Help > Q&A
Ask and answer questions about books!
You can pose questions to the Goodreads community with Reader Q&A, or ask your favorite author a question with Ask the Author.
Here’s more about both:
Readers can ask and answer questions about a specific book and “like” their favorite answers. To ask a question, visit the book’s page on Goodreads. (Use the search box at the top of the site to search for any book title.) Scroll down the book page, and you will see a space called Reader Q&A. You can also select “More Questions about…” to view other questions Goodreads members have asked. If someone answers your question, you’ll be notified on Goodreads and by email.
Ask the Author
Readers can ask questions and receive answers from their favorite authors. To ask a question, visit the author’s profile page. (Use the search box at the top of the site to search for any author.) Scroll down the author profile, and if the author is a member of Goodreads who is accepting questions you will see a space called Ask the Author. You can also select "More answers from…" to view all of the questions the author has answered in the past. If the author answers your question, the question and answer will appear on the author’s profile as well as in the newsfeeds of the author’s followers, and you will be notified on your Goodreads homepage and by email.
Any registered member of Goodreads can ask or answer a Reader Q&A question. Any visitor to Goodreads can read questions and answers.
To ask readers a question, go to the book page. (Use the search box at the top of the site to search for any book title.) Scroll down the book page, and you will see a space called Reader Q&A. Enter your question in the box provided and click “Ask.” This will post your question on the book page for other Goodreads members to answer. Your friends and followers will also see your question in their Goodreads newsfeeds.
You can ask any kind of question related to a specific book or author. You can ask questions about:
• Specific characters or plot points
• Other books in the series
• Interpretations of specific passages or scenes
Some examples of questions readers have asked other readers include:
“Critics have called this book 'Dickensian' – what do they mean by that? In what ways is it like something from Charles Dickens?” – Ami, asking about The Goldfinch
“If you work in a restaurant, did you love or hate this book?” – Suzanne, asking about Sous Chef
“Are the corruptions related to high-frequency trading on a similar scale to the horror show that was mortgage-backed securities?” – Patrick, asking about The Big Short
“Why did they change the title of the U.S. edition?” – Michael, asking about Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
If you see an inappropriate question or answer, please flag it to bring it to our attention. To flag a question or answer, simply hover over the question or answer and a “flag” icon will appear. Click that icon and select from the menu of options to explain why the content is inappropriate.
“Liking” is essentially a vote for that answer (though you may like as many answers on an individual question as you choose). Additionally, the person who posted the answer will receive an email and site notification. Liking an answer will also show up in your friends’ newsfeeds.
“Liking” a question let’s us know that you think it’s interesting. Additionally, person who asked the question will receive an email and site notification. Liking a question will also show up in your friends’ newsfeeds.
Yes, you can comment and “like” any answer to any question, whether it’s an author answering the question or a fellow reader.
Any Goodreads Author can opt to receive questions from Goodreads members. Any Goodreads member can ask an author who has turned on the feature questions.
Yes, you are welcome to ask questions about books you didn't like. We’ve seen many times on Goodreads that asking for perspective or more information about a book you didn’t like can lead to an interesting discussion. All opinions are welcome on Goodreads.
You can ask any kind of question related to a specific book by that author or general questions about that author's writing. You can ask questions about:
• The author’s writing process
• The author’s favorite writers or influences
• Questions about specific characters or moments in books
• Anything about the author’s life as a writer
Some examples of questions readers have asked authors include:
"How would you respond to people who say Hazel and Augustus are unrealistic characters because they are intelligent?" –Destiny, asking author John Green
“You often write about relationships among sisters. Do you have a sister and how would you describe your relationship with her?” – Keanes, asking author Liane Moriarty
“Why did you choose to include the Philippines in your book The Five People You Meet in Heaven?” – Grace Ramirez, asking author Mitch Albom
No, you do not have to follow an author to ask a question. If the author answers your question, you’ll receive an email and an onsite notification. Following an author will allow you to see answers to all of the author’s questions in your newsfeed.
No. Readers may only pose questions to authors who are members of the Goodreads Author Program and who have enabled the Ask the Author feature.
To ask an author a question, go to the author’s profile page. (Use the search box at the top of the site to search for any author.) Scroll down the author profile, and if the author is a member of Goodreads who is accepting questions you will see a space called Ask the Author beneath the list of the author’s books. Enter your question in the box provided and click “Ask.” This will send your question to the author. If the author answers your question, the question and answer will appear on the author’s profile as well as in the newsfeeds of the author’s followers. You will be notified on your Goodreads homepage and by email.
Set Expectations. Edit your message to readers to set expectations. Once the “Ask the Author” tool is activated, you can edit this message to let people know how many and what kinds of questions you’ll be answering. For example, “I’ll answer one question a week!” or “Ask away, and I’ll do my best to answer when I can!” are some examples. The default is “Ask [author name] a question.”
Tell your fans you’re answering questions. Use your Goodreads blog, a status update, or other social media channels to let readers know they can ask you a question on your author profile page.
Answer interesting questions, and provide interesting answers. Give thoughtful responses to readers’ questions. Readers will be more likely share your answer if it conveys new or insightful information. There’s no advantage to brevity.
Give yourself a break.Even if you only answer one question a day, you’ll delight your readers. Answering too many questions in one sitting will overload the newsfeed of your followers. Set a schedule to review and answer questions. We recommend answering 2-5 questions per day.
It’s ok to skip questions you don’t want to answer. Questions are visible only to you until you share your answer. The person who asks the question will be notified via email if you answer and your response will go into the newsfeed of your followers.
“Liking” an author’s answer will show up in your friends’ newsfeeds. The author will receive a notification that you’ve liked his or her answer.