Visual Quill Blog

Benefits of Using GoodReads as an Author

VQ Staff - Thursday, August 18, 2016
Being active on social media is an important part of marketing yourself as an author and building an author platform, and what better than to use GoodReads, a social media site for readers and authors specifically! Here are just a few of the benefits of using GoodReads as an author:

1. Author profile

  • The most important part of being an author on GoodReads is to get an author profile! To do this, you must first make a basic GoodReads account if you don't have one already. Then, if your book (or multiple books) is in their database already, you can claim yourself as the author. If not, you'll need to complete a form with all of the details of the book. Once it gets approved into the database within a few days, you'll be able to do the same and claim yourself as the author. From there, complete the author profile with as much of the information as you would like to share. After all of this, you'll be able to market yourself on GoodReads with some of the below ideas.
2. Book giveaways
  • Everyone likes free books! According to the GoodReads website, 825 people on average enter win each book giveaway. They say the most successful book giveaways last a month and it is best to offer away ten books. That said, even those who don't win the giveaway are more likely to purchase and read your book because if they entered to win a free copy, that means they probably want to read it!
3. Connecting with readers/authors
  • Whether you join a GoodReads group or create one yourself, groups are a great way to connect and talk with other authors in a forum-like setting. With an Author Profile, you'll be able to create a Featured Authors Group where you can talk to fans of your work. They'll have the chance to ask you questions and you can promote and spark interest in your upcoming work!
4. Self-serve advertising
  • With advertising on GoodReads, you can target an audience and even specify which genres to target as well. Running advertising while doing a book giveaway can lead to even more entries.

Authors of Instagram

VQ Staff - Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Deciding which social media platforms to use is an important part of successfully marketing your books. Using the platforms that your fans are on is the first step. Instagram is one of the most visual of the platforms and is most popular with millennials. With the image as the main focal point of each post, photos that grab a users attention make for the most engaging posts. As an author, here are a few fun ways to utilize Instagram:

1. Document the writing process

  • Readers and fans are always wanting to know about your day to day activities as you write your book. With the brand new Instagram Stories, you can give your followers a behind the scenes look at your typical day without filling up their feeds. Instagram Stories, very similar to Snapchat Stories, last for 24 hours and live at the top of the Instagram feed. They were introduced as a way to prevent over-posting and are a perfect way to document and share your writing process with your Instagram followers.

2. Cover/illustration sneak peek

  • Sneak peeks are always exciting to people! Whether it be the unveiling of the cover, a part of an illustration, or even a short snippet flipping through the book, this is sure to get readers interested!

3. Cover contest

  • Can't decide between two cover designs? Let your followers help you! By engaging readers in the process, they'll become more invested in your work.

4. Showcase your other passions and hobbies

  • If you have a loyal group of fans who enjoy your writing, chances are they might even have similar passions and hobbies! Opening up about the things you do when you're not writing is a great way to connect with your followers!

5. Outreach to other authors and readers

  • Social media is a great tool to connect with people all over the world! By connecting and following other authors and readers, you'll stay up to date with what's current in the industry and hear more about what other authors are up to.

6. Use relevant hashtags

  • Don't have a ton of followers on Instagram? Use relevant hashtags to get your pictures seen! Need help getting started? Here are a few popular hashtags used for writers: #WriterWednesday, #AmReading, #AmWriting, #AmEditing, #AuthorsOfInstagram, and #Bookstagram.

In need of social media marketing assistance? Visit our social media/marketing page and contact us today! And if you don't already, follow us on Instagram!

Book App: Shelfie

VQ Staff - Monday, August 08, 2016

Nowadays, most people have heard of the word "selfie". In fact, it was added to the Mirriam-Webster Dictionary in 2014! It's defined as "an image of oneself taken by oneself using a digital camera especially for posting on social networks". As authors, readers, and general fans of literature, you may or may not have heard of a similar word, a SHELFIE which is a picture of your bookshelf. 

The app Shelfie by BitLit has recently caught our eye. The app allows users to take a "shelfie" and get some from discounted or free audiobooks and e-books! All you have to do is point your camera at your bookshelf and Shelfie digitally recognizes which books you own and points you to eligible books available for free or discounted prices. To learn more about Shelfie, click the image below.


PNWA Conference Session Tweets

VQ Staff - Monday, August 01, 2016

Last weekend we presented at the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Conference! With our panel of experts which included, Ross Swartwout, Scotty Iseri, and Gerri Russell, we discussed the importance of author platforms and how to effectively build them! Throughout the presentation, we tweeted out some "nuggets of wisdom" from our session. So, if you weren't able to be at the PNWA Conference or our session, here are a few takeaways from the presentation:

Whether you were at the PNWA Conference or not, we hope these tidbits of information can help you begin the process of building your author platform! Let us know if you're interested in any of our author services - book covers, book trailers, branding, author websites, social media and marketing, independent publishing, and more!