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All Things Writing & Publishing > Promoting your book on GR

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message 1: by Krazykiwi (last edited Jan 27, 2017 04:46AM) (new)

Krazykiwi | 193 comments What follows is just my opinion as a reader, but bear in mind I've been on GR for years and years and I have a fair idea what works here and what doesn't. Especially what doesn't.

1. Don't spam. Spam will get you flagged, and may lose you your GR author account. Be picky about where you post your promos. Don't mass pm people, even if they are following you, and don't abuse the events system to post book promos. Those things definitely will get you flagged.

Don't post to too many groups at a time. When I see a promo post, I'll very often check out the author's comment profile directly, or click the book in the header (see point 3) and if all I see is page upon page of identical promo posts and nothing else, I don't bother.

Like most people, I belong to several groups. Most of them are on pretty different topics. If I see the same promo post on several of them at once, it better be directly appropriate for every single one of those groups, or I'll mentally mark you as a spammer and ignore them all. It's really obvious when authors have done this on the discussions page ( and most long-time GR users use that one to get at their groups - and many new ones will too, now that it's linked in the nav bar again.

2. Every single group here is a community unto itself. They're all different.

Before you post anything in a group, read the rules. Before you post a promo in a thread, make sure you read the first post at least. Post in the dedicated thread or folder only if there is one. I cannot tell you how many times I've seen people screw this up: Posting promos into a discussion by the group about whether and where to allow promos at all (this does not endear you to the group members!) or posting their new book onto a discussion thread in the Feedback group asking for features related to New Releases.

3. Make sure your book pages are in good shape. Make sure your books have covers, and series set up (ASK if you need that done, it takes seconds to fix.) Make sure you don't have typos in your descriptions and in your author bio (amazingly common.) Users won't be interested in your books if you can't even manage this small amount of writing. Remember you are your brand, and your brand is you.

4. Post links to your book here on Goodreads.
Your reader is already here on GR by choice. Your book is already here on GR (isn't it? If it's not, FIX THAT.) They probably maintain their TBR list and potential purchase list (which may or may not be the same thing) right here. Your reader is perfectly capable of clicking the Get a copy link themselves on any book page, to go to their store of choice. Don't send them off the site, you want them to shelve your book here.
Definitely add links to stores, but in addition, not instead of, linking to your book here.
Use the "This post is about" at the top of the thread you started. Use the "Add book/author" to link to your book in your post.
4a. Many users will not on principle click url shortener links because we don't know where they're taking us. Don't use them.
4b. Don't assume your preferred store is mine. You can link me to B&N all day long, but I can't buy books there! Amazon is my choice only if it's exclusive, since there is no local store here. If your book is available in several places, link to your book page on your website, or trust that I, like many users, have my store links set up on my GR profile.

5. Don't post about your books in every single discussion thread. Even if it's relevant.

Imagine a thread is discussing a book trope:
Works: "I like books that do blah blah."
Works (but don't overdo it): "I like when a book does blah blah blah. I try to do that in my own writing."
Doesn't work: "In my book (insert name of book), I do blah blah blah."

It's not subtle, especially when every other writer ever does it constantly, and it's not going to win you fans. What it'll do instead is annoy people. Several groups I'm in would delete that post anyway! If you are interesting and engaging and can have an actual discussion, people will click on your profile anyway to see what you're reading, immediately figure out you're an author, and probably check out your books. If you treat everyone as nothing but marketing targets, they won't engage.

Mostly, don't spam. Treat each community (that is, group) as well as you'd like to be treated here.

message 2: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15382 comments Thanks for this insight, Krazykiwi. Always good to know readers' input and attitude and your post can be a good digest for recently joining authors...
All sound points! I'll need to revisit my own layout for compliance -:)

With all that, I suspect that if Rowling barged in on any discussion here with just anything, the GR community would be ecstatic -:)

message 3: by Marie Silk (new)

Marie Silk | 1022 comments That's all sensible stuff, Krazykiwi!

message 4: by Eldon (new)

Eldon Farrell | 701 comments Great advice here Krazykiwi :) I echo Nik's sentiment that it's always nice to get the reader's point of view!!

message 5: by Amit (new)

Amit Siovitz | 11 comments Very sound advice for a newbie like myself

message 6: by Nihar (new)

Nihar Suthar (niharsuthar) | 38 comments Good advice Krazykiwi! I'm an author myself and there is a fine balance between promoting your book and "spamming" others.

