goodreads_icon_200x200-8b5b322a54ffbe04db26585de0830763Another week has gone by and we’re already in February. My publication date for From Here to Nashville is just two weeks away and, having worked through all the amendments from my proofreader, I will be able to meet my deadline to upload the final version to Amazon before the end of this week. As always, I have been juggling a few other things during the week as well. Mainly, I have been liaising with a number of lovely people about interviews on their blogs and I also contacted the organisers of the Romance Festival 2015, taking place online next weekend about a Q&A with them and a blog post. Once the final version of my ebook is ready, I will also be contacting some book reviewers to see if they would be able to review FHTN for me.

One of the other things on my to do list during the week was to set up a Goodreads Author Page. I have been on the site as a reader for quite a while now so it made sense to get my Author Page set up too. I have heard from quite a few people though that they find the site a bit of a nightmare to use so I was prepared for it to be a bit tricky. And it was! So I thought some tips might be useful for readers of my blog for when the time comes to set up your own page.

1. You have to wait for your book to be available somewhere, either for pre-order or actually published, before it will show up on Goodreads. I tried to join the Author Program but because my book wasn’t there, nothing would happen. Once my book was available for pre-order though, it automatically showed up on the Goodreads site because it’s owned by Amazon. Then all I had to do was to click on ‘Author Program’ which is right at the bottom of the page and search for myself and my book. Once you have done this, it asks whether this is you and you can ask to join the program. My situation was slightly  complicated by the fact that there is another Julie Stock out there and I was showing as the author of her book as well. It was very easy to contact Goodreads though to explain and now I’m no longer associated with that book. Just as well because it was a Breastfeeding Manual and this is not something I excelled at, I’m afraid 😉 Hope that wasn’t TMI on a Monday. One final thing, it takes a while for them to get back to you to say you are set up as an author so you may need to be prepared for that.

2. How to upload your own photo. When I’d had to contact Goodreads about the other Julie Stock, I had managed to get to know a very helpful Librarian there who was happy for me to pester her with other questions. The first one I had was how to upload my photo, which I hadn’t been able to work out on my own. For this, you need to go to your Author Page and click on edit data, not on edit profile, as you might have expected. Then you will see the options for uploading a picture of yourself.

3. Your Author Bio. This is also uploaded under edit data. One tip is that when you upload your bio, make sure to include a link to your newsletter sign up page right near the top. This makes it easier for readers and, in my case, will take them to my website too. I do have the links for my website, Twitter and Facebook all there too. On this page, you can also add a video and it’s recommended that you do. I have uploaded my book trailer there and I did that without having to ask any questions! Goodreads also sent me some questions to answer for the benefit of readers stopping by my page so I answered a few of those as well. I have also linked my blog to my Goodreads page, although it isn’t showing any pictures and is only showing ten posts so I may have to come back to that one.

4. To giveaway or not to giveaway? Once you have done all this, you can click on your book and see all kinds of information about it and who wants to read it etc. Goodreads is very keen for me to list a giveaway of the book too and I have given a lot of thought to this for the purposes of visibility. However, after reading this article by Roz Morris at the weekend, I had a very interesting discussion with some writing friends on Twitter about the whole idea of giving work away for free when you only have the one book out. The conclusion was that it just doesn’t make sense at this point for me to do it. When I have more than one book out, I will consider the idea again because that could then add value for me. So, even though it’s tempting, think carefully before giving away your work and make sure that if you do, there’s going to be something in it for you too 🙂

I hope these tips are helpful for you and if you’d like to go on over to my page to see what it looks like, here’s the link. You can click on the Want to Read button there too if you feel so inclined 😉 Thanks for reading as always and do leave me a comment below if you’d like to talk about any of these points a bit further.


15 Comments on How To Set Up a Goodreads Author Page

  1. I did set up an author page ages ago but now I can’t even see ‘author program’ anywhere. I find this site so hard to navigate! I keep giving up with it.

    • I know it’s hard but it is worth persevering with, I think. The link to the ‘author program’ is right at the bottom of the page, near where it says Goodreads Inc. You should be able to find it there but you do need to keep scrolling until you get to the very bottom. Let me know if you find it!

  2. Can’t believe it’s nearly time for your first book to be published. I am so excited and pleased that you are nearing the finishing line. I’m sure you are looking forward to this but also a little worried. We are all supporting you and wish you every success xxx

  3. Julie, having released my first book only a fortnight ago, the whole process you are describing feels very familiar to me. I have set up my author page. Other good things you can do with it are link your blog to it, host events and use GR as a book-related social network, building up a cohort of book-related friends. The site is confusing but for the sake of accessing millions of potential readers, it must be worth persevering with.
    I have given a coupe of copies of Six Months to Get a Life away via GR giveaways. During those giveaways, more than 600 people have added their book to their GR shelves. This isn’t the same as buying it, but I am hoping that it means that they might buy it at some point! And other people can see their shelves too, meaning that the book is put in front of more potential readers. I would classify doing a GR giveaway as very different from making your book free on Amazon…
    I hope the above is helpful. Wishing you all the best with your book.

    • Thanks for reading and leaving a comment, Ben. I definitely think that Goodreads is worth persevering with and I have found them very helpful when I’ve got a bit stuck. You make a very good point about a giveaway on Goodreads being different from making your book free on Amazon so you’ve persuaded me to give that a go at least once! It’s always helpful to get the viewpoint of someone who’s done it, so thank you. Thanks for your good wishes as well and I’m glad to see your book doing so well too 🙂

  4. Julie, this is very helpful as I need to complete my profile. One thing I disagree with, though, is the giveaway. I did a giveaway for a single, signed copy of my book (Goodreads do want you to have a physical book rather than an ebook to giveaway), and as a result more than 600 readers marked my book as ‘to read’. Now, that doesn’t translate immediately to sales, but it’s a lot more people aware of me and what I write which I’m sure is a good thing.

    • Thanks for reading and taking the time to leave a comment, Katy. As Ben said in the comment before, there is a difference between giving books away free on Amazon and doing a giveaway on Goodreads, as long as you get some reviews from it, of course. I’m persuaded from reading about other authors’ experiences that I should give it a try. I’ll let you know how I get on.

  5. You make a valid point and I agree about giveaways when you only have one book out. Some of the book reviewers prefer that you host a giveaway in conjunction with the review on their blog. While I can’t say that it has ever boosted sales, I have gained more followers, friends, etc on my social media sites and hopefully that will help when future books release. I also did one giveaway on Goodreads. The winner was in Great Britain and the postage was more than the cost of the book, but I did receive a very nice review from the person who won. Reviews are so hard to come by, for me, the giveaways are more about hoping that the reader will leave an honest review rather than boosting my sales. Just something to think about.

    • Thanks for reading and leaving a message, Dena. I think you’re right about reviews v sales. These days, it’s all about visibility and Goodreads could be incredibly useful for that. It is difficult balancing that cost of postage problem though 🙁

      • The good thing about Goodreads, is that you can manage what countries you make the giveaway available to. I wasn’t thinking when I did mine, but again, I was pleased with how it turned out and would likely do it again.

  6. Thank you Julie – I am about to publish my debut novel and this post was very helpful. I too am considering a giveaway and attempting to set up an author page on Goodreads, so all advice welcome!

    • Glad you enjoyed it, Sam. Goodreads seems to be a bit of a mystery to us all so it’s always good to compare notes 🙂 Good luck with your debut novel!

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