A Closer Look at Goodreads: Signing Up and Creating Author Profiles

Have you heard about the Kindle Paperwhite? Unlike other eReaders on the market, his brand new Kindle has a button to access Goodreads built right into its browser.

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Goodreads is becoming more and more vital to understand as both a writer and an avid reader.

So how do you sign up? What should you look out for? Here we cover the basics of what it’s like to create an account on Goodreads. Pretty soon you’ll be reviewing books with the best of ’em!

Signing In

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Good news for those of us who have multiple social media accounts — it’s very easy to use your Facebook, Google+, or Twitter account to create a new account for Goodreads without having to remember a new password. I have my account synced to Facebook so all my friends can see the books I’m reading and the reviews I’ve written.

If you prefer to create a separate account for Goodreads, however, it’s easy to do that as well. All you need to do is supply your name, e-mail address and a password on the homepage.

Front Page.

Here’s what the homepage looks like after you’ve logged in — you can see what your friends are reading and reviewing, as well as the number of books that you’ve current read and rated.

Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 11.47.16 PMClicking on “My Books” will take you to where you can list the books you’ve read on multiple different shelves. On “Groups,” you can look through different book clubs and other group pages to meet new people and discuss your favorite books. The “Recommendations” bar will suggest new books for you to read based on what you’ve already read and rated, and “Explore” shows you new releases, new reviews, and featured works by Goodreads authors.

Author Program.

Now here’s the part you really care about — the author program! Unfortunately there’s no straightforward way to sign up to become a Goodreads author right out of the gate. Instead, you have to wait until your book first appears on Goodreads (you can also add it yourself — check back next week to learn how to do this!) and go to the bottom of the author profile that’s been created for you. It will look like this:

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To reach this image, you have to click on the small “edit data” button to the left of your author profile. It will look like this:

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Once you’ve signed on as an official Goodreads author, you’ll be able to add your blog to your profile so that your followers and readers will be notified on Goodreads when you post something new. You can also post information about upcoming events that you’ll be attending as well.

Remember, people don’t like to think that you’re using a social media just to market yourself, so be sure that you actually use the Goodreads services! Add books to your shelves and leave reviews for your favorite titles. You might choose to create a shelf filled with books that inspire you to show your fans where you got your ideas from, or you might choose to engage your readers through groups or other Goodreads pages. Have fun with it. After all, it’s a free service that’s all about books — what could be better than that?

Any questions about what we should focus on in our next Goodreads post? Let us know in the comments below!

Also: Remember the article that Betty Sargent wrote for Publishers Weekly Select, which we mentioned from last week? It’s now up on the Publishers Weekly website and has been getting a lot of great buzz. Check our her post about using video as a self-publisher, entitled “Seeing is Believing.” You’ll be glad you did!

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