Goodreads: How to Promote a Book Effectively for Free in 2024

By: | May 24, 2018 | Tags: , |

Are you here to learn how to promote a book?

By reading this post, you’ll learn how to promote a book using the site for book lovers, Goodreads.

The best part: The site is free, so you’ll discover how to promote a book without using a budget by reading this post.

Let’s get started learning how to promote a book.

Do you know how to promote a book effectively?

Once your book is published on, what’s next?

Goodreads is that answer.

I first heard of Goodreads when I heard actor Will Smith’s book was on the site.

This post will explain how to promote your book using Goodreads, how to use Goodreads for social networking, and why you’ll be able to make money when you put your book on Goodreads.

There are many ways to make money online. Selling your book on Goodreads is one of them.

How to Promote a Book Using Goodreads

by Gary Jefferies

Why you’ll be able to make money with Goodreads:

Author Gary Jefferies explains the appeal of Goodreads for 25 million writers worldwide:

Goodreads is a review platform with millions of users who collect personal virtual bookshelves of what they have read. When they locate a book, they can tag it as read, reading, or want to read.

If it’s tagged a READ, you can then rate it and write a physical review before adding it to your bookshelf. The review is added to all the other reviews, so you get a rating. Anyone finding that book can see that rating and all the reviews made by readers.

Additionally, when you add a book, the system understands that you may have an interest in the genre or content and allows you to recommend it to a targeted audience. Nobody there can access or physically read the book on the site. They have to have purchased it, borrowed it, or accessed a copy somewhere else.

On the page with the book listed, there are hyperlinks to Amazon or sales outlets stocking the book. Users can go straight to the point of sale from that page.

Taking Stephen King as an example: Searching for one of his books eg. CARRIE will take you to the book listing. From there, you can do what I mentioned above. You can also go directly to the author’s page. The bio there is like any other really… about the author, books they’ve written and average reviews and so on. Given millions of users are registered, author information can be used to find out more about you. Additionally, your bio can include URL links to other social media sites so anyone drifting through has direct access, say, to your blog.

Even if you do not sign up, your book is there, anything with a known ISBN will be linked soon after publication whether you like it or not. Stephen King has closed messages down on his bio where readers can post questions. It suggests to me he is not active per se but updates his bio when new books are coming.

As for getting followers…. like I said it’s simple. I let harvest my Twitter and Facebook friends’ lists for Goodreads users. The system sends invites to them for you.

Think of it as the Trustpilot of the reading world. It’s probably the biggest book review platform there is. The more reviews the better the traffic out to purchase points.

The NaNo blog hop organized by a blogger signed up 403 people who did NaNo. She collected social media network pages for all-out connections via a Google web form and sent it out. That rapidly grew Facebook, Blog, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads followers. What struck me was the biggest network was Twitter, but there were nearly 200 on Goodreads.

Given they are all authors, I figured I should go have a look. Inside of 24 hours, the Twitter harvest had collected 250 followers there.

Once I’ve published, then the bio will act as an author page in much the same way as a Facebook page or Amazon author page. Except its reach is way behind just followers. Anyone can find your book, check the reviews, and then decide if they want to buy it and link click to the vending point all from the same page.

Two things spring to mind:

One is if you joined, then you could blog requesting Goodreads reviews with the link to your book on there. With the blog dumping to your social media accounts, our reach is large.

Second, the blog hop (my opinion) is a step up from Meet and Greets. I think my blogging friend initiated list recruitment over a month and a half, before hosting the event. It’s still rolling out too. More work for the arranger, but she guaranteed all the subscribers followed her and got shout-outs all over.

Bottom line: Although Goodreads is exposure, you need reviews there to promote it.


How to Promote A Book Using Goodreads

by Janice Wald

On the Toolbar at the top left on the screen, you’ll see:

  • Notifications
  • Chats
  • Opportunities to join groups

As you can see, Goodreads is a social community. This networking aspect will help you promote and ultimately sell your books.

