Goodreads Blog

What Authors Should Know About Joining the Goodreads Author Program

Posted by Greg on November 27, 2017
To date, more than 200,000 authors have signed up for the Goodreads Author Program, including Stephen King, Roxane Gay, Nora Roberts, and Colson Whitehead. As any modern author knows, joining the Goodreads Author Program is an essential part of taking control of your online presence. After all, Goodreads is the world’s largest community of readers, and if there’s one thing that authors and readers have in common, it’s their passion for books.

Most authors will see their book show up when they search for their title on Goodreads. How does that happen? Goodreads is set up to digest public metadata directly from publishers. Once that metadata goes onto the feed, Goodreads creates a general book page and an author page with the available metadata. Goodreads librarians, volunteers who help keep our database of books accurate, sometimes fill in the blanks on some books, but not all.

Don’t see your book when you search for it? You can add it here.

Some authors confuse the fact that they have an author page with being in the Goodreads Author Program. Do not be fooled! Only authors who claim their profile by submitting the online application form, and get verified by our staff, are considered to be in the Author Program. Once you’re in the Author Program, you will see the ‘Goodreads Author’ badge in the top right corner of your profile. It should look like this:

If you do not see that badge in your profile, you have not yet joined the Author Program.

Top Three Reasons to Join the Author Program

1. Control the information on the page about you. Readers are curious about the person behind the book, so provide them with the information they want. Once you join the Author Program you can upload a short bio, a flattering headshot, and select the most popular genres you write in on your author profile.

In some cases, books that were not written by you will show up on your Goodreads Author page. You can request to have these removed when you apply for your page, or you can contact us us to remove them afterwards. Note that we have some policies about what stays and what goes. Readers are most interested in learning what else an author has written, so we want to showcase all your work.

2. Allow readers to engage with you. Readers love a chance to ask their favorite author a question. Once you’re in the Author Program, you can enable Ask the Author, the Goodreads Q&A program. Ask the Author allows readers and authors to connect with each other online without restrictions on time or character count. You can enable the module from your Author Dashboard, and respond to readers in your own time.

Questions are visible only to you until you choose to answer them, so you can be selective about when and what you respond to. Any interaction with an author can be a special one that turns an avid reader into a superfan, so be generous with your answers. The person who asked the question receives an email with your answer, and it shows up in your newsfeed to your followers as well as the readers’ followers.

3. Build a following, grow your platform, sell more books. Once you join the Goodreads Author Program, you want to encourage readers to follow you rather than send you friend requests. The reason for this is simple: You won’t need to accept every request, and there’s no cap on the number of followers you can have (especially important as you become increasingly popular!).

Some authors feel uncomfortable rejecting friend requests from potential readers. You can set up a default message to direct new friends to follow you. You can also use your Goodreads bio to tell readers you prefer this. Of course, you don’t want to be entirely friendless—especially since what you see in your own newsfeed is based on what your friends are doing—so set a rule to only accept friend requests from people you know in real life or you have a certain amount of favorite books in common.

Building followers on Goodreads has many benefits, and those benefits keep on growing. For example, Goodreads will send out an automatic email to anyone who follows you with all your activity—including your blog posts—on a regular basis. Goodreads also sends out an automatic email on the publication date of your book to readers who follow you. There are many more perks in development, but the value of a follower on Goodreads is only going to increase over time.

How do you go about getting more followers? Like any social media site, people choose to follow people who post interesting content. Reviewing books is the most powerful activity you can do on Goodreads. Be strategic about which books to review, and don’t be afraid to show off some personality—it will be what catches a new follower’s attention.

Reviewing books well takes a little more time than writing a 140—or 280—character tweet, but once you get into a groove—for example, setting aside 20 minutes for Goodreads activity per week—you’ll soon find the rewards.

Ready to join the Goodreads Author Program? Find your author profile, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click on ‘Is this you? Let us know!” Submit the application and we’ll review your application within 2 business days.

Questions about the Goodreads Author Program? Reach out to Customer Care or leave them in the comments below!

Next: 12 Motivational Quotes About Writing to Inspire You for #NaNoWriMo

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Goodreads Authors can subscribe to the Monthly Author Newsletter by editing their account settings.

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)

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message 1: by Keith (new)

Keith Guernsey How do you join?

message 2: by K.S. (new)

K.S. Is there a membership fee?

message 4: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Shannon Keith wrote: "How do you join?"

Hi Keith! Looks like you're already in the Author Program as you have the Goodreads Author badge on your profile.

For reference though, to join the Author Program simply find your author profile, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click on ‘Is this you? Let us know!” Submit the application and we’ll review your application within 2 business days.

message 5: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Shannon K.S. wrote: "Is there a membership fee?"

Hi K.S.! Short answer: Nope! :)

message 6: by Indranil (new)

Indranil Roy How to join?

message 7: by Julie (last edited Dec 31, 2017 04:06PM) (new)

Julie Hislop Hello just now got recommended to sign up from a friend, im happy he did! I am an Author of a cookbook:
I cannot wait to begin using the service!

message 8: by Julie (new)

Julie Hislop I joined and found my book in the database
but i don't see where i click to say it is my book. I do want to be apart of the Author Programme and get the badge! a little help please

message 9: by Reginald (new)

Reginald Holmes I have tried about 20 times over last several weeks to join author program. I follow your instructions by clicking on book cover and my name, but I never get to the "Is this you?" prompt. What's up with that? Also, your reCAPCHA verification software in not good, pics are blurry and include obscure objects not easy to recognize. Please send specific instructions on joining author program to: Thanks ReginaldC.

message 10: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Shannon Reginald wrote: "I have tried about 20 times over last several weeks to join author program. I follow your instructions by clicking on book cover and my name, but I never get to the "Is this you?" prompt. What's up with that?"

Hi Reginald! The "Is this you? Let us know!" link is a small text link at the bottom of the author page, easy to miss. You can send us an email at with a link to your book page and someone on the team can get back to you with a screenshot (really hard to insert here in the comments). Glad to hear you're getting active on Goodreads!

message 11: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed Humran Hello , I'm new author and I want to make membership . I want to publish new book

message 12: by Dewayne (new)

Dewayne Chambers I have published two novels: Mindanao Gold and recently, Carpenters Edge. Is there a way to add the novels to Goodreads, or find out about a marketing program?

D.W. Chambers

message 13: by Hatem (new)

Hatem Khedr Hi,
how can i sign in as an author.. I would like to promote my new book on this site..
Best regards

Hatem Khedr

message 14: by We (last edited Jun 01, 2020 11:33AM) (new)

We Is it possible to be emailed by support directly? I have tried to claim my author page twice but after giving the accurate info requested, I was denied. I have been trying to contact support but have not received any reply, so I'm not interested in trying the "Contact Us" page again.

Update 6/1- I am suddenly approved, although both of my claims were denied and I still have not received any response from Goodreads support. This whole experience has been really disappointing with the utter lack of communication from anyone besides volunteer Librarians, who deserve a salary if they are going to be acting as Goodreads' support staff.

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