Lola’s Advice: Need help with Goodreads?

Posted April 4, 2016 by Lola in Lola's Advice / 36 Comments

Lola’s Advice is a monthly feature on my blog Lola’s Reviews, which will be posted on the first monday of the month. Lola’s Advice posts are usually how-to or tips type of posts. They are mainly aimed at authors, but I also try and show the blogger/ reader side of the topic I address. I share my knowledge or personal opinion on mostly book, authors, marketing and promotion related topics. I hope it’s helpful for authors and bloggers alike. Also even though it’s advice please understand that even if you follow all my advice it still won’t guarantee your book will be a success, but it hopefully will be helpful. I also believe that not everything works for each author, every author and book is different and different strategies work for different people. So please use whatever you want to or fits with your style. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Designs.

This post is a bit different than normal. As this post is focused on offering help with goodreads and giving a few tips concerning goodreads. I don’t talk about this often, although I mention it shortly on my Lola’s Blog Tours site, I am a goodreads librarian. I find it very important that things on goodreads are done well so a few years ago I applied as a goodreads librarian and got approved. In this post I’ll explain about what it means to be a goodreads librarian, I tell you about the goodreads librarians group and why it’s important to make sure your book information is displayed correctly on Goodreads.

As an author I think it’s important to have your book up on Goodreads and make sure the information displayed is correct. As an author you can use goodreads as social media site, interact with others, join groups or read/ review books you there yourself, but I think making sure your books are on there are the only thing you have to do as an author with Goodreads. The rest is optional and that’s up to the individual author to decide how active they want to be on Goodreads and how they want to use it. Okay now that I mentioned that let me tell you a bit about goodreads librarian, the goodreads librarian group and when you can put your book up on goodreads.

goodreads logo 2

What it means to be a goodreads librarian

Goodreads described it pretty neatly on this page What is a Goodreads librarian. Goodreads users that have at least 50 books on their profile can apply to become a goodreads librarian. Goodreads librarian are volunteers who help improve the book data on goodreads. I am a goodreads librarian, which means I can edit all book information from title, series to cover etc. And I can combine different editions of the same book. I applied to become a goodreads librarian a few years ago, as I spend a lot of time on Goodreads and find it important all the book information is correct and I am happy to help when I spot a mistake or something that can be added.

Often when I am adding books to my to-read list on Goodreads I keep an eye out for things that aren’t like they supposed to, usually these are small things and I only change things if I know the author or know 100% that what I am adding/ changing is right. The thing I most often do as goodreads librarian is create a series page or add a new book to an already existing series page. Most authors do add the name of the series to the title, but forget to add it to the series page. Sometimes I combine different editions or add a book or cover to goodreads if an author ask me to. Also I know authors can’t change everything themselves, so it can be handy to know a goodreads librarian that can help you.

The Goodreads Librarians Group

Another important resource to know of is the Goodreads Librarians Group. It’s a group where you can post for help if you want someone to fix or change something on Goodreads for one of your books. There’s also some information about how to use the group and where to post your question. If you don’t know a goodreads librarian to ask directly, you can simply post your question or request in this group. Even as a goodreads librarian myself I sometimes post questions in this group when I am unsure about something or when I encounter an issue that a normal goodreads librarian can’t do. For example combining different author profiles, that’s something only a super librarian can do.

Why I think having your book information correctly on Goodreads is important

Lots of bloggers and readers make use of goodreads and I think it’s important to have your book information and book data correctly on goodreads to prevent misinformation. For many people goodreads is one of or their main source of information about books and they go to goodreads to find out more about book. Things like if a book is part of a series, where it was published etc, are all things you can easily find on Goodreads. I would advice to fill in as many details about your book as possible. You can add a book to goodreads as soon as you know you will publish the book, although I would recommend to add your book to goodreads when you have the title at least and maybe the blurb as well. You can leave things open if you don’t have that information yet, but make sure to add it once you do have that. Also I think adding a series name to your book title if the book will be part of a series is important, so readers know whether the book will be part of a series or not. All in all I think by making sure your information is as complete and correct as possible is a big help to all the readers out there who use the site and it prevents misinformation. So make sure your book is listed correctly on Goodreads.

When to add your book to Goodreads

How soon can you add your book to Goodreads? The short answer is as soon as you want. In theory the only thing you need is the author name, you can list untitled as the title and leave everything else blank. You don’t need a title, blurb, release date or anything else to list your book on Goodreads the title area is the only obligatory spot and the author name. However I think waiting till you have a title is usually nice, but I’ve seen some big authors just add their books as untitled, so know that is a possibility. I would advice to make use of this and add your book as soon as possible, once your book is on Goodreads readers can find it and add it to their to-read lists.

