Goodreads for Authors: How to Use Goodreads to Promote Your Books by Michelle Campbell-Scott.

This book is excellent not only for the logical progression of content but also for the direct links to the appropriate pages in Goodreads. The hot links in the Kindle edition not only take you to specific Goodreads pages but also allow you to come back directly to the correct page in the book so that you can continue in sequence. It’s more than a “how-to” book; it shows you what do each step of the way in what is a very complex web site that isn’t easy to learn. Without this guide, I would have been completely lost even though I access dozens of web sites regularly and am familiar with their site plans. I probably need to go back and re-read it again and practice using each of the sections online.

When I started actually using Goodreads I started with selecting genres and manually adding a few books that I had recently read.  Then I imported 160 books from my LibrarianPro database, and that activated the Goodreads’ algorithmn to offer me some recommendations. My database included only the newer books that I can scanned in the barcode for and didn’t include most of the older books in my library that I didn’t want to enter manually.  I joined a couple of groups and regularly read their posting, set up an author page and identified my books, and filled out all of the details of the profile page. I linked my blog so that it posts to Goodreads; it already linked to Facebook and LinkedIn.

Although I have been using the site a couple of months, I still find it awkward and not intuitive to find my way around. Some people expressed dismay when Amazon bought it fearing that it might question the validity of the reviews since Amazon already has its own system of reviews.  The Amazon recommendations don’t work as well for me as those on Netflix perhaps because I buy from too many different subject areas.  I don’t think it will be a question of integrating the two systems as much as that Amazon has a lot more resources and probably can improve the site.

Only one of my personal friends is on Goodreads, and that’s how I was introduced to the site.  But he doesn’t post, and none of my other friends use it.  I am “following” a few authors I know, but I haven’t made any friends in the groups I joined.    The updates on postings from the Goodreads groups are harder to follow than those from the LinkedIn Groups.  (I belong to eight groups on LinkedIn.)  I’ve posted several book reviews on my blog in the past because I read across a wide range of subjects even though I read almost exclusively non-fiction.  I even wrote a post noting the Charlie Rose and Fareed Zakari are my primary sources of locating new books.  I only post to this blog every couple of weeks because I simply can’t devote any more time to it.  For people who have been on Goodreads for years I can see how it could be helpful in tracking books of potential interest.

I just have found the learning curve slow and wonder what experience other authors have had.

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