SECRETS REVEALED #3: Your Goodreads Author Dashboard

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The Author Dashboard on Goodreads bears some merit with a blog of its own, as it is riddled with ammo you might overlook if you don’t take the time to really inspect it. At first glance, it looks self-explanatory, even easily disregarded. It’s a sort of guidebook to the success and attention your book is receiving on the site, but like all things on Goodreads, it has larger value and tremendous potential, moreso than what may meet the eye at a glance. In this blog, I’ll go over each section of it and tell you the how, why’s, how’s and must do’s, and I’ll let you know what’s reliable and what’s not.

When you first log into Goodreads, it will take you to your home page. The home page doesn’t really require any explanation, but if you look to the upper right of the page, you’ll see “Author Dashboard” and your book cover with the number of people who added the book, rated it and reviewed it. Below all of that and slightly to the right, you’ll see “View Your Dashboard”. That’s what you want to click to follow along on this blog.

When you click on that link, you will find yourself on a page that is dedicated to your over-all Author Dashboard information. Personally, I use this page every single day, just as a way to keep tabs on what’s happening with my Goodreads progress. It’s a heck of a lot quicker than poking around page to page to look for what’s changed overnight.  Let’s start, as usual, by covering the left side of the page and moving downward. Continue reading

SECRETS REVEALED #2: THE RIGHT SIDE OF YOUR GOODREADS AUTHOR PAGE

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In my last blog, I revealed the functions, hidden and obvious, on the left side of the Goodreads Author Page. In this one, I see it only fitting to cover the right side before I go on to the messier and more technical things on the Goodreads Book page. That is not to say that the right side of the Author Page isn’t messy and technical. It certainly is, which is why you need to know how to use it. Although it has some major pitfalls and nasty snares, once mastered, it also contains enough hidden treasures to keep Indiana Jones’ bookworm little brother, Idaho, happy for a good couple of months. But why hunt for treasure when you can let your big brother (or sister, in this case) be chased by lions and shot at with poison arrows, while you wander behind and pick up the jewels that have been dropped during the chase?  With that in mind, get your rucksacks ready and put your fingers on your mouse. Again, you are probably going to want to pop open your Goodreads Author Page in a different window to  follow along from time to time so you can see what I’m talking about. Sometimes words don’t make sense unless you’re looking at the functions being described. I’ll try to keep everything organized and linear as I can for you, but making Goodreads make sense is always a real challenge. Please bear with me as I do my best to make sense of…well, what sometimes just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

OK, on to the meat and potatoes…and even some gravy, too. Let’s dive in. Continue reading

SECRETS REVEALED #1: THE LEFT SIDE OF YOUR GOODREADS AUTHOR PAGE

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In my mind, I liken the journey I’ve taken trying to learn my way through Goodreads to a hobbit on her first adventure. I left home, barefoot, with a bag of snacks and entered into a world outside the safety of my shire that I couldn’t at first comprehend. It was a cold place. Lonely, but I was surrounded by others, most who seemed as lost as me. And there were trolls. Lots of trolls. I had to learn my way around them, but there were so many that it was almost impossible. They pelted me with rocks and taunted me until I almost gave up my wanderlust and headed home. But, I’m a ginger and also Scottish. When they decode my DNA, it will spell s-t-u-b-b-o-r-n. So, taking a cue from the three little pigs, I decided that if I was going to survive in the Land of Goodreads, I was going to have to build a house of bricks. No, not a house of bricks. That wasn’t good enough for me. Instead, I’d construct a fortress made of stone, even diamonds, shining and Impenetrable. Well, I didn’t quite achieve my goal completely. Nobody on Goodreads is impenetrable, but you can still shine and have a pretty serious fortress if you know what you’re doing.

In order to help you all get started, since my first Goodreads blog was about the author bio and photo, I’m going to give you your first couple of stones by going over the functions you have on your author page, only there are so many that I’m going to do two blogs; one covering the left side functions of the page, and the other covering the right. There are so many on both it’s mind boggling, but I will try to remain as organized explaining them as I am able. Goodreads, after all, is basically a mess as far as it’s laid out, but once you can look at it bit by bit, it’s a lot less overwhelming than it seems. So let me begin… Continue reading

Goodreads: The Art and Science of a Good Author Bio and Photograph

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I’ll be honest.  From my own perspective as an author, Goodreads gives me a headache. It’s like an elephant. A giant, messy elephant. A giant, messy elephant lumbering through a fantastically confusing hedge maze and no matter what I do or what I try, I just can’t get around the elephant. In the beginning, I tried everything to make friends with it, but it’s not the friendliest sort.  I tried to go over it, but that didn’t work. Tried to slip past it, but realized that that was a mistake. Without the elephant, it would be so much harder to accomplish my Public Relations and Marketing goals. So then I decided to start trying to figure out how to ride that elephant. I climbed up onto his back, grabbed him by the ears and shouted, “Yee-haw!” as I kicked him in the ribs. He didn’t budge. So, never one to quit, I decided that I’d had enough and I was just going to eat him. And what does everybody say is the best way to eat an elephant? Yep, that’s right. Bite by bite.

So the first bite is going to be your author page. It’s the absolute first step in devouring the Goodreads elephant. And once you have your name and book title approved and you get that glorious “Goodreads Author” in the corner of your page, what do you do then? If your answer it, “SELL MY BOOKS!” then slow down! You might not think it, but even before you start marketing your book on Goodreads, you’re going to want to make sure that you have a solid, professional author bio. Why? Well, think back to your branding. You are not a person, per se, anymore, but you now have become a company trying to convince people to buy a product. You are the source from which those products come. Your books are your products, and people who consume products want to know where they originate. Are they quality? How long has the company been in business? Do likeminded people enjoy the merchandise?  I mean, it’s all in the research. You don’t want to buy your ice cream from a factory where they also fill bags of potting soil, right? Continue reading