If you are an author contemplating the self-publishing route for your book, do yourself a favor and learn about the many benefits of using Goodreads for book promotion. Goodreads is an online social community especially tailored for bookworms. People who are avid readers, and enjoy interacting with other readers, enjoy all the bells and whistles they discover on Goodreads. The site offers discussion groups, book reviews and ratings, member reading lists, and an enormous database of book titles.

Authors can leverage this passionate community of readers, attracting them to discover, read, and review their book by leveraging the Goodreads Author Program. Continue reading to learn how to use Goodreads for authors, and how it can be an important asset for launching your next book.

What is the Goodreads Author Program?

It is one thing to write an amazing literary work, yet quite another to actually sell the product. Even the most gifted writers may need a little help when it comes to learning the marketing aspects of book publishing. One such vehicle for promoting your book is the Goodreads Author Program.

Using the Goodreads platform for authors just makes good business sense. Composed of about 90 million dedicated readers, Goodreads is a magnet for people who are passionate about books. Members live and breathe all things literary, sharing book titles with each other, highlighting interesting quotes from books, and discussing characters at length.

The Goodreads Author Program helps connect writers with this highly motivated reading community. As a starting point, Goodreads for authors lets you create your own dedicated author profile page, a link to your book listing on Amazon, reviews of your book, and a link to your author website. Use that collateral effectively and you’ll discover how Goodreads can be a valuable partner for drumming up interest in your book.

How Do I Become a Goodreads Author?

Becoming a Goodreads author is a simple process and is free of charge. Follow these steps to get your book on Goodreads:

  1. Go to www.goodreads.com.
  2. If you don’t already have a Goodreads account, create a username and password.
  3. Create a profile page. Here you can upload a photo, create a bio, and add your website URL. Here you can create a library of your favorite books, add reviews of the books, and list the books you are currently reading.
  4. Type your book’s ISBN or title into the search bar. When your book appears, click on your author name.
  5. When you see the prompt “Is this you?” click on “Let us know.”
  6. After completing the required fields, submit your application for the Goodreads Author Program. It takes about two days to receive the approval.
  7. Once you have your author page, you can add a photo and a short bio, and sync your webpage to it.
  8. For more information about the Goodreads Author Program, scroll down to the bottom under Work with Us and click on “Authors.” This takes you to the Goodreads Author Program page where you can learn all about it.

Can Authors Use Goodreads To Promote Their Books?

There are multiple ways to get noticed and then promote your self-published book on Goodreads. See below for some options:

  • Join discussion groups. Although the site discourages joining discussion groups with the intent of pushing your book, the groups are a great way to interact with readers to just talk about books. Some groups do offer a special self-promotional section for authors.
  • Write reviews. Never forget that Goodreads is all about reading books and reviewing them. When you participate in the community and leave thoughtful, well-written reviews you attract attention to your profile and your books.
  • Ask the Author. Once you have an author page you can develop a rapport with other readers via the “Ask the Author” function. The reader posts a question and you then have an opportunity to share more about your book.
  • Paid promotions. Goodreads offers paid promotions through their giveaways programs (basic and premium).

What Are Some of the Best Practices for Promoting Your Book on Goodreads?

Goodreads for authors provides the fertile ground upon which to promote your book to millions of readers. You can make the most of this by utilizing the following practices:

  • Plan a giveaway promotion. Goodreads giveaways are a great way to stir up interest for a new release. These promotions draw a lot of attention to your book and can end up generating multiple book reviews. You can also promote the giveaway on your social media platforms, email list, and website.
  • Connect your blog to Goodreads. Once your author page is up and running you can use the RSS feed widget to synchronize your blog there. Having a blog provides fresh content to your author page on a consistent basis, keeping your followers engaged and informed.
  • Encourage fans to leave reviews for your book. The importance of reviews cannot be overstated. As you begin interacting with readers on the Goodreads platform, don’t be shy about asking them to leave a review of your book.
  • Promote your events. Use your author blog to create some buzz. Your blog posts can promote an upcoming book signing or a new book launch.

Can You Self-Publish a Book on Goodreads?

Now that you are up to speed on how to get a book on Goodreads, you might be wondering if you can just go ahead and publish the book there as well. At this time, Goodreads does not offer self-publishing services. Since 2013, Goodreads has been an affiliate of Amazon, so that territory is pretty well covered with KDP.

Goodreads for authors can be a valuable tool for promoting a self-published book. First, authors will have their book edited and published on a preferred self-publishing platform. Once the book is live, the author can then follow the steps for how to get a book on Goodreads, and then begin promoting it there.

Can I Rate My Own Book in Goodreads?

Technically, authors can rate their own book on Goodreads, but that doesn’t mean they should. While Goodreads permits authors to write one review for the first edition of a title, whether that sits well with readers is another topic of discussion.

It seems that most readers are far more interested in the opinions of other readers of the book than in the subjective views of the author. A better use of the space would be for the author to provide a compelling synopsis of their book.

The Benefits of Goodreads for Authors

While there are ample benefits for authors on Goodreads, it all falls flat if the author isn’t seen as a fellow avid reader. Goodreads is, at its core, a community of readers. An author who doesn’t display their personal bookshelf, add some book reviews, and demonstrate some kind of involvement on the site will not be taken seriously.

For authors who do pass muster with the community, there are several notable benefits for using Goodreads to generate interest in your book:

  1. To increase visibility. As you increase your footprint on the platform your book will gain traction.
  2. To gather reviews. Reviews help sustain ongoing sales momentum.
  3. To start a group. For nonfiction writers, starting a Goodreads discussion group that centers on your topic can help generate conversations that dovetail naturally with your book’s content.
  4. To increase blog traffic. When you link your blog on your Goodreads author page you gain a new source of followers to your website. This added website traffic can translate to increased sales.
  5. To create giveaways. For a small fee, Goodreads giveaways can introduce your book to a huge number of enthusiastic readers.

Get Your Book Ready To Promote on Goodreads

As exciting as it is to consider using Goodreads for authors to introduce and promote your book to millions of readers, remember that authorship is a competitive business. Succeeding as an author starts with producing an amazing, professionally written book. Partner with the self-publishing pros at Gatekeeper Press today to benefit from our expert editing, design, and distribution services.

Schedule a free consultation with the professionals at Gatekeeper Press to learn more about how we can help you create a well-polished book!

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