Discussion: Goodreads Usage

A lot of bloggers and authors use Goodreads, a platform where you can review books and make lists of books you liked, want to read, etc.  I mostly use it for cross-posting purposes to get reviews on my blog out there to a wider audience (which can be extremely helpful for self-published authors as well as traditionally published authors).  Although I do also keep track of books using my shelves so I know which books I’ve read but have yet to review, what series I haven’t finished and what books I really want to keep an eye out for in bargain shops.  Goodreads is not perfect by any means in part because of the author-reviewer drama that sometimes goes on, but it’s pretty much everything I need it to be: generally user-friendly, simple and practical.

What I want to know now is this: How do you use Goodreads?  Do you use it as a way to keep track of your books, simply cross-post reviews, connect with authors or a combination of all of them?  As an author, is it a good way to reach out to new reviewers or just readers in general?  As a reviewer, do you use it quite a bit or not at all?  Why?

17 comments

  1. Michael A. McLellan

    As a new author I have found Goodreads invaluable for exposing my book to potential readers. I gave away five copies through a Goodreads giveaway in December and nearly one thousand people signed up for the drawing. That’s nearly one thousand who looked at the cover and likely read the blurb. So far two of the winners have rated and reviewed the book. Also, I don’t have a Facebook page, Twitter account or any other “social media” outlet. Goodreads seems to be a good way for someone like me to bridge that gap in a place where everyone has one common interest….reading.

    • Carrie Slager

      That’s great to hear. It’s one thing to suspect that Goodreads is a good outreach for authors but it’s nice to see that it actually is. I don’t connect with authors on Goodreads unless I’m bugging them for a sequel but I know a lot more readers there are far more active socially.

  2. LMcCJ

    I use Goodreads to keep track of books I want to read–it’s my online TBR pile. A nice, new feature is, if a book on my Want To Read list is part of a giveaway, Goodreads emails me so I know to enter that giveaway.

    If I win a giveaway, Goodreads pretty much expects me to review the book, so I always do. This only bothers me if I didn’t like the book. I try to be as positive as I can if I’m in this position. Otherwise, I only review books to help out author-friends.

    I don’t view Goodreads as a way to connect with authors. I do this via Twitter.

    • Carrie Slager

      I sometimes connect with authors via Goodreads but it’s usually authors I already know, the ones I email to bug about sequels.

      Mainly, I use Goodreads to keep track of what books I have to review! I do have a paper schedule but it’s very satisfying to check a book off the site after I’ve published the review on my blog. It also forces me to cross-post way more often than I used to, which is good for both my Goodreads statistics and authors in general.

      I wish I had your problem! I never win Goodreads giveaways.

  3. cantstopwontstopbooks

    I use it to keep track of upcoming releases, and I’ll check reviews sometimes. Honestly, Goodreads acts as a bookish Wikipedia for me. I will post reviews, but they’re the same reviews I post on here. If I want to connect with authors, I use Facebook.

    • Carrie Slager

      That’s sort of how I use it on occasion as well. I mostly use it to keep track of what reviews I need to do. But it’s useful for book release dates and keeping track of when the next book in a series I like is coming out. It’s also a handy place to grab my cover pictures from.

  4. Author Unpublished

    I generally use Goodreads to 1. Cross-post reviews. 2. Look up book information and Covers. When I’m working on writing up a review, it’s the easiest place for me to look up alternate covers, synopsis, what series it’s a part of, and the genre–as well as to check what other people have said about the book and decide if there’s something I may have forgotten to mention in my review.

    • Carrie Slager

      Those are the two reasons I pretty much use Goodreads but my third reason is to keep track of which books I have to review. That’s why I made a to-review shelf so whenever I publish a review I can check off another book. It sort of guilts me into finally reviewing books that I read months ago but haven’t had the time/motivation to review yet.

  5. Sally Ember, Ed.D.

    I do a LOT with GR: post my current reading titles and status, write reviews here first (when I write them), keep track of other authors’ releases, add to my “Friends” (and therefore, my email) list, become “fans” of authors and “friend” authors in my networks and/or whose writing I like, add books to my TBR pile, receive newsletters [genre (sci-fi/fantasy) and audience (YA and general)] monthly from GR, comment/interact in some GR groups, have my own group, cross-post from my own blog, have an author page, check for new reviews of my books and track my books’ ratings, vote up others’ books and put my books on GR Lists, find reviewers, find guests for my on-air LIVE talk show (*CHANGES* conversations between authors, almost weekly, Wed., 10 – 11 AM EST USA on Google+ and Youtube), read others’ reviews (not very often, though), “shelve” my TBR and current reading books and add categories to my shelves, announce “events” and probably more. Once GR allows for ebooks giveaways, I’ll probably do those, also.

  6. Tara

    I use Goodreads to look up reviews of books I’m not going to read (I often need to know about these books for various reasons), to pull cover images for my blog, to read reviews of books after I’ve read them, and to keep track of my yearly reading challenge. I’m only recently starting to get serious about cross-posting reviews. It’s the first place I go when I need to know more information about a book.

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