The Goodreads Connection

By Patricia Stoltey

So far in my series about blogging and social media I’ve discussed blogs and Twitter. In addition to blogging, I try to use a limited number of social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Google+ so far).

I’m signed up on Library Thing, however, and may get busy over there once I figure it out. I understand that’s where an author finds a lot of librarians. We love librarians!

Regardless of your social media interests or lack thereof, there are good reasons for choosing a site or two to establish a presence. But no one author can do them all. That would be crazy as well as a monumental waste of time.

Today I’m going to focus on Goodreads. I haven’t been active there long, but my limited experience proves there’s a solid reason I should put this site at the top of my priority list. That reason? Because Goodreads is where readers hang out.

1. Authors can create and be approved for an author site and add all of their book editions and covers. You can check out my Goodreads page here.
2. Readers can enter giveaways for ARCs and printed books. So far, I’ve done one ARC giveaway and one hardcover giveaway.
3. Readers can read and leave comments on my blog posts within Goodreads because I opted to add blog posts to my author page.
4. Readers can ask questions and get personal responses.
5. Readers can recommend books to others.
6. Readers can mark our books as “Want to Read.” When they do so, they will be notified if there’s a new giveaway for the book.

In my experience as a reader, if I mark something “Want to Read,” I might buy it or borrow it from the library, but I’m also likely to post a short review once I’ve read the book. Not all reviews are good ones. So be it. Every book does not appeal to every reader, so I take the bitter with the sweet.

Now you’ll notice in my list above that I focused on what readers can do on Goodreads. That’s because readers are the people we want to connect with on Goodreads. Once my author page was set up and my blog available on site, I tuned in to the reader side of my brain and began looking for the things that would help me find the books I want to read, and the things that would most likely help the authors I admire.

Every time I visit the site, I find another “Want to Read” book to add to my list. If I read a book and like it, and can honestly give it four or five stars, I also leave a ranking and short review.

And one of these days I’ll figure out what I need to know to do an author event. There is a lot more to learn on Goodreads, and if it’s like other sites, it will continue to change over time. I think an author can even buy ads on Goodreads, judging by the header and sidebar content.

I may have just scratched the surface for promo opportunities. I wonder, is there a “Goodreads for Dummies” book out there yet?

Patricia Stoltey
Blog Editor
Patricia grew up on a farm in central Illinois so naturally had to use the old farm in her first mystery. The second Sylvia and Willie tale takes place near and in the little touristy gold mining town of Oatman, Arizona. Patricia's third novel, a standalone suspense called Dead Wrong, was released November 2014. Dead Wrong was a finalist in the thriller category for the Colorado Book Awards. Visit her blog at

4 thoughts on “The Goodreads Connection

  1. Hi Pat,
    Thanks for another great set of suggestions. I’m particularly hooked on the idea of getting to really know one social media platform before moving on to the next. Personally, I’ve tried the shotgun approach with minimal success. Hopefully April will become my “explore Goodreads” month and I’ll learn HOW to give away ARCs and Books, as well as enjoying a couple of the subgroups on the site. Thanks again and happy writing!

  2. Thanks for commenting, Liesa. The biggest decision we have to make with social media is choosing the sites that we like best because we can’t do it all and still be writers. The second decision is how much time we actually spend doing what we do on the sites we like. I keep myself to a routine now so that I’m not on social media more than an hour a day total (not counting my blogging activities).

  3. I’m in an on again-off again relationship with Goodreads. Currently more off, and site familiarity is one of those reasons. Maybe getting to know someone/thing before committing is a good idea.

    • A very good idea, Dean! Not every site works for every writer, so exploring first is the smart thing to do. However, it can’t hurt to have your books up on Goodreads and have an author page there, even if you don’t spend a lot of time. When I spot a new book I want to read, I often head for Goodreads and mark it “Want to Read” so I remember, and so I give the author that boost that comes from a large number of interested readers.

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