Goodreads Blog

Make Your Goodreads Author Profile Great

Posted by Cynthia on December 3, 2015
Last month, we made some updates to the author profile page on iOS. Goodreads author profiles now also appear on giveaway landing pages (along with the trusty follow button). Readers pay attention to the person behind the pages, so give them a chance to discover more about you and update your profile today. An incomplete profile is a missed opportunity to make a connection with a potential fan.

Here are some tips to make your profile more engaging:

Upload a high-quality, professional photo. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and the picture is the first thing that catches the reader's eye. A good author profile picture typically shows the author from the shoulders up. Make sure your photo is in focus and well-lit. Don’t forget to smile! If you want to remain anonymous, select an avatar, but don’t use your book cover—it can come across as too self-promotional.

A solid bio consists of a paragraph or two, and should convey some interesting personal information that can’t be found elsewhere. If you’re going to refer to your current work, make sure it stays current. In other words, don’t refer to “my new book, recently published!” when the reader can scroll down and see it was published in 2013. Keep it short and put the most relevant info in the first few lines–anything after these lines will be truncated on many pages.

Enable Ask the Author from your author dashboard to allow readers to contact you easily. You can’t predict when a reader might want to ask you a question, so turning this tool on gives readers the immediate ability to connect with you. Even if the person hasn’t read your book, something in your bio might spark a question.

Curate your virtual bookshelf. Readers will be curious about what kind of reader you are. Find at least 20 books to add to your bookshelf on Goodreads. You don’t need to rate them if you don’t want to. You can also create custom shelves relevant to your work, for example “Books About Maine” if your novel was set there.

Combine editions. Reviews for your paperback or ebook should be visible on every edition of your book–whether it’s the hardcover or the Japanese translation edition. Combine all works using the combine button (watch this short video to learn how) to ensure readers see every review. Worried about combining editions? Ask the friendly Goodreads Librarians group for help.

Need some inspiration? Check out a few of these great author profiles: Andrew Shaffer, Gail Carriger, Amy Stewart.

What are some ways you make your profile stand out?

Next: Author Profiles in the Goodreads iOS App Get a Refresh

You might also like: Five Tips for Using Ask the Author on Goodreads

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

Comments Showing 1-13 of 13 (13 new)

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message 1: by P.D. (new)

P.D. Workman I have had issues when combining foreign language editions with English editions. I wouldn't recommend it!


message 2: by Martin (new)

Martin I still have books that I'm not the author of associated with my profile!!!


message 3: by P.D. (new)

P.D. Workman Martin wrote: "I still have books that I'm not the author of associated with my profile!!!"

You can ask a librarian to remove them.


message 4: by Candace (new)

Candace It would be great if we could have our book trailer(s) above the fold on our profiles. The book trailer gets lost on the left sidebar under the ads and below the fold. I wonder if anyone ever sees them. I think trailers are becoming more and more important. The heading for this spot is simply "Videos." How about renaming it "Book Trailer" and putting it above the fold, then the ads, and then perhaps a second spot for "Videos?" I do realize that ads are important, but then, so are book trailers. :)


message 5: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Denk Review what others are doing and then do something different. For example, if most authors use a color profile picture, then go with a black and white one.


message 6: by Annie (new)

Annie Burrows thanks for reminder to upload a decent pic - heard the same advice recently at a conference about smiling, too.


message 7: by Shinde (new)

Shinde Candace wrote: "It would be great if we could have our book trailer(s) above the fold on our profiles. The book trailer gets lost on the left sidebar under the ads and below the fold. I wonder if anyone ever sees ..."

Wonderful idea. I fully agree.


message 8: by Shinde (new)

Shinde A few suggestions to make it even better
1] Add an area for photos - like book launch, book display etc.
2] Allow any one post to be 'Sticky' or always pinned to top, for the cursory visitors of profile site.


message 9: by Candace (new)

Candace Sweety wrote: "A few suggestions to make it even better
1] Add an area for photos - like book launch, book display etc.
2] Allow any one post to be 'Sticky' or always pinned to top, for the cursory visitors of p..."


A sticky! Yes!


message 10: by Robin (new)

Robin Another suggestion:

Add a space to post book news, like film deals, theatrical renditions, awards, and audiobook projects for anyone visiting the page.


message 11: by Candace (new)

Candace Robin wrote: "Another suggestion:

Add a space to post book news, like film deals, theatrical renditions, awards, and audiobook projects for anyone visiting the page."


Like.


message 12: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Tornambe Awesome tips to make your profile great. Thanks.


message 13: by Alex (new)

Alex Morrall The biggest thing for me, is that my book cover isn't showing. I know it sounds daft, but my page looks a little dowdy as a consequence


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