Goodreads Blog

Five Things to Remember When Engaging on Goodreads

Posted by Cynthia on March 16, 2016
There are many places to interact with readers on Goodreads, including Ask the Author, in the newsfeed where readers post their reading updates, in book reviews, and in group discussions. Every interaction gets amplified and helps promote discovery of your titles, so keep in mind that all your actions are for public consumption. As with any online community, there are some things that work and some that don't. Check out our author guidelines, which can help you identify what works best. Here are some key things to remember:

Always practice basic online etiquette, or "netiquette." Consider including emoticons to help add personality to your message and set the right tone. Also, be sure to stay on topic in a conversation and avoid writing in all caps, which is the online equivalent to shouting.

Join groups that interest you. You'll meet readers who share a common interest, whether it’s "Cozy Mysteries" or "Biker Book Babes." Avoid self-promotion, as your focus should be on the topic of the group, not on yourself.

Provide thoughtful, generous responses when answering questions from readers in Ask the Author, and contribute general good content in the form of reviews or group comments.

Pace yourself. Respond to one or two questions a day rather than 40 questions in one Ask the Author sitting. Similarly, it’s easier to actively participate regularly in two groups than two dozen.

Review books. Talk about the books you’re reading, not just the books you’ve written. Write reviews of the books that most influenced you when you were first getting started as a writer.

• Whatever you do, don't argue with reviewers or try to change their opinions of your book. If the review violates our guidelines, flag it so we can check it out.

Taking the time to get to know readers online and connecting with them on a personal level will help drive book discovery organically. Readers cherish your time and attention above all, and with sincere interaction it's possible to build a loyal readership that will help you spread the word about your books!

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

You might also like: Six Marketing Lessons Learned at the Romantic Times Convention

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

Comments Showing 1-36 of 36 (36 new)

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message 1: by Beth (new)

Beth Everett I've been trying to figure out what to do about readers who enter contests and then say, "I was given a copy to read in exchange for an honest review."
This isn't the case, correct? They win a contest and are asked to review the book if they like it, right?
Maybe a gentle reminder from you?

message 2: by J.K. (new)

J.K. Riki @Beth Not just if they like it. Goodreads requests/hopes contest winners leave a review afterward. I dont think it's mandatory, but slightly expected at this point. :)

The way I like to look at it, we authors have all the power when writing. Everything is in our hands. After that, though, 100% of the authority goes to the reader. We've done our part, and now it is what it is!

message 3: by Beth (new)

Beth Everett Thanks so much. Yes, when I am feeling bad about some reviews, I like to click on Tolstoy. If he gets bad ones, why shouldn't I?
But saying you received a book in exchange for a review is not quite correct, right?

message 4: by Beth (new)

Beth Everett One more thing...I have duplicate copies of the same book up. Did I do that you do you guys receive a feed from Amazon?
I just added my new book and am hoping the same thing doesn't happen. Is there a way to merge the two?

message 5: by Caren (new)

Caren J. Werlinger Beth wrote: "One more thing...I have duplicate copies of the same book up. Did I do that you do you guys receive a feed from Amazon?
I just added my new book and am hoping the same thing doesn't happen. Is the..."

Beth, if you look below the various editions of your book, you should see a "Combine" button. That may help get everything linked.

message 6: by Beth (new)

Beth Everett Thank you so much!

message 7: by J.K. (new)

J.K. Riki "But saying you received a book in exchange for a review is not quite correct, right?"

Indeed. They should say "I received this book as part of a giveaway." :) But, as you probably know, people gonna people! :)

Congrats on the new book!

message 8: by Thia (new)

Thia Licona Well, this is my first post. It seems to me that I would be doing more of reading and learning how to approach not only readers but also writers.
I have much to learn about Goodreads, that's for sure. The part about self-promoting kind of intimidates me but? If I read other writers I know I will not have time for any self-promotion, right?:-)
Now for the biggie, what to read? Cynthia, could you check my titles and give me some suggestions? :-)

message 9: by D.D. (last edited Apr 12, 2016 05:24PM) (new)

D.D. Kimberley My very first post, too, Thia--mind if I sit with you?

My question is: where does one even look for 'groups' to join? I've been taking odd moments here and there, trying to figure out this site, and I've not yet run across any 'groups.'

How's that for a newbie question? :)

message 10: by Caren (new)

Caren J. Werlinger D.D. wrote: "My very first post, too, Thia--mind if I sit with you?

My question is: where does one even look for 'groups' to join? I've been taking odd moments here and there, trying to figure out this site, a..."

