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How to Use Goodreads as an Author


See Full Version at Goodreads

At the end of March Amazon announced that they have reached an agreement to acquire Goodreads, so I thought it would be a good time to review how authors can use this web site and social network.

Founded in 2007, Goodreads is one of the leading online social networks for book lovers. Members can find books, see what their friends are reading, share recommendations, make lists of what they want to read, and interact with their favorite authors.

These people are passionate about books. More than 16 million members have added 530 million books to their shelves and written around 23 million reviews.

I was a latecomer to social networks so I’ve held off engaging on Goodreads while I built up my presence on other social networks. Now I realize it’s time to get more active on Goodreads.  I’ve been looking into how authors can use Goodreads and I’d like to share with you some of the best posts and information I’ve come across from around the Web.

Goodreads by the Numbers in 2012

The infographic on the right comes directly from Goodreads and provides a good overview of the key metrics at Goodreads around the end of 2012. Click on it to see the full size version at Goodreads.

They’ve already added another 3 million members since that was designed and I guess many more will be joining following Amazon’s acquisition.

The Complete and Unabridged Guide to Goodreads for Authors

In this post at Novel Publicity John Corwin explains how to set up your Goodreads account and join the Goodreads Author program. He also explains how to set up a blog feed to your profile page.

Adding Books to Your Shelves

One thing I did notice is that the buttons can be a little confusing when you are adding books for the very fist time, especially if they are books that you have already read.

Search for a book and you will see a button alongside it labelled “Want to Read”. The first time I couldn’t see any other option and had to consult the Help section (which is very good). Here’s what you need to do:

Look to the right of that button and you’ll see a small icon of three books on a shelf. Hover over or click that icon and you’ll have options to add the book to “Read”, “Currently Reading, or “Want to Read”.

Goodreads: Add a Book

5 Ways Writers Can Get the Most Out of Goodreads

In this post at Writers Digest, Goodreads Community Manager Patrick Brown discusses the following five ways that  authors can use Goodreads to their benefit.

  • Use Goodreads to help build your platform
  • Use giveaways to generate those all-important pre-release reviews
  • Make it easy for fans to write reviews
  • Join the discussion
  • Be a reader!

Would you like to connect with me on Goodreads? Here is the link to Gary McLaren at Goodreads.

Are you using Goodreads? What is your best tip for using Goodreads as an author? I welcome your comments below.

About the Author: Gary McLaren

Gary McLaren is the author of 'The Indie Author's Guide to Publishing Ebooks'. He manages several web sites for professional writers including and