Goodreads Blog
Goodreads Blog posts (showing 341-350 of 553)
The Author Program Explained!
Posted by Patrick Brown on August 10, 2010

One of my favorite parts of working at Goodreads has been getting to know all of the amazing authors who use the Goodreads Author Program. This is an exciting, but somewhat bewildering time to be a writer, and it's my great pleasure to help so many authors find audiences for their work.

After a few months of hanging around the site and talking with a variety of Goodreads Authors, it became clear that there were a lot of features that people weren't aware of or just didn't understand how to use. To remedy this situation, we've added a new page to the site that exhaustively explains everything an author can do with the Goodreads Author Program. Without further ado, I give you "How to Use the Goodreads Author Program!"

Here you'll find explanations of every feature of the Author Program, from the Author Dashboard to blogs to selling ebooks. You'll also find helpful tips to make your giveaways and Featured Author Groups more successful, as well as proven techniques to help you get the most out of your self-serve ad campaign.

There's also a section of frequently asked questions that will save you a lot of time and energy. Got a question for Goodreads? It might be answered there. If you are a Goodreads Author, this is the one page you must read.

How to Use the Goodreads Author Program is linked from the general Author Program information page. We hope you'll take a look at the page and start getting the most out of your Goodreads experience.
New Feature: Literary Photo Galleries
Posted by Jessica Donaghy on August 09, 2010

First edition illustrations, fan artwork, candid author photos—books encompass more than just words. Now Goodreads provides a home for literary images! You can upload images and browse photo galleries for any book or author on Goodreads.

Instead of just one image for an author, you can view an entire gallery. If you have a unique image you'd like to add, upload it to share with the Goodreads community! Dostoevsky can now brush elbows with Marilyn Monroe.

In addition to author images, every book in the Goodreads catalog now has its own photo gallery. You can find illustrations from various editions of the book, snapshots of settings used in the story, and even fan artwork interpreting favorite characters and scenes. (These galleries are not for book covers, but you can always find the cover you want by clicking "other editions" on the right side of the book page).

Have fun browsing our rapidly growing photo galleries, and feel free to upload photos to help us create a rich collection of literary images.

The New Goodreads iPhone App eReader
Posted by Patrick Brown on August 09, 2010

As you may have heard, last week we rolled out the latest version of our iPhone app, and it included a major new feature -- the ability to read ebooks in the app. Choose from over 1900 ebooks, and you'll never be bored in line at the post office again!

And of course, the Goodreads ereader is different from other ereader apps. When you begin reading an ebook on our app, we can automatically add that book to your Currently Reading shelf, if you desire. In addition to that, it's remarkably easy to update your status without leaving the book itself. This is a great way to keep your friends up to date with your reading, even on the go.

To start reading a book, just search for the title of the book or browse from a selection of ebooks under the "Explore" tab on the bottom of the screen. Click on the book you want, and click "read now" in the upper right-hand corner of the page.

If it is a free ebook, you'll be taken directly to the cover of the book to begin reading. If the ebook is for sale, you'll be taken to the mobile site to purchase the book by credit card. Once you're in the book, you can easily page back and forth by touching the sides of the screen. A menu of chapters lets you jump to a specific section of the book, and you can add the book to your shelves, update your progress, and change the appearance of the text.

Don't have an iPhone? Not a problem. You can still read ebooks using our browser-based reader. Choose from a huge selection of free books or try one of the many ebooks for sale. All ebooks on Goodreads are 100% DRM-free, meaning once you download the book, you own it, and you can read it on any device that supports the epub format.

Authors -- this is a great chance for you to reach readers directly where they are talking about your books. Goodreads offers a very generous split on all ebooks sold. To upload your ebook, go to your book page on Goodreads and click the link in the upper right-hand corner to upload and sell your ebook.
your stats
Posted by Ken-ichi on July 26, 2010

In case anyone missed it, we released a neat little graph a while back for tracking how many books or pages you read per year. It's a fun way to look back on what you've been reading.

If you click on a bar in the graph, you can view details for that year, including a distribution of your ratings and a break down of the shelves you used:

You can view anyone's stats on the site by going to their profile page and clicking the "Stats" link underneath their shelves.
What page are you on? A look at the new status update form
Posted by Otis Chandler on July 23, 2010

As many of you noticed, we launched a new progress updater last month, and I wanted to give some feedback on how it's doing. The new updater is still on the upper right side of the homepage, but is better than the old one in a few key ways:

* It's more intuitive and user friendly
* A beautiful new graph and percent complete
* Now you can enter a percent instead of a page. Ebooks and kindle editions default to %, but you can click "page" or "%" to toggle it.

Here is a visual of the difference:

New form:
Status update form

Old form:
Old status update form

It took us three iterations to get the design right, as the first one was a slight disaster. The new design is much more popular, and as you can see from the below graph, has resulted in more status updates!

Status updates over the last six months

Members enter progress updates to show off how far into a book they are, and to take notes along the way. This means we have a pretty good idea of what many members are actively reading. Here are the books with the most progress updates from last week:

Join us for our first ever Live Video Chat with Cecil Castellucci - Tonight at 6 p.m. PST!
Posted by Patrick Brown on July 20, 2010

Today is a very big day on Goodreads, as it marks the first time we've hosted a live chat with an author. Over the past few years, we have hosted dozens of Author Q&A groups with authors like Paulo Coelho, Alexander McCall Smith, Lori Lansens and Garth Stein. But we've never done what we're doing tonight.

From 6 to 7 p.m. PST we will be chatting with author Cecil Castellucci over video. Anybody in the chat can ask Cecil a question and have it answered right there and then, live on video. Oh, the wonders of the internet age!

