Goodreads Basics for Authors

Goodreads is a useful social media platform for authors but some find it challenging to navigate and use. Here are a few tips for setting up your account, interacting with readers, and advertising.

Setting Up Your Account

  • Sync your blog to your author page.
  • Link your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • Add images (book covers) and videos (book trailers).

Interacting with Readers

At Goodreads avid readers share what they’re reading, what they want to read, and what they think of what they’ve just read. You’ll get more out of using the platform if you participate also as a reader, not just as an author.

  • Join groups that interest you and participate in discussions as yourself (not as your book or as an author).
  • Follow other authors you like.
  • Review books you like. (If you want to get reviews, you first need to give reviews).
  • Vote and comment on lists: Though you can’t add your own book to a list, you can always ask a friend to do it for you. 😊
  • Add books to your Want to Read list.
  • Set up Ask the Author and respond to comments.

Advertising on Goodreads

Are you on Goodreads? Leave a comment with a link to your profile so we can connect. You can find me here.

As Good as the Next Guy

At the supermarket I noticed a package of batteries with this blurb: Lasts as long as Energizer.

So, they're as good as the next guy.

Is that any way to advertise yourself? Is anyone going to switch battery brands (or, more importantly, start working with a "virtual" partner on mission-critical tasks) because they're "as good as the next guy" ?

Marketers talk about your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) for a good reason. If you can't show a prospect why you are the only possible choice, why you are the perfect match for them, ask yourself: why should they choose you?

If you're only as good as the next guy, what happens when the next guy gets just a little bit cheaper, or a little better, or both?

(By the way, even if you're far better than the next guy, if you can't show a prospect why you're a perfect match, consider the possibility that they aren't a perfect match for you.)

Corrupting Gift Culture

Have I got an amazing special for you!

You just know those words are going to be followed by a pitch, don't you?

First, I'll get the rant off my chest: telling me that you have $10,000 worth of 'products' for only $297 is selling, period. It's not special, it's not a gift. In fact, if these are electronic products with zero cost to reproduce, there's no such thing as a 'special' price because even if I only give you a nickel, your profit margin on that sale was 100%.

Folks looking for yet another tricky advertising gimmick (you can tell them a mile off because all their prices end in '7') are delighted to imply that they're giving you a gift, some amazing mega deluxe special extra deal, in order to make a sale.

Let's stop corrupting what the words 'gift' and 'special' mean. Don't you dare imply you're doing someone a favor, and then ask them for money. Making a smaller profit isn't a favor, it's business.

Remember when you used to be able to ask someone out for coffee in order to get to know their business better? Smart folks realised that by unselfishly learning about others in order to send them qualified prospects, our networks grew and in the long run, it came back around to us.

Selfish folks figured this out, and started asking networking victims out to coffee to 'learn about your business.' And then, as soon as they'd trudged through the formalities, the hard sell started. Pitch pitch pitch.

Try asking someone out for coffee so you can learn about their business. Watch the panic in their eyes, the scramble for an excuse. Selfish sellers have done their best to suck the juice out of an unselfish but brilliant method of organically, humanly, growing your business.

Promise me that you, yes you, reading right there, will never resort to deception, no matter how subtle, in your marketing or your business. Promise me that if you offer a gift, it is truly a gift, with no thought of return. Promise me that your 'special' price is actually less than what you've actually sold for in the past, and explain why you're reducing the price (otherwise, it just looks like you couldn't sell it for a hundred so you'll try fifty.) Promise me that you'll stop ending prices in the number 7 because even if it works, it's psychological trickery and it's unethical and immoral.

Find someone who's corrupting the gift culture which has been fundamental to civilization for thousands of years, and send them a link to this post. Let's make sure everyone everywhere knows that we're not gonna take it anymore. At the very least, the lazy clowns will have to find something else to corrupt.

Rise above the garbage and noise. You're better than that. You know that, of course, but you're afraid. I get it.

Sometimes being a hero is hard.

Why Aren't Business Ethics Ethical?

While studying real estate I stumbled across the difference between business ethics, and ethics in the real world. They're not necessarily the same.

Many industries, like real estate, have created a code of ethics for their members; a firm set of rules by which they must abide. And, as long as the follow those rules, they are officially ethical.

Thing is, two 6-year-olds on the playground know the difference between right and wrong, between fair and cheating. If your industry has a code of ethics, its purpose is not to provide loopholes, to let you get away with sleazy behaviour because it's not officially sanctioned by the code of ethics.

Don't ever misbehave just because there's not a rule saying it's wrong. Ask your 6-year-old. Or mine. They'll tell you what's fair.

Business Grows By Word of Mouth

word of mouthThis year my business has grown tremendously. I've been asked by several other solopreneurs how I advertise. I don't. Ninety-nine percent of my business comes from word of mouth referrals. This is the very best advertising a business can get and it doesn't cost a penny. A client who feels special tells other people. Those people in turn tell their friends. And so my business grows.

I checked the numbers. So far in the half of this year, my income has tripled what it was all of last year. And the business for the first six months of 2008 is ten times what is was the first six months of 2007.

So how do you get the type of word of mouth advertising that increases your income ten times what it was? Make your customer feel special and important. Each of my client's feel that they come first, and they do. They know that whatever they ask of me, I'll get it done, accurately, and in a timely manner.