Posted by Patrick Brown on January 14, 2014
Huzzah! This week we are reaching 100,000 authors in the Goodreads Author Program! When we started offering verified author pages five years ago, we never dreamed that one day our members would have the opportunity to interact with some of their favorite writers like Khaled Hosseini, Neil Gaiman, Amy Tan, Helen Fielding, James Patterson, Cassandra Clare, Rick Riordan, Jodi Picoult, Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, John Grisham, Nicholas Sparks, L.J. Smith, David Baldacci and many, many more. You'd think we'd get used to working with authors, but we still get awestruck when someone on our To-Read list joins the site!
To celebrate, we're releasing a Goodreads author badge that will appear on all verified author pages. Members can now immediately identify when an author is part of the Goodreads community, and can interact with them via a Goodreads chat, a comment on their blog or status update, or by following their reviews.
Many authors keep their pages updated with news of upcoming books and, because all writers are also readers, they also share their reading lists—another great opportunity to discover new books on Goodreads! For instance, Rick Riordan includes This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel in his list of 44 "Favorites", along with Dune by Frank Herbert; L.J. Smith appears to be a huge Agatha Christie fan with over 50 books of hers shelved; and Khaled Hosseini gave Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain 5 stars. Members can browse authors' bookshelves to find out which titles they have in common, and discover which books inspired their favorite writers.
The Goodreads Author Program also gives debut and self-published authors an excellent forum to connect with potential readers. Colleen Hoover credits the Goodreads community with helping propel her debut novel Slammed onto the bestseller lists, and hundreds of new authors take advantage of our free giveaway program to get books into the hands of would-be readers each month.
Know an author who is not yet part of the Goodreads community? Invite them to join!
Posted by Jessica Donaghy on January 13, 2014
Goodreads members have already pledged to read more than 14 million books in 2014! What will you pledge? And most importantly, what will you be reading? As we turn the page on another year and plan our New Year's Resolutions, it's the perfect time to raise your reading ambitions. Set a goal with the 2014 Reading Challenge, and Goodreads will help you make it to the final chapter!
It's easy: Set a goal and track your progress throughout the year with the 2014 Reading Challenge. It doesn't matter how lofty or practical your target is, only that it's well-suited to you. Maybe a book every other month is the right pace, or maybe you're reading a book a week or more!
We always believe reading is best when shared. So if you're looking for some reading buddies, meander through the Goodreads groups section to find groups of every size, shape, and reading flavor—including groups dedicated to reading challenges. There's the Nothing but Reading Challenges group to super-charge your 2014 reading plan or the nobly adventurous group, 52 Weeks, 52 Books. You'll also find unique challenges in many of our genre groups, such as the 50 State Mystery Challenge in the Mystery, Crime & Thriller Group, the India Challenge in the History Book Club, and even weekly themed challenges in the Crazy for Young Adult Books group (this week's theme is in honor of National Hat Day)!
Still stumped for what to read? A few more suggestions: Take a look at your personalized recommendations, get lost in the oodles of book lists on Listopia, cross your fingers and enter a book giveaway, and check out the recently selected winners and runners-up of the Goodreads Choice Awards! And don't forget to challenge your friends to set their own reading goals for 2014. As they finish books, you'll see their reading lists displayed on the 2014 Reading Challenge page.
Our ever-growing reading challenge is now in its fourth year, and we're breaking open some bubbly in anticipation of what 2014 will bring! What is your reading goal? Tell us in the comments!
Posted by Elizabeth on December 31, 2013
It's been another great year for Goodreads. Not only did we nearly double in size from 13 million members to 25 million members, 294 million books were added, 28 million trivia questions were answered, and lots of interesting authors joined our community of passionate readers. In celebration, we've together our annual infographic of big milestones for 2013. What was the most popular book of 2013? What was the most popular quote? How many pages were read? Our year-in-review infographic has all this and more!
Wishing you all a wonderful 2014—filled with lots of new books to discover and devour!
