Five Reasons Authors Need GoodReads By Terry Whalin

W. Terry WhalinI am no GoodReads expert. Millions of readers are on this site talking about books. Over four years ago in 2011, I learned about this site through some email or article or bit of information that came across my computer screen. I registered at GoodReads then for three years I almost never returned.

Earlier this year, I saw GoodReads likes book reviews. I have reviewed over 450 books on Amazon (who also owns GoodReads). I took about an hour and cut and pasted some of my Amazon reviews on the GoodReads site. Currently I have reviewed about 85 books.

Almost two months ago, my friend Sandra Beckwith interviewed Cynthia Shannon, the Author Marketing Coordinator at GoodReads. The teleseminar was excellent and if you did not hear it, you can follow this link and get this inexpensive educational teleseminar.

As I listened to this event, Cynthia spoke about the need for authors to claim their Author Profile Status. While I had not done much on my profile, I had taken this step to be identified on GoodReads as an author. Next Cynthia talked about the incomplete profile which didn’t have the author’s photo or links to the Author’s website or twitter account. As I followed along online during the event, I discovered, I was one of “those” authors.

Immediately I fixed my GoodReads profile. I added my photo and filled out my profile adding my twitter link and much more. Yet I didn’t complete the teleseminar and was pulled away from my computer. It wasn’t an issue because the event was recorded and Sandra sent us the recording (which is still available). Days and weeks passed before I caught the final portion of this event this week.

There was a place for book trailer videos so I uploaded my two videos. Also I saw a little shadow image at the top of the GoodReads home page with a number next to my small photo. It read 495. To my horror, I discovered this number was people who had requested to be my friend on GoodReads and I had not responded or answered. Thankfully I’ve resolved all of these requests and accepted these friends and grown my friends on GoodReads.

Now you can tell the truth of my opening statement: I am no GoodReads expert—but I am learning and growing in my knowledge of this site. In fact, this week I learned the salesmen at Ingram Publishing Services can see a little icon when they look up our names. It is a GoodReads icon and shows whether the author has an active GoodReads presence or not. IPS is the distributor of the Morgan James books. My Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and Billy Graham biography are both published through Morgan James Publishing. It is important that I work at reporting my promotion activities to these sales people because they sell the book into the bookstores. Every bookstore buys books based on the perception of what the author is doing to promote the book. See why I became more interested in being active on GoodReads?

If you are an author or want to be an author, here are five reasons authors need to be on GoodReads:

1. There are 30 million readers on GoodReads. Yes 30 million. Earlier this year they touted 25 million and now it is 30, so it has increased five million in nine months. Just look at the growth curve for this site and that is a good reason for your involvement.

2. You want to interact with people who love books. GoodReads is all about readers and reviews and finding good books then talking about them. Marketing Expert Penny Sansevieri had a lengthy section about GoodReads in her Ebook HOW TO GET REVIEWS BY THE TRUCKLOAD ON AMAZON. I wrote about Penny’s book several months ago (follow this link).

3. You want to be involved in reading and talking about books. On GoodReads, there is a section called Groups. There are thousands (no exaggeration) of groups on any imaginable topic related to talking about books. Join a couple of groups and just like any forum or group, observe and read the conversation before jumping into it. If you can contribute to the discussion, then that is terrific. You will find more readers through tapping into these groups.

4. You want to get more reviews of your own books. I’ve discussed this important aspect of books in other articles but book reviews sell books. If you want to get more reviews, then as an author I encourage you to participate in Giveaways.

5. If you are a book author, you need to claim your GoodReads author profile. One of the relatively new features on GoodReads is a section called Ask the Author. The author has to turn on this feature. Then on your dashboard (that only you can see), you will see new questions to answer. It gives you a place to interact with your readers.

I’ve only scratched the surface of this extensive site. There are many more reasons than these five to regularly visit and learn about GoodReads. It will pay off for you in ways you can’t even begin to imagine.

W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Colorado. A former  magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams. To help writers, he has created 12-lesson online course called Write A Book Proposal. His website is located at:

If you found this post helpful, please use the Share buttons to spread the word about it.

Don’t have a copy of the SECOND EDITION of Become A Successful Author? What are you waiting for?Become A Successful Author is used in the “How To Write That Novel” course at Chicago State because it covers everything from branding to writing to editing to formatting and uploading electronic and print books to marketing and so much more. Your time is money. Look at all the time, thus money, you’ll save by ending your search for answers: Purchase Become A Successful Author for only $4.99 (eBook) or $9.99 (print) from: Amazon (US) or Barnes & Noble