Using Goodreads as a Read/ Blogger

As a reader and blogger I personally love goodreads. I mostly use the shelf function and post all my reviews there. I also keep track of what I am currently reading and once I finished a book I mark it there and write my review. I find goodreads very handy to keep track of which books I own and which books are for review, which format I own them in etc, which I all do through the shelf feature. When I am considering whether to read a book or not I often read some reviews for the books on Goodreads. I like how on Goodreads you can see the reviews of your friends first, I usually check those out first and then move over to the normal goodreads reviews section. I used to be pretty active in groups as well, but lately I don’t make a lot of time for that anymore, but it is a fun place to talk about books.

Authors, is there anything I can help you with when it comes to your books on Goodreads? Where do you usually look for help with Goodreads?

Bloggers, are you a goodreads librarian and how do you use this role? Have you ever spotted a mistake on Goodreads? How do you use Goodreads?


36 responses to “Lola’s Advice: Need help with Goodreads?

  1. I love when authors add books later in the series if the know there will be more books in the series. For example, Untitled (Alpha & Omega, #5) or Untitled (Kate Daniels, #10). Then they can include year of release (month if they know it). For long running series that I love, it helps me to not forget to add those to my to-read list. I would say though, don’t add it unless you really plan to add it. I’ve had one of these Untitled series that has been on my list for YEARS. That will do nothing but piss readers off. I know sometimes there are delays, but years can frustrate the hell out of them and you may loose them. Better not to put the book up there than to say it is coming only to ignore it forever.

    I also can’t agree more that book information on Goodreads is very important. If you ever see incorrect information on Goodreads, you can usually go to Twitter and ask if there are any librarians around, usually someone is around to help out. Great post Lola.
    Melanie Simmons @mlsimmons recently posted…Panther’s Claim Audiobook by Eve Langlais (REVIEW)My Profile

    • Same here, I like it when the next unreleased book is already on Goodreads, so I know there will be another book in the series. And indeed don’t add the book unless it will be written, although I don’t think I’ve seen that happen so far where a book was added that didn’t got written. But yes getting excited and then having to wait years can also be annoying.

      That’s a good idea too to ask on twitter for help when you spot a mistake. I’ve helped an author once or twice that way because I saw them asking for a goodreads librarian on twitter.
      Lola recently posted…Lola’s Advice: Need help with Goodreads?My Profile

  2. That’s so cool. I had no idea about that. I don’t use Goodreads a lot. I have posted a few of my reviews on there if an author sees my review on Amazon and asks me to post it on Goodreads as well.
    Mary Kirkland recently posted…Happy Raturday!My Profile

    • I am still glad they approved me as goodreads librarian and I can only imagine how many volunteers there are like that to make sure everything runs smoothly. I am glad I can help a bit.

    • Thanks! It doesn’t really take that much time to be a goodreads librarian, I usually just correct things when I notice them so for books that I look up or when I am adding it to my to-read list. And there are a few authors who know I am a goodreads librarian and ask me for help with things they can’t do themselves. I am glad to be able to help.
      And yes overall there aren’t too many mistakes, although ever since I became a librarian I do notice them more than before that. And that’s great you notified the author when you spotted that mistake so they could fix it.

  3. When I need something changing that I can’t do myself, I come to you. 😉
    Even before I knew you were a librarian, though, I used to use the group you linked to for help and they were always very quick to respond and deal with any issues.

    • I am glad to help when necessary :). And yes the librarian group is great for that, so I wanted to share about it for authors who didn’t knew it existed. Especially as there’s a limit to what authors can change themselves its handy to know a goodreads librarian or visit the group.

  4. oh how do I love Goodreads…and I need to spend more time on there. I am a goodreads librarian, and every time I come across a book where the information is wrong or there isn’t certain types of information like ISBN or page number or a book without a cover…I edit those details. I do keep an eye on the group when readers make a request on misinformation that needs to be changed. I use Goodreads for many things. Mostly to discover new books and have a way to keep my shelves organized.

    • Same here, I love goodreads and not nearly spent enough time over there. I didn’t know you were a goodreads librarian as well. It’s handy to be able to edit things when you spot a mistake. I am not in the group as often, but I do fix things when adding a book to my to-read list and I spot a mistake for example. And a few authors know I am a goodreads librarian and sometimes ask me for help with things they can’t fix.

      I also use goodreads to keep track of which books I own, it’s really handy to have an online overview of which books I own and want and the different shelves to keep things organized.

