Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Post #5

It's the first Wednesday of the month again. Time for another IWSG post.

I saw a presentation a few days ago on how authors can get the most out of Goodreads. One of the suggestions is to get involved in Goodreads groups. The idea is that you'll become known among readers who share an interest in your genre. You should be a member first, ie don't barge into the room with a megaphone announcing your book. Sound advice, but who has the time to get involved in more groups? I barely have time to write. I used to think I'm pretty good at time management, but lately, I'm wondering if my management skills are poor or if I just need more time to manage.

How about you? Any one had success with Goodreads groups?

Until next month, keep writing.


  1. I'm a member of several groups, but I don't have time to get really involved either. If that was my only focus, then maybe.

  2. Poor management of time. Sounds like my life. I hope you find some balance! Happy IWSG!

  3. I've been struggling with the exact same problem. I'm on Goodreads and I tried to get involved in groups but the truth is, I'm a writer -- my passion is writing. I have a day job (that I love) and when I get home all I want to do is write. Le sigh. Sorry, don't have an answer for your dilemma, but I just wanted to say that you're not alone. ;-)

  4. I don't have a book out yet, but I did wonder "who has time" as I was reading your post.

  5. Same here! I am a member of quite a few groups, but I don't have time to sit and chat it up all day. Also, unless I specifically mention at some point that I'm an author, who's going to go run and check? If I'm acting like a reader only, I'm going to be taken as a reader only. But if I act as an author, then I'm "self-promoting" which is against most Goodreads group rules.

    If you look, most of the groups have a thread for authors to promote their work. But then look at how many views those threads get: I'll tell ya now, it's not many.

    Goodreads is a place for readers. I think it needs to be treated as such. I would, personally, feel smarmy joining a group and acting like I'm there as a reader only to get in others' good graces and then slam them with my writing stuff.

    Anyway, I comment *when I actually have something to say* and make sure I review just about every book I read on there. Oh, and run giveaways!

  6. Just let me say, I have good intentions to get involved on Goodreads, but then again, it sounds boring to get involved with a group. I shouldn't say that since I haven't tried to do so. It is not at the top of my priority list, and I doubt it will even make it to #3 on the list. Sorry I can't help you with this one.

  7. My agent told me to join GR and its groups. I puttered around for a few months, long enough to find out that all of the people in the horror groups like authors and books I don't, so the chances of them liking my book are slim. Anyhow, I stopped participating. The only way to make sales I've seen work is having a good number of reviews on Amazon and having a 99-cent sale and getting the sale on newsletters like Fussy Librarian (free) or Bookbub (expensive).

  8. I feel your pain and as it turns out, I'm walking those same halls! I've recently joined Goodreads with the intentions of getting to know readers and have been following their advice to keep my author personality on the down low sort-a-speak. :) I handled their rule this way: If the conversation leads me to share that I'm an author, I shared it, but I didn't mention what I was writing. If someone asked, I shared it, but I never pushed it. As people got to know me and heard that I was an author, they naturally came over to my profile page to take a look around. I felt very comfortable doing it this way. But like you, my first thought is, "WHO HAS THE TIME!!!" For me, I've found that I really enjoy getting to know other authors. I quickly joined 3 groups that supported books that I write, but I quickly found that I don't have the time to join in all the conversations. However, I started a couple conversations and I aimed them at other authors. I asked questions, I brought up topics and I've slowly made solid connections with other authors. I've learned (by mistake) that struggling authors like myself are very willing to support another author's work. I've found support, friends, and potential readers. And if any of my author friends have a following and they loved and reviewed my book, then I can count on their fans spilling over into my work. In fact, I'm here commenting on your blog now because you commented on my post from Goodreads and I found this intriguing blog on your profile page.
    My advice is to start out small. Get involved in a couple groups, get involved in a couple conversations. I don't go chasing the threads looking for new topics to indulge in, but when I run across something that interests me, I jump in and stay in. At this moment, I may be following up to 5 conversations total. Another tip for making these connections count is to get personal. When you reply, look for opportunities to respond directly to someone. Doing this will make a more personal connection and carry on a more detailed conversation. You're more likely to find friends this way too. I know I have! And friends tend to become new readers. Another bonus to making reader friends is they are often willing to trade books and reviews. You're likely to find other authors who's writing is similar to yours and will be willing to exchange book for book with the promise of reviewing. And again, when authors review a book they love, they catch the attention of people who are their fans, giving you a larger fan base in return.
    I wouldn't discredit Goodreads so quickly, but as someone advised me early on, "Don't over do it. You're an author. Write. When it comes to making contacts and advertising your work, add a little to your plate at a time. But keep writing."

  9. I kind of decided that, as far as Goodreads groups, I had to approach them only as a reader, not a writer. Like Kat says, the promo feeds get basically no attention unless someone is adding their own book to them, and what's the good of that?

    There is one good thing I get from the groups, specifically as an author, and that's just interacting with and listening to the voices of current readers. What they like, how they feel about different aspects of books, old and new. Especially since my books are for an audience several years younger than myself - I like to hear that age group talk about their tastes and why or why not they like certain books. Helps me feel a bit more "in the loop." :)