Monday we took a dive into the waters of Goodreads and HEAD FIRST, if I say so myself!

Here is what you should have learned:
1) Join Goodreads. . .NOW!
2) Find and claim your published books.
3) Join the author program.
4) While you wait to be approved for the author program, beef up your profile.
5) Add your blog RSS or Atom Feed.

Simple. . .

Today we are going to explore how to get some of those 5 million people on Goodreads to notice us!

Why Goodreads? BECAUSE I said so. No, really. Think about it. There are three people who join Goodreads: READERS, WRITERS. . .um. . .okay, TWO BIG reasons! BUT the component is BOOKS!!

Everyone on Goodreads is there to connect over BOOKS. Good for us because that is what we do!

Today we are going to look at GROUPS and how to join them and why!

The people! Most of the people who belong to Goodreads are not only readers, but they are BLOGGERS! Bloggers who read, have readers who follow them, readers who read their blogs, and they write reviews. Like any other groups that are on other social networking sites, Goodread groups have rules about promotion and more, so you have to read all of those before you go and post what you think you can post.


How do you find these groups? Easy...
1) Click on the GROUP tab at the top of the Goodreads homepage. It will take you to a page of listed groups that are in columns: my groups, popular groups, ALL sorts of groups! On the right side you will see TAGGED groups or what I like to call TARGETED groups.

I joined a couple target groups for Chick-lit and Mystery. WHY?? Because that is my targeted reading group....duh!

Here you want to explore the groups, and see if they are right for you. THEN join! If the group is NOT right for you, after you have joined, they won't hold you hostage...simply leave the group and go to the next group.

It's a little like speed dating. (Is if I'd know....) But if I did have a history of speed dating...that is what I'd think it was like *wink*.

The groups that are categorized as POPULAR and RECENTLY ADDED, are ones you should definitely take a look at. These are obviously where readers are going to check out first.

2) After you join you will want to check out the BOOKSHELF in the group. YOU WANT TO BE ON THE BOOKSHELF!! How?

Easy. . .top left is a search box for the bookshelf of your group, simply type your name in and see if your book pops up. If it doesn't, your books will pop up and you simply click the add button.

Sometimes the moderator has to approve your book to be on the group bookshelf.

3) Members.
You want to know who the members are. You might even be friends with a couple of them.

4) Discussion tab! I LOVE THIS TAB!
This is where you will see all the topics or create a new topic in the group. It's great! You need to go in and introduce yourself in the introduction topic thread AND make sure you introduce why you want to be a part of the group...NOT BUY MY BOOK!! You have to be a genuine, likable author!!!
(OHHH. . .need blog post on likability factor!)

5) Events.
If there is an event scheduled for the group, like an author interview or skype session, it will be listed here.

6) Polls.
These are fun! Go into the poll section where you will be able to see what the readers LOVE or HATE.
In one of my mystery groups, the members vote on cozy themes they love best. Most of the time it is exactly the OPPOSITE of what NEW YORK PUBLISHERS say is selling!

Why did you need me to breakdown the part of Goodreads and why is it important to you?

THE READER HAS DONE ALL THE WORK FOR YOU!! (that deserved two exclamation points)

* The reader has already put themselves in a genre. Your target audience.
* There are group discussions that you can participate in as well as take advice straight from your target reader!
* You can see who is active and who isn't. The active ones are your reviewers and bloggers!! GET TO KNOW THEM!
~check out those members
~see who has a blog or is a reviewer
~friend them
~follow them on twitter
~follow them on facebook
~offer a FREE copy of your novel for their review...HONEST review.
~participate in the group discussions and DO NOT SPAM!!
~look at the discussion threads and see if you can write a blog post that you can put in the thread. This will help you gain blog followers and readers.

All in all, Goodreads is a place to be genuine, commiserate with like-minded people, and meet some new bloggers/reviewers. Take the time to get to know them. Don't jump in and market yourself. REMEMBER, you are making an impression on them. You are giving them your branded image.  Be kind. Be smart. PARTICIPATE!


  1. Thanks again Tonya. I've been on Good Reads for a while, have done a couple of giveaways, but have not used it to my advantage really. Mostly because I don't find it very user friendly. For instance. Two of my books show up on my author page, but the third does not. I can't figure out how to get it on there. It shows up when I do a search for it, but there doesn't seem to be a way to add it to my personal profile. Any suggestions?

  2. Awesome advice here, Tonya! Thanks so much. :)

  3. Fascinating stuff, especially for someone who like me only joined last month! I got bogged down in the end and back out holding my hands up... as usual.
    As someone who has so far only published for the kindle, I can't even figure out if it will be of any use to me! Duh!
    thanks for the post though, you've encouraged me to gird my loins and venture back...

  4. Thanks Tonya. I just joined Goodreads, per your last blog. I rated 22 books that I have recently read (Tricked out Toolbox was one) :) I can't join authors page yet because I don't have the info on my new release, but I will as soon as I get it. This is a great avenue. I have been wondering how to reach my target audience - the reader. This is great! Thanks for all the useful info. You are a treasure of marketing info. <3

    1. Ah! Thanks, Gerri! Misa and I really appreciate it!

      I'm so glad you feel this has been helpful. Let me know how it works out for you.

  5. Awesome lesson! I've joined groups, but hadn't really gotten the hang of how to effectively participate. Thanks for sharing;)!

    1. Good, Maria! That's half the battle. I hope to see you Saturday!

  6. What a fantastic blog! So glad i discovered it, only sad that i can't join as i'm not on Google + - and no i can't face another group!!! so i shall just have to remember to check in from time to time - thank you so much.

    1. Helenamallett, what do you mean you can't join? Anyone can join Goodreads. You don't have to be on Google plus.

      I'm so glad you are here.

  7. NO i'm on Goodreads, that's fine. i meant I'd like to get email notifications of when you post on here!

    1. Helena~ you can subscribe to the blog by subscribing in the right side bar. Let me know if you have any issues.

  8. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Tonya. I've been wondering how to do GoodReads for a long time. You're a lifesafer. :)

  9. Hi, Thanks for this post - I'm very new to online networking ito writing and the amount of information out there is overwhelming. I like posts like yours - succinct yet full of info.

  10. Thank you, Tonya. Your blog post finally convinced me it's time to get familiar with Goodreads, and now I've joined! I'm looking forward to going through your post item by item and learning more.

  11. Thank you Tonya for your post. I did it, lol. ♥

  12. Hi Tonya,

    I'm posting here as a reader (someday I'll write the book I've always wished to do). Anyway, as a reader and somebody who discovered Goodreads by chance, I am SO thankful I did for ALL that I have discovered and learned. I just wanted to tell you that your posts here are awesome! This one in particular is dead on perfect from what I've learned there as well.

    I also Love your tweets. We follow each other there. I'm @AllTheyNeedIsU I want to add a million things here, but 3 a.m. and I'm off to read for now. However, I thought after seeing all your tweets and posts it was about time I stopped to thank you for always sharing such a wonderful wealth of information and seeing both sides of the Author/Reader worlds. Very much appreciated.

    All the best,


    P.S. If you should see my Goodreads. My reviews are slim pickings right now due to devastating circumstances over the past three years, but almost out of the woods and rebuilding, so please don't think I don't appreciate all the author's I've come to know and Love. I'm getting my strength back and then back to reviews. Warmest of thoughts to you. :)

  13. My favorite part of your post ... "The readers do all the work" (I probably paraphrased that). Great post!