  5. I’m just starting to use Goodreads more, so I had no idea they had librarians that can add/change things. That is definitely a big help for authors, I would imagine! I do like when authors have a title at the very least when they post on Goodreads, but some type of summary is really good too if they aren’t as well known.
    Let’s Get Beyond Tolerance recently posted…Interview with Author Geonn CannonMy Profile

    • The goodreads librarians are normal users who applied and got accepted to serve as librarian, in their profile you can also see they are librarians. I can imagine that having all those volunteers help out makes goodreads run more smoothly and it’s handy for the authors to when they need to get something changed for their book on there.

      I agree that often having a title at least before adding a book to goodreads is handy, although I’ve seen quite some untitled books as well.
      Lola recently posted…Blog Tour: The Daydreamer Detective by SJ Pajonas – Interview with SJ PajonasMy Profile

  6. I never really understood the whole Goodreads librarian thing, so this is a great post 🙂 I don’t think I would apply simply because I don’t have the time to be fixing mistakes and whatnot on GR when I still have a million things I need to fix on my own blog lol, but it’s great that it’s available to apply for and that people like you are willing to put in the extra effort to make GR better.

    It’s funny to me to think that I didn’t even have a GR account a year ago. But I’ve noticed that I’ve been using it more and more and am finally getting the hang of it lol. And I used to always go to Amazon to read reviews when I was interested in a book because that’s what I did before, but now I go to GR. So it is a great site 🙂
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Cover Characteristics: Book Covers featuring SkullsMy Profile

    • Thanks! I am glad to hear it was helpful :). I don’t really spent a lot of time fixing mistakes or go looking for them, but when I am on Goodreads and spot one I will fix it and there are some authors who know I am a goodreads librarian and sometimes ask me for help.

      I made a goodreads account before I started my blog and before I had my blog I spent way more time on there. Nowadays I am only there for reviews usually or when updating books that I own and such. I love their shelves function and how it helps me keep track of everything.

  7. I read an author blog post a while back saying they don’t support GR anymore as it’s not really helping their books. Then again these are indie authors and it is hard to get your titles out there when there’s these Titans to compete with. On one hand I understand their arguments, it’s not an efficient use of their time because the readers just don’t engage well with them. At the same time, GR is where we get our data on books.

    Bottom line, it is tough to be a self published writer these days. So many bases to cover it sounds maddening!
    Braine Talk Supe recently posted…Suped Feature: Under the Desert Sky by @SaraLuckBooks + Chapter 1 & #GiveawayMy Profile

    • I agree it sure is difficult to be a self publisher writer. I think that where it concerns goodreads the basic is to just make sure your books are on there, besides that how you use it is up to the author. I’ve seen authors who are very active there as they like doing that, but also some who stay away. I think Goodreads do has a few things that help spread the word about your books, like giveaways or some groups for example, but it’s not really the focus of goodreads I think.

  8. GoodReads is one of my favorite social media places. That’s great that you’re a librarian there. GR Librarians have been very helpful more than once for me. Once my name disappeared off the list of author’s for an anthology I contributed to and once, someone added a different Sophia Rose as me. The librarians got it sorted.

    I have noticed books now and then when you use the search feature that come up doubled and I’m never sure which one to which I should attach my review. I guess I should probably make a note to post it up in the GR Librarians group for a librarian to combine them.

    I agree that it’s a very helpful place for an author or blogger/reviewer, but to readers in general, too.
    Sophia Rose recently posted…Captured by the Cyborg by Cara Bristol #AfternoonDelightMy Profile

    • Yes tiny things like that do happen and it’s nice when you know someone who can fix it. Just found an author yesterday who had two profiles and half her books on either of them, so I submitted that to the librarian group so they could fix it.

      Yes that happens to me as well that two the same books show up when searching for it, usually that means the different editions of the book didn’t get combined. Just let me know next time you spot one of those or post it in the librarian group if you want to. It’s confusing for the users as well when you see multiple editions and aren’t sure which to review.

      I think goodreads if first for the readers, but for authors it can also be a nice place or at least important to have your books on there.

