Monday, November 4, 2013

11 Book Discovery on Goodreads and How Adding Books Works

It came as a complete surprise to me on Saturday that my book was up on Goodreads. A fantastic surprise, obviously. Even better was that I found out when our very own Alyssa Hamilton (@AlyBabyBooks) tweeted it, not realizing I didn't know.

See the full listing here.

Then came the frozen moment of panic and the subsequent email to my publisher's marketing department asking was this okay. We'd just been corresponding about when cover copy would be ready and covers and so forth, and so when I saw the text was what was on my website, I knew this wasn't the official copy! (For the record, I am not a marketing person. Having my "version" out in the world scares the crap out of me!) But then . . . 


I realized that this meant someone--who isn't me, and who also isn't my publisher--wanted to see my book on Goodreads. But who?

Turns out, Goodreads automatically adds books as soon as they have an ISBN. Mystery solved. (Maybe, because the ISBN number isn't up there.)

However, as soon as Goodreads added the book, with no cover and my admittedly not wonderful description, there were complete strangers--who I now love, love, love--who added my book to their "Want to Read" lists. 

Once I scraped myself off the floor, I wanted to know a little bit more about how all this worked. Here are a few links for those of you who are curious about Goodreads for authors. 

On a slightly different, but related note, in case you want to know some of the nitty-gritty of how to find readers, here's another great article:

And a couple of bonus links:

I've been focused on writing this book so long that having all of this side of things start happening has left me utterly unprepared. But I'll learn. Maybe we'll learn together, if you're interested. Then you won't repeat my mistakes. :)

Have a great week,



  1. Martina, that's awesome! I love those little surprises. I've had a few of them too, and it only gets better. I completely understand being terrified, but it's going to get better. I'm so excited for you!

  2. Congrats!!!! It makes it seem real, doesn't it? This post was SO helpful! My book showed up on Goodreads, and I haven't even gotten my editorial letter yet! Thank you, thank you, for all the helpful links.

  3. I had my Blue Birds added by someone who must have read the announcement in Publisher's Marketplace or Publisher's Weekly (because the announcement was cut and pasted to make the description). And I see my Over in the Wetlands picture book is now there, with no description.

    Curious who does this sort of thing!

  4. wow - congrats! I am off to add you to my to read list - how exciting!

  5. Congratulations! As someone who hasn't yet checked out Goodreads (I've heard good and bad) this post helped. Thanks!

  6. That's great people are adding your book to their To-Read list! I will have to do that too! Thanks for the info; hopefully someday I will get to use it. ;o)

  7. Woohoo!!! Off to add to my list! :)

  8. Just added Beholden to my Want to Read list. Great post. Thanks so much for all this great stuff.

  9. I'm so glad you posted this. As part of a publishing contract, I'm required to join good reads. This will help. If you're wondering why I'm not on there already (despite my writing group pressuring me to do it) it's because I felt I spent enough time online as it was. Haha. :.)

  10. Goodreads is a great community site for people that love to read. Authors should really take advantage of this medium. Getting on the "to read" list already- great job!


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