Guidelines for Authors
Goodreads is a place for all kinds of booklovers, and that includes authors. There are many ways you, as a Goodreads Author, can participate in the Goodreads community. We hope that you enjoy using the site, and that it also helps you to promote your books and grow your presence as a writer.
Here are some helpful guidelines for how to have the best possible experience on Goodreads. Of course, if you're ever in doubt about whether something is a good idea, or appropriate, you are welcome to send us an email.
Overall, whichever way you to choose to participate in Goodreads, we want to remind you that the Goodreads Author program is meant to be used in a professional capacity. The community perceives you as a public figure so we recommend that you hold yourself to a very high standard.
How should I interact with people as an author on Goodreads?
Our best advice on how to use Goodreads to promote your work is to be part of the conversation. Think of Goodreads as one giant gathering where everyone is talking about books. Do you want to be the person who joins a group, listens to the conversation and adds another perspective? Or do you want to be the person who walks up to a group in mid-discussion and interrupts them to say “Hey Everyone! You sound like just the kind of people who’d love my book. Let me tell you all about it.”?Here are a few ways to be a part of the conversation on Goodreads:
- Shelve your favorite books or the ones that have inspired you and review them. Readers love seeing what their favorite authors are reading.
- Start a Q&A group about your book and invite people to join.
- Join a group around a topic or genre related to your book. If you join a group, participate as a reader first. Once people see you are a passionate and friendly member of the group, then you can discuss your own work.
- Write a blog or import your blog. Authors are the only members of Goodreads who can have blogs, and author blogs are a great place to start a conversation.
The generally accepted advice – and we believe it’s the best advice – is to ignore a negative review or comment. Realistically, not everyone who reads your book will love it so much that they give it five stars.
From time to time, Goodreads authors have responded to readers who gave their books negative reviews or ratings, and the results have been disastrous for the authors' reputations. Goodreads is not private; other readers will see a hostile reaction from the author, and a single negative interaction is often enough to turn a reader against an author permanently.I’d like to contact everyone who has added my book or a related work. Is that OK?
It is not advisable to engage (via comments/messages/friend requests) all the people who add your book or a related work. You should also avoid tactics like thanking everyone who has added your book. These kinds of behaviors will result in people flagging you as a spammer, and we will have to take action. If you are flagged enough times, your profile will be evaluated for deletion.Someone is attacking me personally in a review or a comment. What should I do?
It is Goodreads' belief that honest reviews (positive or negative) are crucial for the site. Low star ratings or reviews such as "I didn't like the stories/characters/ etc." are fine; but reviews that say "Don't read this book because he/she is a jerk" or something similar may receive a lower priority in our internal ranking system—and may not appear on the community-wide book page.
Flag the item or send us a link to it, and we will look into it. To flag a review from the book page where all the reviews are shown, click on “see review” at the bottom of the review in question. On the review page, you will see a Flag button at the end of the review next to the Like button. Please flag reviews rather than responding directly to them. Remember, though, that we have never removed a review simply for its dislike of a book or low rating.For more information about our reviews, please check out our Review Guidelines here. Should I add as many people as possible as friends?
Goodreads is a great place to meet other book lovers. However, be sensitive to the fact that some members are only looking to befriend a small circle. For this reason, Goodreads limits the amount of friend invites you can send at once. We suggest only befriending other members you have met in discussion boards or elsewhere on the site.What is the etiquette for sending private messages?
We encourage our members to strike up conversations. Yet, sending unsolicited messages to strangers to advertise your book is a strategy with extremely limited success. In fact, it may be detrimental if you become known as a spammer among the community. Members often flag unsolicited messages for abuse, which are deleted by the Goodreads staff. We reserve the right to delete the account of any author who is the subject of excessive spam complaints. Goodreads also limits the number of messages you can send each day.There's a group discussing books that are just like mine. Can I join and talk about my book?
Goodreads hosts discussion groups for all sorts of topics and genres of literature. Join as many groups as you like, according to your interests, and join in the conversation to discuss your favorite books, authors, and genres of literature. If the other group members know you as an active contributing member of the group, you'll find that your messages will be much better received.
Again, posting unsolicited and off-topic advertisements for your books in any discussion group is considered spam. Your posts will be deleted by group moderators, and/or reported to us for abuse.
Thank you for joining our vibrant and extremely diverse community. We’re very proud of our Author Program and the authors who are part of it. We’re confident that you can find a place here where you can discuss ideas and books, keep track of your reading, and meet others who are interested in your work!