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Any seasoned author (and their publisher) will tell you that a strong social media presence is a must for building an audience and, consequently, selling books. While most the conversation understandably revolves around Twitter and Facebook, there is a rising star in the book world:

According to the folks at Goodreads, "Goodreads is the largest site for readers and book recommendations in the world.... A home for casual readers and bona-fide bookworms alike, Goodreads users recommend books, compare what they are reading, keep track of what they've read and would like to read, find their next favorite book, form book clubs and much more."

I believe authors don't give enough time and importance to Goodreads. You see, this is a site where avid readers gather. You already have a built-in audience. They like books. You like books. You even write books. So it's easy to connect and build relationships.

Unlike Twitter and Facebook where there is so much noise and such a broad audience, Goodreads is narrow, simple, and mission-driven. To top it all off, Goodreads loves its authors. Through the Author Program, they've made it super easy for authors to build a presence on the site and connect with readers.

Some of the promotional activities you can do include:

  • Write a blog to help build an audience of followers. (Or tie your Goodreads account into an existing blog.)

  • Publicize upcoming events, such as book signings, virtual book tours, and speaking engagements.

  • Share book excerpts and other writing samples.

  • Write a quiz about your book or related topics.

  • Post videos.

  • Add the Goodreads Author widget to your website or blog.

  • List a book giveaway to generate buzz and encourage reviews.

  • Lead a discussion group for your readers.

  • Participate in existing discussions.

    Connect with other authors, and readers, in similar genres.

It only takes a few minutes to set up an author profile on Goodreads. And if you have any existing publications, you might already have an author profile that you simply need to claim and set into action.

This isn't the scary world of social media anymore––this is a community of like-minded friends. Now get out there and meet some readers!

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