How to Promote Your Book on Goodreads

As a self-published author, it’s in your DNA to be a book nerd. But don’t worry — we love book nerds at Steuben Press. That’s why we became book printers, after all.

Sp 076 howtopromoteyourbookongoodreads

But no matter how much you may love books, for most self-published authors, marketing your book isn’t necessarily second nature. 

You know how to write well — that’s a given. But no one warned you about having to figure out how to sell your book!

Luckily, one of the best social platforms for finding new books and connecting to other readers could be the ticket to selling more copies of your book.

With over 20 million members, Goodreads is like Spotify for readers looking for new books. Which is exactly why you should make sure your book gets all the publicity it can on Goodreads.

Plus, Listopia is a section of Goodreads dedicated to categorizing books into specific genres and lists. Goodreads users vote on which books should be included in these lists, giving those books special recognition based on their content.

From setting up your author page to getting reviews and votes on Listopia, here’s how you can get your self-published book noticed on Goodreads. 

1. Set Up an Author Page

First things first: if you want to get your self-published book on Goodreads, you need to setup an author page.

This will serve like your Facebook profile for Goodreads. Your author page can provide statistics about how well your book’s doing on Goodreads. It’ll also give readers a way to see all the books you’ve written, find out what you’re reading, and to learn more about you.

Check out the Goodreads Author program page for detailed instructions to help you set up your author page and get the ball rolling. 

2. Get Votes on Listopia

Listopia is an important marketing tool for any self-published author. Getting your book voted into specific Listopia lists can help readers understand the genre and content of your book a little better.

And when we say that Listopia includes specific genre lists, we really mean it — the lists in Listopia include anything from “Books that exceeded your expectations” to “Prehistoric life” to “Scars are sexy — books with imperfect/disfigured/disabled heroes.” 

You’ll want to make sure your book is in all the right lists so eager readers can find their way to your title. 

Not only that, but you’ll want to get readers (and friends, family and other writers) to upvote your book in whichever lists it’s in. 

Think of all the readers you could attract if your book is one of the top 5 results for “Best thrillers of the year.” The popularity your book receives won’t be the same if your book is ranked 40th on that same list, so keep reading for more ways to get your book noticed on Goodreads.

3. Get Reviews

Goodreads features books based on the number of reviews they have. And that includes negative reviews, so don’t fear the critics. 

The more reviews your book has — good or bad — the higher it’ll appear in searches. 

Just like getting your book upvoted in Listopia, you should also engage your fans and friends to garner as many reviews as you can on your book. Offer to exchange reviews with other authors to make it a two-way street.

4. Host a Giveaway

Goodreads has a book giveaways section that can help you connect with readers and raise awareness about your next book.

On average, 750 readers enter each Goodreads book giveaway. 8% of participants will add the book to their to-read list, and 45% of the winners will review the book. 

Use this powerful marketing tool to give readers the gift of your next title, and receive the gift of a new fan and positive new reviews!

5. Goodreads Ads

No matter how wonderful your book is, it runs the risk of getting lost amongst the sea of other titles. That’s where Goodreads advertising comes in.

With Goodreads ads, you can target readers who’ve previously given high ratings to other authors that are similar to you.

For example, if your humorous autobiographical book reads like a David Sedaris story, you can target his fans with an ad for your book.

You can also target people who’ve rated your other books in the past. You may have fans who loved your other books, but who don’t know about your most recent release. Goodreads ads can help you connect to those readers.

As a self-published author, you probably don’t have a huge budget to spend on advertising. But Goodreads ads can cost as little as $0.15 per click

6. Lead a Q&A Discussion Group About Your Book.

Forge a deeper connection with your fans by hosting a discussion about your book through Goodreads’ Featured Books section.

Strike up the conversation about your book to guide readers to the discussion table. Fans can ask you questions about your book, or talk amongst themselves about your work. 

You don’t have to always be hyper-involved in the discussions. But as a self-published author, making yourself accessible will help build a buzz and turn budding fans into lifelong devotees.

7. Connect Your Blog to Goodreads

Get even more eyes on your author blog by connecting your blog to Goodreads.

As part of the Author Program, Goodreads will email your fan once a week with your newest blog posts. So even if your Goodreads followers don’t know about your author site or blog, they’ll be served up your newest posts in a Goodreads email.

That means more readers being driven to your amazing author site to look around and check in on all your projects. You can automate this Goodreads email easily in your author dashboard, then let it do the work for you.

As a self-published author and book lover, Goodreads is a place for writers and readers to thrive. But once your readers become interested in learning more about you, you’ll want to be sure your website has all the essential elements to turn browsers into buyers. 

Does your author website have everything it needs to make more fans and sell more books? >

Adam user

President & CEO,
Steuben Press

Adam Ellis has worked in the book industry since 2002, when he was first exposed to the wonderful world of Self Publishing. Over the years he has worked with thousands of authors and helped to produce, print and publish countless books.


I set the price, I collect the checks, and Steuben Press does all of the work. It’s a relief to know I never again have to print, package, and ship a book myself. The convenience is outweighed only by their professionalism.

– Andy Phelps, Michigan

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