Many authors spend a lot of time on Facebook hoping to sell some books. But Facebook is filled with people who aren’t readers, and who aren’t in the mood for buying right then anyway–they’re there to be social. So most of your time and effort results in no book sales.
A far better use of your time is Goodreads, say James L. Rubart and Thomas Umstattd Jr. (on their podcast called Novel Marketing). Goodreads is full of people in your target audience: readers, all of whom are looking for the next thing to read.
Now, plenty of authors are wary of Goodreads because the reviewers there are said to be harder to please than those on Amazon. If you’re one of those authors, you need to get over that idea and just plunge ahead. And, by the way, never read reviews. They’ll just either deflate you or give you a big head, says guest novelist and marketer Randy Ingermanson on the Goodreads podcasts.
Get your author page up and running, spend some time getting acquainted on Goodreads, and then start giving your books away. That’s right. Giving them away, through Goodreads Giveaways. You can give them away before they’re published, too–have the pub date be the close of the giveaway.
The Novel Marketing guys recommend you give away one book every month or so on Goodreads. Not five at a time or ten at a time–you don’t get any more interest that way. One will do. The cost of this is, by the way, nothing, other than mailing a free copy of the book to the winner. (If you have a publisher, you can ask them to do it.) But if you want to advertise it, that doesn’t cost too much either.
How to advertise the giveaway effectively? Identify a well known author whose work would appeal to the people who like your books. Advertise to the fans of this famous person, and them only. Since these fans are on Goodreads and they’re readers, they’re always looking for the next book. They may take news of your book very seriously, especially if you write the info in a tantalizing way.