Take advantage of literature communities – Goodreads


Image: Goodreads is an attractive platform for authors.

Facts about Goodreads

  • Goodreads was founded by US-American Otis Chandler in 2006. In the following years, the community developed very quickly and millions of members flocked to the site. Today, Goodreads has well over 50 million members that have written just as many millions of book reviews on the site – with numbers continuing to grow.
  • On Goodreads, Otis Chandler explains how he got the idea of creating a reader community: “One afternoon while I was scanning a friend’s bookshelf for ideas, it struck me: when I want to know what books to read, I’d rather turn to a friend than any random person or bestseller list. So I decided to build a website – a place where I could see my friends’ bookshelves and learn about what they thought of all their books. Elizabeth, my co-founder (and now my wife) wrote the site copy and I wrote the code. We started in my living room, motivated by the belief that there was a better way to discover and discuss good books, and that we could build it.”
  • In 2013, Othis Chandler and his wife and co-founder Elizabeth Khuri Chandler sold Goodreads to Amazon.

How do you register as an author?

  1. First you need to register as a general Goodreads member, either by using your email address or an exciting Facebook account if you have one. Register with Goodreads
  2. Once you are registered with Goodreads, simply log-in.
  3. Use the Goodreads search field to look for your book or your last name and then click on the search result.
  4. Now click on the author’s name. It is displayed under the book’s title. This is how you get to the author’s profile.
  5. At the end of the page, click on “Is this you? Let us know.” to let Goodreads know you are the author. After that, you will receive a message from Goodreads which will tell you that your normal member profile will be merged with your author profile. In addition, you will receive an email that will contain other information about the management of your author profile.

Use Goodreads as an author

You can (and should) use the many options Goodreads offers you to turn your profile into something that shows who you are as a person and author, this includes:

  • photo and resume
  • a list of your own favourite books or books you are currently reading
  • the chance to write editorial articles on your own blog which will create a fan community
  • announce readings, book signings and other events
  • provide reading samples
  • create competitions
  • post videos

Book promotion

There are different ways to promote your book on Goodreads. The most important are:

Take part in discussions

Simply browse the site a bit to find groups and books you find exciting and you feel like you’d want to contribute. Take part in the discussions and use the chance to let other Goodreads members know about you. But make sure you add value to the discussions instead of just talking about yourself. Otherwise people will find you an annoying attention seeker and ignore your books.


This means to give out free copies of your book to members of the Goodreads community. This will enable you to get as many reviews as possible and get attention at the same time.

  • Each author can determine how many books will be given away over a certain period of time.
  • Advantages: You don’t have to do much work because Goodreads will find the winners of the giveaway and distribute the books. Winners are selected depending on whether they have already chosen books from similar genre or were interested in similar topics.
  • Important: Goodreads recommend to have a giveaway that lasts at least one month and to give away at least ten copies of your book.
  • According to Goodreads, 60% of all giveaway winners eventually publish a review of the book they have won.
  • Goodsreads also recommend to start your giveway even before the book is published and send the books away on the day of publishing. This will create extra buzz around your book.
  • Keep in mind to have copies of your book at hand if you decide to give away hardback or paperback copies instead of eBooks.

Ask the Author

If you move the button “Ask your author” on your author profile from “off” to “on”, readers will be able to ask questions right on your profile. At first, you will be the only one who sees the questions but once you answer them, everyone will be able to see question and answer on your profile. So it is up to you to decide which questions to answer and which information you want to make public.


Tips from Goodreads: what you should avoid

  • Don’t react to negative reviews. It is more likely that you scare away new readers and won’t receive any new positive reviews or comments.
  • Don’t contact all readers who have put your book on their book list. You might mean well, but readers will be annoyed and see you as a spammer.
  • Don’t contact everyone on Goodreads randomly. Only send friend requests to people who are in groups you are a member of or who have been discussing topics with you.
  • Don’t only join groups to promote your book. You need to have a real interest in being an active and interested member of the group.


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