Many of you have probably heard that publishers are doing less and less to promote their books, and so authors are expected to take on an ever-increasing share of the marketing load. This of course varies depending on the size of the publisher, the author, and the book–but in general, it’s true. While authors may be aware of this responsibility, they may not know where to start. There’s many routes you can go–with in-person promotion and print/social media–but let’s start with an easy one that you can do RIGHT NOW: Goodreads! You may already be a Goodreads member, but did you know they have an Author Program that’s free to join, easy-peasy to navigate, and can help you promote your books and reach more readers?

Goodreads’ Author Program, as described on their website, is “a completely free feature designed to help authors reach their target audience — passionate readers.” Here’s just a handful of ways you can use Goodreads to promote your work:

  • Host a Book Giveaway: If you have a book soon to be released (or newly released), host a giveaway to generate some buzz. And of course, publicize the giveaway on your social media platforms of choice.
  • Participate in a Q&A: You have the option of allowing Goodreads members to ask you questions about your books. This is a fun way to engage readers and grow your fan base.
  • Link your author blog to Goodreads: Let Goodreads grow your blog subscribers–they’ll email your Fans whenever you have a new post!
  • Promote your events: Use the Events feature to promote all your author events–whether it’s an in-person book launch, or an online blog tour, etc.
  • Make friends: Just with all social media, you need “friends” to build your audience base (and get the most out of the above tips!). Link your Twitter/Facebook to search for friends that are also on Goodreads.

These are just a few ideas–get creative! And here’s a more detailed article from Goodreads’ website on how to use the different Author Program features. Ready, set, promote!