[Updated infographic to show correct number of 20 billion pages read in 2013]
Posted by jade on December 22, 2013
Words to live by. Words to laugh by. Words that make us see the world anew. Quotes are one of the most popular features on Goodreads. In 2013, members added 246,273 new quotes on the site, but which ones really resonated?
First up: the most popular quote from a book published in 2013! As a site for passionate readers, it makes sense that this one was also book-themed:
"Life is a book and there are a thousand pages I have not yet read."
Clare was also the most-quoted author this year. Members liked her quotes 316,495 times! Who else topped the quote charts in 2013? It looks like you also went crazy for the words of John Green, J.K. Rowling, Rick Riordan, and Nicholas Sparks.
In total, quotes were liked more than 10 million times on Goodreads this year. Here are the three quotes that received the highest number of likes in 2013:
The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling
Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
Can't get enough great quotes? Sign up for our Quote of the Day feature! Each day we email a carefully selected quote to subscribers, along with a bit of info on the writer being quoted. (Did you know that Pippi Longstocking was named by author Astrid Lindgren's seven-year-old daughter? Or that Don Quixote author Miguel de Cervantes was once enslaved by Algerian pirates?) To receive the email, go to the Quote of the Day page and click on the subscribe button.
Here are your top three favorite Quote of the Day selections on Facebook in 2013:
"The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."
"I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn."
"All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream."
Edgar Allan Poe
This year we also launched a Young Adult newsletter—take a look at the December issue—which includes a monthly illustrated quote. Two of those became our most popular illustrated quotes on Facebook in 2013:
The Minpins, Roald Dahl
"Merlin's Song," Ralph Waldo Emerson
And we can't resist sharing another one of our favorites!
What was your favorite quote of 2013? Is there a quote that you will try to live by in 2014? Share in the comments!
Posted by Suzanne on December 19, 2013
You've been reading all year long. Devouring books on vacation or during your commute, sneaking a chapter during lunch breaks, and staying up way too late reading just one more page...it's been a delicious year of words, words, words!
Now that we’re nearing the end of 2013, we thought it would be fun to take a look at your year in books. Check out a visual representation of your reading year and reexperience everything you learned and felt over the past 12 months!
Is your 2013 list missing some books? Don't worry! You can add the date you read a book to any book review. Click on the “Edit Review” link next to your rating/review and you’ll find the “Date I finished this book” option there.
Want to Learn More About What You Read in 2013?
Unlike Oliver Twist, there is more for you! When you add your books to Goodreads, it populates your own personalized stats page. Want to know how many pages you read? What was the longest book you read this year? Which books got your highest ratings? To see how your year of reading shaped up, head over to your stats page here.
Did your stats surprise you? Are there other fun facts you would like to see included in your stats page? Tell us in the comments!
Posted by Jessica Donaghy on December 03, 2013
Stop the presses! We have our winners! Casting nearly 2 million votes in the 5th annual Goodreads Choice Awards, readers have chosen their best books of the year. No other major book award tells you what the readers think—our nominations and voting rounds are all about what the readers love. Plain and simple.
Khaled Hosseini is the runaway winner in Best Fiction for his moving novel And the Mountains Echoed. In a closer race, Temple Grandin took the top prize in Best Nonfiction for The Autistic Brain, despite stiff competition from Mary Roach and Sheryl Sandberg.
For the third year in a row, a book in Veronica Roth's Divergent series is the big winner in Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her perfect trifecta began with Divergent in 2011, followed by Insurgent in 2012. She caps it off this year with the series finale, Allegiant.
The most hotly contested category was Best Mystery & Thriller, where Dan Brown edged out Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling) by only 296 votes! Perhaps sleuth Robert Langdon can consult with Detective Cormoran Strike for his next madcap case.
Kate Atkinson's time-bending Life After Life won with a dominant lead in Best Historical Fiction. Stephen King also won by a large spread in Best Horror for his sequel to The Shining Doctor Sleep, although the win may be bittersweet, because the runner-up in that category is his talented son, Joe Hill! Telling hair-raising stories runs deep in that family.
