I read a great post last week by Sabrina Ricci on her Digital Pubbing blog that analyzed bestsellers in varying genres.
What made the four books so successful? As Sabrina explained:
- The books were widely available.
- They were each of the highest quality.
- The authors and publishers used giveaways.
- The authors connected with readers in meaningful ways.
- Multiple strategies were used.
And in the case of The Girl on the Train, the publisher invested time and money in Goodreads.
[clickToTweet tweet=”‘Do yourself a favor and get this book’ @Jason_Matthews” quote=”‘Do yourself a favor and get this book,’ Jason Matthews”]
Otis Chandler, a founder of Goodreads, wrote a blog post calling The Girl on the Train the “it” book of 2015. Apparently Goodreads was a major factor in the book’s success and the momentum for the book built up quickly on Goodreads.
According to the blog post, influential readers helped the book become popular early on. Karen, one of the top reviewers on Goodreads, wrote a rave for an ARC copy of the book four months before The Girl on the Train was published. This led to many people adding the book to their bookshelves, as a reminder to read the book when it came out. And that led to the book trending on Goodreads.
Riverhead Books, which published The Girl on the Train, gave away 4,000 advanced copies to booksellers, critics, and readers, and did two giveaways on Goodreads. There were 50 winners, though 2,400 people entered the giveaway.
More people posted reviews on Goodreads and buzz was building around the book, so they got more author interviews and paid for more advertising in the month leading up to the publication date. More people kept adding and talking about the book on Goodreads, which led it to be featured on the site. Then Riverhead Books did two more Goodreads giveaways, and this time, 5,000 people entered.
Within two weeks, the book was a New York Times bestseller, and authors such as Stephen King started talking up The Girl on the Train. According to the blog post,`What’s also very different about The Girl on the Train from other books is the speed of which people have been reading it. This wasn’t a book people bought and then added to the pile on the nightstand. The Girl on the Train had become part of the zeitgeist — it was a conversation topic. And to be part of the conversation, you had to read it first, which people did in droves.’
[clickToTweet tweet=”Riverbed Books gave away 4,000 advance copies of The Girl on the Train + Goodreads giveaways” quote=”Riverbed Books gave away 4,000 advance copies of The Girl on the Train + Goodreads giveaways”]
The Goodreads Story as an Infographic
The Author’s Guide to Goodreads
My newest ebook, The Authors Guide to Goodreads, is now available for purchase on Amazon.
This is some of what you’ll learn when you buy it:
- How to get started the right way.
- What an author dashboard is and how to set it up.
- How nonfiction and fiction writers can benefit from this platform.
- An explanation of all of Goodread’s tabs.
- Features you might not have heard of before.
- How to set up your book giveaways.
- How to add friends strategically.
- Why it’s important to be an active reader, and not a marketer.
- Soft strategies for marketing your books.
Susanne Lakin, known for The Writer’s Toolbox Series, received an advance copy and said this after reading it:
With 40 million book readers on Goodreads, a writer would be remiss to discount Goodreads as a large part of smart book-marketing strategy. Caballo’s succinct The Author’s Guide to Goodreads on how to navigate Goodreads not only makes this foray into this huge world of readers simple through the use of clear steps accompanied by screen shots, it includes vital sections that show the best ways to include Goodreads in an author’s marketing strategy. An excellent resource for both fiction and nonfiction writers!
[clickToTweet tweet=”Invest time and money into Goodreads giveaways – they work @CaballoFrances” quote=”Invest time and money into Goodreads giveaways – they work”]
Jason Matthews, who is a successful author with so many reviews of his books I’m totally jealous. 😉 Here’s his review:
“When it comes to social media, Goodreads isn’t among the first names that pop up, but it should be. If you’re an avid reader or writer, there may be no better social media site. Since self-published authors need as much internet presence as possible, Goodreads (owned by Amazon) is a must. Using it well is what this book is all about, and Frances Caballo delivers as usual.
“When the author told me about the The Author’s Guide to Goodreads she had just finished, I knew I had to read it. Frances already taught me to use Twitter better, plus I sensed my involvement at Goodreads was lacking. I knew I had underutilized Goodreads but had I misused it? Unfortunately, I had.
“Within a few pages, I was at my author dashboard making changes thanks to Frances. Humbling too, because I’m supposed to be an expert on these things. My Goodreads strategy was limited to filling out an author profile, leaving reviews of some books I’ve read and listing those I’ve written. That was it, my involvement based on self-interest more than a love of reading and sharing. A bit shameful now that I think about it.
“The guide makes everything simple. Plus it’s fun. Frances reminds us it’s about sharing great books and connecting with people who love discussing them. There are plenty of screenshots to help newbies follow along to make the most of the site and get more enjoyment from it.
“If you’re a reader, a writer, or someone who wants to participate more in the Goodreads community, do yourself a favor and get this book.” – Jason Matthews, Author of Red Sparrow
[clickToTweet tweet=”Get in on the special promotion for new Goodreads ebook @CaballoFrances” quote=”Get in on the special promotion for new Goodreads ebook”]
Check out my special promotion. Buy The Authors Guide for Goodreads, send me a copy of the receipt (screenshot), and get a free book from me. Here are the details:
Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com. She’s written several books including Social Media Just for Writers, Avoid Social Media Time Suck, and Twitter Just for Writers, which is available for free here on her website. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writer conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Ask Frances to prepare a social media audit for you.