Goodreads Authors/Readers discussion

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III. Goodreads Readers > Is there a formula with which the new independent author can find readers?

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message 1: by Stjepan (new)

Stjepan Cobets | 53 comments Greeting,
Recently I published my first science fiction novel "Godeena" and I must admit that it is difficult to find readers. So I wanted to ask: How to accomplish this first contact with the readers?
PS: Forgive my grammatical errors because English is not my native language.
With all due respect
Stjepan


message 2: by Zee (new)

Zee Monodee (zee_monodee) | 154 comments Where have you published? Amazon, Smashwords? First contact can be tough, but you could try groups dedicated to sci-fi here on Goodreads, as well as groups and pages that cater to sci-fi lovers on Facebook. Best of luck!


message 3: by Stjepan (last edited Mar 04, 2016 04:07AM) (new)

Stjepan Cobets | 53 comments Zee wrote: "Where have you published? Amazon, Smashwords? First contact can be tough, but you could try groups dedicated to sci-fi here on Goodreads, as well as groups and pages that cater to sci-fi lovers on ..."

I published on Amazon. I became a member in several groups on Goodreads, but very rarely someone contacts though I give books for review in PDF and Word format.

Thanks Zee


message 4: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 158 comments It is a long and sometimes difficult road to get readers for any format. The market is flooded with new authors and new books from current authors self published and via publishing houses.

Translations are even more tricky - I have looked at this for my own work into French and Spanish from English. I do not know what the market is like in your home country but try and expand there too.

Keep writing and trying. There are various marketing forums you can look at too although everyone has different results.

Good luck though


message 5: by Stjepan (last edited Mar 04, 2016 04:31AM) (new)

Stjepan Cobets | 53 comments Philip wrote: "It is a long and sometimes difficult road to get readers for any format. The market is flooded with new authors and new books from current authors self published and via publishing houses.

Transla..."


Thanks Philip,

The book I recently proofread because I got good and candid advice from members of Goodreads. I am grateful for all the advice they help to correct my mistakes. Croatia has a small market because it is a very small country and so I tried to Amazon.


message 6: by Amanda (new)

Amanda  B Gillespie (amanda_shocknawebookblogger) | 9 comments My opinion is that a lot of people don't like PDF format. Have you considered using Calibre to change them into mobi or epub? I know you can send pdf to kindle to convert but in my experience, they don't format correctly usually. I personally use Calibre to change mine over that I receive in any form other than mobi.
I would be acceptable to reading but it might be the end of March before I can get to it.


message 7: by Zippergirl (new)

Zippergirl I agree with Amanda, if I am going to read for review, I highly prefer the mobi format for my Kindle. You do have Kindle available on Amazon, I notice.

PDFs are a pain, usually and I have to change from my usual comfortable reader to another.

Good luck!


message 8: by Amanda (new)

Amanda  B Gillespie (amanda_shocknawebookblogger) | 9 comments DJ Zippergirl wrote: "I agree with Amanda, if I am going to read for review, I highly prefer the mobi format for my Kindle. You do have Kindle available on Amazon, I notice.

PDFs are a pain, usually and I have to chang..."


Plus PDF's do better on PC and I read on my tablet more than anything.


message 9: by Amanda (new)

Amanda  B Gillespie (amanda_shocknawebookblogger) | 9 comments I wish there was a like button!


message 10: by J.M. (new)

J.M. Garlock | 41 comments If there was we would have found it by now & we'd all be rich.
"The Centurion Chronicles"
"Death by Shark"


message 11: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) Stjepan wrote: "Zee wrote: "Where have you published? Amazon, Smashwords? First contact can be tough, but you could try groups dedicated to sci-fi here on Goodreads, as well as groups and pages that cater to sci-f..."

Contact book bloggers who specialize in your genre. Offer to do readings in your local bookstores.

If you made the mistake of going with KDP Select on Amazon, as SOON as your 90 days is up, opt out and go with KDP regular. Publish on Smashwords along with Amazon. This increase your distribution *vastly.*

Do you have a website? A FB page?

