Goodreads For Authors
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Goodreads For Authors

Discover how to market your book and yourself as an author with 55 million Goodreads users and growing
4.4 (41 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
812 students enrolled
Last updated 3/2017
Current price: $12 Original price: $75 Discount: 84% off
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30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 7 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Supplemental Resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion

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What Will I Learn?
  • To help authors, non-fiction writers, novelists, publishers, and entrepreneurs learn how to use Goodreads effectively to, ultimately, sell more books
View Curriculum
  • Just a desire to listen and learn (oh, and of course sell more copies of your books!)



Check out Section 7 for course/Goodreads updates. We add these in response to your questions so please ask away!

Please note that the Goodreads dashboard now looks a little different to that shown in the lectures but the content is the same. See the update section for details.

We would be very grateful if you could let us know of any big differences on Goodreads. They are changing/improving it all the time and you may come across things we haven't seen if we haven't published a book ourselves for a few months!


  • Do you want to discover a free, effective way to market your book right now?
  • Do you want to learn and implement the tactic that CNN attributed as the secret to the success of EL James' Fifty Shades of Grey?
  • Do you want your book to be seen (and reviewed) by influencers?
  • Do you want to be found on the very same site that Amazon is suggesting its customers connect to share ideas and opinions on books?

Because, if you're not using Goodreads to market your books and connect with readers, then you are missing out on what we think is the most valuable place an author can spend time online.

Why is Goodreads so special?

Goodreads users are the most active book buyers you can find – totally up to one half of the frequent book buyers in the UK – which might be why Amazon bought out the site in 2013!

Publishers use Goodreads to launch books and now you – the indie author – can do it to.

So, what's the deal on Goodreads?

Goodreads has an incredible 25 million users as of Autumn 2015. And those 25 million users are influencers. People who have the ability to spread the word about your book through their own blogs and networks.

Goodreads is not just about readers, it's about influencers. Goodreads users aren't interested in collecting free books they never read – they are real readers, book buyers, serious reviewers, bloggers (over one-fifth of users are book bloggers!), and journalists. Readers who want to buy -- and to talk about and review -- your book.

Reviews on Goodreads have so much more credibility than reviews on Amazon – and they can be tougher – which is why you don't want to dive in unschooled in how to use the site.

We want to show you exactly how to use Goodreads to build your credibility as an author.

CNN News credited Goodreads as being one of the main reasons that the Fifty Shades of Grey series got to the level of popularity that it did. The author was there and she was (and still is) active. The first book didn't take off until she joined Goodreads.

And we show you -- step by step -- how you can lever the power of Goodreads to help you promote your books right now.

We don't want this to take more time out of your day. We are all busy. As authors, we want to write, or do the other things in our business or personal life.

So we have designed this course to give you a schedule that can be done in ten minutes a day. And it's ten minutes that you can take away from other social networking or marketing activities. We want you to get better results without doing more - and without wasting time.

Why do you need us?

Well, if you've tried to navigate around Goodreads you'll know that it's not the easiest place to find your way around. Lots of the features are hidden and some of them are even a little confusing (and some are more than a little confusing!).

But we have researched and experimented with the platform for you. We know our way around and we will show you all of the tips and trick as well as the acceptable (and unacceptable) behaviour that could take you months to learn. For the cost of a good book, let Goodreads expert Michelle Campbell-Scott and author strategist Cathy Presland walk you through everything you need to know about how to promote your book on Goodreads.

If you do nothing else to promote your book, we want you to learn how to use our favourite strategy to get reviews and attention for your book.

Marketing a book is a long game. Sure, you can use Amazon to get a 'bestseller' ranking. But for sustained success you need sustained book sales.

And that's what Goodreads can help you with.

This could well be the best investment you will ever make in your book marketing!

Plus, you will be part of a community of authors who support and encourage each other and share the latest tips and advice about things that are working for them.

Who is the target audience?
  • Anyone who has written a book and wants to market it better
  • Authors
  • Non-fiction authors
  • Novelists
  • Authors wth hard copy (paperback) books
  • Authors with digital books such as kindle editions
  • Publishers
  • Indie authors
  • Traditionally published authors (because it's a harsh fact that authors are expected to do their own marketing these days)
Compare to Other Media Courses
Curriculum For This Course
32 Lectures
Why You Should Care About Goodreads
3 Lectures 20:14

October 2015

We added this quick video to show how much Amazon are promoting Goodreads at the moment. Goodreads is now integrated on the new Kindles and readers can easily important their Amazon purchases onto their Goodreads shelves.

The three big Amazon country sites - .com,, and .ca - always have a banner ad for a Kindle and the Kindle device sales pages have multiple references to Goodreads.

Thiis is because Amazon understands the power of the viral effect of Goodreads on book sales - which is very good news for us as authors!

Preview 02:21

There have been a few changes recently so the screenshots in several of the lectures show different menus - the old ones. We will update the course as soon as possible but it will take a little while as we're currently on different continents!

