Goodreads Blog

Goodreads Now Offers Ad Targeting Based on 20,000 Authors & 500 Genre Options

Posted by Veronica Moss on September 12, 2016
The holy grail of book discovery is to get your book in front of the readers most likely to be interested in reading it, and one of the best ways to do this is with highly targeted advertising. While Goodreads is home to the world’s largest community of readers, we also know that not all books will appeal to all readers. To significantly improve how Goodreads helps book publishers reach the right potential readers, we’ve therefore rolled out new enhanced genre and author targeting offerings.

More options means more refined targeting

We’ve expanded our targetable authors from 200 to 20,000 and our targetable genres from 50 to 500, which provides a wider selection of possible targets and enables more precision with ad targeting. For example, fans of Veronica Rossi, Marie Lu, and Neal Shusterman all enjoy science fiction, but will likely find different science fiction books appealing. Now, you can narrow down your target audiences with more accuracy and create an audience that is highly relevant to your book.

Better data delivers improved results

Next, we’ve made genre targeting more dynamic—it now considers both a reader’s declared (their stated preferences) and behavioral (as shown by their activity on Goodreads) interests. This is important because a reader’s taste can change over time, so behavioral signals such as recent shelving activity is a more effective way to select the best ad to serve at the right time.

Combined, these targeting improvements enable book publishers to pinpoint readers who have the highest probability of being interested in their book, and in turn, deliver even more efficient advertising campaigns. And it’s great for our members too as this will help them discover even more books that better reflect their reading tastes.

How Our New Author Targeting Works

When book publishers have a title they want to advertise on Goodreads, they can work with our Ad Sales team to develop a list of authors they’d like to target using one or more of our display ad products across web and mobile surfaces. Our best practice is to select up to 10 authors to target, with at least 5 authors from our list of top 200 authors in order to guarantee effective ad delivery.

Typically the publisher will suggest an author, or set of authors, that they believe would be relevant for the campaign; our Account Managers will augment or refine that list to optimize ad delivery and performance. Display ads, including our high performing Native Ads, are then targeted to readers based on their shelving and rating activity. Of course, you only want to reach fans of an author, so we automatically filter out anyone who has rated an author’s books less than 3 stars.

How Our New Genre Targeting Works

More dynamic than in the past, a member’s genre preferences are based on the books they shelf, which lets us identify the most relevant set of genres for that person at that point in time. And, we’ve built out our selection of genre options even more broadly than before. Any genre with a material amount of fans on Goodreads will work as a marketing target, giving book publishers an opportunity to increase discoverability of their featured titles. Some of the new genre options include coming of age, outdoors, and zombies. Like Author targeting, display ads, including Native ads, are then targeted to our readers based on their declared genre preferences and their behavioral preferences.

Get Started

If you’re a current advertising partner, look for an announcement coming from us over email. For further questions, feel free to reach out to your account manager. They can walk you through the changes, and help you take advantage of the new targeting for your next campaign.

Download and search our new library of targetable authors here, and targetable genres here.

If you’re new to Advertising with Goodreads, contact us at We would love to help you market your next book!

Next: Getting the Most Out of the New Native Ads on Goodreads Newsfeed

You might also like: Five Tips for Running a Giveaway on Goodreads

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

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)

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message 1: by Mocha (new)

Mocha Mocha I am interested in advertising.

message 2: by Jaclyn, Goodreads employee (new)

Jaclyn Mocha wrote: "I am interested in advertising."

Please reach out to us at, we'd love to help!

message 3: by William (new)

William L. I will contact you about my groundbreaking new book about how Canadians and Americans can understand each other--and work better together (see at

Appeals to readers interested in politics, travel, geography, culture, economics etc.

message 4: by KSR (new)

KSR Menon Desert Hunt
I am already advertising on goodreads. But I think it needs to be finetuned. goodreads is a great platform and I would like to advertise more provided I get help to get better returns.

message 5: by R.L. (new)

R.L. Herron I'm interested in promoting all six of my books on Goodreads.

message 6: by Adele (new)

Adele Frances I'm interested in advertising my book on Goodreads.

message 7: by Janet (new)

Janet I have published two books, both non fiction. They are both memoirs.
One is my own and it is funny, informative, somewhat scholarly and about well known people. How do I get it noticed?
The other is one I transcribed from the notes of a deceased person and it is unusual. I think it may be of interest to historians, particularly of Portuguese history.
Janet Cantor
An Epistolary Life
The Nine Lives of Viriato

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