How many books have you read this year? Did you like them? Would you recommend them to friends and neighbors? Although I know one person who keeps a spreadsheet of her reading, and I suspect that if my dad were still around he’d make use of Excel to track his list, most people read a book, talk about it a bit, and move onto the next selection.
But if you’re really into reading, Goodreads may be a site for you. You may have heard of it before, but if you’re non-tech-savvy like me, getting into new social media can be about as much fun as finding coal in your stocking at Christmas. Yeah, there’s a lot of volume, but where’s the fun?
As an author working on her “author platform” I need to dive into social media in a big way. I need to learn, play in, and become “popular” on a multitude of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and so on. I think there are more social media sites than there are days in a year. Whew! There’s even a site called “Netropolitan” just for rich people who can “invest” $9,000 to join and $3,000 a year after that to meet up with the “right” kind of people, and not us riff-raff who enjoy our freebies.
So, with my new burst of writer’s energy from my conference, I decided to get serious–or at least make an attempt to enjoy–some social media platforms. I think I have the blog thing down now. I’m ready for the next challenge.
Goodreads is a cool site where you track what you read, give reviews on other’s work, and get to “know” other readers and authors. Yes, real live honest-to-goodness authors with names you’d recognize. How cool is that? It even lets you set a reading goal for a year and keeps track for you on how you’re doing (right now I only show 7 books read for my goal of 24–need to update that–oops!)
Each time you read a book, Goodreads asks you to rate it. Yuck! This is the part I hate. I’m a pretty honest person, but I gave someone a three star rating once and she didn’t appreciate it (5 is the highest rating). I’d rather not rate people’s books, especially if I know them, but I also need to be active on the site. As a result, I won’t rate any book less than a three (unless I don’t know the author and it really is terribly bad), but I also I would have a hard time giving any book that hasn’t stood the test of time a five. Sorry my author friends!
Another really cool thing is that, as an author, I can do contests! I think they’re generally drawings for freebies of my newest books (like I have a dozen or so published a year), but still, this could be fun. I was going through the PowerPoint tutorials, and they recommend that I give away 10 books per contest. Ouch! With my shipping costs that adds up fast, but I understand that as many as 800 people enter these contests. It’s one way to grow my “popularity.” If you’re on Goodreads already, please keep an eye out next spring for my contest. While I’ll try to do something on this blog, it would also be great to have some of my regular readers here win on Goodreads.
Once I have the advertising and contest under control, I hope to become an active member of one or two groups. That’s right. Within this social group are more groups. The groups have discussions, question sections, and all sorts of ways to while away an afternoon (instead of reading?).
As with other social media, I think I’ll need an “involvement plan.” It’s so easy to lose a couple of hours in these great “cocktail parties on-line” if you don’t have a purpose for being around. So, for the next couple of weeks I’m going to focus in on Goodreads as my main social media in order to become better acquainted, then probably taper off to a once a week schedule for this.
What do you think? Do you have any Goodreads tips for me? How do you manage your social media experience? Are you “popular?” Is there a “Goodreads for Dummies” out yet? I’ve got the Dummy part down. All I need is the Goodreads part.