Indie Experience

I read all the articles and information about how to promote your book, but somehow it never seems to work for me and I end up feeling like it’s my fault and I must be doing something wrong.

This is what I have done in my quest to promote my books and more importantly, what the results were. I’ve also included the dates, as what worked two years ago may not work now!

Goodreads – Joined Sept 2012

This is a platform for readers and authors. Set up a record, add your books and claim your author profile.

Adding friends can be difficult as you do not know who will like your books. Initially I looked for people with similar backgrounds and interests, but one of my first condescending replies said ‘she would add me in the spirit of Goodreads T & C and that I was genuinely interested in her work.’ This then made me wary of adding new people.

I always think it strange that some authors never read and post reviews on Goodreads. It is a good way to gain friends who may add you based on a book comparison. Also writing reviews of other people’s work helps develop your critical thinking and your own writing. You should also post your reviews on Amazon as well.

Goodreads have a myriad of review groups, most of which are based on reciprocal or non-reciprocal reviews. Two of the best are The Review Group – 4 books in 12 weeks, non-reciprocal reviews. In the last year (2017) they have started specialising in genres, so you can choose which group you join. They also have one for one reviews, but these are not as good and your book could languish in the pool for a long time.

Swap Reviews is the best group if you want a single review. You review a book from the pool and then you can submit one of your own. The turnover is good and they won’t make a new pool until all the books have been taken up. You are therefore guaranteed a review within the month.

Goodreads Giveaways – this is where you can list a paperback to giveaway. You can specify which country you want to limit it to as the postage abroad can be very expensive. I did this once and gave away 2 paperbacks to the UK and the US. I got no extra sales or reviews from it. The details of the people who sign up are kept by Goodreads so you are not getting any follow up from this either. The only benefit is your book is added to peoples list of want to read which may raise your profile.

Linking Twitter to your Goodreads account (2013) is a wonderful way to grow your friends. I had over 1,000 followers on Twitter when I did it and went from 5 to 200 friends in the space of a month. As you grow your Twitter account this link will automatically keep generating new friends without any effort on your part.


Twitter – joined August 2012

This is by far the easiest platform to grow, but there are a few restrictions, especially in the beginning.

Aim to add 5 – 10 people a day. Look for those who like reading, books, literature etc. After 2 weeks (make sure you include weekends), delete those who have not followed back. Adding and removing too many people at a time causes Twitter to get annoyed, so be careful.

There are restrictions, you can only add up to 2,000 people. The difference between your followers and those following can not be more than 20% or Twitter will not let you add any more. This is why those who are not interested, or inactive on Twitter, need to be deleted. Once you have over 2,000 followers Twitter will start recommending you to other people and your following will increase without any effort on your part. These may not be quality followers and you don’t have to follow back if you don’t want to, but remember the 20% ratio.

How do you find quality followers who may be interested in your book? It is hard. Find an author in your genre and go through their follower list adding the people you think will be most interested. Alternatively do a search for readers, books etc. and again add the ones you think most appropriate. This is very time consuming and there is no evidence that this will result in more sales, but it does raise your profile and adds to the Goodreads friends.