Goodreads is social:
The site contains a Follow to Follow thread for bloggers.
You get friend requests just like at Facebook or Kingged.
After my first five minutes on the site, a user wrote me and offered me a Follow for Follow; she said she was new like I was.
Goodreads is definitely social.
Note: You will need to link your blog to Goodreads.
Instructions for linking: How to link your blog to Goodreads
Once you’ve connected your book to Goodreads, you will see the instant promotion your book receives.
Click my Goodreads link to see how my book AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL BLOG looks.


Other Uses for Goodreads

Although this post is called “Goodreads: How to Promote a Book,” there are many ways Goodreads can be a valuable site for you.

  • Join groups of people with your literary interests.
  • Participate in reading challenges.
  • Win free ebooks in giveaways.
  • Find new books to read.
  • Discover inspirational quotes that you can post on Instagram. The Instagram crowd loves inspirational quotes.
  • Receive discounts on books purchased through Goodreads.

What is Goodreads?

by Melisa Marzett

The Goodreads web-service is like Facebook for book lovers.
It helps:
  • Maintaining lists of the books you’ve read
  • Maintaining lists of the books you must read
  • Exchanging recommendations with friends who are fond of reading just like you.
What is the reason for this bookish web-service?

A huge and amazing world of books is facing us since there are more great works than a human being is capable of reading through.

Reading such books requires a lot of time and effort, which is why there is no need to spend time reading second-rate literature — time is limited and precious.

Due to creative technologies, we may get access to millions of digitized books without leaving home and choose the best books, which fit our life and professional goals.

To find outstanding points in the endless variety of literature and define which book is to read next is hard work.

When you make the tough choice, you face a new challenge — a book has to be read effectively, thoughtfully, you need to accept what it may give.

Use Goodreads to exchange opinions and thoughts with other readers. Discuss a book with interesting dialogue partners.

Bookish web-services and social networks help us to do the following tasks: choose reading books upon a recommendation by experts of good literature and find dialogue partners for discussion of the books we’ve read.

How to Use Goodreads:

A Visual Tour Across Goodreads

A user`s profile

Every user of Goodreads fills out a profile of their own, which is a detailed portrait of a reader.

Books within a profile are situated on the bookshelves: there are shelves by the default Read, Currently Reading, To-Read, and Favorites.

A profile may be decorated in the form of book covers on upper virtual shelves. The remaining shelves are situated on separate pages and reflected either in the form of a list of books with information about each or in the form of book covers.

In a Goodreads profile, the following are reflected:

  • Lists of favorite writers, genres, and quotes from books.
  • Devices for reading a reader has (book reader, tablet, smartphone).
  • List of friends.
  • Updates page with actions of a user on the website.

Adding books to the bookshelves

In order to add books on the shelves, they need to be found in the Goodreads base, counting millions of books. A search is done in your name, author`s name, ISBN — international standard book number.

When you find a book you were looking for, you are to be consulted with a profile. All the details about a book are here: annotation, number of pages, date of publication, publishing, link to the list of editions of different years, short author`s profile with a link to his full profile, quotes, video. Аlso, you will find the feedback from Goodreads users about this book, feedbacks from your friends and book ratings.

You may add a book on any of the shelves. If desired, leave a comment or a whole analysis, give a mark about a book (from 1 to 5 stars), specify dates of beginning and ending reading, note friends’ names whom you would want to recommend the book.

Goodreads books in the special section are organized on a genre in the form of lists, created by users of social networks themselves. For example, The Best Books of XX century, Highly Anticipated Books of a Year, The Best Post-Apocalyptic Book, The best Books With Losing Screen Adaptation.

If you were unlucky to find a book in the base of Goodreads, you can add it in a manual way, indicate detailed data and upload pictured covers.

Friends’ pages and connections between users

When you mark a book or leave a comment, your friends see your actions. They may comment and add the books you mentioned on their bookshelves.

A page filter is easy to set up, so you are going to see those updates which are interesting to you.

Social connections between users of Goodreads do not rest here. There is an option to recommend books to friends, to exchange messages via inter-office mail and enter a group of interest for discussion of books and participation in surveys.

There is a social hierarchy in Goodreads: Those users who have placed more than 50 books in their profiles, have a right to become librarians. This status recipients can edit data on books and authors, make lists, replenish a catalog.

Integration with social networks

Updates on GoodReads can be published on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and Windows Live.

