More About Using Goodreads: “My Books”


Two weeks ago we taught you how to sign up for Goodreads and create your own account using the Author Program. However, to get the most out of your Goodreads profile, you have to be able to use it as a reader as well. Otherwise everyone will think you’re only interested in promoting yourself without actually getting involved in the community!

The easiest and best way you can use your Goodreads account to the fullest is by reviewing the books you’ve read. We showed you what the front page looked like last time around — now let’s take a look at the “My books” tab.

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The left side of the screen lists all the different bookshelves on which your book reviews are listed. Originally you start out with “read,” “currently reading,” and “to read,” but you can also create your own by clicking on “add shelf” below. I like to categorize mine by genre, though I also have several shelves to delineate the books I read in high school and college.

To add a new book to one of your shelves, go to the top search bar where you can input a title, author, or ISBN.

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 1.08.27 AM You should come up with a search results page that looks like this:

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Now, if you want to, you can add a book to your bookshelf right here by clicking on the “Want to read” button. Clicking that will automatically add it to your “to-read” shelf, but you can also move it to whichever shelf you want using the button to the right. You can also add a quick 1 to 5 star review here, if you’d like.

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But what if you’ve already read the book you’re adding and you want to write up an elaborate review to share with friends and other likeminded readers? The easiest way to do that is by clicking on the title of the book in question to access its individual page,, and editing a review from there.

If you scroll down at that page, you’ll find this:

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Clicking “edit review” will take you here:

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 1.18.12 AMFrom here you can choose shelves, change the edition that you’re reviewing, edit the date that you finished the book, and write your review. The more reviews you write, the more you’ll be able to share your views with other Goodreads users, and the better your reputation will be as a reader and writer. When you add and review more books, you’ll also get better recommendations using the Goodreads “recommendation” engine. Just don’t spend so much time writing reviews that you forget to write your own book!


Amazon to buy GoodReads

goodreadsExciting news! According to Galleycat, yesterday Amazon reached an agreement to buy the popular social networking site GoodReads, which we mentioned in our recent article about social media.

Here’s what the press release says:

“Amazon and Goodreads share a passion for reinventing reading,” said Russ Grandinetti, Amazon Vice President, Kindle Content. “Goodreads has helped change how we discover and discuss books and, with Kindle, Amazon has helped expand reading around the world. In addition, both Amazon and Goodreads have helped thousands of authors reach a wider audience and make a better living at their craft. Together we intend to build many new ways to delight readers and authors alike.”


“Books – and the stories and ideas captured inside them – are part of our social fabric,” said Otis Chandler, Goodreads CEO and co-founder. “People love to talk about ideas and share their passion for the stories they read. I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity to partner with Amazon and Kindle. We’re now going to be able to move faster in bringing the Goodreads experience to millions of readers around the world. We’re looking forward to inspiring greater literary discussion and helping more readers find great books, whether they read in print or digitally.”


Founded in 2007 and headquartered in San Francisco, Goodreads is home to about 16 million members and over 30,000 book clubs. The press release put out yesterday also says that “over just the past 90 days, Goodreads members have added more than four books per second to their “want to read” shelves.” However, there’s no way to buy books directly from the site after learning about them, so our guess is that Amazon will seek to become Goodread’s go-to ebook seller through this deal.

The agreement isn’t expected to close until the second quarter of 2013 so there’s no telling what Amazon’s plans are yet, but Chandler has assured his members that there’s nothing to worry about. “Goodreads will continue to be the wonderful community that we all cherish,” he said in today’s note. “We plan to continue offering you everything that you love about the site—the ability to track what you read, discover great books, discuss and share them with fellow book lovers, and connect directly with your favorite authors—and your reviews and ratings will remain here on Goodreads.”

An Intro to Social Media for the Self-Publisher

browseWhether or not Facebook loses popularity and goes the way of earlier websites like Myspace or Friendster, it’s clear that the social network is here to stay. Huge companies like Barnes and Noble or Penguin all have social media experts that use Facebook and Twitter accounts to alert their audiences to new books they’re publishing, but when you’re self-publishing, all you have is yourself! That’s why it’s important to know the basics of which social networks are worth your time and which you can choose to forgo.

Remember, don’t let worrying about social media get in the way of actually writing! It can be tempting to spend all day on Facebook waiting for people to say something nice about you, but it’s much more important to actually put out work that people will enjoy. Marketing is great, but you need to have a product to market!

Check out some of the best social networks to focus on after the jump:

Continue reading

Self Publishing Event Recap: An evening with Amy Edelman

imagesIn case you didn’t know, our friend Miral Sattar at Bibliocrunch hosts regular Meetup for people who are interested in self-publishing. They’re always very informative and interesting — Betty even spoke at one a few months ago!

Yesterday’s event at the American Society of Journalists and Authors had photoa great turn-out. The speaker for the night was Amy Edelman, a publicist and writer who runs Indiereader. This incredible website puts out book reviews for Indie and self-published authors and has a lot of great articles from regular columnists and writers sharing their publishing processes. Edelman stressed the importance of social media and putting together what you can for free, like Goodreads and Facebook pages. She also recommended the Kindle Direct Publishing program, which gives you a number of “free days” that can help you promote your book to a wider audience.

Bibliocrunch’s next meetup event is on February 25th, so be sure to save the date. I’ll certainly be there! And be sure to add Indiereader to your bookmark list — it’s definitely worth checking out.


Some New Years Resolutions for Writers

869510_red_and_gold____4Hope you all are having a happy holiday season! Here at BookWorks we’re taking a quick break before we ramp up to our release date, but we wanted to share a great article we found over at Debbie Young’s blog, Off the Shelf Book Promotions. In it she outlines a perfect set of New Years Resolutions for Indie writers and self publishers — you might want to incorporate them into your own resolutions for 2013!

Here’s a quick sample after the jump: Continue reading