How Writers Can Get Started on Goodreads

How Writers Can Get Started on Goodreads

Goodreads has become the most important networking site on the Internet  . . . Forbes

Perhaps you’re wondering, “Is Goodreads really a social media network?” It definitely is.

The primary reason the founders of Goodreads started this website was to create an online venue where friends could chat about and recommend books, the same way they might if they were dining together or meeting at a café.

Its secondary goal was to serve as a social media network. Here, you can share a number of items, including:

  • Your book reviews.
  • Information about books you’ve recently read and those on your to-read list through virtual bookshelves.
  • Blog posts.
  • Favorite quotes.

At its core, Goodreads is all about the reader, not about using this platform to hawk your books. If you intend to start a Goodreads account for the purpose of merely acquiring readers and selling more books, you’re doomed.

How to Get Started on Goodreads

You are about to enter a world of avid book readers. Share your love for the written word by following the steps below.

Open An Account

If you are new to Goodreads, get started by navigating to You can sign up either by signing in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Amazon accounts. Or, you can enter your name, email address, and a password. That’s the best way to sign up.

Goodreads periodically adjusts the steps you’ll need to take to sign up. Some of the initial questions about books you prefer to read are to determine which reading suggestions Goodreads should send you through its Goodreads Deals program. Just bear with the surveys. You’re getting closer to being a full-fledged Goodreads member.

It’s Time to Add Books to Your Bookshelves

Before initiating your author profile, you’ll first need to indicate that you are indeed a reader.

In the search bar, type the names of the books you want to read, have read, or are currently reading. If you can’t find the book by its title, use the ISBN or author’s name. You can find ISBNs on Amazon or any book retail venue.

Let’s say that you want to read The Nightingale.After typing the book title, click the green bar that says Want to Read.


Notice all the information that appears. You find out that it was a 2015 Goodreads Choice Winner in 2015, can buy it directly from Amazon (which owns Goodreads), and you can see which books readers of The Nightingalealso enjoyed reading.

When you click on the white arrow directly beneath the novel, you can see several options. You can separate your books by category, create a shelf, and note a reading status such as Want to Read, Currently Reading, or Read.

Want to read - Goodreads


Repeat this process until you’ve created several bookshelves.

Once you’ve finished reading a book you previously identified as Want to Read, simply click My Books in the top taskbar, navigate to the book you just finished, and click edit. You’ll now be able to add the book to your shelf of books you’ve read.Choose shelves Goodreads

How can you update the status of a book you’ve been reading? Follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Home, which serves as a news feed. Here you’ll see what all of your friends are reading or have read, and find links to their reviews.
  2. Look at the left column and you’ll see a widget noting the book you’re currently reading. In this widget, you can add a new book you want to read or have read, view all books you’ve read, or add a general update for your friends.

When you click General Update, for example, the following pop-up appears for you to write a post that will appear from you in your friends’ newsfeeds.

Share your book thoughts


Further down on the left column, you’ll see a listing of all of your bookshelves. And above the list of your shelves will be a pictorial view of the covers of the books you previously listed as Want to Read. You can change the status of those books.

Above the list of Want to Read books, you have an opportunity enter the 2017 Reading Challenge. Just select the number of books you plan to read and click Start Challenge.


A Review of Goodreads’ Tabs

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Have You Seen These Social Media Tweaks?

Make Way for Change on Social Media

Have you noticed all the changes happening on social media? Facebook is making most of the tweaks, but I’ve seen modifications in other places as well.

Today I thought I’d share a few items I’ve noticed that may convince you to use Pinterest, buy a Facebook ad, or just take note of what you can do these days on different platforms.

Let’s get started with my miscellaneous observations.

Facebook Advertising

There’s no doubt in my mind that when done correctly, Facebook advertising works. Some people catch onto it right away, others spend too much money, and then there’s me: I just don’t use it often enough.

When I launched my book, The Author’s Guide to Goodreads, on May 19th I thought I’d support the launch with a Facebook ad. Guess what? It worked.

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Are Press Releases Dead? Is Email Marketing Important?

Press Releases - Email Marketing - Frances Caballo

Summer is here and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Get outside. Observe. Take in the fresh air and let it all feed your creative side and breathe new life into your writing. Most of all, relax and have some fun. You’re doing what you love, right? Writing books, selling books, and living the life you’ve dreamed of. So go for it. Feel the sand on your feet, touch a tree, and dance in the sunlight. I recently took my dog to Carmel Beach at 7 am and it was beautiful, serene. Sure, there were dogs off the leash and that was the part of the fun. To let my Dixie run into the water, play with other dogs, and enjoy the energy surrounding her was thrilling to watch. What are you doing this summer? I’d love to know!

This week’s roundup is again filled with an array of wonderful information touching on press releases, email marketing, the problems inherent to being one expert, and more. I hope you enjoy the selection.

Brexit: Twilight of the Experts? by Joel Friedlander: “There’s a specific problem that subject-matter experts run into when they attempt to interact with newcomers. As you gain expertise, you naturally evolve away from the open-minded inquiry that typifies most newcomers. When you don’t know much, you’re open to just about anything. As you get more educated, the options narrow, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s part of the process of becoming more experienced yourself.”

Note: This post by Joel Friedlander is an excellent reminder to nonfiction bloggers If your information is too advanced, or you forget to cover the basics, you’ll lose readers who can benefit from your expertise.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Don’t forget to cover the basics for readers new to your field of expertise ” quote=”Don’t forget to cover the basics for readers new to your field of expertise”]

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Social Media Weekly Roundup for Authors

5-27-16 WeeklyRoundup-2I was talking with a friend recently, and she asked me what I’d be publishing this year. I told her I’m writing three books: the Goodreads book I just released, a time management book, and a comprehensive book on social media. She asked me how much they would cost. I haven’t decided on a price for the paperback of the last book I’ll release this year, but the ebook will be about $4.99. She said, “That’s expensive for an ebook.” Really? I tried to explain to her the costs indie authors incur: their time, editing, book covers, and book formatting. When you consider the costs, I don’t think a comprehensive book priced at $4.99 is too much. So my message this week is don’t fall into the trap that all of your books need to be priced at $.99. You’re worth more than that. Now tell me what you think about book pricing. Note: I do lower the price of my ebooks after they’ve been on the market for a couple of years and when I’m preparing a massive update.

Here’s the Social Media Weekly Roundup

Using The #Audiobook Service ACX via Self-Published Authors Helping Authors: “I think I speak for many of us when I say we’d like to have our books in audiobook form. Besides being a possible way to connect to new readers who don’t necessarily like to sit down with a paperback or e-book and another possible source of revenue, audiobooks have a prestige to them. It’s sort of magical hearing your characters come to life in your car or in your earbuds through sound and description. It’s pretty powerful.”

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Author’s Guide for Goodreads

5-23-16 The Author's Guide to Goodreads by Frances CaballoI read a great post last week by Sabrina Ricci on her Digital Pubbing blog that analyzed bestsellers in varying genres.

What made the four books so successful? As Sabrina explained:

  • The books were widely available.
  • They were each of the highest quality.
  • The authors and publishers used giveaways.
  • The authors connected with readers in meaningful ways.
  • Multiple strategies were used.

And in the case of The Girl on the Train, the publisher invested time and money in Goodreads.

Yes, Goodreads!

[clickToTweet tweet=”‘Do yourself a favor and get this book’ @Jason_Matthews” quote=”‘Do yourself a favor and get this book,’ Jason Matthews”]

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