In the world of publishing today, one of the industry’s main concerns is how to make their books discoverable and findable by the buyers who want them. With the hyperabundance of media assaulting us at every turn, this issue of discoverability is one that needs a solution, and fast.

This is where websites like Goodreads come in. Goodreads is owned by Amazon and works as an online catalog for books. It makes lists, categories, recommendations, and other sorting tools to facilitate connecting readers with books.

In addition to helping readers, Goodreads and sites like it help publishers connect with and learn more about their potential customers. Because Goodreads lets readers create their own personal “bookshelves” of books they’ve read and books they want to read, publishers can get an accurate picture of readers. They can also see what genres are popular, which authors are being read, and even what books readers are currently reading and whether or not they finish them. This information is crucial in today’s publishing landscape and shows the potential the internet has for precise marketing and directly responding to customers’ wants and needs.

As well as connecting with people who are already interested in their books, Goodreads also allows publishers to connect with people they would not normally market to or would not be able to reach, such as non-readers. Again, this represents an unprecedented opportunity.

Angela Tribelli, the CMO at HarperCollins, said, “I’m excited about the ability to leverage other audiences that we might not be reaching on a day-to-day basis.”

Finally, Goodreads also works as a way for authors to connect directly with their readers. Goodreads runs an Author’s Program to help facilitate this connection, allowing authors to promote and advertise their books through the site, have giveaways of their books, and respond directly to readers’ questions. The Program is open to both established authors and authors who are in the process of writing a book, evening the playing field for these newer, lesser-known authors.

Obviously, Goodreads and sites like it represent a new way to connect with readers and make finding books and making books available easier than ever.

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