Goodreads Blog

Marketing Tips and Advice from Danica Favorite

Posted by Cynthia on July 10, 2017
This summer, take a step back and focus on what you really need to do on Goodreads and in your writing career. As we’re getting ready to attend this year’s Romance Writers of America conference in Orlando, we asked Danica Favorite, author of Rocky Mountain Dreams and community host of the Harlequin.com, about her tips to interacting on Goodreads, balancing work life, family life, and writing life, and advice about attending the conference for the first time.

Let’s start simple: tell us about what you love most about Goodreads!

I love the chance to interact with readers, especially those I may not see otherwise.

What’s your approach to using the site as an author?

I’m still playing around with it in a lot of ways. I do not seek out reviews of my books, and I try hard not to read them. A good review will make you feel good, but a bad review makes you feel awful. It’s not a good idea to engage with reviewers, so I try to ignore that part completely. I participate in groups relevant to my books, Q&A’s, and interact with people on my page.

What have you learned in your role running the online community for Harlequin.com?

People really enjoy the opportunity to interact with authors. They still have their fan moments; it’s special to them when an author takes the time to say “Hi.” We authors forget how much that means to readers, and what to us is a passing comment is something they treasure for a long time. Sometimes that doesn’t translate to an immediate sale, but I’ve seen the community relationships turn into fandoms for life.

People remember that you took the time to get to know them and interact with them, so down the road, that translates to someone who’s always going to be talking about your books and how great you are, which does lead to more sales. That said, it will be quite clear if all you do is come around to pimp your book. Make sure you’re also working to participate in conversations, not just talk about about your latest release.

With so many ways of connecting now, it’s important to make sure you’re letting people know you have an event (even an online Q&A) in as many ways and places as possible, and asking your friends to do the same. I think we’re afraid of annoying people, with so many others out there posting cute puppy pictures, interesting articles, funny memes, etc., our message to come to our fun event or buy our books gets lost.


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What is your favorite area of the site to explore on Goodreads?

I really like the groups and being able to see what people are talking about and participate in conversations.

Check out the Harlequin group on Goodreads!

What advice can you share with busy authors about online marketing? Having a plan is important, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed. I work full time, have crazy busy kids, and I write! After spending all day promoting everyone else’s books, the last thing I want to do is promote my own (and to be honest, promoting myself is harder than promoting others).

The only way I get anything done promo-wise is to put doing it on my calendar. I don’t always succeed or pull off my marketing perfectly, but doing something, even if it’s not perfect, is better than doing nothing. Sit down once a week, or every other week, and plan out what you’re going to do for that week.

There are a lot of great apps like Hootsuite that can help you schedule all your posts across all platforms, and BAM! You don’t have to think about it for another week or however long you choose. Then, you take 10-15 minutes every day to respond to comments and comment on other people’s tweets or posts or whatnot. If you want to be more active, you can do it in a morning chunk, afternoon chunk, and evening chunk.

Any tips for navigating the RWA conference for the first time?

Pace yourself. Get the recordings and take a nap when you get tired. I schedule promotion, I also schedule naps! Even though you paid a lot of money to be there, resist the temptation to do everything. Identify a few things you really need to attend, and save the rest for the recordings

Danica will be joining Goodreads and Harlequin on panel at RWA on Friday, July 28. Read more about it here and make it your One Thing at the conference if you are attending.

Questions for Danica? Leave them for her in the comments below!



Next: The Five Readers You Meet in Publishing

You might also like: Romance Authors Make the Best Marketers

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Comments Showing 1-29 of 29 (29 new)

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message 1: by Alan (new)

Alan Toner A very good post. As a published author myself, I can certainly empathise with you in regard to your comments about marketing your own work. A task never easy, but we go on!

Regards
Alan Toner
www.alantoner.com


message 2: by Danica (new)

Danica Thanks Alan! I'm glad you find it helpful. We wear a lot of hats as authors, and marketing is only one of them!

Says the girl who was just in the grocery store, and I saw a lady dressed really nice, but then had on a gunbelt like a police officer, and I sooo wanted to stop her and ask her questions for a book. Research, you know! Even in the grocery store! :)


message 3: by Alan (new)

Alan Toner Cheers Danica. Yes, I know what you mean about "wearing a lot of hats". And inspiration for a new story can strike when you least expect it. That's why some authors always keep a notepad at hand, ready to write down any ideas which may pop into their head.


message 4: by Danica (new)

Danica Alan wrote: "Cheers Danica. Yes, I know what you mean about "wearing a lot of hats". And inspiration for a new story can strike when you least expect it. That's why some authors always keep a notepad at hand, r..."

