Goodreads Blog

How to Get the Most Out of Goodreads in Five Minutes a Day

Posted by Cynthia on February 22, 2016
Goodreads is the world's largest site for book discovery, and savvy authors know to claim their author profile, run a giveaway, and enable Ask the Author. But a Goodreads author profile is not complete unless you share your favorite books.

To get the most out of your time on Goodreads, you must be able to speak the same language as the millions of members on Goodreads: talk about books! Goodreads was built around the concept of discovering the next good book by browsing your friends’ bookshelves. Imagine how special it is for readers to browse the shelves of their favorite authors!

As part of Romance Week, Nalini Singh took the time to delight her fans by adding some of her favorite romance books to her shelf, and adding a few lines to her review:

Her fans responded not just by liking and commenting on her review, but by adding the book to their own shelves:
There are many ways to indicate your personal love for reading, and it all starts by adding books to your shelf.

Adding books takes a few minutes. You don’t need to write a full review or give the book a star rating; simply adding the book to your ‘Want to Read’ shelf to show readers what you’re interested in.

Adding books generates a newsfeed update to your followers. This is a quick and easy way to keep yourself top of mind with your followers on Goodreads.

Adding books gives you credibility. Every author started as a reader. Give new readers a better understanding of where you came from by sharing what you enjoy.

Adding books gives you conversation material. When readers comment on a book review you wrote, it’s absolutely ok to respond. Remember though: everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Adding books is an ongoing activity. New books are constantly being published, so show you’re up with the times (you must have read Girl on the Train by now, haven’t you?). It’s a great activity to do when you’re in between books.

Here are some more examples of bookshelves we like:

Sonali Dev, author of A Bollywood Affair
What we like on her shelf: An eclectic mix of romance and literature, this author helps readers discover similar books to hers.

Erik Larson, author of The Devil in the White City
What we like on his shelf: A custom shelf of 18 “all-time-favorites” helps readers identify a good book recommendation they can pass along to fans of The Devil in the White City

Amber Smith, author of The Way I Used to Be
What we like on her shelf: As a writer who also earned a BFA in Painting, Amber’s list of books shelved under “art books” must be legit.

Take the next five minutes to find and shelve the books that made you fall in love with reading. Share the link to your shelf with us in the comments below!

Next: Five Tips for Running a Giveaway on Goodreads

You might also like: How St. Martin's Press Doubled Down on Marketing Success

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

Comments Showing 1-50 of 63 (63 new)


message 1: by Robby (new)

Robby Charters Here's a group of mine...
https://www.goodreads.com/review/list...


message 2: by sucre'd fiend (new)

sucre'd fiend Here's mine, though I do believe I have read far more than what's listed:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/list...


message 3: by Olufunmi (last edited Mar 07, 2016 11:02AM) (new)

Olufunmi Olayinka My passion for reading started with teenage passion for the Mills and Boon romance series. I simply could not set my eyes on a copy of M&B without finding a way to read it. Since then my passion for reading has grown enormously. Currently my favourite genre are Mystery, Crime and Legal thrillers.


message 6: by Scott (new)

Scott Hunter OK - fans of The Woman In Black need to have a look here:

http://www.amazon.com/Long-Goodbyes-S...

Long Goodbyes - dare you say hello?


message 7: by Eleanor (new)

Eleanor Troutt Hello Scott:

Good to hear from you. Have you had any success in marketing your book through Goodreads??

Eleanor


message 8: by Scott (new)

Scott Hunter Hi Eleanor

I have attracted some interest, but I must say that I find the whole process of adding my books very tricky. I have added books - somehow - before, but can't for the life of me figure out how to search for my own books and then add them as mine via the author dashboard. It just seems to take me around in circles. Long Goodbyes is a case in point. I can't see how to add it to 'my' ie authored, books.


message 9: by Eleanor (new)

Eleanor Troutt Afraid I can't help you there. I haven't gotten very involved in Goodreads because it does seem rather complex. I mainly sell my books through Amazon and have been quite successful both on Kindle and Amazon.

I was going to list some freebies on Goodreads but I notice they don't allow ebooks.


message 10: by Ramona (new)

Ramona Fransson I can agree in Eleanors comment. I also have my books at Amazon all over the world in e-books and also audio books, so I haven´t engaged in Goodreads as much.

Ramona Fransson

Murder in Skarhamn: A Swedish Crime Novel


message 11: by Ernesto (new)

Ernesto What about for writers in Spanish language?


message 12: by Eleanor (new)

Eleanor Troutt Sorry, Ernesto. No books in Spanish but I'm very open to the idea of getting my books translated into Spanish.


message 13: by Eleanor (new)

Eleanor Troutt Ramona wrote: "I can agree in Eleanors comment. I also have my books at Amazon all over the world in e-books and also audio books, so I haven´t engaged in Goodreads as much.

Ramona Fransson

[bo..."


