Goodreads and the Power of Massive Book Exposure

When it comes to talking about the fundamentals of book promotion, using GoodReads is about as fundamental as you can get. Can 41 million readers be wrong? Probably not. With that in mind, here are steps you can take to maximize the return on your investment of time and attention to your book marketing campaigns.

The Goodreads Trifecta of Promotion

Community & Good Citizenship

Get involved in the GoodReads community and when your book is released, ask people to review it on the site. As a member of the Goodreads community, you’ll want to observe decorum. Use the same common courtesies you would in any other online social setting. Take a week or so to observe the tone and the content of threads within the groups. When you feel confident that you’ve got the knack, start participating by leaving considered comments. Once you become a bit more known you can create threads of your own. After you’ve become a trusted member of the community, you can add your book title or have someone add it for you. This gradual approach means you are less likely to look like an amateur and more likely to be considered a respected voice in the community.

Book Giveaways

Once you’re established on, you can create buzz and get reviews by giving away free copies of your book. To do this, click the Goodreads link to “Create A Giveaway.” These are physical books you’re giving away, so you’ll need to have copies of your book on hand to send to reviewers who request it. Be sure you conduct only one Giveaway at a time or this can get expensive and confusing. Some experts suggest allocating 25 books to Goodreads Giveaways, and run multiple giveaway campaigns over a period of time. With that said, this is an excellent way to generate the best kind of publicity for your book – word of mouth.

Paid Advertising

Goodreads advertising means you can reach an ultra targeted market for an incredibly low investment. Here is real data from an ad I bought on Goodreads. The budget was $49, but in fact we only spent $1 on the total campaign in 30-days. This cost may seem like it’s too low to be effective, but the ad for the book generated 13,300 impressions. Because there were only 2 click-throughs, there was virtually no cost to the author for this phenomenal exposure. Where I come from in the world of book marketing, this is an astonishing amount of reach for very little expense.

Following are the stats for the ad, promoting the book “Gotcha” by Dr. Sally Earnst.

Daily Views: 181
Daily Clicks: 0
Daily Cost: $0.00
Total Views: 13,300
Total Clicks: 2
Total Cost: $1.00

Promoting your book is fundamental to your success as an author, and leveraging the power of Goodreads makes it an easy call. Good selling!

Bryan Heathman is the President of Made for Success Publishing. Bryan works with best-selling authors in the role of publisher and marketer, including the late Zig Ziglar, Chris Widener and John C. Maxwell. Bryan is the author of Conversion Marketing, a marketing book that condenses knowledge on website conversion from 7-years running an online ad agency. Bryan’s Fortune 500 experience includes running high impact marketing campaigns for Microsoft, Eastman Kodak and Xerox.