Social Networking: GoodReads

Last month, I put up a post about various links to people “talking” about social networking. Included in the list was Martha Engber’s post about GoodReads, which included a brief discussion on how authors can use the site to market their books.

Right after I blogged about this, I signed up for GoodReads. (You can see the button to my GoodReads page over there on the right–it took me WAY longer to add that button than to complete my GR profile, BTW!) I admit, signing up was, for me, sort of an exploratory mission. I’ve never been one to catalog my books in any ways, and I was just stepping out of a review job and was looking forward to NOT writing up my opinions for a while.

Well, of course, I found myself having fun. I do like listing the books I’m reading, and I like checking out the updates I get about my Friends. I haven’t started using the site as a source for my own to-read list, but that may be because I’m knee shoulder deep in reading research books for The Critiquer’s Survival Guide right now.

The other thing I haven’t yet dug into is the marketing/promotion aspects of the site that Martha talks about.  I’m curious, though, so I spent a little time today browsing the web to see what other people think about GoodReads. The overall consensus seems to be that it’s a wonderful sort-of online book group, but there isn’t that much talk out there about using it as an author, not just a reader.

I did find a few links, in addition to Martha’s, for you to check out.

I also took a first step and browsed the GoodReads Help pages for info about the author’s program. The best thing I saw is that, yes, it’s free to set up your own page, if you’re a published author. Always a nice feature. You can list all your books (or just the ONE that’s coming out next fall!),  put up an excerpt of your writing, add y our schedule of events, and run book giveaways. 

Here are a few links to GoodReads information about how authors can use their site:

Finally, just so you can take a look at a “final” product, here’s the GoodReads Author page of one of my favorite mystery writers, Dana Stabenow.

Are you on GoodReads? How do you use it–for fun as a reader, or promotion as a writer? (Or both?) Or do you belong to one of the other book-based social networking sites–LibraryThing or Shelfari? What do you think of them? I’d love to hear your take on these sites in the comments!


  1. Gottawrite Girl says:

    Wow, alotta good info here… I’m definitely on Library Thing, but use it more for making blog widgets than networking. Also, there’s JacketFlap for all those kidlet writers out there!!

    Always, thanks Becky!


  2. beckylevine says:

    Thanks, Susan. Now you’ve got me curious–I have no idea how a book-based social networking site can help make widgets. On my list to look into! I’m on JacketFlap, too, but haven’t figured out how much I can do with it. Maybe that’s another post!


  3. janflora says:

    i started Goodreads around the same time as you [HI! my only GR buddy:)I must say i am impressed with your rate of reading, i never seem to have enough time to read all i want to 😦 ]
    I like it too for exploring new books and exploring authors, etc. It was really easy to add a lot of old faves too and the quiz is fun…i just requested some ARCs so I can hopefully do more reviews this year, which seem to be good posts for me. I started LibraryThing this week and am trying to use that to keep track of books actually read this year…
    I had probs getting a Goodreads link on WP too and could only do a small one, not a “currently Reading” one…I noticed other people’s cool widgets with books on slideshows etc and thought they were a nice feature on a writing/reading blog. I may have to Change my whole theme/layout for the new year to display all my new things 🙂 HAPPY 2009 btw! Write on!


  4. beckylevine says:

    Happy 2009! I do read fast, but I’ve been doing a LOT wider reading than usual, as research for the critique book. I’d love to hear about how Library Thing goes.


  5. Rachel says:

    Here’s an interesting post about GoodReads Giveaways:

    Worth a read!


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