Subtitled ‘How to Find Readers’, this is another of Hausmann’s writing books crammed with common sense and down-to-earth advice.
First, I must pose a question: ‘If you’re a writer, do you belong to Goodreads?’ And, if you don’t, a supplementary question: ‘Why not?’ Goodreads may boast a membership of ‘only’ 65 million, but all those people read books. You’re a writer who, presumably, would like people to read your books. Here’s a community whose sole purpose is the promotion of books and reading.
The site currently boasts 68 million reviews and lists 2 billion books. Know of any other social networking site that can match that claim? So, if you write, and you don’t currently belong to Goodreads, please join. You can even set up a free author page to list and promote your books. This is surely a no-brainer.
Okay. To this book. It’s dedicated to the optimum use of Goodreads from the author’s point of view. As is the general case with Hausmann’s books, the relatively slim volume is packed with advice informed by her own experience. This is an author who writes about the things she really knows and understands. And she hands out her advice in easily consumed bites in plain language. There’s no mystery here, no pretending to help whilst keeping the real stuff secret, the way some purveyors of writing information go about their task. It’s all here.
There is, however, an important element to be aware of from the start. To get the best out of this book, you’ll have to do some work. Yes, you’ll have to make an effort.
In fact, I read this book in one sitting when I first received it, way back on 15th October. So why has it taken me so long to write a review? Quite simply because, apart from wrestling with the first draft of a new science fiction novel, I’ve been dedicating time to applying some of the advice Hausmann provides here.
Now, I currently have 1,339 books, 177 followers, and 3,860 friends on Goodreads. That means applying her advice is taking some time, as you’ll see when you start the process yourself (which you will, of course, won’t you?). I decided to wait until I’d followed some of the advice. At this stage, I can claim an increase in communications from readers, and I’ve barely started.
I’ve discovered all sorts of flaws in the information, gaps in listings, holes in my approach to Goodreads. I’m slowly plugging all these, but, given my numbers, it’s a long task, especially for a working author. But I’m convinced it will be worth the time and effort. One of the sections I’m really looking forward to implementing is the one about giveaways. This promises to be juicy!
Apart from the introduction, there are 33 separate headings in the book, so I won’t list them all here. I’ll simply explain that the book guides you, step by step, through the stages needed to make the best possible use of the site as a way of attracting readers to your books.
I have the book in both digital and paperback form. The paper edition is currently sitting on my desk at my left hand, open at the page I’m currently working through. Each day, after I’ve completed my word count on the novel, I spend some time working on changes to my Goodreads presence to optimise the experience for readers.
So, join Goodreads if you’re not already a member, and, if you are, have a look at this book and apply its lessons. I expect the process to be a valuable use of time and effort, and singularly more productive than all those distractions and procrastination devices we all employ instead of actually writing!
[Any review is a personal opinion. No reviewer can represent the view of anyone else. The best we can manage is an honest reaction to any given book.]