How To Use the Author Program
Learn more about how to promote your books with special tools on Goodreads. Each slideshow demonstrates a different aspect of our Author Program.
Author Profile, Author Dashboard, and Widgets
All members of Goodreads have regular reader profiles where they can review books, add friends, and post information about themselves. When an author signs up for Goodreads, he or she begins with this basic user profile.
For any book listed in the Goodreads catalog, you can click on the author's name to find the author profile. This page lists all of the author's published work, whether he or she is a member of Goodreads or not. When an author joins the Author Program we merge his or her user profile with the author profile. Becoming a Goodreads Author carries special privileges, such as the ability to edit profile information, add book cover images, post events, write a blog, upload videos, and start featured author groups.
After you've signed up for the Author Program, your log-in process does not change: You'll still use the same username and password, but now your user profile will point to your author profile. You'll also have access to a special Author Dashboard that contains useful links and statistics about your books.
There are thousands of reviews posted to Goodreads every day. For an author, it can be an exhilarating moment, getting a new review of your work. We know it can also be a frightening one. Here are some helpful tips for how to get people to review your work and how to navigate the sometimes tricky relationship between readers and authors.
The Goodreads giveaway program has given away more than 200,000 books since its inception. This program is heavily trafficked by our members, and an average of 825 people enter to win any given giveaway.
Holding a giveaway is a terrific way to generate interest in a new title and attract new readers to your work. Who wouldn't take a chance on a free book? Giveaways are very simple, very popular, and very powerful if planned correctly.
Here are some tips to make sure your next giveaway is a success.
Groups are a great place to meet new readers on Goodreads. We recommend joining a few groups that interest you. 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. Please also note the rules for the specific group you're joining. Many groups have rules for how authors can or cannot participate.
A Featured Author Group is a special group that only Goodreads Authors can create. It's a forum where you and your readers can discuss your books, your writing, or any aspect of your career. These groups are a terrific way to promote a new book, generate interest in a specific backlist title, or spark conversation about your work in general.
Here's some information about groups on Goodreads.
With an audience of more than 10 million affluent, educated, self-identified readers, Goodreads is the ideal place to advertise your book. The Goodreads Self-Serve Advertising platform is perfect for authors with less than $500 per month to spend on advertising. With the Self-Serve Advertising platform, you can create your own ad campaign, target it to the people you want to reach—including fans of a specific genre or author—and track its success.
Here are some tips to help you take your ad to the next level:
For more information on Self-Serve Advertising, please see the Self-Serve Ad guidelines and the Self-Serve Ad help page.
Author Program FAQ
What do I do if I get a negative review or comment?
In most cases, it is best to ignore a negative review or comment. On various occasions, Goodreads authors have lashed out at 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. Use member feedback to improve your work, not as grounds to vent your frustration.
Can I thank everyone who added my book?
It is not advisable to engage (via comments, messages, or friend requests) all the people who add your book or a related work. This will result in people flagging you as a spammer, which we will not tolerate. If you are flagged enough times, your profile will be evaluated for deletion. Goodreads recommends that you not add someone as a friend until you have interacted with them elsewhere on the site—in a group or in a book discussion thread.
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. We have never removed a review simply for its dislike of a book or low rating. That said, personal attacks on the author or unverifiable statements about the author will not be tolerated. Low star ratings or reviews such as "I didn't like the stories, characters, etc." are fine, but reviews that say, "I hate the author," "Don't read this book because the author is a jerk," or "The author owes me money" are not. Flag the item or send us a link to it, and we will take appropriate action. To flag the item, click on the small gray "flag" link in the lower right-hand corner of the review or comment field (next to where it says "Like this review?"). This will bring up a pop-up box that will give you several options to describe why you are flagging the content. If you cannot flag an item for whatever reason, please send us a link to it with a description of why you feel it is inappropriate.
What is the difference between my profile and my author profile?
Each author on Goodreads is also a reader. Therefore, each author has a profile that enables them to review and rate books, just as any other user on the site would. But authors also have a special kind of profile that includes their own books. Once you have joined the author program, we merge these two profiles together into a single profile called an author profile. You'll still have the ability to rate and review books, but you will now have special privileges, such as writing a blog, editing the information for your own books, and much more.
What is the difference between a friend and a fan?
A friend is a two-way commitment: Both people have to agree to it. If you are friends with someone, their reviews and comments will appear in your feed, and yours in theirs. Being a fan is a one-way activity: A reader can become a fan of yours and you are not required to do anything. You don't have to accept or approve them, and you don't have to interact with them. If someone is a fan of an author, that author's blog posts, reviews, and comments will appear in their feed, but their own comments and reviews will not necessarily appear in the author's feed, unless the author and the user are also friends. It is possible to be both a fan of an author and an author's friend.
There are books that I've written that don't appear on my author profile. What should I do?
First, make sure the book is listed on Goodreads. If it isn't, you can manually add the book to Goodreads by clicking on "manually add book" on the right side of the search page. Once the book is on Goodreads, make sure the author name matches your name exactly (including initials and punctuation). Once it matches, it should appear on your author profile.
There are books that I didn't write on my author profile. How can I get them off my profile?
Tell us! Send us an email with the specific title that you did not write, and we'll remove it from your author profile. While we do have Goodreads Librarians who monitor the site data, we can't catch everything, and this is a common error. When two authors have the same name, the only way we know who wrote which book is when someone tells us.
I write books under my real name and a pen name. How can I add the books from my pen name to my author profile?
At this time, there is no way to link two names to one author profile. This leaves you with two options:
- Create a separate account for your pen name, or
- Add your real name as a second author on the books written under a pen name. We are working on adding an alias feature that would allow us to link multiple author names to one Goodreads account in the future.
Can I sell my book on Goodreads?
Goodreads is not currently accepting any new ebooks for sale. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Still can't find an answer? See our Author Program help topics.