I’ve spent a good amount of time orientating and establishing myself on Goodreads in the past ten days or so. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have decided to make some adjustments to my social media activities. This post is about my learning curve and initial impressions.

First of all, it was refreshing to receive a reply from the Goodreads Twitter account when I tweeted that I was joining in. Just when I thought there weren’t many conversations left to be had on Twitter, I see that Goodreads posts some really good stuff there, and they do strive to engage users too.

The reason Goodreads came across my radar is that I was listening to a new book marketing podcast where they were talking about a new book released about Goodreads for authors by Frances Caballo. I grabbed that book for a quick overview, and it did help me assimilate quicker. Goodreads is decently user-friendly but some things seem pretty hidden and Frances’ book help with that as well as providing a good understanding of the culture on Goodreads.

I also found some very good articles online about Goodreads for authors.

From there, I worked on completing my profile and adding most of the books I’ve read in the past decade or so as well as several reviews. I also applied for an author’s page.

Next, I set off to find a few groups to join and, boy did I find some good ones! I settled on three: Audiobooks, Short and Sweet Treats, and, most thrilling to me, a Kresley Cole IAD group (I’m so in that fan club). Finding groups to check out was not the easiest thing, but I learned that using the tags list worked very well for me.

Listopia lists have been a curiosity for me for quite some time. After joining a few groups, I decided to create one about astrology books.

At this point, I had introduced myself on the discussion boards for the groups that I joined and began to contribute to the dialog where I could. I also followed authors and reviewers whose work I liked. So now I had a pretty good home stream to greet me when I visited, but I started to wonder about how to add friends. I hadn’t received a single invitation to connect since setting up my profile, and I was glad, but I also felt a little pitiful with a goose egg on the friend count.

After being on Twitter for so many years and being primarily a reciprocal follower who became a master of the list to see the updates of the people whose tweets I definitely wanted to see, I knew from the beginning that my strategy on Goodreads would be different.

I chose not to auto-invite any of my contacts as Goodreads offered when I initially signed up. I declined for the reason mentioned above and also because I wanted to customize every invitation I sent. That’s just good manners it seems. Instead, I honed in on criteria I wanted for friends on Goodreads before connecting with anyone. Namely, I want to find interesting people with similar reading interests who are also quite active on Goodreads.

I had already met several people fitting the criteria through the groups I joined. So I sent out a few invitations, customizing them, of course, and always checking the “compare books” feature to see if we have similar tastes. People have been so kind to accept the invitations. Several new friends replied right away with a warm thanks and hello. I’ve already discovered many books and audiobooks for my to-read list, and I’m excited about that. In fact, I’ve already read several. For a reading junkie like me, it’s heaven. I also love checking in on my Goodreads friends daily to see what they are up to and encourage where I can.

As a final exercise in jumping into the deep end with Goodreads, I’m doing a book giveaway. It started today and ends in a month on August 23. I have twenty-five paperback books laying around, and I’m so happy to have something to do with them now! A Goodreads Giveaway is essentially a raffle where people who enter can receive the paperback free. I am stunned to see that people have signed up already. It’s the most eyes I’ve had on the little book since it was published in February. Pretty cool!

All in all, I am so glad I took the time to join in on Goodreads. It feels social and interesting, a rare combination. I feel energized after hanging out there and checking in with friends, also rare for me as an introvert. If you enjoy reading and talking about what you read, you might like it there too.

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