I think at the end of the day, you should add value in each community you are in rather than trying to spam and just promote your book.

message 7: by M.L. (new)

M.L. Don't try to be 'stealth' about book whacking either. I've been on GR for awhile too - and it is soooo obvious. :)

message 8: by M.L. (new)

M.L. By the way, I do know now that a lot of it is just plain old enthusiasm for your book, so there is that, but tread softly. :)

message 9: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15382 comments M.L. Roberts wrote: "By the way, I do know now that a lot of it is just plain old enthusiasm for your book, so there is that, but tread softly. :)"

So very true -:)

On the other hand, I think some groups exaggerate with restrictions. In one of the big ones, I remember they said, I couldn't even mention on introduction thread that I was an author, when introducing myself. That's too much, in my opinion, since most folks here are characterized by their belonging to the books either as a writer, a blogger, a reader or all of the above..

message 10: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 193 comments Nik wrote: "M.L. Roberts wrote: "By the way, I do know now that a lot of it is just plain old enthusiasm for your book, so there is that, but tread softly. :)"

So very true -:)

On the other hand, I think som..."

You're thinking too globally Nik, this is what I meant by treating each group as an entirely new community. If that group is entirely looking at books from the POV of "reader" then, in that group, act as a reader. That's the community they want to have. Even authors read, right?

Some groups don't allow any promotion at all, ever. There's thousands of groups, there's going to be some that aren't suitable for everyone. Just move on to the next one, there's plenty more.

message 11: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15382 comments Krazykiwi wrote: "Just move on to the next one, there's plenty more. ..."

True -:)

message 12: by M.L. (new)

M.L. Nik wrote: "M.L. Roberts wrote: "By the way, I do know now that a lot of it is just plain old enthusiasm for your book, so there is that, but tread softly. :)"

So very true -:)

On the other hand, I think som..."

One of the problems is that things snowball. If they don't want someone to mention something and someone does, then someone else will, and maybe they will add their book title or a link, then someone else adds maybe a passage; the discussion goes off track. So if that is not what they want the mods have to stay on top of it.

I also, however, find the paid-for GR adds from the trades just as bothersome. Try to get rid of one and half the time it just says 'why am I seeing this message' but can't get rid of it. So there is spam all over! :)

message 13: by Iryna (new)

Iryna Andriyevska (iryna_andriyevska) | 4 comments Here is my book:

It's a story of love, family, tragedy full of philosophy and emotions. I promise this is something totally new. You've never read anything like this.

I understand, that it is not that easy to buy a book almost without any reviews. So, if you want to read it, just mail me at and I will send you a free sample.

I would really appreciate any reviews left here and on Amazon.

Hope to be heard.


message 14: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 193 comments Well there is a perfect example f what not to do.

Read the thread you are replying to, don't just assume based on the thread title it is the place to promote, because it looks really bad when you get it wrong like this.

message 15: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi KK, providence? It's interesting how that happened.

BTW: All good advice.

message 16: by Krazykiwi (last edited Feb 04, 2017 01:21AM) (new)

Krazykiwi | 193 comments Graeme Rodaughan wrote: "Hi KK, providence? It's interesting how that happened.

BTW: All good advice."

More like inevitable, sadly. It always happens (I even mentioned it in #2 in the original post!)

Still, glad some of you are appreciating the advice :)

ETA: Iryna should write her book a proper description for it's book page. Readers won't buy a book based on a letter about why it was written, they want to know what it's about. Sadly I don't expect she's reading this anyway.

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