  9. I’m a Goodreads Librarian, too, Lola, but nowadays, I only make changes or add books if I want to read them myself, and can’t find the book… Goodreads did something that screwed up the book database a few years ago, and a lot of books I had manually added disappeared – and I had spent so much time adding them! Not going to go through that again.
    If I have an ARC fo a book, and there’s a cover with my ARC, but not on Goodreads, I’ll add it. Or if a series order of a series I’m reading is not correct, I’ll change that. But I’m not spending my time making the database great again…
    I agree with Melanie, too – for a rather unknown author adding ‘untitled’ books wouldn’t make a lot of sense. I think that at least a title and a few lines about the book are important. I also really love having the covers – so as soon as a cover reveal is over, it’s great to add that to Goodreads as well 🙂
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted…Review: Right – Jana AstonMy Profile

    • Same here, I usually only add or change things when it’s a book I am looking up or add to my to-read list. I don’t go looking for things to fix, but do run into some mistakes now and then. That’s weird so many books you manually added disappeared years ago, that must’ve been a big deal with that database error they had.

      I don’t add cover sunless the author asks me too as I am always wondering if the author forgot to add it or if she might do a cover reveal. But that’s probably because of my blog tour organizer job that I think of that.

      Most of the things I fix are books that have the series name in the title, but haven’t been added to the series page. Or editions of the same book that haven’t been combined so it shows up twice. And a few authors that I know that ask me to add books or change things sometimes.

      I think adding a book or series in advance can build some extra excitement, although the more popular the author is the more that works probably. And indeed I love seeing covers as covers can really catch my attention.

  10. I’ll add the audiobook editions, because often they are not included. Also, if it’s an author that I work for, I try to make sure the covers are up-to-date. Although I have changed the blurbs on a few books because they had the wrong ones up.

    As a blogger/reader, I love GoodReads. Although I have a horrible time remembering to actually mark the books that I’ve read.
    Angela @Simply Angela recently posted…Luck is No Lady by Amy SandasMy Profile

    • I can see how audiobooks version are often forgotten and it’s nice that you add those then. There are a few authors that ask me to switch covers or change things for their books as they know I am a goodreads librarian.

      That’s the only thing I am actually good at with goodreads, keeping my shelves and what I read up to date. I don’t spend as much time there anymore as I used to. I used to be pretty active in groups and such, but not so much anymore.
      Lola recently posted…Blog Tour: The Daydreamer Detective by SJ Pajonas – Interview with SJ PajonasMy Profile

  11. You’re my go-to person for Goodreads! Mainly because I know you care about my data being correct and current, and also so I can avoid reviews of my own books there. Lol. Which reminds me that I need to get Daydreamer 2 up there! I guess you’ll be hearing from me later this week with that. 🙂
    S. J. Pajonas recently posted…Sunday Update – April 3, 2016My Profile

    • Sure just let me know the details and I’ll add Daydreamer 2 to Goodreads for you. It’s nice when I hear directly from the author about changes as that way I know exactly what the date should be. I don’t change book data unless I know 100% it’s correct. Another author who I help with goodreads recently had another librarian change all her titles to the incorrect one, so I had to change them back again. Not too much effort, but still a bit of a shame when that happens.
      Usually the thing I do most besides that is combining books with multiple editions or adding books to the series, it’s surprising how many books don’t get added to the series page. I think it’s because authors can’t do that themselves.

    • I’ve had that a few times as well when a book I wanted to review wasn’t on Goodreads yet. I usually wait till it is as I still feel weird adding a book unless an author specifically asks me to. And I agree I wouldn’t know what to do without goodreads, it’s so handy to keep track of which books I own and got for review and such.

    • I love goodreads, it’s so handy to keep track of all the books I won and read and which ones I got for review. I wouldn’t know what to do without it.

    • I started reviewing on goodreads so it always stayed my habit to post my review there first. I only started posting my reviews on amazon later, so I have a lot of reviews missing there.

  12. I agree, giving exact book information is VERY important! Here lately, it is getting tough to just use Goodreads as a source for filling out book info for my reviews, because a lot of the time information gets goofed up! I really need to get better at pointing these things out for you goodreads librarians. Thank you for all the hard work you guys do!
    Sarah @ One Curvy Blogger recently posted…My Top Five Bookish TweetersMy Profile

    • I agree it’s frustrating when the information isn’t correct. I recently found an author who had two profiles accidentally and the fourth book of the series was on the other profile, so I didn’t realize it was released yet. I posted it in the goodreads librarian group as I couldn’t fix that one myself.

      It’s such a shame when things get mixed up, especially as so many people use goodreads as their information source about books. You can always let me know or post in the goodreads librarian group about it when you spot a mistake.
      Lola recently posted…Review: Book Blog Tours by Barb DrozdowichMy Profile

    • It doesn’t take much extra time, I usually just change things when I spot a mistake. It’s a nice way to help and make sure book information is correct. I definitely seen my share of mistakes as well and it’s good to know who to contact or how to fix things.

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