How to leverage Goodreads for book promotions

As Goodreads is the place for readers to hang out, it also ought to be the place for authors to focus a good part of their book promotion efforts. After all, if you wrote a book about the history of tractors, websites focusing on tractors may attract many nonreaders, but Goodreads members interested in farm equipment definitely will be inclined to read your title. The challenge for every author is to identify ways to leverage Goodreads for promoting your book.

Most importantly, you must ensure your books are on Goodreads. You can search your titles on the social media site; if you don’t find them there, immediately post them. Once done with that, ensure you upgrade your membership status to Goodreads Author. These two steps help ensure your discoverability on Goodreads.

This also sets you up to engage readers in quite a number of ways. For example, a feed to your blog posts can appear on your Goodreads Author page. Whenever you publish a book, you can rate it and write a review (You don’t actually review your own book but instead post an announcement that it is your latest.) that then can be sent to each of your followers. You also want to regularly connect with readers who would be interested in your book; this can be done by looking up similar titles to your own and then adding them as a friend; they hopefully will look to see who you are, learn about your book(s), and accept your friend request.

Among the most common Goodreads promotions is a Giveaway. You can give free copies of your paperback (but not ebook) in a contest that Goodreads promotes and even selects the winner of. This again draws attention to your title in which a number of people will mark it as a must-read and hopefully after the contest purchase it and even pen reviews of it.

If you host a book launch, book tour, or author appearance, you’ll be able to promote it via a Goodreads Event page. Unlike the giveaway, you can use the Event page for ebooks.

Goodreads Groups allows you to connect with readers interested in the kinds of books you write. While you are not allowed to market or promote your book via a Group, participating in it can lead to more Goodreads friends, who will be informed via other methods – such as the blog feed on your Goodreads Author page – about your new releases.

Once you’ve got a number of Goodreads friends, a great promotional possibility is Featured Groups. Specifically designed for authors, these groups allow reader and author to interact with one another, such as through Q&A sessions. Of course, the best way to make a sale is to personally interact with potential buyers.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.