In the meantime, here's a quick update showing the changes so you will be able to find everything.

The main things are:

  • New navigation bar at the top of the screen. 
  • We can now add our own book covers! About time! We can even change them - although there's a process, we have to call the new one an 'alternate cover edition'. We can still ask librarians to do it for us though.
  • Polls have gone but there are still polls allowed within groups.
  • Lists are still there but we can't add/vote for our own books.
What's new in 2016
Getting Started
4 Lectures 37:46

Welcome video and how to navigate your Udemy dashboard. The dashboard may look different as Udemy does change in appearance over time but the basics generally remain the same!

Plus we have an unannounced [free] bonus we think you will like! Please watch all the way to the end. Talk very soon.

Welcome. Please watch this video - we have a bonus for you!

Get going on Goodreads

A quick step-by-step guide to how to get signed up on Goodreads. Go to: to get started.
1.1 Create Your Goodreads Account

Adding your own information

After signing up, you will need to click a link in an email that Goodreads send you, confirming that you want to join the site.
Then you can really get going, by adding some information about yourself.
1.2 Confirm And Edit Your Account

Get to know the Goodreads dashboard

Find out how to navigate Goodreads, what appears in your update feed, how to get anywhere you need to go, a little about bookshelves, how to add a shelf, how to add books to your shelves, how to rate books, and more.
1.3 Finding Your Way Around
Becoming An Author On Goodreads
5 Lectures 01:12:57


Find out the differences between user and author profiles. How to follow an author, how to become friends.
2.1 Author Profile vs Reader Profile? What's Different?

How to convert your user profile into an author profile

This is the big one! This is what trips most people up on Goodreads. We walk you through how to convert your user profile into an author profile by 'claiming' your book and its cover, how to add it if it isn't already on Goodreads, and more.
2.2 Your Author Profile And Claiming Your Book(s)

Spruce up your author profile

The difference between user and author photos. Examples of good author profiles. What you need to do to get started and how you can enhance your author profile over time.
2.4 Advanced Author Profile. Best Practice Examples For Your Author Profile

Your author blog

A step-by-step guide to importing your existing blog so that it shows up in your update feed and on your author page every time you post. And also how to add a Goodreads blog if you don't have your own.
2.5 Adding Your Author Blog

The Reader Q&A and Ask The Author features were launched in summer 2014 and are proving very popular.

It's simple to enable Ask The Author - just visit your author dashboard.

Reader Q&As appear on book pages and anyone can contribute.

These are a great way to get the community talking and engaging about books.

Preview 05:04
Making Friends And Influencing People
6 Lectures 01:52:27

Making connections on Goodreads

How to import friends from other social networks, how to get to know people in group discussions. How to connect with like-minded people and what sort of protocol there is on Goodreads around "friending" people you may not yet know.

Please note: When adding contacts from Twitter, all contacts are selected by default. If you don't want to import them all, you need to untick one at a time. A bit of a pain but Twitter is a great way to add lots of friends on Goodreads so it's worth going through your list of contacts on there.
3.1 Finding Friends

More on making friends

How to make the most of your connections, how to influence others. This is where the power is on Goodreads -- as an author you will want to establish your authority and expertise and we show you exactly how to do this.
3.2 Making More Friends And Influencing People

How to use Goodreads groups

Groups are one of the best ways to get to know people. But -- beware -- many authors new to Goodreads make some fatal mistakes that are a complete turnoff to your reader and potential customer or reviewer. We show you some very special groups -- including places you can post your books for reviews and where you can announce details of free/special offers days. We give you everything you need to get started promoting your book -- and in a way that is a fit with the culture of Goodreads.
3.3 Groups And How To Use Them

How & why to create a Goodreads group

As an author and expert it can be incredibly powerful to create your own group. We teach you when to do this and exactly how -- again in a step-by-step way that means you can pause the video, go over to Goodreads, and follow what we are teaching so you can have your own group set up before the video is even over!
3.4 Create Your Own Group!

All about recommendations

There is a difference on Goodreads between their Recommendations Engine - which recommends books to you - and recommending books - where you recommend books to others.

We show you the difference between the two and we tell you the one thing as an author you are NOT allowed to do!
3.5 The Power of The Recommendations Engine

A look behind the scenes at what Goodreads librarians do

We teach you exactly what librarians do, whether it's strategically important to become on as an author, how to work with them, and how to become one. Please see the materials tab for all the live links referred to in the video.

3.6 Librarians. What They Do And How To Keep Them Happy
All The Ways To Promote Your Book!
4 Lectures 01:08:40

How to promote your book's free or special offer days on Goodreads -- even if it is digital!

There is a lot of confusion about Goodreads and whether you need to have a physical book. Not true! We show authors with digital books EXACTLY how to promote their book and exactly which groups to go to... Invaluable!

