Home » Advertising-Promotion-Marketing, Social Media » How an Author Should Use Goodreads

How an Author Should Use Goodreads

28 October 2011

From the Novel Publishing Group:

Facebook, blogs, and Twitter are great ways to push traffic and make yourself known, but how many of your connections on those websites are in your target market?
That’s where Goodreads comes in. If you don’t know what Goodreads is, please slap yourself again.
Goodreads is the Facebook of readers and writers with 5.5 MILLION members. There are hundreds of reader groups/clubs on Goodreads with thousands of avid readers all eagerly awaiting the arrival of good reads. Get it? Good reads. OK, fine, it wasn’t that funny. Shut up.

. . . .

Goodreads has so many beneficial ways to help writers connect with readers that I can’t possibly cover them all in one blog post. That’s why I’ll concentrate on the first things you should do after going to Goodreads.

. . . .

Join the Goodreads Author Program

To join the author program you must have a book already published or be in the process of publishing a book. If your book is already on Amazon.com or BN.com, then a search will usually pull up all the information you need to create an author page. Otherwise, you’ll need to manually add your book here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/new

Assuming your book is already published or you’ve manually added it, do the following:

  1. In the search box, type in your published name, i.e. ‘John Corwin’
  2. Look for your book in the list of results. When you find it, click on the author name instead of the book.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find a question: ‘Is this you? Let us know.’
  4. Click on ‘Let us know’
  5. The next page will ask you to confirm that you’re the author of the book.
  6. Enter a message: ‘Please add me to your authors program’ (or something of that nature) in the provided message field.
  7. Wait.
  8. Wait some more.

It will take Goodreads a day or so to process the application. In the meantime, go to your profile by clicking on your name in the upper right corner of Goodreads.

Click ‘edit profile’ to the right of your name. This is your personal profile. The picture and other information you enter here will only show up on posts, reviews and personal things you do on Goodreads. The author profile will show up to people who click on your name or look at your books.
. . . .

Goodreads has finally approved your application for the prestigious rank of Goodreads author, shared by only 26 thousand or so other people on Goodreads. You’re in the top 5%! Can you say gold star?!

After affixing that gold star to your forehead, refrigerator, or surface of choice it’s time to get down to brass tacks and tackle your Author profile.

You didn’t think all that work to get an author page was the end of it, did you? No, no, no, my dear authorial writer of words person, now we have to augment this august authorial status of yours so that readers will see and take notice of your newfound awesomeness.

  1. Click on your name in the upper right corner. This will take you to your author profile.
  2. Click ‘edit profile’ next to your name.
  3. Make sure all the fields are filled out to your satisfaction, especially the biography.
  4. On the right, you’ll put your tastefully appropriate picture that was not taken by Glamor Shots or during prom (otherwise slap yourself).


. . . .

Goodreads Widgets

If you have a blog, you’ll want to add the RSS feed so it’ll show up on your Goodreads page. This way you’ll generate some extra traffic to your blog. Writing blog posts is another topic altogether, but in my opinion, you’ll want to write in a similar voice to what you use in your novels. This will give your blog an identity and brand that readers can count on finding in your books. In other words, if they like your blog, they’ll probably like your books.

You can also host your blog entirely on Goodreads, but I recommend you use a dedicated blogging website like Blogger or WordPress. There are many more blog-sites out there, but these are the largest and easiest to configure when it comes to third-party apps.

To syndicate your blog on Goodreads, we’ll first need to find the RSS or Atom URL for your blog.

  1. Go to your blog, i.e. http://johncorwin.blogspot.com
  2. On Blogger, scroll all the way down to the bottom and look for ‘Subscribe to: Posts (Atom)’
  3. On WordPress, look to the right of the posts for ‘RSS – Posts’
  4. Right-click on that link
  5. Left-Click on ‘Copy Link Address’
  6. Go to Goodreads
  7. Click your name in the upper right corner to go to your author profile
  8. Click ‘edit profile’
  9. Under your picture, click ‘add/edit blog’
  10. On the right side look for ‘External blog feed URL’
  11. Click ‘change’ if the URL field isn’t showing
  12. Right-Click in the space
  13. Left-Click ‘paste’
  14. Your URL should now show up and look something like this: http://johncorwin.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
  15. I recommend check-marking the ‘Show full post’ box
  16. Click the ‘add feed’ button
  17. Practice your evil laugh.

Link to the rest at Novel Publishing Group

Advertising-Promotion-Marketing, Social Media

14 Comments to “How an Author Should Use Goodreads”

  1. Now this is useful. I’m just starting to get my head around Goodreads both as a reader and a writer, and I’m finding that I am beginning to spend more time there, and enjoying what I find.

  2. To syndicate your blog on Goodreads,I’m stuck! Would you please help? I got to here:
    Click ‘edit profile’on Goodreads, but under picture, just found “delete/change photo | more photos (0)”.
    Can’t see anything about adding/editing my blog… I have my wordpress blog under my webpage but this is obviously not the same thing… help pls?

    Practicing my evil laugh.
    Thanks, Lizzi

    • Hey Lizzi,

      Did you check out my full post over on Novel Publicity? It should all be pretty step-by-step and straightforward. If you’re still having issues, shoot me an email johnhcorwin (at) gmail and I’ll see if I can figure out what’s up.

      Also, if you guys are interested in a super serious and easy way to write a book in 10 easy steps I have a blog post on that as well.

  3. OMG! Thank you thank you thank you for this post! I’ve been re-posting blog posts on goodreads by hand! Thank you!

    TK Kenyon

  4. As an author, I’ve actually found the most helpful reviews and feedback on my books from the readers on Goodreads. If you can learn how to market in that space, it’s a good way to generate buzz.

  5. One thing to keep in mind about Goodreads is that these are readers, not professional reviewers, who are giving feedback. You need a thick skin if you are going to read the comments. They often forget there’s a real person who wrote this, and the comments can range from very complimentary to downright savage. Don’t obsess about it.

  6. A professional reviewer is just a reader with a megaphone.

    A critical review means that that reader found something wrong. Only very rarely does what the reviewer says identify the mistake, and most of those are mechanical (spelling, typography, &ct.)Keeping that in mind can help avoid obsessing.


  7. Thanks for this post. So much to learn, so little time to write now I’m into the promotion phase.

  8. Thanks for sharing our post, Passive Voice. Glad you liked it. We have many many more like this on GoodReads and a whole barrage of social media sites over at http://www.novelpublicity.com 😀

  9. This is such a clear explanation of the process, even I can follow it. I’ve been a Goodreads member for a while, but only vaguely thought about having an author presence there.

    After slapping myself (Thanks, John, I needed that…) I rushed right over to Goodreads and started the process. Now I’m going to read the original post to continue my Goodreads education.

    Thanks to John and to PG for finding this post. Fabulous!

  10. Thanks for sharing this, PG. I love Goodreads as a reader, and I only imagine I’ll love it more once I’m published. I have often wondered how the heck one gets to be a Goodreads author from being a member. Now I know!

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