Posted On October 14, 2015 by Print This Post

Jennifer Shirk presents: Putting the GOOD in Goodreads – 5 Tips to Help You Get Discovered by Readers

Please welcome Visiting Professor Jennifer Shirk. Jennifer shares pointers on how to use Goodreads as a platform to promote your book and interact with readers and authors.      

One of the things I hear a lot from authors is how much they avoid going on Goodreads. Many of them just don’t want to pay meattention to reviews and sometimes—gasp!— even harsh comments about their books.

Well, I get that. I really do. I have thin skin too. But by the same token, I think by avoiding this website, authors could be missing the really wonderful comments readers are saying about their books, as well as missing any potential chance for new readers to find them.

We authors have to face the fact: READERS are on Goodreads.

As a Goodreads user and advocate, I’d like to emphasize the “good” of this site and share some tips I’ve recently used (with success) to help new readers find my books.

1: Join Groups that relate to your genre.

There are all kinds of groups, ranging from writing support to reading groups. Now, I write sweet romances that are generally clean as well. Believe it or not, that’s a niche that some readers are specifically looking for. So I naturally browsed, found and then joined a few groups that dealt with “clean romances” and “sweet romances”. I introduced myself, interacted, and when I had ARCs to give out, I posted in those groups since I knew those readers would actually be interested in reading a book like mine. As a result, I gathered some great reviews, got a few Goodreads friends/followers, and eventually even some newsletter subscribers.

2: Add a few of your favorite quotes from your book.

When a reader looks up your book, those quotes you just added show up on the right side of the page. This could make the difference for someone who is on the fence about your book—especially if you are a new author to them. Adding quotes and giving readers a fun little taste or teaser just might sway them enough into adding your book to their TBR shelf.

3: Add your book or books to different Listopias.

Listopias are basically just favorite “lists” of books created by readers. Go to that page and start browsing the various categories where you think your book could fit.

For example, my latest release, WEDDING DATE FOR HIRE, obviously deals with weddings. So as soon as my book was available on Goodreads, I made sure to add it to those lists that deal with that subject such as: Wedding Themed Contemporary Romances and Books with a Wedding Theme.

If your book has a secret baby or fake fiancé theme, be sure to find a list for that too, because there are readers out there who love and are specifically looking for those romances and then it makes it easier for them to find yours. Have a new release in 2015? There is a listopia for that as well!

4: Host a Paperback Giveaway

Want to create a buzz before your actual release date? Or maybe you want to try and reach a broader audience? Sign up to do a paperback Goodreads giveaway. Then make sure to spread the news about it!

The nice thing about them is that you are almost guaranteed a review (good or bad) and if you plan a giveaway BEFORE your actual release date, all readers who enter it automatically add your book to their TBR list. The best part about that? Because your book is added to their shelf, Goodreads will let tell them when your book is released in their Goodreads newsletter.

5: Interact with readers

If someone leaves you a glowing review, Goodreads allows you to “like” it. And why shouldn’t you? Let that reader know, you saw it and appreciate it. Caution: this is NOT a green light to interact with readers who leave a less than glowing review for your books. This is an opportunity to interact with your fans ONLY.

Also, go to your author dashboard and activate the “Allow Goodreads Members to Ask You Questions”. When you do this, it will then show up on your page and fans/readers will be able to ask questions about your books.

Too busy to check in everyday? Don’t worry. Goodreads even allows you to customize your message to readers so they know you’ll be answering questions on a certain day of the month of your choosing.

Sound good? I sure hope so. And I hope you can take advantage of Goodreads and find your readers!

Have you joined Goodreads? What do you like or not like about it?


WeddingDateForHire_500Wedding Date for Hire (Entangled Bliss – October 2015)

Maddie McCarthy is single, between jobs, and (oh, the shame) lives with her mother. To make matters worse, she’s the maid of honor for her sister’s wedding, and desperately needs a date. Then she sees her salvation—Match Made Easy, a service for women in Maddie’s exact position. If she can’t find a boyfriend, she’ll do the next best thing…

Hire one.

Trent Montgomery isn’t actually part of Match Made Easy. He’s just doing a favor for his cousin, but one look at the blonde who hired him, and he’s totally hooked. Now Maddie thinks that the attraction sizzling between them is just “part of the package.” And Trent is running out of time to prove to her that her date-for-hire might just be her happily-ever-after…


Bio: Jennifer Shirk has a bachelor degree in pharmacy-which has in NO WAY at all helped her with her writing career. But she likes to point it out, since it shows romantic-at-hearts come in all shapes, sizes, and mind-numbing educations. She writes sweet (and sometimes even funny) romances for Samhain Publishing, Amazon/Montlake Romance, and now Entangled Publishing.

Lately she’s been on a serious exercise kick. But don’t hold that against her.

Feel free to friend her on Goodreads or connect with her via her Website: Twitter: FaceBook: Instagram: Newsletter:

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12 Responses to “Jennifer Shirk presents: Putting the GOOD in Goodreads – 5 Tips to Help You Get Discovered by Readers”

  1. I forgot to answer your question.

    I am on Goodreads, and I give books ratings and reviews. If I can’t give a book 4 or 5 stars, I don’t rate it. I’d never want to hurt somebody’s feelings especially if it was just me not feeling the story.

    I’ll also admit I don’t know all the ways to use Goodreads. But I often go through the Giveaways and find authors I might not read. It seems like usually it’s authors trying to build their following. I’ve also found books my family might be interested in reading.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Posted by Jackie Layton | October 14, 2015, 7:42 am
  2. Great post. I realize I need to spend more time on Goodreads, but I always have trouble finding my author dashboard. Right now I’m having trouble adding my newest releases. I might add that I don’t usually have any problems with this sort of thing. I even upload and format all my Indie stuff myself. So I do believe Goodreads needs to work a little to become more user-friendly to the average author.

    Posted by Heatherly Bell | October 14, 2015, 10:46 am
  3. Hi Jennifer,

    The favorites list is useful for discovering books in a specific genre that I haven’t read. I also like the author interviews. It’s a wonderful way to interact with readers.

    Thanks for joining us today.

    Posted by Jennifer Tanner | October 14, 2015, 1:41 pm
  4. Thanks for this post, Jennifer. I joined Goodreads some time ago but I rarely go there. I need to familiarize myself with it more.

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | October 14, 2015, 11:16 pm
  5. Hi Jennifer!

    I belong to Goodreads but have to admit I don’t spend a lot of time there either, there simply isn’t enough time in the day. OTOH, if I were a published author, I’m sure I’d find a few extra minutes a day – because you sure make it sound worth it! =)

    Thanks for posting with us today!


    Posted by Carrie Spencer | October 15, 2015, 12:02 am
  6. I admit Goodreads really confounds me sometimes–for instance I was under the impression that it was a bad idea for an author to add a book to a list or like a good review.

    Thank you so much for your suggestions.

    Posted by Trevann Rogers | October 15, 2015, 12:55 pm
    • I would agree with you (I have been a very active member on Goodreads for years now).

      Authors should not spam the Listopias. The Listopia function is becoming unpopular with readers because authors add their books to EVERYTHING, regardless of whether they match the list’s theme or not.

      Some readers are spooked by authors “liking” reviews, because they feel like Big Brother is watching them.

      Posted by Sonya Heaney | October 19, 2015, 4:47 am


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