Having said all of that, there is no "formula," only marketing. You say you just published? It takes time to draw readers.


message 12: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 62 comments I think we need some authors' GPS navigating us towards the readers -:)


message 13: by Grace (new)

Grace Crandall | 108 comments One of the most important things, I think, is just being willing to talk with people online about things other than your book. Following a few review blogs, sharing your thoughts in goodreads groups--it's not fast or direct, but if people are interested in you they'll start looking at your book as well. Something I'm doing at the moment is writing short stories and publishing them to my blog, which in turn draws new readers to my Facebook page and Goodreads profile. Reviews help a ton, but the goal of marketing is to draw a small group of readers loyal to your 'brand' and then keep forming relationships to make that group bigger.


message 14: by Susan (new)

Susan Rose | 24 comments Great advice, Grace. I agree 100%. I try to make my Twitter posts 20% about my book, and 80% about fun things that keep people interested, and show off my personality.


message 15: by David (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 80 comments I agree with Grace 100%, as well as being prepared to give books away. Make friends with readers by being a reader, not by trying to sell books. And be genuine while forming those relationships.


message 16: by Doug (new)

Doug Oudin | 168 comments Good advice, Grace. I was tempted to make a political comment, but unfortunately, I can't think of anything humorous to say.


message 17: by Fox (last edited Mar 04, 2016 08:17AM) (new)

Fox Emerson (foxemerson) It's an interesting question and the answer took me a long time to figure out. Like most people trying to promote something, there is no formula.
Join groups and interact with others in your area of specialty. Build relationships on forums and blog frequently about things that relate to your book(s).
Use social media to build your profile.
Find opportunities to read from your book wherever there's an interest.
Understand that all of this takes time. The right person in the right place can have an influential impact on your book sales.

That might happen today or never. You have to be prepared for the worst while hoping for the best.

The other thing I continually remind myself of is that in places like Amazon, the readers themselves tend to sink bad books and help promote good ones organically by reviewing and referring. A happy reader will tell their friends, an unfazed reader will tell nobody. So make your book amazing.

That's my 2.5 cents worth! :)


message 18: by Doug (new)

Doug Oudin | 168 comments Good feedback, Fox.


message 19: by Jim (new)

Jim Vuksic | 1038 comments Stjepan wrote: "Greeting,
Recently I published my first science fiction novel "Godeena" and I must admit that it is difficult to find readers. So I wanted to ask: How to accomplish this first contact with the read..."


Stjepan,

There are books, articles, lectures, seminars and literary websites available at little or no cost through public libraries, literary events, community colleges and the internet written or conducted by those who have already achieved significant commercial success in the professional writing, publishing, distribution and marketing fields. Obtaining a working knowledge of all four will substantially enhance the possibility of succeeding in an extremely competitive area and is, therefore, well worth the time and effort invested.

I wish you success.


message 20: by Stjepan (new)

Stjepan Cobets | 53 comments Amanda wrote: "My opinion is that a lot of people don't like PDF format. Have you considered using Calibre to change them into mobi or epub? I know you can send pdf to kindle to convert but in my experience, they..."

Thanks Amanda, I took your advice and I installed Calibre. I admit it easy to work with him.


message 21: by Stjepan (new)

Stjepan Cobets | 53 comments Sharon wrote: "Stjepan wrote: "Zee wrote: "Where have you published? Amazon, Smashwords? First contact can be tough, but you could try groups dedicated to sci-fi here on Goodreads, as well as groups and pages tha..."

Thank you Sharon for the tip. Yes I have a website and FB page? I know that there is no formula, but I tried to listen to the advice of people who have undergone or undergoing the same experience as me. Readers decide if a book is good or not. I am happy to have published a book, I wrote long time ago and book lay in my drawer, and there was no Internet and Amazon probably would remain in the drawer.


message 22: by Stjepan (new)

Stjepan Cobets | 53 comments Grace wrote: "One of the most important things, I think, is just being willing to talk with people online about things other than your book. Following a few review blogs, sharing your thoughts in goodreads group..."