Earning the most votes of any single book awards-wide, Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane won Best Fantasy by the widest margin of this year's Choice Awards, beating runner-up A Memory of Light by 30,513 votes! Yet the tables were turned in Best Children's Books, where Rick Riordan beat Gaiman by almost the same margin, 30,017 votes. Undaunted, Gaiman was definitely this year's MVP. The triple nominee also secured a third-place finish in Best Picture Books, behind winner Drew Daywalt's The Day the Crayons Quit and Lemony Snicket's The Dark.
Other winners include I Am Malala in Best Memoir & Autobiography and Jim Henson: The Biography in Best History & Biography. And don't miss Rainbow Rowell's major accomplishment in Best Young Adult Fiction, taking first and second place for Eleanor & Park and Fangirl. No easy feat!
You can view the vote breakdown for all 400 nominated books in 20 categories, and if you haven't read them all (we'd be pretty impressed if you had!), you can start adding this year's best books of the year to your to-read list. Thank you to all the voters who came out to support their favorite authors and cheer on their favorites from round to round. And now we're starting to wonder...what will be the big books of 2014?
Posted by Otis Chandler on November 18, 2013
Picture it: You're curled up on the couch, lost in a fantastic story on your new Kindle Paperwhite, when you come across the most amazing passage. It sends shivers down your spine... or it makes you laugh... or it captures something important to you. And you can't wait to see if your friends feel the same way. Now there's no need to put down your new Kindle Paperwhite to jump on Goodreads and share it with your friends...
Starting today, Goodreads is inside your books on the new Kindle Paperwhite. Reading and discussing books are no longer separated—your reading experience is all on one device!
It's long been a dream of ours to bring Goodreads inside your Kindle and into the book with you. The team has been working long and hard to make this possible and we can't wait to show you the results today.
Let's take a tour!
Thanks again to the Goodreads team who built this—they put in a lot of late nights and ate a lot of giant burritos! After a well-earned rest, they'll be back at work building a new wave of features both on Kindle and on Goodreads.com.
Goodreads is available in a free, over-the-air software update delivered automatically to new Kindle Paperwhites in the US, Canada and Australia in the coming weeks. Can't wait for the update? You can also go here to download it. We do not have details to share about other Kindle e-readers but know that Amazon has a long history of bringing new features to previous devices.
Which feature in Goodreads on the new Kindle Paperwhite appeals to you the most?
Posted by Otis Chandler on November 18, 2013
Today is the culmination of a lot of hours of hard work and invention. We're burning with excitement to announce that Goodreads is now officially available for the new Kindle Fire! When we joined the Amazon family of companies six months ago, we were most psyched about continuing the mission we most care about—helping readers find and share books they love—but in addition, we also had the opportunity to really think about what the reading experience could be for Kindle readers.
We want to make the reading experience better. We want to make it easy to find great books, and then to have engaging, amazing conversations about them. It starts now—with a deep integration of Goodreads into the reading experience on the new Kindle Fires. Our team has been working incredibly hard over these past months, and we are very proud and excited about what we've begun to build. So, for this update, we thought it might be more fun to hear from some members of the team about what they've created.
Goodreads on Kindle Fire is different from the Goodreads mobile app because it's actually part of the Kindle reading experience. "What's most exciting to me is that it's the first time ever that Goodreads has been inside the book," said Brian Rosenblat, director of product. "There's no need to switch between the book you are reading and Goodreads. Goodreads on the Kindle is the first big step towards making it all one experience."
Robert LaThanh, developer, loves how the goal is to add to the enjoyment of reading books. "At Goodreads, we're all book lovers and big believers in the joy of losing ourselves inside a great book. We never want to interrupt that. What we're doing is making it easier than ever to share your reading with your friends when you want to."
