How to Rock Out on Goodreads

by | Mar 8, 2016 | Goodreads Marketing & Promotion, Social Media for Authors

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We hear about Goodreads over and over again. Some of us have been on there for a while with little or no activity while some authors have yet to hop on. A select few, however, have really turned Goodreads into a rockstar way to promote their book.

If you aren’t familiar with Goodreads, a bit of backstory first. Goodreads is not new on the scene, in fact it’s been in business since December 2006.

Profile:  When you first start with Goodreads, you’ll be a “user.” Once you have a user profile, you can upgrade to an author profile. When you upgrade to an author profile, you still have a user profile – you may choose to ignore one or the other, but be aware that two exist.

There are a lot of articles out there on creating a great profile on Goodreads. Just be sure to include a professional headshot. A number of authors opt for a professional shot, but not a studio shot. They do more of a candid but still pro shot.   And don’t leave any of the areas on your profile blank; fill in the “about you” section, “books you like to read” section, etc. You can also leave the ‘Ask the author’ option on to allow fans to engage with you.

Here’s a quick link to the author profile info on Goodreads:

Much like any social media site, you want a solid profile, a good picture – a strong bio. If you’ve won awards for your writing be sure to brag here.

Adding your blog to your profile is a fantastic way to promote yourself on the page. Your readers will get to know you as you consistently post good content. Also, it’s a good bit of “SEO juice” with your followers because a blog post on Goodreads generates a link (and hopefully traffic) back to your website. Simply add your blog feed by clicking on the drop-down arrow, then “edit profile” next to your picture (at the top right-hand side of the page).

Also, if you have a book video or an author video, be sure to promote it on Goodreads. It’s easy to add video once you’re in the profile settings. Also, it’s best to pull the video directly from YouTube (upload it there if you haven’t already) instead of from your website. In most cases websites hosting services will charge mega fees to host videos on your site due to the increased bandwidth. Also it’s never a bad idea to have a YouTube account, considering that video is a big social media tool.

Adding your book:  Something to consider when adding your book is that the system won’t allow you to enter eBook only versions, so be sure to list the ISBN 13. The system will more easily find it that way.  If for some reason you can’t find your book (or rather the system can’t identify it) you’ll want to contact one of the Goodreads librarians to do this.

Be sure to search for your book and to move them over to be listed under your author profile. Combine editions to make sure all your reviews are listed in a big group and not spread out over your Kindle, paperback and hardback editions.

A Quick and Simple Action List for Goodreads

In order to build your presence on Goodreads, you’ll need to be active. This doesn’t mean you need to be on the site daily. If you can, great, but if not, that’s fine too. But at least once a week:

  • Add a new book to your shelves—one you’re reading, one you want to read, or a book that has inspired your writing.
  • Write a review for someone else’s book. If you do a lot of Amazon reviews, you can simply repost that content to Goodreads. And to make yourself the real “darling” of the review world, grab your Goodreads review and cross-post it to Amazon. Wouldn’t you love it if someone did that for you?
  • Rate books. It’s easy. You don’t even have to write a review; just give stars.
  • Blog post. If you update your blog weekly, that’s fantastic; if you don’t, at least update your Goodreads status once a week. It doesn’t have to be a long post. You can just add a favorite book passage or an author quote. You’re aiming for profile activity.
  • Post to a group, make a comment, or respond to someone’s question.
  • Add friends at least weekly. You’ll find people in groups that you want to friend, or reviews you want to follow. Building a healthy friend list is key to expanding your network (and getting more reviews) on Goodreads.

In my next post, we’ll cover how to maximize giveaway results on Goodreads. With 40,000+ readers entering a giveaway every single day, it’s worth your time and effort.

Resources and Downloads

How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon – 2020 Updated Edition!: Learn how to turn Amazon into your 24/7 sales machine!


  1. Dr. Barry Nadel

    Do you provide professional marketing on Goodreads?

    • Penny Sansevieri

      Hello Dr. Barry,

      I do offer some Goodreads services. If you’re interested in more details, please reach out through my contact page and I’ll see where I can be of assistance.




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