Thanks Grace,
I will listen to your advice because it is the best way.


message 23: by Stjepan (new)

Stjepan Cobets | 53 comments Fox wrote: "It's an interesting question and the answer took me a long time to figure out. Like most people trying to promote something, there is no formula.
Join groups and interact with others in your area ..."


Thanks Fox,
"That might happen today or never. You have to be prepared for the worst while hoping for the best." I'm ready for all options, because in my life I have already passed a lot of beautiful and a lot of bad things.


message 24: by Stjepan (new)

Stjepan Cobets | 53 comments J.M. wrote: "If there was we would have found it by now & we'd all be rich.
"The Centurion Chronicles"
"Death by Shark""


:)


message 25: by Amber (new)

Amber Foxx (amberfoxx) | 246 comments It's a slow process to identify your target audience and then to reach them effectively. I've been working on it a long time and it's still a work in progress. If you are solidly in your genre (I'm a genre-blender, so it's harder to find the target readers) and have strong book that is well-edited, you may find there is an author's corner in a Goodreads group which will allow some reader review invitations.

Some of my research suggests that buying promotions on sites like E-Reader News Today and Bargain Booksy is a good strategy once you have a base of genuine and positive reviews. Readers subscribe to those newsletters to find out what's on sale in their preferred genre.


message 26: by Zippergirl (new)

Zippergirl Amber wrote: E-Reader News Today and Bargain Booksy is a good strategy ..."

Absolutely, I get four or five emails a day with free and sale priced books, many are INDIE and they are going to people who are already inclined to look favorably on undiscovered talents.

My only suggestion after checking out your book page, is that perhaps you want to have your cover professionally re-done. The musculature on the artwork gives me the heebie-jeebies. A photo might be more inviting to a wider range of readers.


message 27: by Stjepan (new)

Stjepan Cobets | 53 comments Jim wrote: "Stjepan wrote: "Greeting,
Recently I published my first science fiction novel "Godeena" and I must admit that it is difficult to find readers. So I wanted to ask: How to accomplish this first conta..."


Thank you Jim,
Honestly I know that it must be on the Internet, but since I work in the factory and in my garden remains my very little space. Most of the time I'm on the Internet in the late hours. But I try to use that time.


message 28: by Stjepan (new)

Stjepan Cobets | 53 comments wrote: "Amber wrote: E-Reader News Today and Bargain Booksy is a good strategy ..."

Absolutely, I get four or five emails a day with free and sale priced books, many are INDIE and they are going to people..."


Hi DJ Zippergirl,
I do not know how to translate the word heebie-jeebies, what it means. I drew the cover, it's a little strange and rude but I could not afford the right to an artist who drew it. And somehow all the images in offer did not fit.


message 29: by Stjepan (new)

Stjepan Cobets | 53 comments Amber wrote: "It's a slow process to identify your target audience and then to reach them effectively. I've been working on it a long time and it's still a work in progress. If you are solidly in your genre (I'm..."

Thanks Amber,

I will try to find author's corner in a Goodreads.


message 30: by Amanda (last edited Mar 04, 2016 03:29PM) (new)

Amanda  B Gillespie (amanda_shocknawebookblogger) | 9 comments J.M. wrote: "If there was we would have found it by now & we'd all be rich.
"The Centurion Chronicles"
"Death by Shark""


"If wishes and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a Merry Christmas..."


message 31: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2164 comments Try to look into groups or people that are interested in your genre. You can find them on here, Facebook groups, Pinterest, even Kindleboards has some if your so inclined.


message 32: by Noorilhuda (last edited Apr 08, 2016 06:14AM) (new)

Noorilhuda | 87 comments Stjepan look at the links to various review and promotion places in the blog post below:
https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog...

