Goodreads Blog

Marketing Tips and Advice from Robin Sloan

Posted by Cynthia on December 8, 2015
Robin Sloan is a writer and media inventor based in San Francisco. Robin visited the Goodreads HQ in August 2013 and answered a few questions about how his debut novel, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore (FSG, 2012), became so successful.

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What's your favorite thing about Goodreads?
It's the sense that this is where the serious readers are: the people who read a book a week or more, the people who really think about what they're reading.

What were you surprised to learn about your fans on Goodreads?
I was surprised to see where they "came from," genre-wise. I'd see a review of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore and click through to see the readers' profile. Some came to my book with a fantasy/SF background; plenty seemed to always be reading "the book of the moment"; a few were almost entirely nonfiction readers—computer books, stuff like that. I think the ability to see your book in context with others is pretty incredible; in fact, I think that map of association and affinity is at least as valuable as the ratings and reviews.

What has been the most effective marketing strategy you used to promote your book?
Overall I'd say my most effective tool is my e-mail list. It's not the largest by any stretch; I did many interviews that reached far larger audiences. But the audience for an interview isn't all on your side; a large percentage of those people will read or listen and then move on to the next thing. The people on my list, though: They are ready to take action. I think of them less like fans and more like allies. They're my posse. I don't send e-mails very often—only about once a season—but when I do, they really respond.

What are you currently working on?
I have a brief prequel to Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour BookstoreAjax Penumbra 1969—coming out in the fall as a digital short. And beyond that I'm working on another full-length novel—a whole new story.

This interview originally appeared in the October 2013 edition of the Goodreads Author Newsletter.

Next: Five Things That Will Make Your Goodreads Author Profile Great

You might also like: Marketing Tips and Advice from Scott Hawkins

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message 1: by Maria (new)

Maria good interview!
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