Why I Got Goodreads
I first got a Goodreads account in 2018 which was a few years after I started publishing my own books. I was told by other indie authors that it would be a good idea to get a Goodreads account as it’s a platform designed for readers – and if an author worked it right, they could connect with hundreds to thousands of interested readers. It’s a user friendly platform where people who read books can organize, review, and shelve all the books they read – and you can follow authors you like or other readers to see what they’ve been reading.
What I Like About Goodreads
It’s user friendly. It’s the one app where readers and authors alike can connect, read, review, and share the books they’re reading. In theory, it seems like a great way to connect with people who could read your books (If you’re an author) and it’s fairly easy to search for books or authors using the search engine.
The reading challenges. You can set a number of books you want to read every year and Goodreads will keep track of your goal. It’s a fun way to motivate yourself to keep reading and people who enjoy meeting targets will like this feature on the app.
The ‘year in books’ feature. I love how Goodreads gives you a recap of what you’ve read over the past year and it tells you how many pages you’ve read, etc. It’s cool to look back and see all the books you’ve read over the year.
Book shelves. I like that you can have different book shelves if you want to. It also keeps track of the books you’ve read so you can go to that list anytime.
It‘s connected with Amazon Kindle. Some people don’t like that Amazon bought Goodreads, but what I like about this is when you write a review using the Kindle app, it posts the review on *both* Amazon and Goodreads making the process very simple.
There’s an active reading community there. I don’t take part in most of the chats or groups, but I like that it’s an option for those looking to connect with other readers. This is probably how you get to know the people on the app and gain more followers.
It links where you can buy the book. If you search for a book on Goodreads, it will show all the possible websites you can buy it from and it will direct you to the appropriate country link which is pretty nifty in my opinion.
The Cons of Goodreads
It could use some streamlining. The layout isn’t the most modern or attractive and I feel this could be the reason why a lot of people don’t use it more. While the site is user friendly, I think this lack of modern design for the site detracts all but the most excited readers. I’m not saying it has to be aesthetic, but if the website modernized itself, more people would probably use it.
The year in books isn’t shareable for WordPress (or other blogs). I wish there was a way you could share the cool collage Goodreads makes when it collects all of your books you’ve read for the year. At present, the collage is too big and you can’t scale it down to share on your blog (at least not easily). I’d love for it to have a feature where you can copy a code that shows the collage of all the books you’ve read along with all the stats that go along with them.
A lot of writers don’t use it very much. I swear it’s mostly the layout of the site that makes people go “meh” when they see it. If Goodreads could look cooler, I’m sure more authors and readers would want to use it. There’s little annoyances about it that probably prevent a lot of people from going on more. I’d love for the shelves to be easier to find and to have cool layouts that would make other people *want* to check them out. As it stands, they’re just a basic list and not everyone wants to scroll through 50+ books to find what the author’s been reading.
This is just my two cents. Overall, I think Goodreads is a great site and it does have a good potential for readers to find books they like, especially if authors are active on there.
Do you use Goodreads? If so, give me a follow there! Here’s my handle.