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Goodreads Marketing is an essential part of the marketing strategy. Getting a book out is one thing, finding book influencers and generating hype is another. Do nothing and chances you will sell under 10 copies from your book increases dramatically. You might end up with a few copies yourself, which you will most likely hand over to friends and relatives – but this is pretty much it. However, you have spent weeks or even months writing that book and you want to monetize it, right? This is when you realize how important a good marketing technique is – no marketing, no sales.

Now, whether you sell it on B&N, Amazon or another platform, it is essential to focus on portals specifically designed for writers too – rather than a general online store. This is when Goodreads kicks in. Goodreads is the second biggest place for book lovers after Amazon. People can leave reviews, your book can go up in ranking and your popularity will inevitably skyrocket – assuming you wrote a good book too. Here are a few techniques to help you with your Goodreads marketing.

A few words about Goodreads and Listopia first

Goodreads is one of the leading portals for writers and reading enthusiasts. It brings authors and their fans together. It bring in new titles that may not be advertised anywhere else. People know they can find all kinds of hidden gems in there, regardless of the genre. They know that they can dig deep and find some books that will keep them busy for a while, so it is essential for your book to be there. You need people to talk about it, but also to review it.

Listopia is not a different portal, but a particular section of Goodreads. It allows users to come up with all kinds of lists based on their favorite authors or genres. These lists will inevitably become public as polls too. Other users will join these lists and cast their votes, but they can also add more books to the respective lists. While no one will really add your book out of nowhere, learning how to use Goodreads and Listopia in your favor will work wonders in the long run.

Listopia lists could be categorized in the following ways:

From marketing point of view the last one is the most valuable list type.

Setting up your book's own page

Setting up your own page is a must. This is the first page to connect with your fans, readers and some new audience. The trick is everyone is able to add new book to Goodreads. It's very easy, just upload a plain cover, enter your book's details. One thing is important, always try to add an ASIN or ISBN-10 to the form, since Goodreads tries to directly link your book's page and if the “Amazon” button doesn't work it is a bad news for marketing. If it happens, just try to add another book version (Goodreads doesn't limit this).

Think about this page as your book's Facebook or Instagram page – only it connects your book with readers over Goodreads. You will find every reviews and ratings here, along with a link to your book's listopia lists.

Goodreads Author page

It's really important part of Goodreads marketing activity to have an author page.

You can get an author's page without having to pay anything. If you have never gone public as an author, this step might be a bit challenging, but you should do it within a couple of hours only.

You can add a few details about yourself and share some of your plans with the readers. The program has step by step instructions (see above link), so it is fairly simple to join. In your profile, you should link your author's website and your Amazon author page directly. This helps readers to discover your other writings.

Ask your readers for listing your book

The weakness of Listopia is that your book isn't listed automatically on relevant lists. It's manual work. Research for relevant lists first, by typing relevant keywords into Goodreads search, than click on Listopia tab.

As an alternative method, you can simply use Google by adding “Listopia” after the relevant keywords. It will drop out relevant pages.

The Listopia area in Goodreads has lists for any type of book or genre out there. Think about the weirdest thing ever and chances are there is a list about it on this portal.

When the research is ready send your lists to your closest friend or family member to list your book all on those lists, by giving 1-1 vote on each list.

But one vote doesn't make any difference, but a present on those lists. You need to get further votes on these lists, in order to climb on those lists higher. Once your book is listed on several lists, it will receive a Listopia main page, just to give an example here it is The First 100 Days of Your Book's page. After that you need to use this url, so readers may decide whether they want to vote any of these lists. The best part, that after a visitor clicks on any of these lists on this page, Goodreads will jump directly to your book on that exact list.

