Goodreads Blog

Marketing Advice and Tips from Kendare Blake

Posted by Cynthia on December 11, 2015
Kendare Blake is the author of Anna Dressed in Blood, a “deliciously creepy” and “hilarious” Young Adult horror story that “leaves awesomeness behind” (according to some of her Goodreads reviewers). She’s been a Goodreads member since 2010, and has amassed more than 16,000 followers. All these followers surely delight in her activity on Goodreads, where she answers any question that comes in from her fans via Ask the Author—164 and counting, many of them inquiring about the possibility of a movie adaptation of her book!

She recently answered a few questions of ours about her Goodreads activity and what tips she can share with other authors about marketing books on Goodreads. Will this spark a trend in author profile pictures with turtles? Read on to find out!

You’ve amassed quite a following on Goodreads! How do you encourage readers to follow you?

I couldn't be happier about my Goodreads following, but I must admit, this one is a bit of a mystery. I certainly try to engage with all readers, and to keep my blog posts zippy and (semi) regular, but I don't know what in particular makes someone decide to follow. There's a turtle in my author photo. Maybe he has hypnotic eyes.

What’s your approach to responding to reader questions via Ask the Author?

I check in multiple times a week for reader questions. And I will answer the same question no matter how many times it is asked! If a question is a spoiler in itself, I still try to respond via the messaging system.

What’s your favorite thing about Goodreads?

Honestly, the thing I love most about Goodreads is that it keeps me up to date on books! I use it like any other reader: to zero in on new authors and find new releases on lists or in my updates feed. Staying current on your favorite authors can be difficult. Goodreads makes my book life so much simpler: one location, savable lists, all the info I want.

How do you encourage reviews of your book on Goodreads?

I don't think I do. Goodreads is just a review-friendly platform. As an author, I don't want reviewers to feel as though I'm looking over their shoulder. I won't do more than discreetly "like" those that particularly speak to me. Unless a reviewer asks what I thought of their review, I stay out of it.

What’s one exciting, possibly hidden feature you’ve discovered on Goodreads?

I really like checking all of the recent status updates of books that I'm reading, so it feels like I'm reading along with people. Sort of a book club for introverts. Is that sad? I don't care.

Also, (and I know this is two) I love that Goodreads showcases our upcoming releases. Readers can talk about them prior to release, speculate on covers, add them to lists. I definitely keep an eye on those new book details: making sure the description is correct, watching for community questions, etc.

What are you working on right now?

I'm working on my Fall 2016 release, Three Dark Crowns. It's about three young queens on a magical island. Each has a particular gift: one is an elemental, who can call the storms and wield fire, one is a naturalist who can commune with animals and make things grow, and one is a poisoner, an expert assassin who can ingest poisons with no ill effects. Only one can rule. Two must die. Did I mention that they're sisters?

Read a few of Kendare’s ATA answers here to give you a sense of how her personality shines through in her engagement with readers (this doubles as advice about writing!). Be sure to follow her to see more of her great activity.

Next: The Impact of Goodreads Choice Awards for Authors and Publishers

You might also like: Marketing Advice from Debut Author Scott Hawkins

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Comments Showing 1-21 of 21 (21 new)

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message 1: by Maggie (new)

Maggie Way Great article thanks for the advice and keep up the good work Kendare :)

message 2: by Maria (new)

Maria Riegger I enjoyed reading. Thanks! Congrats on your success!

message 3: by Martyn (new)

Martyn Stanley Wow! 16,000 Followers! That's incredible. I'd be pleased with 10% of that!

message 4: by Salil (new)

Salil Inspirational. Loved how you have let the audience engagement build on its own. No pressure, that's the key. Cheers!
- Sal

message 5: by K.L. (new)

K.L. Hallam Thanks!

message 6: by D.B. (last edited Jan 11, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

D.B. Sybert Love reading about you. Your book you are writing sounds mysterious and can't wait till the release date.

message 7: by JoAnn (new)

JoAnn Wagner Great article full of useful information! I can only hope that I will have 1/4 the followers you do...amazing!

message 8: by Lee (new)

Lee Dunning That upcoming book sounds interesting.

message 9: by Darlene (new)

Darlene Deluca Hmmm . . . I'm off to find cute photos of animals with hypnotic eyes! :-) Great to hear of your success, Kendare!

message 10: by Joseph (new)

Joseph Ferguson Congrats! Great article.

message 11: by Madeline (new)

Madeline Meekins Awesome article/turtle

message 12: by Dean (new)

Dean Robertson Great success on Goodreads, Kendare. I will definitely read some of your blog posts and more responses to readers. I wish, though, that you had more suggestions here for how you accomplished all this. It seems like it just happened.

There must have been some things you did when you first got started. What tips might you have for first-time authors and fairly new members? Did those numbers build slowly? Did you start with a pretty large number of friends and family? At what point did you start to hit the bigger numbers?

Again, congrats on your success. It must be gratifying to interact with so many readers.

message 13: by G.A. (new)

G.A. Wilson Lovely article, Kendare. Congratulations on your success. Perhaps I should use a photo of my dog on my profile page....

message 14: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Bosher Sisters...what a great twist. I'm on board for your new book.

message 15: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Hinton Where can I get your turtle's brother?

message 16: by Kendare (new)

Kendare Blake Dean wrote: "Great success on Goodreads, Kendare. I will definitely read some of your blog posts and more responses to readers. I wish, though, that you had more suggestions here for how you accomplished all th..."

Hi Dean!

To be honest, I didn't track follower numbers. I looked at my profile one day and thought, "Holy cow!" So I don't know when they began to grow, or if it has been steady. Not much help, I know. I don't think there is truly a secret to followers. My advice is to do however much on social media that you WANT to do. Have genuine interactions. Make real pals. Find some great blogs. And as always, keep on writing good books! If I had visibility, it started when Anna Dressed in Blood began to take off. And I don't know the secret formula for how that happened either. Wish I could be more helpful!

message 17: by Dean (new)

Dean Robertson Kendare, thank you so much for the response. One question I do have is that my "blog" is the posts I do on my website blog that are automatically posted here. Do you think I'd be smart to start just a blog on Goodreads that's focused on the community and what goes on here? Some of my blogs are relevant here--like I'm doing some really good book reviews--but some not so much. I am taking care of my grandson today so haven't gotten over to look at your blog yet. But I'll probably be able to do it tonight.

message 18: by Laura (new)

Laura Henderson Hi, I am new to Goodreads and a new author (Knookerdoodles - The Adventure Begins) and I love your laid back and humorous attitude! I am intrigued by the sister plot - they can't kill each other! But maybe they will? I look forward to reading it in the fall!

message 19: by Cleo (new)

Cleo Thank you. Liked your article.

message 20: by Michael (new)

Michael Bronte Thank you for sharing your marketing success tips on Goodreads. I hope I can achieve half the success you've enjoyed for my books. Congratulations. Will look for your new book.

Michael Bronte

message 21: by Maria (new)

Maria good advices! thanks!)
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