Goodreads Blog

Managing Your Goodreads Author Settings

Posted by Cynthia on June 8, 2018
You’ve claimed your author profile on Goodreads, updated your bio and uploaded a flattering picture, enabled Ask the Author and fielded some questions. You’re eager to engage with readers on Goodreads, but before embarking on a massive book reviewing spree or setting up your first book giveaway, it’s important to review some of your fundamental account settings as a Goodreads Author.

Adjust your settings so your first and last name shows up in readers' feeds.


Your personal profile preferences stay as they were before you claimed your author profile, which means that your newsfeed updates might only show your first name. Considering how much your full name becomes a brand when you publish, you want to make sure your settings show both you first and last name – after all, “Jonathan” or “Jennifer” could be anyone of your friends; “Jonathan Franzen” or “Jennifer Weiner” on the other hand are very particular people!

To check these settings, click on your picture in the top right corner to show the dropdown menu, then click on “account settings.” From there, make sure your Display Name shows your full name; if it doesn’t, add your last name in the corresponding field.



Customize your URL.


While you’re on your profile tab, you might want to think about customizing your Goodreads URL. This allows you to share a readable link, which looks better on your business card or your book jacket than the standard URL and can feed into your author branding. A great custom link is one that is consistent with your other social media accounts and instantly recognizable, for example: goodreads.com/rgay is consistent with Roxane Gay’s Twitter handle (@rgay)

Under the ‘profile’ tab under settings, type in your preferred User Name. Assuming it isn’t already taken, start sharing that URL and invite readers to follow you on Goodreads.

Use a Goodreads widget on your website.


Letting people know they can find you on Goodreads is one of the fundamental ways to get more followers. Goodreads makes it easy to show off what you’re reading—whether it’s in your email signature or on your website. Widgets will automatically update the information when you make edits to the shelf, which allows you to amplify your activity.



Find customizable widgets under the ‘Widgets’ tab under account settings, then copy and paste the one you want to use to your website or email signature (you’ll find more directions on the Widget page).

Make every activity count.


While readers are most interested in seeing what books an author has read and recommends, there’s a ton of activity that you can do on Goodreads that will populate your profile and your friends’ update feeds. Go to the “Feeds” tab to review what activity you're sharing – at minimum, make sure you’ve checked “Add a book to your shelves.”

Sign up for the Author Newsletter.


The Goodreads Author Newsletter is a monthly newsletter that includes links to news, interviews, and marketing advice exclusively for Goodreads Authors. You can make sure you’re subscribed by checking the “Emails” tab and scrolling to “Newsletters and Other Mail.” While you’re there, subscribe or unsubscribe from any other updates you wish to receive from events, discussions, or groups that you’re in.

While you’re in your Settings, explore the other tabs to review your other preferences: you’ll find everything from your preferred book vendors and Deals notifications to other apps you might have linked to your account.

Questions about your settings? Leave it in the comments below or contact our customer support team at support@goodreads.com

Next: Your Goodreads Marketing Checklist

You might also like: Optimizing Your Goodreads Author Profile Picture

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

Comments Showing 1-26 of 26 (26 new)

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message 1: by Mary (new)

Mary Tisdale Dressing in God's Designer Word/Dr. Mary Tisdale Green


message 2: by Kari (new)

Kari Trenten Thanks for the advice! It has been a while since I updated my profile. I should do that...


message 3: by Franca (new)

Franca Thanks. This is useful.


message 4: by Marlene (new)

Marlene Bierworth I I am sorry to say, but I find this site the hardest to work. My profile is now updated but I'm sure tthat I am not using this site to its full advantage.


message 5: by Judith (new)

Judith Thomson I couldn't agree more, Marlene! I have been a Goodreads author for nearly 4 years and, five books later, still struggle with the site. I am sure that I, also, am not using it to full advantage.


message 6: by Silvia (new)

Silvia Young I can’t seem to claim my page. “Is this you?” doesn’t appear.


message 7: by George (new)

George Garrigues Goodreads seems to be a site for readers looking for cheap books, not for writers seeking (1) sales or (2) communication with other writers. Nothing wrong with that, but a writer can go nuts here trying to find anything useful for his or her own life and work.

That said, I have recently been posting quite frequently to my blog here, and I will keep that up or a while, at least until I decide that it simply is not worth my time.

My best to any other writer who happens to read this.


message 8: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Harman Hi George....I'm a writer and author of 8 books. 6 with major publishers and 2 kid's chapter books that I independently published. You can see more about me at www.patriciaharman.com I'm on some writer's FB pages, have you looked around on FB? If you have questions you can ask me. What do you write?


message 9: by George (new)

George Garrigues Patricia wrote: "Hi George....I'm a writer and author of 8 books. 6 with major publishers and 2 kid's chapter books that I independently published. You can see more about me at www.patriciaharman.com I'm on some wr..."

