Friday, March 29, 2013

For Authors, Goodreads Now More Important Than Ever

Big news this week--Amazon agreed to buy Goodreads, the social network for readers that currently has 16 million members that have generated over 20 million book reviews.

As an author, this move is extremely exciting for me, as it could mean increased visibility for my books. Otis Chandler, the CEO of Goodreads, recently stated that book purchases made on Amazon could automatically show up on a person’s Goodreads shelf. That means if a person buys my book, all of their friends on Goodreads would see my book show up on the profile of the person who bought it. That’s exciting stuff, right there.

As a reader and Kindle user, I am very anxious to see how Amazon will integrate Goodreads functionality into the Kindle experience. Being able to interact with Goodreads while reading a book on Kindle will make sharing info about books I like much easier. That’s clearly a benefit for authors as well.

For example, let’s say I’m reading Sarah Petty and Erin Verbeck’s new book Worth Every Penny (which I am), which is about creating a boutique mindset for your small business and competing on value instead of price. If I read a really great piece of advice in the book, I’d love to be able to instantly go into Goodreads and generate a message board thread about it. As I continue reading, I could receive notification when someone else commented on my thread, allowing me to discuss the book with other readers as I’m reading it. That type of spontaneous discussion is great for readers and authors, and it’s consistent with the type of community that Goodreads already is.

To me, it now seems more important than ever to have an author presence both on Amazon and on Goodreads. As these two become more integrated, being established in those communities will give authors a leg up on those who aren’t there already.