Exactly! I'm supposed to be grocery shopping, but writer mode kicks in. The great thing about being a writer is we get to switch modes so easily. You don't have to go into an office to do your writer job.


message 5: by Gabriel (new)

Gabriel Thanks very much for sharing your experience as a published author. I hope to be able to take it one day when I have a novel published! Cheers!


message 6: by Sera (new)

Sera Taíno I like the idea of scheduling in promotions - as well as naps! - and I agree enthusiastically about using Hootsuite. Talk about saving my sanity. I work full-time and have a family and write also and a schedule is a must-have. I'm also attending the RWA Conference this year and one thing I don't want to do is become overwhelmed. I have been enjoying the recordings of previous conferences enormously. Thanks for a great article.


message 7: by Linda (new)

Linda Marchman Hi, Thank you for the comments. I have self-published two books, "Gone Astray" and "Silent Meow", which are novels about cats. I find the writing part fairly easy, but the marketing and promotion part is not. I read that it's good to have book bloggers read your books and write reviews about them. I've contacted several bloggers and have received no feedback. Is there a magic formula to get bloggers to consider one's books, or even to respond to one's emails? It sure is frustrating! Thanks again! info@felinefiction.com


message 8: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Kirkaldie Thanks for the advice, Danica! It's comforting to know I'm not the only one who doesn't read my reviews. I thought maybe I was just a sissy. :)


message 9: by Danielle (new)

Danielle Rocco Great advice! I'm going to start sitting down every Sunday and planning out what I'd like to post throughout the week:)


message 10: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Fierstein Thanks Danica. I don't feel alone anymore, marketing my book is much harder than I thought. I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks that way. Appreciate the advice.


message 11: by Danica (new)

Danica Gabriel, good luck on your writing journey!

Sera , I am all about the naps! And if you see me at the conference, be sure to say hi.

Linda, great question! To be honest, I don't do a lot with book bloggers because I'm really limited in time. I have a few friends with blogs, and I'll visit their blogs, but other than that, I don't have time to pursue a bunch of blogs, write posts for them, and then follow up. And, FWIW, the one book I did do that with ended up being my lowest selling book. I think you have to look at the activities that give you the most ROI and focus on those. If you're not finding success with book bloggers, then go a different direction, IMO. Take that time to do more of the things that have gotten you results. Or talk to someone who has gotten good results with it.

Rachel, not a sissy at all! A lot of authors struggle with that. And, if you do encounter a negative review, just remember that even famous books get them. Think about how so many people either love or hate things like 50 Shades of Gray. It's not personal, and it doesn't make you a bad writer, it just means your book isn't to someone's taste.

Danielle, I hope you find success with it! I've noticed that my social media presence is stronger and sales are higher on weeks when I sit down and take that bit of time Sunday night to organize it all ahead of time. Plus, it frees me to think about other stuff the rest of the week. Like what's for dinner. Yeah, I should plan that out too, but I don't. :(

Wendy, I think a lot of authors feel that way. Most of us would rather be writing our books.


message 12: by Linda (new)

Linda Marchman I would definitely rather be writing my books. Is there an easier way to get people to write reviews of your published books Sorry my question mark the comma and the exclamation point have quit. I've asked people to do this but only a few have followed up.


message 13: by S.C. (new)

S.C. Karakaltsas Thanks for sharing your experiences. Marketing two books, Climbing the Coconut Tree and Out of Nowhere: a collection of short stories published within eighteen months of each other is certainly daunting. They are two very different books and genres so the marketing can't always be the same. Yet it is so difficult to get either one noticed. I think it just takes time and effort - nothing happens overnight.
S.C Karakaltsas
Climbing the Coconut Tree by S.C. Karakaltsas


message 14: by Linda (new)

Linda Marchman Thank you for your comment. Maybe others have advice to give regarding how to get your books noticed.


message 15: by Gabriel (new)

Gabriel Linda wrote: "Thank you for your comment. Maybe others have advice to give regarding how to get your books noticed."

