If you haven’t heard about Facebook by now … well, #youmustbelivingunderarock. Facebook has reined king in social media websites for the last few years. I like to think of it as the entity that brought about the death of myspace.  #yesihadamyspaceaccount #andhatedit

So, we already know about Facebook, whether we love it or hate it. It is a great place to promote yourself as an author. But I’m not here to talk about FB today. Nope, I would like to talk to you about another site. Think of it as the “Facebook for readers”; an author’s friend with benefits. #notthattypeofbenefit #getyourmindoutofthegutter ;o)

Which website do I speak of? Goodreads of course. 

I’m sure there are many of you who are very familiar with Goodreads and are probably scratching your heads wondering why I’m posting about this today. Well, just remember, there was a point in time you didn’t know about this site either. I know I didn’t.

In the last year, I’ve learned many things pertaining to writing and social networking. Goodreads is one of them. It’s a great site not just for authors, but for readers as well. You can connect with other like-minded people, compare and suggest books, join groups, create groups, connect with authors, and review books you’ve read.

Now, if you’re an author, you may be wondering, “Why is Goodreads so important to me?” Um … re-read my last paragraph :o)

This is one of the best places to promote your book(s), even your WIP. If your book is published, you can set up an author page. For WIP’s, there is a spot on your personal page for displaying your work. Other things you can do on Goodreads besides listing your book(s) is connect with other authors, reviewers, critique groups; and most importantly, readers.

I can’t tell you how useful this website is to a new author. You can host an event on Goodreads to promote a new book release, blog tour, book signing, even giveaways to help get reviews on Amazon and other places you may be selling your book.

Your event not only goes public (you can also make them private), but you can invite people to this event on Goodreads, Facebook, even via email. Of course, if you’re more of a Twitter buff, you can also promote your event via bit.ly or another shortening service.

Hosting an event for your newly released book is a great promotional tool. This gives readers a chance to read your work and review it. If you host an event, I would suggest you giveaway some free copies of your book in exchange for reviews. Don’t worry; you won’t offend anyone if you ask for this exchange. A lot of people on Goodreads love to get copies of free books for the reviews.

Having said that, you can turn these reviews into blurbs to hook readers that are teeter tottering over whether they want to purchase your book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, etc. With reviews, you gain credibility with future readers because, let’s face it; we indie authors don’t have a house backing us. Their name is what makes readers feel “safe” in buying a book.

Blurbs and reviews is what gives an indie author credibility. You can get blurbs and reviews by doing events on Goodreads, not to mention the fact that you can connect with other readers and writers. 

Before you use a review as a blurb, ask permission from the person who wrote the review. As I mentioned earlier, do this as an exchange for free eBook copies. Tell those in the event that in order to gain a free copy, you want them to write a review at (Fill in the blank: i.e. Amazon, etc) website and that their review may be chosen as a blurb for your book. Trust me, this flatters more than offends. 

If you haven’t already, go join Goodreads today. You’ll enjoy the site. While you over there signing up (or if you already have an account), add me, the Indie Book Collective, and ParaYourNormal as friends ;o)

Next week, I’ll be doing an interview with author extraordinaire, and my co-host from ParaYourNormal , Amber Scott. Her book, Fierce Dawn, is the next Bestseller for a day.

Looking forward to any comments on this weeks post. Thanks for stopping by!