#MKTG – Part 8 – Goodreads

Hello, SE’ers! Welcome back to my book marketing series!

Today I’m going to talk about Goodreads, a platform that we might not think of as a marketing avenue.

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We love Goodreads for many reasons that include a way to keep up with the books we read and review as well as a place where reviews aren’t blocked like they are sometimes on Amazon. I find that an oddity, considering that Amazon owns Goodreads, but that’s a whole other issue.

I recently participated in a Webinar about ways to enhance your presence on Goodreads, and that is what I’m going to share with you today. I hope you find the suggestions helpful.

There are over 125 million readers who regularly interact on Goodreads. It is quite literally the biggest virtual book library in the world.

According to Alessandra Torre, in fifteen minutes per day, you can reach 100 million readers. I’m not quite sure I buy into that, but I did find some of her suggestions enlightening.

The number one and repeated suggestion throughout the webinar was to keep your profile and bio on Goodreads updated. She stressed that many times. Give readers the chance to learn as much as possible about you with a robust profile. Once you’ve claimed your profile, complete it with as much information as possible. Upload your author photo, include a detailed bio, and provide information about your Twitter, Facebook, and blog accounts. For the bio, avoid the corporate-sounding bio and use your writing talent to create something personable! Guess what? When I looked, my profile was way out of date, so I remedied that right away. While you are there, make sure all of your books are listed.

Another strong suggestion throughout the webinar was to make sure your AISN is added to each Goodreads listing.

It’s a good idea to like and comment on reviews. The more action a book gets, the more it moves up in the ranks. There have been rumors that Goodreads is drama/troll central. This is a false rumor. There are trolls everywhere, but I can say that I’ve never had to deal with this issue on Goodreads.

The Goodreads algorithm is exposure on the site, either from paid placement, or engagement. Ms. Torre does not recommend that Indie Authors use the paid placement option.

What she does suggest, however, is that authors write a review for their books. What? I would have never thought to do this. She referred to it as a sort of letter to readers. Here are the specific steps for that:

  • Don’t choose a star rating
  • Describe the book in your own words
  • Insert purchase links
  • Use graphics, highlights etc
  • Share reviews on other social media platforms
  • Do this 1 – 2 times per month.

Here’s an example of what an author review looks like. Notice it is tagged as being from the author.

Have you ever boosted a book on Goodreads? I have to admit I haven’t, but I most definitely will give it a try with my next release.

The number one way to boost a book on Goodreads is through a giveaway. You can give away as few as two copies or as many as 100. I do suggest if you do this, you make it an eBook giveaway to avoid having to pay postage for print books. I’m sure many of you have participated in these giveaways before, and I’d love to hear how it went for you. The goal of a giveaway is to get readers to add your book to their ‘want-to-read’ shelves. That alone gives the algorithm an enormous boost.

Torre talked about a pre-release giveaway for $119. Here is a link to more details. She was specific about running the giveaway for 30 days before your release date and ending it 3 days prior to the release date.

I highly suggest, if you are going to set up a giveaway, you use the link listed above for step-by-step instructions.

And last, but not least, ask others to follow you on Goodreads!

We, here at Story Empire, would love it if you’d click over and follow each of us.

Jan Sikes

C.S. Boyack

Mae Clair

Joan Hall

Staci Troilo

Harmony Kent

John Howell

Gwen Plano

D.L. Finn

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you found this post about Goodreads helpful. If you missed any of the book marketing posts, here are the links:








62 thoughts on “#MKTG – Part 8 – Goodreads

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  11. Thanks for the great advice, Jan, and for giving me a little clarity on Goodreads as a place to interact with readers. I loved your review and look forward to reading your short story, which is already on my Kindle. Thanks, also, for the challenge to get busy and write some of my own, unstarred, reviews of my books. What a great idea! I’m also going back to read all your posts in this series. You Rock!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. For once a platform that I’m actually on! Yay. And awesome tips, Jan. I love that message to readers “review” and the example you gave is great. I’m going to do that. I’ve done giveaways of ebooks with Goodreads, but I think Freebooksy is a better deal in terms of getting the book out there, though that doesn’t impact the Goodreads ranking. Something to think about there.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Freebooksy is an ebook giveaway that costs about $100 (about the same as Goodreads giveaways) but the average download is about 2,400 books (for fantasy anyway – I don’t know about other genres). It’s by far the best giveaway vehicle I’ve found.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Great post, Jan 🙂 I haven’t looked at my information in a while, it might need some sprucing up. It never occurred to me to do a personal review. I might give that a try. Yes, I used to do the giveaways back when they were free. I got some feedback from it, which was nice but a few would sell the paperbacks and had no intention of reading. But now you can giveaway kindle copies which is better. Not sure I’d pay to do it now though.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I totally agree about giveaways back when they were free. I did it with my first two books and got maybe two reviews out of them. Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comment today. I appreciate it!


