Goodreads’ Advice on Publicizing Your Novel

Goodreads posted an interesting article about the most effective ways to publicize your novel. Now, perhaps unsurprisingly, Goodreads talks about how effective Goodreads is for getting the word out about your new novel. That disclaimer being said, the article also raises some very interesting ideas.

I recently wrote about the importance of a platform. The article by Goodreads helps flesh out that idea, stressing that its important to have some sort of platform well before your novel is published. It’s because word of mouth is most important. Whether it’s in person or online (Goodreads, remember), book recommendations coming from a friend tend to sway readers (click on the chart in the original article to see a bigger, easier to read version). But it’s not enough to simply let people know via Facebook and Twitter that you have a new novel coming out. You need to get those people talking about it.

But what caught my attention is how early an author should start to publicize his or her new novel. The article says authors should start building buzz about six months before the novel is published. Things like giveaways, contents, and early reviews are a great way to publicize your novel and get people talking.

The other interesting point in the article was that you can’t just publicize your novel once around the publication date. You need to keep up your efforts and keep that conversation going, because not everyone will learn about your book at the same time or in the same way.

One thing the article did not mention is the amazing variety of ways you can get the word out. And with the power of the internet, there are always new ways to publicize your novel: podcasts, video podcasts, guest blogging, online book trailers. C’mon, you’re creative, so get creative with your publicity efforts. Get people talking early, and keep them talking. Earn your advance, and (fingers crossed) get that contract for your second novel.

What do you think? Did I forget some methods for publicity? What do you think of Goodreads’ results? Leave your comment below.

3 thoughts on “Goodreads’ Advice on Publicizing Your Novel”

  1. Great post! As a writer with a work in progress, I’ll definitely keep this in mind. What about actually getting the attention of a publisher? I suppose it helps to have a finished product first, but how can one effectively market to potential publishers?

    1. Yes, step 1: a complete, edited manuscript that has been read over by a few beta-testers (not friends or family, but people who will give you an honest critique–but remember, your readers are probably good at telling you where your story falters, but they may not be so good at telling you how to fix it).

      Step 2: if it’s a novel, you might be better off trying to get an agent before you get a publisher. Check out this link: http://litreactor.com/columns/storyville-how-to-get-an-agent. Another trick is to start thinking about books that are similar to yours. Look in the acknowledgements to find the agent. Then do a little google-fu to see if they are accepting new clients.