goodreads-304If you’re not yet using Goodreads, you’re missing a fabulous opportunity to connect with your readers and future readers. Here’s the LEAST you need to be doing as an author on Goodreads:

1. Claim Your Goodreads Author Profile

If you’re not sure where to begin, first head to They’ll walk you through the process, which will require you to scroll to the bottom of your author profile page, click “Is this you? Let us know” to send a request. They’ll want a wee bit of info in the text box, such as, “I’m Doris Smith, the author of XYZ for Authors.”

It may take a day or two for Goodreads to confirm your author status. Once your author profile is confirmed…

2. Set up and edit your profile

  • Add a bio to tell readers about yourself (you can copy the bio right from your author website if it’s short and engaging!)
  • Upload an official author photo.
  • Add your Twitter username.
  • Import the blog from your author website (it will automatically post your most recent blog posts to Goodreads this way).
  • Ensure your book metadata is correct (ISBN, etc. If it’s not, e-mail
  • Add your video book trailer.

3. Get to know your author dashboard

This is your home base for your entire author program needs—stats, widgets, giveaways, advertising, how-to pages, groups, and more. Check in on this weekly. Schedule a giveaway to drive awareness of your book (this will require sending a physical copy of the book to the winning entrant). The huge advantage of the giveaway is all the readers who will enter and list your book on their “Want to Read” status!

4. Enable “Ask the Author”

Take questions from readers by enabling the Ask the Author module on the dashboard. (Goodreads will start you out with some questions to answer such as “How do you deal with writer’s block?” and “What are you currently working on?” To get the most out of this Goodreads feature:

  1. 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.”
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. It’s okay 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.

5. Final Advice for a Great Goodreads Experience

  • Invite friends to join you on Goodreads. You can even use the import tool to find people you already know from Facebook, Gmail, Yahoo, and more.
  • Talk about books (and not just your own!). Participate as a reader in groups and conversations that interest you.
  • Be gracious to your fans. Do not harass or spam them with repeated private messages.
  • Join groups that interest you and start connecting with readers. Be sure to join as a reader and not simply to talk about your book.

Keep it fun! And if you’d like to share your Goodreads Author page with our tribe now (and we can all make some new writing pals!) please include it in your comment below. For more info on Goodreads author benefits, visit

One thought on “Five Ways to Use Goodreads to Your Best Author Advantage!

  • September 30, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    “The Storm” by Laura Lexington is a must read. It was hard to take a break from. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and would highly recommend it!

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