Also on goodreads: you can join 'Review Group' (it has open rounds right now):
https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
Indie Review Initiative:
https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
Good Review Group: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
there's a support group right here on Goodreads Authors/ Readers:
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...
If you're into review swaps (I'm not) then:
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


Independent sites are:
Kindle Book Review,
https://www.thekindlebookreview.net/b...
Indie View:
http://www.theindieview.com/indie-rev...

other review sites (only contact if they read your genre):
https://readersfavorite.com
http://bethciotta.blogspot.com/
http://thebookbella.com/
https://britnannyreads.wordpress.com/...
https://bookbloggerdirectory.wordpres...
http://www.rtbookreviews.com/magazine...
book bloggers (some of these have stopped blogging):https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/...
other blogger sites:
http://www.thebookwheelblog.com/book-...
https://historicalnovelsociety.org/ou...
https://abookwormsmusing.wordpress.co...
http://www.indtale.com/reviews/histor...
http://www.thebookwheelblog.com/book-...
http://sarahsaysread.com/bloggers-tha...
http://www.onlinecollege.org/2009/09/...
http://www.everywritersresource.com/t...
http://augustwainwright.com/the-indie...
http://soniamharris.com/submit-free-k...
http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2012/0...
http://www.the-bookreview.com/p/revie...
http://www.midwestbookreview.com/link...
http://bookloverbookreviews.com/policies
http://lizlovesbooks.com/
http://ourbookreviewsonline.blogspot....
https://mrspeabodyinvestigates.wordpr...
Morgan Bailey has a great blog (and links to many genre reviewers): https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/re...


Amazon's good reviewers (only check the ones who have reviewed more books than other stuff):
http://www.authormeetreviewer.com/


GR's Best bang for buck has info on promotion sites:
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

All the best.


message 33: by Marie Silk (new)

Marie Silk | 192 comments Wow, what an amazing list! Thank you for that, Noorilhuda :)


message 34: by Effie (new)

Effie Kammenou (effiekammenou) | 720 comments Very helpful! Thank you.


message 35: by Noorilhuda (new)

Noorilhuda | 87 comments Welcome, welcome.


message 36: by Stjepan (new)

Stjepan Cobets | 53 comments Noorilhuda wrote: "Stjepan look at the links to various review and promotion places in the blog post below:
https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog...

Also o..."

Thanks Noorilhuda :)


message 37: by Peter (new)

Peter Hill (peterlikesbooks) | 6 comments Stjepan you could try Twitter unless you already do so and get involved in the writing chat e.g. #storycrafter which takes place every Sunday. There are other writing chats on Twitter but I cannot remember them all, however once I have more free time I'd be happy to list them for you. :)


message 38: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 62 comments E=mc2


message 39: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Taylor (christophertaylor) | 67 comments Yeah, there are three rules to getting readers and sales as an author!

The problem is, nobody knows them.


message 40: by Segilola (new)

Segilola Salami (segilolasalami) | 111 comments word of mouth bebayyyyyyyyy

I had an author David Chatfield come on my podcast show. He said that he sold 10,000 copies of his first book within 3 weeks of publishing. Most of the downloads came from people in his network who told people in their network and a ripple effect was created


message 41: by Lisette (new)

Lisette Kristensen There is no secret sauce to what works. Each of us finds a way of making it happen. GoodReads involvement is one way. I don't hold much stock in Twitter and most marketers will tell you not to promote there. I have found participating in FB Take Overs to be the most effective medium for me. I also use two or three paid email sites for promo's that have been effective. I have not maximized Google+ yet.

Which leads to Segilola refrain of "word of mouth bebayyyyyyyyy" to be accurate.


message 42: by Groovy (last edited May 02, 2016 02:22PM) (new)

Groovy Lee | 1 comments LOL! Christopher

Thanks for that impressive list, Noorihuda:)

I agree with all of what is said here, there's no secret formula or "sauce", and I love what Fox had to say. I'm still waiting for the day when that one person will make that influential impact we all dream of:) Being very active on forums and participating is a big plus but...

I've also gone one step further and had car magnets designed with the cover of one of my books, along with an eye-catching phrase and my website on it. Now that the weather is warm, I'm going to see if it works:)

I also have announcements about my work and hand it out in the neighborhood.

I wish all the best for all of us in this journey...


message 43: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) I think that Michael hyatt's "Platform: Get noticed in a noisy world" is pretty good; its ideas are not terribly original and it is directed more at blogging, but it's strong points are its comprehensiveness and attention to detail.