I am writing nonfiction, right now dealing with people and events during the Progressive Era in U.S. history. Follow me at https://www.facebook.com/WuxtraWuxtra.... Meanwhile I'll friend you here on GoodReads !


message 10: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa Evetts Marlene wrote: "I I am sorry to say, but I find this site the hardest to work. My profile is now updated but I'm sure that I am not using this site to its full advantage."
Me too - It doesn't seem to be user-friendly at all.


message 11: by Judith (new)

Judith Thomson I absolutely agree, Vanessa and Marlene. I manage Amazon's Author Central, as well as my Wordpress website and blogsite, without any trouble, but not this one!


message 12: by Rick (new)

Rick I have been here since 2008 -- I have a book listed here already -- Just published my second (Yay) Starshot. How the #$#@ do i get this site to acknowledge that the book is mind and put it on my dashboard!!!! It finds the book - wants me to read it -- shows me all the detail but it treats me as a customer and the book isn't moved to my list (dashboard, whatever)


message 13: by ProsperityJoy (last edited Dec 16, 2018 10:57AM) (new)

ProsperityJoy ProsperityJoy Interesting....I thought it was just me with problems navigating this site. I recently joined but I'm still not sure if it's worth my time. I am a full-time freelance writer and author. I just published my first book titled "Are The Planets Just For Decoration?" Can be found on ebay.co.uk. My site is www.prosperityjoy.faith and still rather new. I'll stay with this site for a while and see what comes up. I don't mind sharing ideas about what I've read/written or what others have read/written but....they certainly need to make Goodreads more "user friendly."


message 14: by Victor (new)

Victor Grauer My, what a confusing website. All I want to do is insert in some appropriate place a link to my newest blog book, but I can't find anywhere to do that. In any case, here's the link: https://antacticstructures.blogspot.com/


message 15: by Karen (new)

Karen Menuhin George wrote: "Goodreads seems to be a site for readers looking for cheap books, not for writers seeking (1) sales or (2) communication with other writers. Nothing wrong with that, but a writer can go nuts here t..."

Hi George,
I just stumbled across this site and I'm not sure how to use it. I haven't had any problems getting my author profile uploaded. Thought I may try its advertising as I'm self published, will let you know if it worth while.
Book is here (I didn't even know it was on Goodreads, then I discovered this was owned by Amazon)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4...
cheers,
Karen Menuhin


message 16: by George (new)

George Garrigues Karen wrote: "George wrote: "Goodreads seems to be a site for readers looking for cheap books, not for writers seeking (1) sales or (2) communication with other writers. Nothing wrong with that, but a writer can..."

Hi, Karen. Yes, I think this place is full of writers trying to sell, but not many readers willing to buy. My daughter, on the other hand, (she handles my promotion) insists that it's a good way for readers to find my books. I go along, as fathers do with daughters.

— George


message 17: by George (new)

George Garrigues Rick wrote: "I have been here since 2008 -- I have a book listed here already -- Just published my second (Yay) Starshot. How the #$#@ do i get this site to acknowledge that the book is mind and put it on my da..."

Keep us posted. I find this thread to be valuable because I am talking with authors about their problems.

— George


message 18: by George (new)

George Garrigues That's not a very upbeat comment. Nor is it literate.


message 19: by George (new)

George Garrigues OK.


message 20: by Robin (new)

Robin Hawdon Agree with all the above. Why does not Goodreads have a link for newcomers on its Home page to 'How to...' - explaining all its procedures, rules and best practices?


message 21: by George (new)

George Garrigues George wrote: "Goodreads seems to be a site for readers looking for cheap books, not for writers seeking (1) sales or (2) communication with other writers. Nothing wrong with that, but a writer can go nuts here t..."

Replying to myself: I was posting two or three times a week, but I decided that I would rather spend my time on writing my books, promoting them, researching for my blog, etc.

That said, I did make contact through this GoodReads site with a writer whose book I used as a reference, and we are now linked here. So for that alone, I find that GoodReads has been valuable, although my blogging has not been.


message 22: by Sara (new)

Sara Creasy Please could the author of this article be more specific about how to find the things referred to? For example, "email", "newsletters", "feed" - these things are nowhere to be found under my Account Settings. There are no "tabs" to "check". I also can't see "preferred book vendors" or "Deals notifications to other apps"... or anything like that. I have one page under Account Settings with my personal details, that's it. No tabs. A few links to things like author widget and blog.

It would be helpful to assume I know nothing and give a step-by-step instructions on exactly what to click to get to these areas.

Thanks.


message 23: by George (new)

George Garrigues Sara wrote: "Please could the author of this article be more specific about how to find the things referred to? For example, "email", "newsletters", "feed" - these things are nowhere to be found under my Accoun..."
On the left-hand side of this page, there is a "Help" link. I think you can safely start there and get the answers to some of your questions. Good luck.


message 24: by Sara (new)

Sara Creasy George wrote: "On the left-hand side of this page, there is a "Help" link. I think you can safely start there and get the answers to some of your questions. Good luck. "

So I'm looking for the very first thing: how to change email preferences. The HELP link says go to "Edit profile" - I don't have that link from either the Goodreads homepage or my profile page. All I have is "edit author profile" which has no "email tab" or anything about email preferences.

I can see the problem is that as an author, I don't know how to get to my user account settings, as opposed to my author account settings. I can get there via this direct link: https://www.goodreads.com/user/edit - but where is the button or link or menu item that takes me there? Because when I view Goodreads while logged on, all I see is my author account, author dashboard, etc. (which does not have the Email tab or any other tab).


message 25: by George (new)

George Garrigues Sara wrote: "George wrote: "On the left-hand side of this page, there is a "Help" link. I think you can safely start there and get the answers to some of your questions. Good luck. "

So I'm looking for the ver..."


Good day.

The problem is, you are in the wrong place to get your answers. The people who read this might be just as confused as you are, most of us being readers or writers and not knowledgeable about really USING GoodReads. It would be best to communicate directly with the folks who run this place.

g


message 26: by Sara (new)

Sara Creasy I guess I assumed that "Cynthia", who wrote the post, was someone official and would read the comments and help out.


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