As a nonfiction author myself, I must admit I have long neglected Goodreads. I have always considered it a site tailored more toward fiction readers. And while that is still mostly true, Goodreads just became far more relevant to all authors, including those of us who write nonfiction.

In 2013, Amazon acquired Goodreads (for a whopping $150 million!) and many of us in the publishing industry wondered when the site would be somehow integrated into Amazon. Here we are ten years later and a big change has appeared.

Within book listings on Amazon, next to the Amazon starred review count, you will now see the number of Goodreads reviews along with an average review score. Check it out:

Goodreads Just Became an Essential Promotion Tool for Nonfiction Authors Picture1

In the example above, The Greatest Gambling Story Ever Told by Mark Paul has 2,747 Amazon ratings and an average score of 4.3. On Goodreads it has about half as many ratings at 1,397 and an average score of 4.0.

Now, remember how I said Goodreads leans fiction-centric? Check out Stephen King’s book:

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King’s book The Body has 3,627 Amazon reviews with an average score of 4.7. On Goodreads the book has 41,817 ratings with a score of 4.3. That’s a HUGE difference!

I looked through a variety of books on Amazon to be sure this has rolled out to all books, and it appears it has. This means that all authors should all create author profiles on Goodreads, pronto!

How to Create an Author Profile on Goodreads

  1. Go to and create a profile, if you don’t have one already.
  2. Search the directory for your book (by title, ISBN or ASIN).
  3. Go to the book page and click on your author name.
  4. Scroll down near the bottom of the page and look for a tiny link that says: “Is this you? Let us know.”

Once you submit your details for approval, it will likely take a couple of days. After approval, you will officially be listed as a Goodreads Author.

While waiting for approval, you can fill out your Goodreads page by adding your bio and photo. You may want to add some books to your reading list, especially titles similar to yours.

Goodreads has marketing opportunities as well. You can get involved in reading groups and chats on the site. You can also participate in book giveaways (for a fee). But at a minimum, be sure you have an author presence there and start to ask readers to write reviews there too.

I know none of us wants more marketing work to do! But those review counts will likely become more and more significant as readers start to notice them on Amazon.

Like this article? You will love the Nonfiction Authors Association!

Learn about membership here.