Social Media and Marketing: Goodreads

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I’ll admit it. I’m not a big fan of Facebook or Twitter. I find both to be rather annoying in the way they try to wheedle into your personal life, although I do find Facebook nice for keeping track of family or friends who don’t live close by. Twitter to me sounds like a bunch of radio ads unless you follow someone witty and funny like John Cleese or Misha Collins.

However, both as a reader and a writer, I have to say that I really like Goodreads. When I first released my novel in January I did a giveaway there, which so far has resulted in one Goodreads review and a LOT of people adding the book to their “To Read” pile. I’ve joined fantasy and science fiction forums and gotten into discussions about things like dark fantasy, Tolkien’s writing style, representation of gender in fiction, and the availability of good clean fiction. As a direct result of these conversations, I have sold copies of my book. I’ve met other writers and bloggers willing to do reviews or host interviews on their blogs. And I’ve found books that I am enjoying as well. Of all my promotional activities to date, I have to say Goodreads has given me the most back. Maybe it’s because I like the site and I like participating there. If i liked Facebooks, maybe it would do more for me, but I don’t, and it doesn’t.

I keep reading the continuing debate between both new and established writers like Joe Konrath, Dean Wesley Smith, and others on the value or lack of value of promoting and having a platform. On the one hand I agree with Dean–if you don’t have a good book, you can promote until you’re blue in the face and it won’t do you much good. But on the other hand, I don’t have complete faith that a good book will find readers no matter what, with no promotion whatsoever. We’ll see what I think in about five years, but for now, I’m going to do both writing and promoting what I already have out there in the effort to build a readership. I enjoy blogging, and I enjoy discussing books and meeting people on Goodreads, and so that is the bulk of what I’ll do.

I just purchased some cheap advertising today for tweets from TheKindleReview (@Tweetthebook), posts to Pininterest, and a couple Facebook appearances, all for the low price of $5.00. We’ll see over the next few days if any sales results from that.

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