Goodreads Blog

Five Tips for Using Ask the Author on Goodreads

Posted by Cynthia on November 19, 2015
At one point or another, almost every reader has wanted to ask his or her favorite author a question. Satisfy that urge for your readers by using the Ask the Author on Goodreads feature. When you enable Ask the Author from your author dashboard, you’re allowing readers to ask you questions directly from your author profile. Questions are not visible to the public until you choose to answer them, at which point they post to your newsfeed for all your followers to see and live permanently on your author profile.

Here are five tips for using Ask the Author:

Edit your message to readers to set their expectations. Once the “Ask the Author” tool is activated, you can edit this message to let people know how many and what kinds of questions you’ll be answering. For example, “I’ll answer one question a week!” or “Ask away, and I’ll do my best to answer when I can!” are some examples. The default is “Ask me a question.”

Tell your fans you’re answering questions. Goodreads will automatically generate a newsfeed item for you when you enable Ask the Author, but after that, it’s up to you to let your readers know you’re taking questions. Use your Goodreads blog, a status update, or other social media channels to let readers know they can ask you a question on your author profile page.

Answer at least 3 pre-seeded questions. Get things started by answering some of the pre-seeded questions from Goodreads. Give thoughtful answers rather than simple one-liners (you’re not limited to 140 characters!). Each question page links to three additional answers, so you’re also providing readers with more discoverable content.

Skip questions you don’t want to answer. Questions are visible only to you until you decide to answer. The person who asks the question will be notified via email if you answer and your response will go into the newsfeed of your followers. The reader is not notified if you choose to skip the question.

Keep Ask the Author activated. Leaving on Ask the Author gives anyone in any time zone the chance to ask you a question—and you can respond when it’s convenient for you. Set the notification setting to email you once a week when there are new questions pending.

Check out some of the Featured Authors taking questions this week.

How have you used Ask the Author in your marketing campaign? Share in the comments below!

Next: Elizabeth Gilbert's Top 10 Tips for Writers

You might also like: Five Things to Remember When Engaging on Goodreads

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Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Martin (new)

Martin Popoff How do you have Ask the Author show up at each of your books, not just at your profile?

message 2: by Martin (new)

Martin Popoff My bad, maybe that's not possible - I thought I saw it that way for an author I follow but possibly mistaken.

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