Goodreads is the world’s largest website for readers, authors and book recommendations. Readers can search for new books, new authors, share reviews, and keep track of what they’ve read. And because there are so many readers on the site, it’s a great place for authors to make their presence known and engage with their readers.

The Goodreads website boasts 65 million readers and more than 68 million reviews alone. For authors, Goodreads is the ultimate tool for self marketing and reaching a wider audience. In this article we’ll explore how you can use Goodreads to promote your book.

Set up an author page

Seems easy enough, right? This is the first stop for your readers to learn more about you and your writing. Think of your author page as your tell-all bio; include specific details about yourself and your background as well as your current projects. Goodreads set up a the author program to allow authors to interact with their readers directly so definitely take advantage of learning more about your audience and let them ask questions or run a giveaway, which leads us to the next tip.

Run a giveaway

Let’s face it, everyone loves free stuff. This is a low-cost option so try offering a few copies of your latest book to readers who may be less familiar with your work or are looking to discover a new author. On average, 750 readers enter a Goodreads giveaway. That many readers entering is a gold mine of information allowing you to better understand and ultimately reach your audience. So not only are you learning more about readers who enter your giveaway, you’re also seeing a return of new reviews of your book from the winners, and hopefully their friends! Remember, more eyeballs equals more reviews and buzz around your books – also try autographing a few for a personalised touch. And don’t forget to spread the word, send an email to your network, update your author page, and use social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram to advertise your giveaway – for the best results tag all necessary parties.


Advertising, while optional, may be inevitable if you really want to grow your author recognition. Goodreads offers a book-advertising program that targets readers who have highly rated authors similar to you as well as targeting those readers who have read your other books. So if your book is similar to a best-selling author, you can target those fans. And advertising doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Try starting with a small budget and test how your audience reacts. Costs can be minimal like £0.12 per click.

Network with your readers

Lead discussion panels, Q&A sessions, storytelling workshops, forums, or anything else related to you and your books. Embrace your audience by expanding on your concepts through further discussion and let fans know what’s coming next. Keep your readers engaged and think of them as your personal network of growth. Word of mouth is free advertising and engaged fans are the best fans. Chances are they’ll be the first to suggest your book at their next book club meeting or buy it as a gift for family and friends.

Dealing with reviews

The positive reviews are great, but the negative ones not so much. Not everyone will like what you wrote, but try to keep your cool and resist the urge to respond. You won’t be able to change that reader’s mind, so push their negativity aside and keep walking. Remember, sharing yourself on Goodreads is public and praise can also come with criticism. Read more about review guidelines and what’s an appropriate review. Also, keep in mind if the review is inaccurate or attacking you personally, just flag it and email the company

Join a group

Joining a Goodreads group allows you to directly engage with readers outside your own network. Choose topics of interest to you and genuinely offer your thoughts on books you’ve read or authors you enjoy related to the group discussion. Although try to avoid mentioning your book, as groups are not the place for a sales pitch.

Add your blog

If you also maintain a blog for marketing and content Goodreads will automatically email your fans every time you add a new post. This tool is a great feature for those softer touchpoints with your readers. You can set this up when you sign into the author program.

How you maintain your Goodreads author profile is up to you, but if you follow our suggestions and tips over the course of time you’ll see higher engagement numbers, reviews, traffic to your author page, and most importantly, book sales!