Ramona, you mentioned in your comment that your books are also available in audio form. I guess there are companies that will do an audio version. Would you recommend any to me?


message 15: by Andy (last edited Mar 07, 2016 01:49PM) (new)

Andy Holligan Goodreads have been fantastic for me. I think the whole set up is a great idea, not just for authors promoting their books but also for people to find out about books. Remember that we authors are readers too. I have found out about some great books because of Goodreads- and I'm pretty sure I would never have found out about half of them just by browsing Amazon or the high street stores.
Ive lost count of the number of times Ive added a book to my own 'to read' list, simply because someone else rated it or reviewed it. Otherwise I might never have knew it existed! Infact, when I need another book to read, I never even have to leave the house anymore, I simply look at my 'to read' list.
When I first became active on Goodreads about a year ago, only five people had my book on their 'to read' list. Now there are over a thousand. This is mainly due to giveaways, which is also a great idea-and if you are an author, I highly recommend it! As it says above, adding books to your shelves, rating books and letting other people know what you are reading and what you want to read is also vitally important.
Best Wishes, Andy Holligan, author of 'You Are The Problem, You Are The Solution'.


message 16: by Marcia (new)

Marcia I love keeping track of all the books I read and I find Goodreads to be very user-friendly. Here's my shelf: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list...


message 17: by Steven (new)

Steven Bussell The William Bell Detective series is interesting as much for it's human interest viewpoint as for the detective stories involved. From Small Circle of Friends on, one cares about the characters as much as the plots of the books. The series consists of:
Small Circle of Friends, ISBN# 978-1516800469
Sons of the Patriots, ISBN# 978-1522774532
Duck for Cover, ISBN# 978-1523413041 and
Heinrich's Maneuvers ISBN# 978-1530282012.


message 18: by Tara (new)

Tara I did mine as a blog post, the most memorable books I read in 2015:
https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog...


message 19: by Dan (new)


message 20: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Clark https://www.goodreads.com/review/list...
my book shelf is full of romance ymm-iness... lol... a lot of paranormal/fantasy PNR, but some contemporary... you have to add in some CR esp if there are cowboys involved... ahhhhh, cowboys.... when I organize my shelves, I use author names as shelf titles... I only take the time to put something on a shelf if enjoyed it in some way... though I think I will start working on a mixed favorites shelf, like a top-rereads-must... happy wordage everyone


message 21: by Lynda (new)

Lynda Terry I am offering a free audiobook (to listen to online and/or download, in part or in total) of my first book, starting tomorrow, but assume Goodreads won't let me post about that on my author's page? The audiobook is on my SoundCloud page set up for this purpose.

I haven't used Goodreads much for many of the same reasons others are mentioning here, but I also don't have a recent book out either, so there is less motivation to promote. I am working on a new book (and have a publisher for it), but it's too soon in the process to begin talking about it…


message 22: by Lillis (new)

Lillis Lish I love using all of Goodreads tools. I have had two sucessful giveways as well as been asked by other authors to review their books. Since,I am now back from vacation i can actually start reading the books.
I was not sure at first hoe to use Goodreads,so I just keep exploring it until i figured how to use it correctly.
My advice to any author,known or unknown is to use Goodreads for your books. Iy is a wonderful media to get noticed.


message 23: by Kris (new)

Kris Lillis wrote: "I love using all of Goodreads tools. I have had two sucessful giveways as well as been asked by other authors to review their books. Since,I am now back from vacation i can actually start reading t..."

Scott wrote: "Hi Eleanor

I have attracted some interest, but I must say that I find the whole process of adding my books very tricky. I have added books - somehow - before, but can't for the life of me figure o..."


Eleanor wrote: "Hello Scott:

Good to hear from you. Have you had any success in marketing your book through Goodreads??

Eleanor"



message 24: by Kris (new)

Kris Like Scott, I find it really confusing to make any changes. Yes, 'somehow' is about right. I wanted to change some covers this morning. Round and round in frustration, getting nowhere! But I did manage to add two nice photos to The Boat Builder's Bed, even if the old cover is still there. I'd love to get it all sorted because in less than an hour people had found the photos, proving Goodreads is a very worthwhile place to be.


message 25: by Kari (new)

Kari Trenten I'll admit, I'm reading a lot of the classics, since it's easy to get them on my Kindle. I've fallen in love with 'The Centaur' and 'A Prisoner of Fairyland', by Algernon Blackwood. Blackwood has become one of my favorite authors. I'm also delighted to have found a lot of Storm Constantine's works, which I was having trouble hunting down in paperback or hardbound form via Kindle.


message 27: by D.K. (new)

D.K. Janotta These are the books I love. https://www.goodreads.com/review/list...

I've read many more, too many to remember all at once.


message 28: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Books I read and reviewed can be found here. https://www.goodreads.com/review/list...


message 29: by Patricia (new)

Patricia I haven't gotten into Goodreads because it's so hard to maneuver around. Fortunately, Amazon does transfer my reviews to Goodreads so that's taken care of. As I have a new book coming out, I'd probably better figure it out QUICK.

www.patriciaanneguthrie.


message 30: by Eleanor (new)

Eleanor Troutt Patricia. I totally agree with your statement, "I haven't gotten into Goodreads because it's so hard to maneuver around." I get a little further each time I tackle it, but it sure isn't user friendly!