Literature quizzes

One who wishes to test other readers’ knowledge can have them take part in quizzes, consisting of questions about books and authors with options for answers. Quizzes can be created with no outside help and attract friends and other users to participate.

Goodreads on mobile devices

A service is available in the form of the mobile version of the website for iPhone and Android.

This is good news for not only smartphone owners but also for those who read books on Amazon Kindle: Data on books you have read or are reading now can be synchronized as can quotes from books between your accounts Kindle and Goodreads.

In conclusion: How to Promote a Book Strategies

Love for books and affiliation with other readers prevails in Goodreads. Every book lover feels oneself like home here.

For example, the number of Russian-speaking users in Goodreads is not too big, but a community grows. This social network was chosen for filing a chronology of reading, searching for new books and exchanging feedback with each other.

About the author: Melisa Marzett stands out due to her nature-born talent to write. Writing for, she enjoys the process very much of looking for sites to contribute to a guest article. Topics do not scare her off since she is curious by nature and eager to accept any challenge when it comes to writing.

Host blogger’s comments:

Although the headline boasts Goodreads is an excellent place to promote your books for free, you don’t have to have a book to use the site.

Hopefully, this post made it clear Goodreads is for everyone whether or not they need to know how to promote a book.

If Facebook groups are for like-minded bloggers, Goodreads is certainly for like-minded readers.

In closing, now you know how to promote a book using Goodreads. 

Readers, please share so other people discover the many uses for Goodreads.

I look forward to your answers in the comments section. Have you ever used Goodreads? Do you know how to promote a book using Goodreads?


Authors: Gary Jefferies, Janice Wald, and Melisa Marzett

  1. Lisa P. Sicard

    Hi Janice, Gary and Marisa, thank you for sharing about Goodreads. I’ve heard of them but had no idea what it was about. How long does one have to invest time wise to have success with this one?
    I have a client that is looking to do Drive traffic to a book so this post is timely for me.
    Thank you!

  2. Ryan Biddulph

    Helpful stuff guys. I have seen some of my eBooks reviewed on Good Reads. So far, pretty positively LOL 😉 But any platform where we can spread the word, or, where folks spread the word for us, simply allows us to inspire more readers. And to sell more eBooks too. Thanks for sharing guys.


    • Gary Jefferies

      Very true Ryan. Exposure is everything and so are reviews! Book bloggers might prefer GoodReads to Amazon too because it allows you to include your own URL back to your blog. Amazon forbids external links. I tend to give the same review on both, but tailor GR so that I can get back traffic to the full one.

      Good luck with the books too ?

  3. Kunal

    Hiii,this is very good article I was looking for this from long time, but one question right now i have, can i edit any comment those i have already did earlier .
    Thanks again for the article.

  4. Amit Shee

    Hiii,this is very good article I was looking for this from long time, but one question right now i have, can i edit any comment those i have already did earlier .
    Thanks again for the article

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  6. Gary Jefferies

    Hi Janice,

    Apologies for the delay getting here. My two are starting proper exams so it’s been tricky juggling that and keeping up!

    Great post and thank you for including my thoughts on GoodReads. I hope readers find it interesting.

    On an aside, I wanted to reblog this, but can’t find the sharing tool to do it anymore. Have you removed it?

  7. Addy Brown

    Having a Facebook page for your book is a must. Invite others to the page and plan your posts carefully. Extract quotes or valuable information from your book and portray them in attractive images, always referencing back to your book.

  8. Ken

    Hey, thank you for sharing information about goodreads. This is really good thing for promoting ebooks. Thank you. Keep sharing.

  9. Sue Coletta

    Mind if I add a tip? NEVER link your Goodreads to your Facebook. Since Amazon owns Goodreads, any traffic you drive from Facebook to Goodreads Amazon considers “a friend” and therefore has the right to remove the review, even if you don’t know the person who bought the book. They don’t make things easy, do they?

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  11. Casey Rackham

    I don’t have a book to promote, but if I did, I’d definitely be using this post, Janice. Many of your points work very nicely for promoting anything really – a blog, product, service, etc.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Casey,
      What kind words about our article. Thank you! I’m glad you feel the Goodreads tips are helpful to everyone, not just authors.

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