So what you can do with Goodreads on the new Kindle Fire? It's a mix of familiar and new features. Let's take a look:
Share a quote
—Ettore Pasquini, senior developer
See what your friends are reading
—Mike Williams, software engineer
Rate and review books
—Virgilio Pigliucci, senior software engineer
Track what you want to read, are currently reading,
and have already read
—Seth Goldstein, director,
Goodreads will be available on the new Kindle Fires as part of a free, over-the-air software update that will be automatically delivered in the coming weeks in the US, Canada and Australia. Of course, if you can't wait that long, you can go here to make it happen immediately! (Please note that this is only available right now for the new Kindle Fires. We don't have information yet about all the other Kindle devices but will provide updates as we have them.) There will be more features on the way as well. And for you non-Kindle Fire readers, don't worry! We're going to continue to work hard to improve Goodreads on all devices: web, tablet, and mobile! Onward!
Looking forward to hearing what you think of the new Goodreads on Kindle Fire!
The Goodreads on Kindle Fire Team
Posted by Jessica Donaghy on November 18, 2013
Announcing Your Finalists! »
Only 10 books still standing in each category—the Final Round of the 2013 Goodreads Choice Awards has begun! With a whopping 1.2 million votes cast in the Opening and Semifinal Rounds, readers have narrowed the candidates to 10 finalists in each of 20 categories. You have from now until midnight (PST) on November 25 to place your final votes!
You're facing some tough choices in these hotly contested categories, and you'll also find some unusual competitors! Beloved Jim Henson is up against infamous Charles Manson in Best History & Biography. The incredibly diverse Best Memoir & Autobiography category includes the controversial Amanda Knox, Japanese teen Naoki Higashida, Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, and even Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson. And you won't find a a stiffer rivalry than in Best Picture Books, where baby sloths and unicorns are scrambling for position.
We also saw some surprising upsets coming out of the Semifinals. George Saunders narrowly edged out Jhumpa Lahiri to become a finalist in Best Fiction. Write-in nominee Philippa Gregory catapulted up the rankings in Best Historical Fiction past favorites such as Tracy Chevalier and Colum McCann, who both missed the cut. And our finalists also include some fresh faces. Indie-publishing phenom Lindsay Buroker is up against the likes of Neil Gaiman and Brandon Sanderson in Best Fantasy, and debut novelist Wesley Chu faces heavyweights Margaret Atwood, Hugh Howey, and John Scalzi in Best Science Fiction. Last but certainly not least, strength is matching strength in Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction with a deep field including Cassandra Clare, Richelle Mead, Veronica Roth, and more! Who will triumph? View all the finalists and vote!
Remember, the polls close November 25, and winners will be announced December 3. This is your third and final chance to vote for the best books of 2013!
Posted by Sarah on November 13, 2013
Warning! Using the updated Goodreads for iOS is potentially addictive and you could end up with a sky-high Want to Read pile!
The newest version of Goodreads for iOS includes a fun and easy way to see book recommendations – personalized just for you. Our recommendations engine analyzes 20 billion data points to come up with suggestions based on the books you’ve rated and your favorite genres.
We have to confess, though, that when we were testing this in our office, it resulted in some of our teammates playing for hours as they added more and more books to their Want to Read shelf!
To give you an idea of the enchantment of the Goodreads iOS recommendations, check out this 30-second video of the recommendations feature in action. Irresistible for all you book lovers, right?
But there’s more … we’ve also improved the speed of one of our members’ favorite features on Goodreads for iOS – the barcode scanner. The scanner now opens up and focuses faster so you can pull up the information about a book more quickly. We find it’s especially handy when you see a book when you are out and about and want to check out reviews from your friends and the Goodreads community to learn more about it. (We’ve also heard of members—and plenty of employees—using the scanner to efficiently catalog every single book on their shelves at home!)
Our Goodreads app for iPhone, iPad and iPad mini is updated for iOS7 and is now available so be sure to update the app if you already have it. To try it for the first time, you can download it from here.
Let us know what you think!