Some good to know Listopia information

  • If someone puts your book to a Listopia list for the first time, Listopia list section (“Lists With This Book”) will refresh in 12-48 hours on your Goodreads book page
  • If you have multiple books editions listed (like paperback and Kindle) on Goodreads, you can list both book version on the same Listopia list and Goodreads won't merge them (we recommend to use always the same book link when you send it out to a fan, even if you refreshed the cover)

Advertise your book

This part involves spending some money, but it is totally worth it. It is optional, so you can forget about it if you are broke. Goodreads marketing techniques are quite diversified, but the portal has a very solid advertising program to help new writers or books gain some notoriety. You can target specific people based on their preferences – for example, if your books are similar to Paulo Coelho's, you can target people who highly rated his work.

You can use the exact same advertising program if this is not your first book and you want to target people who have rated your previous books. Some of your fans may have no idea that you have just released a new book – let them know. Goodreads allows reaching such people through a comprehensive marketing campaign. Prices vary from one feature to another, meaning you can twitch the marketing campaign to meet your budget and needs. Some ads can cost little to nothing per click.

Give out some free books

Most publishing houses will also give you a bunch of free copies – ask about them if they are not offering them. They are meant to go to friends and relatives. Keep them and give them out for free to strangers instead. Goodreads giveaways make a good Goodreads marketing campaign. On average, 750 people enter each giveaway in the attempt to win a free book. Unfortunately it will also cost you some extra money, so if you are still on budget skip also this option.

Out of those people, about 70 of them will add the book to their to-read list. From all winners out there, half of them will review the book once they are done with it. There is a specific section for giveaways on Goodreads, so it is not like your little contest will go unnoticed. People join giveaways even if they are slightly interested only, so it is totally worth it. The portal allows giving out up to 100 ebooks too.

Introduce your blog

Whether you want to draw people's attention with your actual book, your opinions, ideas or giveaways, your Goodreads marketing should also include your blog. Most authors have blogs these days, but not all of them know that they can link their blogs to Goodreads. Practically, the portal will email your fans once a week and provide some insights on your latest posts.

This is an excellent opportunity to get people to visit your blog without too much effort. Connect the two portals, link them up and Goodreads will take care of everything else for you. It is a nice perk that lots of authors overlook, mostly because they have nothing interesting to write about on their blogs. But if your blog is active, the idea is totally worth your time.

Create Listopia lists yourself

You can come up with Listopia lists yourself too. Come up with some great titles and chances are your list will get a bit of popularity. There are a few tips and tricks to think about before coming up with a list. First of all, you need a title – it should be keyword rich. You want people to find it while they look for something similar.

Come up with a description – nothing too fancy, just a few words about the list. You can add some tags – this part is quite important. These tags are responsible for the search results. Therefore, choose something very specific – you can also come up with a few famous authors in the same genre. Finally, add some books. Start with your own book and add a few (at least 5) other titles.

When it comes to other books, it pays off going for super famous authors and books. Chances are most people have already read their books, so they will keep scrolling down until they find something new. This is when they see your book and decide to give it a try. If you add a bunch of anonymous authors, they might gain popularity before you do.

Ask people for reviews

Votes in lists are not everything. Reviews are just as important and part of every Goodreads marketing strategy. You will inevitably get some negative reviews too, but hey we are doing marketing here – there is nothing to be concerned about. If you worry about negative reviews, you risk hijacking your book. Instead, you should know most people go by the overall rating and the number of reviews.

It sounds weird, but the more reviews a book has, the better – even if you have a few negative ones. People naturally assume that a book with thousands of reviews has that little something that draws readers in. Do not be afraid to ask your friends, family and fans for reviews – you can do it over social media or through your email newsletter.


Bottom line, every Goodreads marketing must include these steps. There are lots of opportunities to help your book grow and nothing happens overnight – you need to find a mix of different techniques and ensure they boost your book little by little. It will take time, but no marketing campaign provides overnight results.

Pretty much everything about your marketing campaign involves getting your readers involved – friends, fans and family too. Get reviews, votes, push your book yourself through Listopia lists and take advantage of every perk in the Goodreads program for authors.

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