Hey, D.D., I'm still figuring Goodreads out, too, but if you log in and look at the headings at the top of the page. I see from left to right: Home, My Books, Browse, Community. If you click on Community, you'll see Groups as an option. There are tons of them! Good luck!

message 11: by Thia (new)

Thia Licona :-) Me? Blind leading the blind but? I read the author's page over & over again. I tried to update my profile and maybe that is why I got an email to join a group, I think that's how I found the group & guidelines. Maybe.--:-)
Now? I am waiting for an answer to my question. Me? Been taking my odd moments as well. Guess it's a waiting deal. Waiting for the leaders of the group or somebody to take pity on us 'newbies' eagerness to find our way in this cybernetic mase? Let's wait & hope! That's all. :-)

message 12: by Thia (new)

Thia Licona Ah! There you have it! Caren took pity on us! Thank goodness! I for one? going to investigate! Thanks Caren. :-)

message 13: by D.D. (new)

D.D. Kimberley Ah, thank you Caren, and Thia too--

Right after I posted the question I found the place to look for groups.
I clicked to join one, but they restrict their membership to adults (they do not seem naughty at all to me) and want me to put my birthdate on my profile. I've added it to my author profile, as there a member profile I need to update too? Sorry, I joined Goodreads late one evening and by the time I got through rating books I'd read--well, I don't remember much else about joining up. If I have a member profile somewhere, how do I find it?

Thanks so much!

message 14: by Thia (new)

Thia Licona :-) This is so cute to me? My same struggles? Everybody else seem to know exactly what to do? I couldn't find my profile either! Then? It occurred to me to click my picture? There! I found it +! Maybe that helps. :-)

message 15: by Thia (new)

Thia Licona Well? Don't know if this is the place to ask but? I wonder if somebody could tell me how to read the books in Kobo? I downloaded the app but? Don't know what to do with it? Please experts, enlighten me if you please? :-)

message 16: by D.D. (new)

D.D. Kimberley Thia wrote: ":-) This is so cute to me? My same struggles? Everybody else seem to know exactly what to do? I couldn't find my profile either! Then? It occurred to me to click my picture? There! I found it +! Ma..."

Yes, that takes me to my author profile--to which I've added my birthdate. But since I'm still getting the little alert message when I try to join this supposedly open group, I'm just wondering if there's another more general 'member profile' somewhere? Maybe it just takes awhile for the 'system' to update. I do appreciate you sharing the newbie corner with me, Thia!

message 17: by Thia (new)

Thia Licona O dear! I got so much to learn? It looks like you do too. Rejoice! Enjoy! Is fun to learn! Me? I'm a 77 yr old student? Been learning since birth. Isn't that the truth? Learn. Learn. Learn from birth until...after death! :-)

message 18: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Thorogood At 77 you must have a wealth of knowledge and a wealth of experience at your finger tips. With each year I feel I grow as a person. Cheers Anthony E Thorogood.

message 19: by Thia (new)

Thia Licona Ha! You made my morning! I just finished writing a woeful email to my dearest closest friend that prefers somebody else's wisdom than yours truly wisdom? Hahaha! Nay my friend.
I do have a wealth of knowledge & experience and? Every single day I add on to it. That's true but? One thing I see and one thing I go by on the daily basis? No matter how much one knows or have experienced it all pales when it comes to the power of love from on high--that's what it is all about not knowledge. :-) Thanks for taking the time to read & comment. I love it!
His love in my heart for all, thiaBasilia

message 20: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Thorogood I'm not a religious person but I have met and now many when I was in Israel I even was best friends of a Franciscan Friar and I wrote about those experiences in my book Love in the Land of Milk and Honey. I think that every bodies experiences of life and every bodies views are good and worth while and we grow by experiencing others.

message 21: by Thia (new)

Thia Licona My sentiments. I am not religious at all anymore. I live in the Presence of our Father/Creator and share my experience without any frills & thrills for the benefit of the many searching souls of an elusive happiness in this world like I once was but? I do not promote myself--I promote the One who created me to love & be loved.
Unfortunately? The minute yours truly or anyone mentions the Creator or anything alluring to Him? People freaks out and go 'holy religious' on me. Makes me smile? I was once there but? By the power of love from on high? I am not there anymore and?
Many searching souls are getting the meaning of the sharing from my heart and benefiting by such sharing.
Your title brings to mind my experience of love in this region of the world.
I'been in Jerusalem. I been in Palestine. I am now in Jordan. Tell you the truth? In these parts of the world? One learns about love for sure?
The power of love from on high. Not really an emotional religious or romantic love but? The love that endures forever!
I am having a hard time reading other titles because? Journaling my daily life experience and keeping up with the blogs created by yours truly? Consumes not only my time but also my full concentration.
Regardless? I am hoping soon to catch up with my reading. Keep in touch! Let me know how your book is doing?
His love in my heart for all, thiaBasilia

message 22: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Thorogood Must be interesting living in Jordan. There is some amazing archaeology there, the food is probably pretty interesting too.

message 23: by Thia (new)

Thia Licona Interesting is an under-statement! It's a colossal trip if you get taken in by the locals? Seven years! Tell u what? Father brought me here among the wilderness of people to judge and contend with me face to face and? It's been six years of nothing but tribulation but? On this 7th year Father has accomplished His purpose in doing so!
I am now on my 7th year enjoying the fruit of His labor? I am now a genuine person, full of love & compassion for all plus? He has rewarded me with an adopted son to take care of me and? My dream roof apartment in the capital of Jordan--in Amman! Oh what a life! I would change it for silver or gold! :-)

message 24: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Thorogood Thia are you on Facebook? I'd like to read the story of your life I assume it has been very interesting!

