Wednesday, July 13, 2011
As a writer with a book coming out in a week, I'm always looking for new ways to self promote and connect with other readers. This has been the most challenging part of publishing for me. Of course, this is probably not a great revelation to you. One of the most basic things writers learn about the business of writing is how time consuming marketing is. It doesn't matter if you publish with Random House or self publish. You are still expected to promote your book and find unique ways to do it.
A great way to connect with readers and writers is through Goodreads. This website has been around for awhile, but I'd always thought of it as just a book club where you could list what you are reading and see what others have got on their virtual book shelves. I hadn't really explored everything it had to offer. For example, there are tons of on-line groups that can be utilized to chat about books or even about writing. You can publish short stories to be critiqued, or get advice on problems you may be having in your work. If you are a fan of a particular author, there's probably a chat group dedicated to talking about their novels.
I recently discovered the author's program Goodreads uses for people who have published books or are about to. When you sign up for it, you have access to lots of resources designed to help promote your book. You can post links to your blog, pictures of your book cover, reviews, upload ebook copies or excerpts, set up promotional giveaways, and even buy ad space. Best of all, it's free--except for the ad space!
One of the things I like is called Self Serve Advertising. Goodreads has book launch packages available to buy which are perfect if you have the money for it. But if you are like me, poor as a church mouse, Self Serve Advertising is a great option. It allows you to budget your ad to fit your needs and run as long as you want it, too. It also provides a "stats" area so you can see how many clicks you get on an ad, the cost, how often it runs, and how many people add your book to their Goodreads bookshelf. I talked to several authors prior to using this and all were satisfied with their sale results.
I think what's also appealing about it is that it targets readers. I know that Facebook offers a similar approach to advertising, too, but I rarely click on Facebook ads. I feel that your chances are better of getting attention on a site that is focused on books.
Curious about Goodreads? They are easy to find at www.goodreads.com. I have to do some shameless self promotion now! Go to Goodreads to check out more info on my ebook, Nephilim, which comes out Monday, July 18. You can pre-order it at Borders or Barnes and Noble. To read an excerpt come to my website www.maryannloesch.com or follow my personal blog, Loesch's Muse at www.loeschsmuse.blogspot.com.