Tara Woods Turner Add your books title and URL to your email signature. You never know.


message 45: by Stjepan (last edited May 03, 2016 08:22AM) (new)

Stjepan Cobets | 53 comments Peter wrote: "Stjepan you could try Twitter unless you already do so and get involved in the writing chat e.g. #storycrafter which takes place every Sunday. There are other writing chats on Twitter but I cannot ..."

I would be grateful if you would do for me. I honestly am not much on Twitter. :)


message 46: by Stjepan (new)

Stjepan Cobets | 53 comments Tara wrote: "Add your books title and URL to your email signature. You never know."

How do I do that?


message 47: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Sharpe (abigailsharpe) The Help section of your email provider should have instructions.


Tara Woods Turner Abigail is correct. You can also google some provider specific instructions. We can't possibly tell you how to do that without knowing anything about your email service provider. If you are still confused after doing everything you can possibly do on your own to add the signature then almost anyone here would be glad to help. Best of luck.


message 49: by Eva (new)

Eva Pasco (evapasco) | 73 comments Noorilhuda,

A hardy thanks from me too.

As for a formula--I think it's a pinch of this and a pinch of that, hoping our cake will rise. If just one of many promotional strategies garners one reader who talks up our book, I'm inclined to believe that good old fashioned "word of mouth" is the best book selling strategy.

Wishing everyone the best in your endeavors.


message 50: by Nadia (last edited May 11, 2016 06:40AM) (new)

Nadia Asencio (nadia_asencio) | 24 comments Stjepan wrote: "Tara wrote: "Add your books title and URL to your email signature. You never know."

How do I do that?"


If you have gmail, it's easy: go to your gmail account, click the Gear Icon at the top right hand side. Scroll down to "Settings" and click; there you will see a box where you can create your email signature, including links to websites, etc.

I would recommend creating a one-page website for your book, where potential readers can get to know you, your book, and have a way to buy the book directly on your site (my site includes links to my book on Amazon.com and B&N.com), and include it in your gmail signature. Also, include a way for readers to contact you on your website. Don't forget to include social media share buttons on your site so that your audience can easily tweet your website to other potential readers and with their friends by posting it on their Facebook page. The easier you make it for your audience to share, the higher the chances that they will.

Then, start by tweeting it out yourself, and use hashtags to deliver it to an audience that would be interested in your content - for example, my book is about politics and discourse, so hashtags I use are: #book #books #politics #election2016 #new #writer #debate. This way, you target your audience. You're going to have to do this repeatedly; it's not a one-time deal, but a two-times a day effort for twitter, and a weekly effort on your Facebook. Also, post the link on your LinkedIn account, with a question prefacing your link to get your audience interested. For example, I used the question "Tired of the political circus in the U.S.? CHANGE IT. Click below for more info."

The call to action after the question is vital; it provides your audience with clear-cut instructions. Respect their time and get to the point. There are tons of great connections on LinkedIn - publishers, editors, publicists - all looking for potential customers. Don't overlook this rich resource.

Lastly, I took a picture of my book's cover and posted it up on my Instagram account, replete with hashtags: #book #books #instabooks #writer #politics #new #nerd #debate #election2016 #vote. I included the question that the book addresses, and the call to action: because IG doesn't allow you to attach links to your comments, I attached the link to my website on my IG profile, and then included the instructions, "Click website in bio for links" in my message. This way, the audience that sees the book and are interested go to my IG profile page and click the link to my book's website directly. Just as with Twitter and Facebook, this is an ongoing effort; take pics of friends reading your book, or your book in different settings, to spark interest. Include a description in your comment, and again, direct your audience to click the link in your bio for more info. If you want to see how other books are being promoted on IG, search hashtags #books #instabooks #writer to get ideas.

I hope this all helps. Social media provides a ton of opportunity; use it. Write a blog, get your ideas and stories out there. Join groups that interest you and provide meaningful content for them. Build relationships; the size of your audience, especially at the beginning, is going to depend on how many people know you and like you. Ask friends and family to review your book on Amazon.com, B&N.com, GoodReads.com, and anywhere else you sell your book. Don't be afraid to ask for help; no man is an island.

Good luck! =D


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