Growing Your Goodreads Author Following

Goodreads, the site made for readers to find new books, post their reviews and be a part of the growing reader community. It's a place to be for authors too, whether they're self-published or traditionally-published. In this article, you'll find helpful tips, tricks and advice to help you grow your author Goodreads profile.

How to use hashtags correctly

Make sure you've claimed your author page

If you have a book that is up for pre-order, or published and is showing on online retailer sites like Amazon, Waterstones, Barnes & Noble, etc, then Goodreads should have your book in their system. If you haven't already, you need to claim your author page through your book. To do this, go on to Goodreads and search for your book. Once it pops up, click it and click on your name which should show when saying who the book is by. Once on this page, scroll to the bottom and you should see a line of text that says, 'Is this you? Let us know'. Click this text and it will send a request to the Goodreads author programme team who will review your profile/account and upgrade your profile.

Please note, that when Goodreads upgrades your profile, you still have a personal account where you can leave book reviews and make friends. When they upgrade you, they simply attach an author page to your personal account, which is a separate page that you can upload information such as a description to, and claim your books so that they display all in one place.

Make sure your author page is filled in as much as possible

Now that you have claimed your author page, the first thing you need to do is make sure it's filled in as much as possible. Here's a checklist of things you should complete:

  • Added a profile picture

  • Added more author photos to your page

  • Added videos (such as a book trailer or promo video) to your page

  • Added a description/author bio about yourself

  • Added your genre, website, twitter and other social media handles (other social media handles will need to be added in your author bio)

  • Claimed all of your books

Write a blog post

Once your profile is filled out, it would be a great idea to introduce yourself in a blog post, listing fun facts about yourself, or what your publishing journey looked like, so that any new followers immediately get to know more about you. To write a blog post, navigate to your author dashboard, scroll down and click on 'write a new post'.

The Goodreads blog feature is limited. You can't add photos or design your post in the way you normally would when using another platform, but Goodreads does allow you to link to your book or author page and it does have a helpful formatting guide that tells you what HTML code you need to input to get a desired feature, for example if you wanted to bold text.

Join Goodreads groups

Joining Goodreads groups is a great way to network with those in the community who love to read! A great way to build your Goodreads following is by joining a group in your book's genre and subtly suggesting it as the groups next group read, or introducing yourself and linking to your books. Even if you don't plug your book, being a part of a community is super fulfilling and worth doing!

To join a Goodreads group, in the top bar press 'Community' and then press 'Groups'. You can then search for a topic in the search bar, typically for the genre of your book, then press 'search groups'. You'll then come up with a long list of groups you can join.

Run a Goodreads giveaway

If you have the funding, you can run a Goodreads giveaway to further promote your book. Goodreads giveaways are a great tool because everyone who enters automatically has your book added to their 'want to read' bookshelves, which in turn promotes your book to their followers through notifications saying 'this person has added this book to their want to read shelf'. Your followers also automatically get notified when you run a giveaway, further prompting them to enter your giveaway.

The downside to running a giveaway is that it costs. Goodreads charges $119 for a standard giveaway or $599 for a premium giveaway, which is a lot to pay if you're a self-published author. Another downside is that you can only run a eBook giveaway if you've published with KDP unless you claim that you're the publisher of your novel through Goodreads which can take time for approval. You can also only run a print giveaway for US and Canada participants, so if you live in areas outside of the US or Canada, it can be costly to send your books to the winners. View this articled to find out more about Goodreads giveaways.

Prompt readers to ask you questions

Goodreads have a great feature on your author page that allows readers to ask you questions that you can answer. This helps you build you fanbase and provides that much needed interaction between you, the author, and your readers. When someone asks you a question, it will show in your author dashboard which you can then reply to. Both the question and answer will then show on your author profile.

Add quotes from your book

This is a feature I've recently discovered that can really build the hype for your book. You can actually add quotes from your book on to your author page, which encourages others to post these quotes when talking about your book. To add quotes, go to your author page (not the dashboard) and scroll down to the bottom. You will see the below section that allows you to add your quotes.

If you're adding quotes from your books, you should do it under the 'Quotes by (name)' section. The section below that which says '(name) quotes' are quotes you want to add from books you've enjoyed reading, that aren't your own.

Give it time

Like all social media, it can take time to build loyal engagement and followers. Make sure you keep at it, post frequently and give it time.