Author Guidelines

Goodreads is a community for book lovers, and we welcome both readers and authors. There are many ways Goodreads Authors can participate to support our community and spread the word about their books. Our Author Guidelines are designed to help you have the best possible experience on Goodreads. If you have any questions about using Goodreads, you're always welcome to send us an email. You can also read our FAQ for authors.

It's important to keep in mind that the Goodreads Author Program is intended to be used in a professional capacity. The community perceives you as a public figure, and we expect you to act professionally. Here are some ways to use Goodreads as an author:

  • Enhance your Author Page. Fill out your "about this author" section (make it fun and personal), add a professional author photo, and add videos (book trailers or interviews with you). For a few examples of fun, engaging author profiles, check out Veronica Roth and Sylvia Day.
  • Shelve your favorite books or the ones that have inspired you and review them. Readers love seeing what their favorite authors are reading.
  • Sponsor a giveaway for your book. This is a key way to help readers discover your book and generate those all-important reviews. Giveaways allow new readers to take a chance on your book. Please check out our our guide to giveaways for more information.
  • Turn on Ask the Author from your Author Dashboard to allow readers to ask you questions. You can answer them in your own time and be generous with your answers (there's no 280-character limit here)! Give it a try by answering some of the questions already waiting for you from Goodreads.
  • Use status updates to talk to your followers. Just like on Twitter or Facebook, you can post general updates about what you're doing and share links to interesting information. To do this, click on "General update" on the left side of the homepage.
  • 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. If you already have a blog outside of Goodreads, maximize the time you are spending on that by setting it up to import to Goodreads for your fans there.
  • Join a group around a topic or genre related to your book or a group for authors. Groups are a great place to meet readers or other authors who share your passions. Bring your expertise and enthusiasm to group discussions, and you're bound to meet some people!
    • Before joining a group and interacting with other members, read the group description and rules on their homepage . Always keep in mind that you should participate as a reader first, rather than as an author seeking to promote your work. We also have many groups for authors to share tips and advice on writing craft, marketing, and promotion, so you can join these groups if you'd prefer to make connections with other authors.

Here are some activities that break our rules and may result in your account coming under review:

  • Don't engage with people who negatively rate or review your books. We cannot stress this enough. Goodreads is a community for all readers to express their honest opinions about the books they choose to read and shelve. Engaging with people who don't like your book will not win you any new readers. Remember that Goodreads is a public space; other readers will see a reaction from the author and interpret it as hostile regardless of how carefully the response was crafted.
    • If you feel a review is in violation of our Review Guidelines, please flag it to our team's attention rather than responding. To flag, click the gray flag icon next to the content in question and follow the prompts. Please note that it's not currently possible to flag content on the mobile site or apps.
    • Remember that not every reader will love your book. It is unrealistic to expect that your book will only get four and five star reviews. Bestselling authors get one star reviews too.
  • Don't contact members who have shelved your book or a related work. We consider this spam, and it will result in Goodreads members flagging your activity for review.
  • Don't send mass friend requests. 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. We suggest only adding other members you are genuinely interested in following and interacting with.
  • Don't join groups simply to promote your book. While we encourage you to join groups to meet readers, do so as a reader. Joining multiple groups for the sole purpose of posting about your own book isn't permitted, and will simply irritate your target audience. Some groups do allow self-promotional content in specific threads. Be sure to review each group's rules on their group homepage before you begin interacting with other members.
  • Don't attempt to influence reviews of your book. You or your publisher may provide free or discounted copies of your books to readers ( giveaways are a great way to do this), but you may not require a review in exchange or attempt to influence the review. Please note that we also prohibit paid reviews and reviews that have been incentivized in any way.

Thank you for being a part of our vibrant and 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!