The Goodreads Author Program: Turn Your Reading Time Into PR Time

by | Goodreads Tips, Marketing And Promotion, Social Networking For Writers | 3 comments

Goodreads Photo by Lilian's Pics via FlickrDid you know that Goodreads, the social media site for bookworms everywhere, has a program specifically for authors who want to promote their latest books? Even if you’re not a big fan of social media, it’s important to claim your Goodreads author account so that no one else does. But while you’re doing that, take a look around. Goodreads was recently acquired by Amazon, making it an even more powerful driver of sales and promotion.

Also remember this: If you’re a writer, you’re a reader. Goodreads was pretty much built for you. As a writer, you get all the benefits of using a social media network, and you don’t even have to add a lot of extra work to your already busy schedule. Goodreads lets you do what you do best: talk books!

Why Is Goodreads Especially Powerful For Writers?

Consider this: When you’re on Facebook and someone clicks “Like” on a post about your book, that person’s friends will see the Like on their timeline. But how many of those friends are readers? And how many of those readers are reading in your genre?

On Goodreads, you’ve got direct contact with your target audience. Readers on Goodreads tend to be prolific.

According to Forbes: “Goodreads is one of the primary tools on the Internet for book recommendations, particularly for active readers.”

In other words, these are serious book lovers. They read more passionately and more regularly than typical readers. That means they’re book evangelists; they’re powerful drivers of sales and trends.

When power-readers are looking for their next literary delight, chances are they’re going to poke around and see what their friends are reading and reviewing on Goodreads. And since Goodreads is now under the Amazon umbrella, it’s good to have Goodreads friends if you’re hoping for Amazon sales.

Who Can Join The Goodreads Author Program?

If you’re a writer published in book-length fiction, be sure to sign up for the Goodreads author program, which is different from its profiles for users who are not authors. While regular users get a profile page, Goodreads authors get a fan page, a profile page, and lots of fun marketing and advertising opportunities.

Any author with a book featured on the website of a major retailer (like Amazon) is welcome; in other words, whether you’re traditionally published, self-published, or publishing overseas, you can probably join the Goodreads author program.

Tip: Check out this Goodreads group specifically for self-published writers.

What Exactly Does The Goodreads Author Program Do For Writers?

Your Goodreads page is the hub of your life as an author; it’s all about who you’re reading and who’s reading you.

Along with using Goodreads to post and share book reviews, you can compel visitors to become fans by

  • Uploading pictures or videos: Share additional cover art for overseas additions or shots from your research trip
  • Syncing your blog posts: Set up your Goodreads page so the blog posts on a third-party site will automatically load into Goodreads. And you can manually post your Goodreads reviews to your personal blog just by grabbing a bit of code.
  • Syncing your social network feeds: You can sync your Facebook or Twitter feed so that it automatically updates to Goodreads (and vice versa). It takes some research to do this, but it’s well worth the investment!
  • Hosting contests: Organize book or other giveaways, which Goodreads can help promote to your fans and friends.
  • Creating quizzes: Encourage participation by creating quizzes that focus on your book, related topics, or books in general
  • Sharing your calendar: Publicize your upcoming speaking engagements or book signings.
  • And more!

The more active you are on Goodreads, the better. To learn how to do these things, visit the Goodreads author program.

Here’s A Fantastic Video Overview Of The Goodreads Author Program

One Last Word About Goodreads

Let’s say you hate Facebook. You loathe Twitter.

Before lumping Goodreads into the same category as all of the other social networking sites, we urge you to give it a try. If you love books and can’t get enough of talking about them, reading them, and getting/giving recommendations, Goodreads won’t feel like social networking; it will just feel like you’re doing something you love. AND you’ll get the added benefit of meaningful promotion.

Photo by Lilian’s Pics via Flickr

QUESTION: Are you on Goodreads? What do you think? 


  1. Idellah

    Thank you so much for the wealth of information in this article regarding Goodreads. Any help that authors and aspiring authors can get in the social media and PR arenas is well worth the time.

  2. Carol Tice | Small Blog Big Income

    What’s GoodReads’ current position on authors of e-books? I have about a dozen of them…and just 2 traditional print books, but my emphasis these days is on marketing the ebooks. Last I checked, GoodReads wouldn’t let us promote those — has that changed?

    • Web Design Relief Staff

      Thanks for your question! At this point, we see nothing in the Goodreads Author Program guidelines that excludes ebooks. You can learn more here:


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