Goodreads Blog

The Goodreads Author’s Marketing Checklist

Posted by Cynthia on June 6, 2018
These days, writers no longer need to sign with a traditional publishing house to get their stories into the world. Self-publishing platforms have made it easier than ever for a writer to publish their own work and get distributed. But writers soon realize: writing and publishing are the easy parts—it’s the marketing and promotion where things get tricky!

However you choose to publish, Goodreads will certainly play an integral part in your marketing campaign. To make sure you have all the tools you need, here’s a high-level checklist for things to do as an author on Goodreads:

Join the Author Program

  • Search for your book to make sure it is in our database – if not, you can add it here.
  • Claim your profile by joining the Goodreads Author Program. Click on your author name on the book page, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click on “Is this you? Let us know!” then complete the application. Learn more here.
  • Confirm all the books written by you—if they aren’t, sending us an email or making a note of it in your Goodreads Author application.

Immediately after you join the Author Program

  • Upload an updated author profile photo. Here are some tips for the best ones.
  • Complete your author profile bio. Keep it under 500 words so it doesn’t get cut off below the fold.
  • Turn on Ask the Author from your Author Dashboard. Here are our Best Practices.
  • Answer 3-5 of the pre-seeded questions from Goodreads via Ask the Author. This helps you get familiar with the platform and generates content for readers to interact with in case they don’t have any questions.
  • Review or add at least 25 books to your “want-to-read” shelf. One of the top things readers want to learn about their favorite authors on Goodreads is what books they’ve enjoyed. Share your thoughts via a rating or a review.
  • Review your author account settings. Find more here.
  • Import your blog, if you have one (or start a new one!). Christine Feehan is a great example of an author making the most of the platform.

Weekly Activity in the Author Program

  • Review a book or two. This keeps your name in front of the people who follow you and enhances your profile.
  • Answer questions from readers. Especially in the early days, answer questions as they come in so that you start building a good rapport with fans.
  • Join or participate in a group. Meet people who share similar interests as you. Here are a few groups to get your started.

Recommended Optional Activity in the Author Program

  • Run a giveaway to build buzz around your book and get reviews. You can run a giveaway for a print book or a Kindle book. Here’s how to make the most of a giveaway.
  • Upload a book trailer, if you have one, to your book page.
  • Post your upcoming events. You can announce a time you’ll be answering questions from readers via Ask the Author, or let people know if you’re signing books IRL. People who RSVP get a reminder the day before the event.
  • Add your Goodreads author widget to your website or email signature. This lets readers know they can find you on Goodreads.

While there are certainly many areas of the site you can explore to discover books, connect with readers, and promote your book, this list provides you with the fundamentals.

What activities do you find yourself spending the most time on when preparing your marketing campaign? Share in the comments below!

Next: Case Study from Book Expo

You might also like: Goodreads Marketing Resources to Help with Book Promotion

You might also like: Even More of the Best Goodreads Author Marketing Blog Posts

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

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)

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message 1: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Lyons Bach, author Wish I could print this to read more carefully.


message 2: by Darran (new)

Darran Handshaw How do you upload a book trailer to the book page? I don't see any option with that.


message 3: by Ivan (new)

Ivan Vibing Elaine wrote: "Wish I could print this to read more carefully."

Copy + Paste to Word or Google Docs and save to hard drive and/or print directly.


message 4: by Tesa (new)

Tesa Jones Great tips and suggestions 👏👍. There was actually one I hadn’t done yet. Thanks.


message 5: by Rosie (new)

Rosie Genova Elaine wrote: "Wish I could print this to read more carefully."

Copy and paste to a word doc--should work!


message 6: by Billy (new)

Billy Curry Great tips - thank you.


message 7: by A.A. (new)

A.A. Lewis Very useful information!


message 8: by George (new)

George Smith Great post I would like to thank you for the efforts to writing this interesting and knowledgeable article.
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message 9: by Kahlen (new)

Kahlen Aymes Elaine wrote: "Wish I could print this to read more carefully."

Copy and paste to a word doc.


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