The Little Red Sports Car: A Modern Fable About Diabetes


message 31: by Patricia (new)

Patricia I have Diabetes. Now, I'm on the cusp. So, I've done something right.


message 32: by Robin (new)

Robin Because of GoodReads, I have more books on my TBR list than I can probably read in my lifetime—thanks to the recommendations and reviews of other readers! I will never run out of ideas for what to read next. :)

If you're a fantasy fan, take a look at my list of All Time Favorites.


message 33: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Thanks Robin


message 34: by Lark (new)

Lark Brennan I read a lot! Here are some of the books I've read in the past few years. https://www.goodreads.com/review/list...


message 35: by Surendra (new)

Surendra Nath Last evening I visited Bhubaneswar Book Fair and picked up 9 books. Book Fairs are great places to stumble upon some rare books going at throwaway prices.


message 36: by Olga (last edited Mar 09, 2016 03:48AM) (new)

Olga Vannucci I've been adding little reviews in rhyme to the books I've read. It's kind of fun.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show...


message 37: by Kris (new)

Kris Jordan Esta es mi lista de libros preferidos a parte de los mios jajaja
https://www.goodreads.com/review/list...


message 38: by Cynthia (last edited Mar 09, 2016 04:41PM) (new)

Cynthia Yoder This was helpful, thanks. I've been on Goodreads mainly as a reader and only more recently did I realize authors can build an audience here. Still very new. If someone can point me toward how to do a give-away, that'd be awesome!


message 39: by Kari (new)

Kari Trenten Cynthia wrote: "This was helpful, thanks. I've been on Goodreads mainly as a reader and only more recently did I realize authors can build an audience here. Still very new. If someone can point me toward how to do..."

I'm new as well, so I'm going to be listening closely to what anyone has to say about this 'how to do a give-away', as well. :) Thank you for bringing the subject up, Cynthia!


message 40: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Pulling I lov it when I discover an author that I haven't read before. Then I read all their books. On of my latest 'finds' is Helen Humphreys and I thoroughly recommend her book LEAVING EARTH.

Author Monet's Angels.


message 41: by Ethan (new)

Ethan Holmes I mean no offense to anyone personally yet i have to say that I am weary of all the emails sent out that say, "here's the secret to becoming a rich, famous, successful author. It's so simple/easy." Then you click on the link only to find an utterly useless and profoundly unsuccessful method such as mentioned in this post.
Really??? That's all there is to it? Just add books to your shelf in GR? You are kidding right?


message 42: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Cross I love everything from Judy Blume to Jack Reacher. And of course, hope other Judy Blume fans will check out my Skylar Robbins mysteries. :) https://www.goodreads.com/review/list...


message 43: by Maria (new)

Maria hi there! :)
if tou looking for someone to promote your book, please, look the information below.
I also have some information regarding reviews and book promotion...
I hope, it will be helpful!
Promote Your Book to 180,000+ Daily Active Readers and 177,000+ Email Subscribers (including 30,000+ Kindle Unlimited subscribers)!
Buy a Book Promotion Slot: www.booksbutterfly.com/?tag=messagex2
Looking for reviews? Buy a Review Slot: www.reviewst.com/getreviews/?tag=mess...
good luck! ;)


message 44: by Joshua (last edited Apr 04, 2016 01:45PM) (new)

Joshua Cox-Steib Here are some treasures. Most of the individual books from series in this shelf should be seen as representative of the series - I didn't want to go through and add that many books :)

https://www.goodreads.com/review/list...


message 45: by Steve (new)

Steve Pronger I really enjoy the Goodreads bookshelf feature. It serves as a tracking diary of sorts. I actually find myself reading more due to the Goodreads reading challenge as well. Thanks Goodreads!
https://www.goodreads.com/review/list...


message 46: by Dan (new)

Dan Petrosini Steve wrote: "I really enjoy the Goodreads bookshelf feature. It serves as a tracking diary of sorts. I actually find myself reading more due to the Goodreads reading challenge as well. Thanks Goodreads!
https:/..."


It is helpful. I have to admit that many times i forget what I have read and get the same book!


message 47: by Olga (new)

Olga Vannucci Good morning to all!
Here is my shelf, and I add little book reviews in rhyme to each book.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/list...


message 48: by Janice (new)

Janice Spina I love Goodreads and have used their Giveaway program. Works great and easy to do. I read extensively and have published 12 books with more coming. They are listed on Goodreads. It's a happening place and a perfect venue to meet other readers and authors and share books. Thank you Goodreads!


message 49: by Mawr (last edited Sep 13, 2016 08:51AM) (new)

Mawr https://www.goodreads.com/review/list...

My reading tastes include psychoanalysis, horror, Marxism, communism, anarchism, and classic literature.


message 50: by J. (new)

J. Else I broke my shelves up a bit more to help differentiate favorites, historical, fantasy, awesome female leads, Goodreads First Reads, etc.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/list...

This link takes you to my ancient-themed Egypt shelf, which is the same setting for my self-published book.


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