotes, and more. Most authors will benefit from just about every feature on the platform so be sure to spend some time to learn what’s available to you. Visit the GoodReads Author Program page for more details.
All of that and the power of Amazon to improve your own SEO. And yet, you’ll find book after book that goes unclaimed because so many authors haven’t tapped into the power of GoodReads. I could probably write a book on everything you can make happen here, but for now, set up your profile (don’t forget to add your blog RSS feed), claim your book, and begin to engage with your readers.
Once your profile is set up, be sure to follow me and I’ll follow you back. See you on GoodReads.
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. If you’d like to learn more about how I can help you build and grow your author platform through private or group coaching (coming soon!), visit my author marketing page or set up a free, 30-minute consultation with me via phone or Zoom.