message 25: by Thia (new)

Thia Licona Ha! been sleeping! Sure! let me think? Ok Go here:
Let me know if it comes up for you. I think I mess up that site but? Maybe not. Check & let me know. :-)

message 26: by Thia (new)

Thia Licona Anthony? Whatever happened to you? Did u get to read my story? Was it a disappointment? Did not hear from u anymore? :-)

message 27: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Thorogood Sorry I have been very busy writing and editing my books, just finished a whole series called Continental Drift, Yes I did have a look at your book thank you. Stormy here today been to an agricultural fair and got muddy. So how is everything over there in Jordan?

message 28: by Thia (new)

Thia Licona Beautiful but? A couple days ago? Electrical fire. Huge fire destroyed the local market. Unbelievable response from the people! United to quench the fire before the fire department came to the rescue.
Me? Perched in my roof apartment. My visitor Ahmad? He pointed the black smoke to me and? We wandered and hoped the fire was not happening in the school building. Later on? Ahmad informs me: "The suke (market) been burnt! Millions gone into smoke!" My response? "O mine! Where are you going to get our food now?" Ahmad with a laugh in his tone, "WHAT? Millions have been destroyed and? You worried about your belly only?"
Ah! That carnal nature of mine? Truly is ridiculous but? Father knows all about it and? My response, "Ah! Don't worry Ahmad. The suke shall come back better than before! It's just that now, right at this moment? I'm hungry and waiting for you to get that food from the suke. That's all."
Anyhow? They are already getting it all together at the suke. The weather continues to be the best with the sun shinning from a clear sky. I am busy with my new book -- editing, proofing & so on and? Father has given to me hind's feet to walk upon my difficult paths not to stand still but? Walk and make spiritual progress big time! Check me out if time permits, I am still working on that blog. Things are coming together in it. A couple of links might not work for now but I got it under control anyhow. In return? I'll check you out. Maybe give you a review? Give me time, that's all. Later! :-)

message 29: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Thorogood I'm not sure you would like what I write perhaps you would be all right with my book Love in the Land of Milk and Honey but a lot of my other writing you would find...well difficult. Sad to hear about the fire in the suke. They have all sorts of problems here, no water for the hydro electricity this year, the fish farms are having problems, (over production but they won't admit it like to blame something else) bush fires last summer, floods. People always find someone or something to blame instead of admitting responsibility and just getting on with it. It's been raining a lot which is really nice I love weather. So I'll have a bit of a look at your blog later today if I get time, busy relocating hot house because of winds!

message 30: by Thia (new)

Thia Licona Thanks for your honesty. I'll stay put and let you do your thing. It would be interesting if you benefit from my blog. Who knows? You have not found me for nothing and? Nothing is impossible with our Father/Creator. :-)

message 31: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Hill I do not think I have written in Goodreads before and when I read all the comments above I am not sure where I am going here. I like to travel and explore new and sometimes out of the way places and I have written a couples of books about these adventures. I'm currently reading about Iran. I like to try and simplify problems that arise and avoid negative feelings. Life is short and there is a need to get the most out of it. My philosophy is Do it Soon - Do it Now!
Cheers to all, Patrick Hill

message 32: by Rod (new)

Rod Raglin Beth wrote: "Thanks so much. Yes, when I am feeling bad about some reviews, I like to click on Tolstoy. If he gets bad ones, why shouldn't I?
But saying you received a book in exchange for a review is not quite..."

Hello Beth,
I think bad reviews, as long as their specific, are more valuable than good ones. First and foremost, I want to become a better writer. If I should become successful, well, that's okay too.

Bad reviews tell me where I let the reader down - where I need to improve and believe me there's always room for improvement - at least in my case.

Never feel bad about giving a bad review. The author should be grateful you read his book and took the time to comment.

message 33: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Mooney I tried advertising using the Goodreads beta ad program and had mixed success. Lots of views and clicks but did not see sales rise as a result. Has anyone had a similar experience or a better one that they care to share? I would appreciate it.

message 34: by Alistair (new)

Alistair Potter Well, I think I'm your target reader for this posting. I have (relatively) no problem writing the 'stuff', but when it comes to getting it in the public eye, I struggle. Looking forward to your next post, cheers, Alistair.

"Some historians argue the invention of spreadable chocolate was mankind's downfall. Others cite it as their finest accomplishment." - Galactic Library of Chocolate.

message 35: by Peter (new)

Peter Upton Hi, there must be a whole group of us out there with the same problem. Having spent 20 years writing 'Candles on The Ganges' I thought the job was done and I could get back to meditation and gardening but it is so hard getting the book rolling so I can walk away, However, coming across someone like thia Basilica on this site has put a smile on my face. Peter E Upton

message 36: by David (new)

David Keuning [hey Cynthia, this blog post also appears over on Amazon. On the Amazon site there is a typo in the second line.]

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