Monday, January 25, 2016

Goodreads - Free Books and Connections with Other Book Lovers

If you don't already know about, you're about to be amazed. I learned about it as part of my continuing education as a writer. Since the site aggregates booklovers, it's a great place to have your book featured. One way to do that is to give one or more copies away. If you are a reader, this is a great way to get some free reading material. But everyone doesn't just get the free books, and it isn't first come first served either. The giveaways are really lotteries or drawings. But there is no entry fee. You just click a button to enter. The selection is not random like an actual drawing would be. Goodreads selects winners based on a number of factors, one of which is whether an entrant reviews books in the category of the one being given away. Another has to do with your shelves.

When you sign up on the site, you are prompted to start adding books. You build your presence by filling your "shelves" with the books you have read or want to read. You can rate and review the books you have read, and you can create new virtual shelves to put books on. So if you have a lot of romances on your shelves, you're more likely to win a giveaway of a romance.

Another feature of the Goodreads community is friends. You're friends can see what you are reading (even what page you are on, if you want to be meticulous), and what giveaways you have entered. You can see how this becomes a valuable promotion tool for publishers and writers. Of course, there are reviews you can read, just like on Amazon and elsewhere.

Many of the giveaways are of self-published books and lesser known authors, but the big publishers are definitely paying attention, and have entered the Goodreads arena. I am actually friends with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Simon & Schuster, and Harper. There are currently over 2600 giveaways running, which end at different times. Some of the more popular giveaways are a re-release of Stephen King's Misery, Nicholas Sparks' The Choice, and Arthur Conan Doyle's The Legend of Sherlock Holmes.

These are just a few of the fun ways you can spend time on Goodreads. Explore others yourself. And while you're there, friend me!