Join us from 6 to 7 p.m. tonight as we discuss Cecil's new books Rose Sees Red and Grandma's Gloves, as well as her writing process, the role music plays in her books, and much, much more!

Click here to join the chat tonight at 6!"
New Feature: Publish to Blog
Posted by Louise on July 07, 2010

Good news, WordPress users, you now have the ability to automatically publish your Goodreads review to your blog. This saves you valuable time since you no longer have to copy your review, log into your blog, and then paste it.

Step 1: update your blog settings page with your login credentials.

Step 2: write a review or edit an existing one.

Step 3: check the 'post to blog' box at the bottom of the review form.

post to blog checkbox

Step 4: admire your automatically published post on your blog.

Automagically generated post from goodreads

Questions? Comments? Voice them in this thread.
The Future of Book Reviewing
Posted by Otis Chandler on June 23, 2010

I'm heading to American Library Association's annual convention this weekend, among other things to participate in a panel titled Everyone's a Critic: The Future of Book Reviewing.

In preparation I ran a few stats that were interesting, and decided to share them ahead of time:
  • Goodreads has 100 million books cataloged
  • Of those, 7.4 million have associated text reviews.
  • 5.1 million of the 7.4 million text reviews are over 100 characters
  • 19% are on people's to read shelves.
  • 5% of the 100 million books are the The Twilight Series
  • The top 100 most popular books represent 18% of books cataloged
  • But there is a huge long tail, as the top 5,000 most popular books only represent 45% of books cataloged! The below graph only shows the top 5,000 books - the tail went too long to fit in a graph!

The long tail of books cataloged
Books added on Goodreads
y-axis: books cataloged
x-axis: popular books

So what is the future of book reviewing? Well that's what we'll discuss in the panel so I don't want to give it all away. But as you can see above, one aspect of it is that on sites with infinite distribution, like Goodreads, there are a *lot* more books that get attention!

I also believe that professional reviews still definitely have a place - they are just increasingly less for the average consumer and more for book professionals and tastemakers.

I may be biased, but I think Goodreads has the best book reviews on the web. (Aside: have you ever tried reading the one star reviews of a book you weren't sure about?). I think the reason is because members here write for a different audience than other review sites; their friends, and the Goodreads community. And the fact that we have nearly 20 million to-read books shows that members are using Goodreads as a book discovery engine to a large extent - and I think our reviews play a big part with that!

To check how many Goodreads members consume professional reviews, I ran a quick poll:

Do you read professional book reviews?

The answer seems to be that people do occasionally read professional reviews. Who are your favorite literary critics and why? What do you think is the future of book reviewing?

American Library Association

Update: The panel went well, and is now available online
Goodreads Records 100 Millionth Book Cataloged
Posted by Patrick Brown on June 22, 2010

Earlier this week, we passed a fairly significant milestone here at Goodreads -- we passed 100 million books cataloged on the site. That means that over 100,000,000 books have been added to our 3.6 million members' book shelves.

Obviously, this is no small thing. In under four years, our community has recorded more books than there are people in Germany. It's an impressive total, especially when one considers that each of those 100 million represents a book that someone thought enough of to add to their shelves. It's not 100 million cars or 100 million disposable razors, but 100 million thoughts or ideas. That's pretty great.

This milestone is also important for what it says about how the book world is changing. I did some back-of-the-envelope math, and if you figure the New York Times Book Review reviews about 20 books per week, it would take them a little over 96,000 years to get to all of the books our community has reviewed in a little under four. While obviously not every review is as long or involved as a review in the Times, that's still a lot of books getting some much needed attention. If the 100,000,000 number means anything, it's a clear indication that the now is the age of the reader. The average reader has more power now than ever before.

An obvious question is "What are people reviewing?" The book that has been added to the most shelves -- both in the US and internationally -- is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Over 400,000 people have added it to their shelves, meaning that it accounts for roughly 4% of the total books added on Goodreads. Two YA titans dominate the most-popular list, as J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer occupy the next two spots. One interesting fact: of the fifty most popular books on Goodreads, twenty-six are by women and twenty-four are by men. The most popular book by a Goodreads Author? The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, with over 180,000 ratings. It was also encouraging to see that so many of the most popular books are by living authors. Maybe that's why there are over 19 million books on our members' "to-read" shelves. Hopefully that means even more good reads in our future!

Check out the full list of the most popular books on Goodreads. What's the most popular in your country? Which books will be the most popular when we reach our 1 billionth review?
June Newsletter!
Posted by Elizabeth on June 14, 2010

A quick recap of this month's newsletter:

We've got in-depth author interviews with Bret Easton Ellis of American Psycho and Less Than Zero fame, and Zappo's CEO Tony Hsieh.

For foodie book recommendations, hop "In Bed" with Kitchen Confidential author and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain.

If you're interested in some author one-on-one time, Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain, Kathryn Wager, author of Dancing for Degas, and Julie Metz, author of Perfect, are all taking questions.

Movers & Shakers features books about a girl who can taste the emotions of those around her, what the internet is doing to our brains, and a post tsunami YA love story. Our Author Snapshot this month frames Hilary Thayer Hamann, author of Anthropology of an American Girl, our Do Good For Goodreads highlights a charity that donates books to children in Asia, and we traveled to Lebanon for our Literature at every Latitude.

We've also got trivia about The Great Gatsby, a Listopia's "Light But Not (Too) Dumb" list, and a beautiful poem, Carpe, Carpe, by J.D. Smith.

We hope you enjoy the newsletter!