  14. Your post is very informative, Jan. I post reviews on Goodreads. That’s pretty much it. I’m aware of other activities and didn’t spend time doing any of them. I know one author interacts extensively with the reviewers, making comments. I’ve seen authors writing reviews of their own books but didn’t think much of it. Thank you for all the helpful suggestions.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I would totally agree with that, Robbie. It is the crossroads where writers and readers meet and I’d venture to say most writers are also avid readers. Thank you for chiming in with your comment and recommendation!


  15. Reblogged this on and commented:

    Hi all!

    This is a fantastic post from my friend, Jan, that I highly recommend you checking out. It’s all about Goodreads! So many great ideas and advice. Thanks Jan!!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. This is a fantastic article, Jan! I’ve, too, heard negative things about Goodreads but you’ve definitely shown the positive side. I never would have thought to post a review for my own book like you have mentioned here. That’s a genius way to let readers see another side of you and your writing. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I never thought of doing a review of my own book, but I loved the one you wrote for yours. It’s sharing thoughts with your readers. A wonderful idea. My publisher paid for Goodreads pre-release giveaways, and I’ve paid for a few for my self-published books. I was really happy with the results and the early reviews I got. The majority of readers I’ve met on Goodreads are serious readers who are generous and kind. I value them.

    Liked by 4 people

  18. Had never thought goodreads being a place to connect, for exposure. One thing just like here on blog is to be connecting with the right readers, readers all the more.

    Even though it might still take many months for me to update my goodread profile but..

    Thanks for sharing, helpful
    Narayan x

    Liked by 2 people

  19. So much good information here, Jan! I never would have thought of reviewing my books.
    In the old days of lists, as an author, you had to give your book a star rating to get it on a list—now, of course, that’s all changed. I did have a minimal amount of success with one of my earliest books and a list. I never personally did a giveaway, but my publisher used to do them for me. Today, I mostly use GR to track books read and participate in the reading challenge each year. I would have never thought of writing letter review for my books, but that sounds wonderful. So much to do!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, Mae. You nailed it. So much to do to keep it all up. Something will fall through the cracks. I loved learning more about Goodreads and busting the myths that it is a totally negative place. I suppose any place can be negative if that is your view. Until I sat in on the webinar, I only used Goodreads to post reviews and keep up with my reading challenge. Now I know there is so much more potential. Thank you for your comment!

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Reblogged this on Plaisted Publishing and commented:

    Here at Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing (Author, Blogger, Business Assist) where we support talented authors, as well as successful business owners in their marketing, by marrying social media, with more traditional approaches,
    the goal is to help the client market their Book, Blog, or Business to the very best of their ability.
    One of the best ways for me to do this, is to share tips with my clients, so that they can define the services I provide them, to better meet their needs.
    This morning, while scrolling through blog posts I found a great tip for you…

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Goodreads is my go-to place to leave reviews. I also participate in the reading challenge each year.

    I’ve heard about authors having problems with trolls on Goodreads, but I personally haven’t had that problem. I recently saw where an author reviewed her own book and found that odd. (She did give it a rating, I wouldn’t do that on one of mine.) I like how you reviewed yours and told how it was inspired. I’ll have to consider that for each of mine.

    This has been a great series, Jan.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree, Joan. I have heard of trolls on Goodreads, but have had no experience with any and I’ve been on Goodreads since 2013. Let’s face it. Trolls are everywhere. If we are going to be on a public forum of any kind, we are subjecting ourselves to them. Thank you for your comment. I agree about the author review. And in the webinar, she specifically said NOT to give your own book a rating. I’m happy you are enjoying the series. Only a few more to go.

      Liked by 2 people

  22. Terrific suggestions, Jan. I would have never thought about reviewing my own book. One would think that Goodreads would be a better place to spend time vs. Facebook since that’s where you tend to find the serious book lovers. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Oh, Jan. You have given me so much to do. I never used Goodreads effectively, and now I think I might know why. There’s so much to consider doing (or re-doing). I want to revise my bio and add reader letters to my books. I never had the nerve to try a giveaway, but now I might. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You nailed our #1 problem as authors, Staci, and that is TIME. It takes time to do it all and I often forget pieces of the puzzle, like updating my website. 🙂 Thank you for leaving a comment. Maybe some holiday downtime would be good to spiffy it up a little.

      Liked by 2 people

  24. I like that kind of reviewing your book, but I hate it when the author gives themselves an actual review complete with five stars. That leaves me like, meh.
    I used to be active years ago on GR but sadly found it an incredibly toxic place. It would be nice if things have changed. Thanks so much for adding our links! Great tips and pointers, Jan. Thanks for sharing 💕🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thankfully, I’ve never found Goodreads to be negative. Of course, there are trolls, but they are everywhere. I say take the good, leave the bad, and enjoy being a part of the largest virtual library in the world! I agree about authors giving their books a rating. To me, that is a turn-off. Thank you for your comment!

      Liked by 2 people

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