Hello Linda, a writer I know who runs her own blog mentioned she trades book reviews with other authors in her field. So that would be my suggestion - try trading book reviews with other authors you know? Hope that helps!


message 16: by Linda (new)

Linda Marchman Good idea! I do know other authors who I can contact. Thanks.


message 17: by Danica (new)

Danica Linda No worries on the punctuation. :) I had a couple of thoughts for you. One, if your novels are about cats, rather than targeting book bloggers, why not look at pet blogs, and offer a blog post about cats? Then link to your book in your bio. A lot of times, if you have something valuable to give to bloggers, like an article their readers will find interesting, they're willing to book you. So that might be an angle to try. My other thought would be to see what events your local animal shelters host. I donate a lot of books to various fundraisers, and I'm always surprised at how many people get interested in my books as a result. So an animal shelter fundraiser would be a great place to connect your books with people's passions.

S.C. (but this also applies to Linda) Great point about it taking time and effort. When I only had two books out, I wasn't getting the kind of marketing traction I would have liked. The more books I have out, the more I find others willing to work with me on marketing, and I also find that people will read one book, like it, then get the rest.


message 18: by Linda (new)

Linda Marchman Thank you Danica. Your suggestions have really helped me and they are now on my to do list. I appreciate everyone's comments. Purrfect for the cat lady! 🐈🐈


message 19: by Shelley (new)

Shelley Alongi Hi Danica, I like your practical plan. How do I schedule a Q and A? I've been using Goodreads to market and I've gotten a lot more awareness out there a lot faster. Have a great conference.


message 20: by Vanessa (last edited Jul 21, 2017 04:17PM) (new)

Vanessa Good to read your marketing comments and ideas, Cynthia. I notice a few of you have said you find marketing your own book is harder than writing your book(s). If you have a Facebook business page, you may be interested in my recent book called 'Facebook Inspiration: 30 days of creativity for your page'. It's intended for solopreneurs - including authors and bloggers! - to help you learn to love marketing yourself and your products and services. It's focused specifically on Facebook, but can actually be applied to other social media platforms too. It's a practical 30-day guide that's fun to follow. Your very own marketing guide. I've 19 reviews on Amazon UK so far.

Facebook Inspiration 30 Days of Creativity for Your Page by Vanessa Hunt


message 21: by Vanessa (last edited Jul 21, 2017 04:27PM) (new)

Vanessa Linda wrote: "Thank you for your comment. Maybe others have advice to give regarding how to get your books noticed."

Linda - I've focused on speaking about Facebook marketing at business networking events and marketing conferences. I don't promote my book directly, but speak about related themes. I read somewhere recently that most people buy books because they 'know the author', so focusing on your immediate community is a good idea to start with - and then using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter helps raise your profile as an author.


message 22: by Linda (new)

Linda Marchman Vanessa, yes I've found that people like to say they "know" the author. They also like it when I "purrsonalize" the books. (I write novels about cats.) I'm thinking about offering programs about the feline/human connection and sell books afterward. I wouldn't be promoting my books, but rather speaking about a subject that many people would be interested in.
Again, thank you all who have suggested ways to help me. I've received more help here in the past few days than ever.


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

This is good to know.😀


message 24: by Best (new)

Best Thanks for the information Danica.

You and another commenter mentioned Hootsuite as your social media platform. I just started using Buffer rather than Hootsuite. I'm curious what experiences you and your followers have had when it comes to social media management apps and what recommendations you might have.


message 25: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa I use the free version of Buffer, Best. It used to be a bit buggy, but it's improved a lot recently. I did try Hootsuite in the past, but prefer Buffer somehow...I think it's good to just test them, and find out which one you find easiest to navigate.


message 26: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Holloway I so enjoyed reading your comments and the almost psychological difficulty of promoting one's own work. Having self published book one on Kindle and now recently in print I am finding it so hard to approach book stores etc.
My second book Claire's Story is due out next Spring/Summer and with a publisher i am hoping they will provide a support system.!
Having written under a family name rather than my own I found to my dismay there is already another Pamela Holloway - author. so print edition and future novel will be Pamela D Holloway.
It all adds to the complexities of writing which is the part I LOVE>


message 27: by Linda (new)

Linda Marchman I also like the writing part of authorship. Hopefully the publisher will be responsible partly for the promotion of your new book. Who would have thought there would be another author who has your same name? It's not the most common name...


message 28: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Holloway I understand the local community angle and my local bookstore are going to arrange a signing which with a bit of publicity tied into our local arts festival in September should prove useful. I have always said I could sell sand to an arab! However I really lack the same confidence with my novels...


message 29: by John (new)

John Grabowski Hi Danica, enjoyed your post, was just wondering if you do any marketing or promotion that is not social media, ie, traditional media, advertising (online or otherwise). Thanks!

John


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