Author, Actor, Playwright, Excellent Parallel Parker

Rules of the Lake and Ashes to Water are now available for Kindle and Nook!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

In Which I Give Away my Book on Goodreads

In keeping with my compulsive need to give Ashes to Water every advantage while in its infancy, I’m trying to tap into the phenomenon that is Goodreads.  Do you belong?

If you don’t know about Goodreads, it’s a giant book review/swap site where people friend each other and talk about books.  It’s like Facebook for readers. I was in a twitter chatroom with the founder, (he SAID he was the founder, anyway) and he was tweeting about all the ways Goodreads promotes authors and book launches. (Spellcheck wanted to turn that into ‘book  lunches.’ Ha ha. Funny spellcheck.)

I first heard about it three months ago when an author on NPR mentioned it. She was surprised that book promoting no longer meant you get on an airplane and fly to as many bookstores as will have you. Now, publishers run “giveaways” on Goodreads (and Amazon, and book blogs), and put an author’s book in as many hands as they can afford, hoping recipients will write positive comments and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

So, I was twiddling around on Goodreads, trying to figure out the second tier applications when I inexplicably dropped money I don’t have into their pay-per-click advertising service.

I remembered a woman in the chatroom saying she did this, and had results. Maybe I should have asked, “What results?” Maybe she was talking about finding her true love, which I have already, in which case I just paid for something that could be quite awkward if it actually showed up.

With pay-per-click, Goodreads runs an ad for your book, people click on it, you pay a certain amt per click. They can target the genre so that you aren’t waving your mystery/thriller in front of people worrying about who moved their cheese.

I also signed up to give away three books. One got snagged almost immediately from a woman named Irene, so I took it as a sign. She told me she saw my book on Amazon, and went to Goodreads to see if anyone was offering it for free, and ta da, there it was. So I printed out a Goodreads-generated address label (Goodreads even pays for postage which about floored me), and sent the book off. I signed before sending, of course, and threw in a free bookmark (a little extra something, huh, huh?), and there it is. My book’s first good home.

I’m still new to all these viral platforms for books, readers, and writers, and quite fascinated by them. "You have to give to get” these days, and with the layering effect of pay-per-click, I’m hoping Ashes to Water will find its way into loving hands.


  1. I heard that piece on NPR and thought of you! I'm guessing I'll get my copy in the mail any day now.

  2. Thinking about "You have to give to get" spellcheck wants to turn that into "good caramel".

  3. Robyn, I will gladly supply you with many books if you'll join me in my evil plan. You know where to fine me. Irene

  4. Good caramel. Ha ha. Silly spellcheck.

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