4.1 Promote Your EBook Free Promotions!

How to use Goodreads Giveaways

You might have heard of the Goodreads Giveaways, or you might even have entered one? In this video we teach you step-by-step how to set up a Giveaway and how to maximise the exposure for your book. This method will get your book in front of hundreds and potentially thousands of readers. And even if your book is only available in digital copy, we have a secret method to share with you that means you too can hold a Giveaway! Want to know more...?
4.2 Giveaways. Why They Are So Important And How To Do It Even If You Don't Have A Physical Book

Advertising on Goodreads

Do you realise that the little boxes that you see on the right hand side of your Goodreads page are actually paid advertising spots? In this video we walk you through exactly how to get your book, or giveaway appear on Goodreads as well as who to target and how to do this. This is advanced author training that no-one else is talking about!

4.3 Advertising. What To Advertise And How To Target Your Audience

How to use Goodreads widgets

Confused by widgets? No need to be! In this video we show you exactly what a widget is and how to place one on your website or blog. No coding required if you have a wordpress site!

4.4 Widgets. What They Are And How To Use Them To Get More Traffic
How To Get It Done In Ten Minutes A Day
4 Lectures 53:31

We promised you ten minutes a day and here it is!

In this lecture we give you everything you need to make Goodreads work for you in ten minutes a day. Exactly what you should be doing every day (or most days!), once a week, twice a week and at certain key points in your book marketing cycle. It really is that simple!
5.1 Your Ten Minutes A Day Schedule

This isn't a lecture, it is a downloadable pdf worksheet. You can save it to your computer and then you'll probably find it most useful if you print it off and keep it by your side as you get into a routine with Goodreads. Enjoy!
5.2 Goodreads Author Checklist (Downloadable)
5 pages

A walk-through the IOS (for iPhones and iPads) and Android apps. They are both free and make logging into Goodreads quick and easy when you are out, to enable you to make use of otherwise wasted time.
Preview 20:52

This is about Goodreads apps not the smartphones apps - although we do look at how to allow/deny their access to your Goodreads account.

UPDATE: January 2015 - We are going to re-do this lecture as Facebook has changed a lot recently. See FAQ 2 if you're in a hurry!

Includes a little about Twitter hashtags, and how to use tabs on Facebook pages.

5.4 More On Apps. Update One Social Stream, Update Them All
FAQs, Mistakes To Avoid and Where To Start If You're Short of Time
5 Lectures 01:00:59
All of the frequently asked questions we get as well as some mistakes to avoid!

All of the frequently asked questions we get as well as some mistakes to avoid!

How to change the very confusing "buy" preferences...
FAQ 3 - Changing Your Buying Preferences

All of the frequently asked questions we get as well as some mistakes to avoid!

How To Upload An eBook To Goodreads

This is how you upload a sample PDF of your book on Goodreads. It isn't difficult, and it can really enhance the reader's experience and decision to buy your book. It gives them a chance to get a feel for your writing and content and, if you include a link to a sales page (e.g. Amazon) at the end of the excerpt, it can be a real sales booster.

Preview 04:47
1 Lecture 00:41

We have the ability to edit/rename our bookshelf titles or even delete them - but it's a little hidden.

Go to MY BOOKS, then click EDIT next to 'Bookshelves' on the left-hand side. Then:

  • Click the 'X' to the left of a shelf's name to delete it.
  • Click 'RENAME' to the right of a shelf's name to edit its name.

The video is a screencast showing how to do this - there's no audio, it uses onscreen prompts.

Editing Bookshelves
About the Instructor
Cathy Presland
4.3 Average rating
837 Reviews
23,150 Students
6 Courses
Transformational Leadership Coach | Strategist

Cathy Presland, a former economist, has over two decades of experience across government, international organisations, corporate, business, and non-profits. Best-selling author, and highly-regarded trainer, Cathy is widely published, has over 20,000 students in her online training courses, teaches for The Guardian Masterclasses series, and is an engaging and popular speaker.

In her former career as an economist Cathy advised governments and organisations around the world. She set up a micro-credit fund for women, negotiated European regulations, managed multi-billion pound economic programmes, and designed and led global anti-poverty initiatives.

Cathy's ambition is simply to inspire you to be your best self and to do more of the work that makes a difference in the world. 

Professionally, Cathy works as an executive coach to leaders, social entrepreneurs and those wishing to make a bigger difference with theirwork. "I help people get back in touch with who they are through the power of understanding how the mind works. When we free our mind, we are free to create anything we want. It's the most powerful thing in the world," she says. Although her clients come from across all sectors, their common connection is that they are interested in creating something bigger than themselves -- whether that's tackling glocal challenges or creating jobs for women in India. 

Cathy's Udemy courses are mainly focused on supporting writers and people who want to share their expertise, experience and passions. "It's exciting to help someone shape their ideas into something tangible. Writing, especially, stretches us as a person, we grow and change in ways we didn't imagine. You change, and you can change the world. It's really simple." 

In her spare time she loves to be outdoors and one of her recent trips was to the Annapurna base camp in beautiful Nepal.

Michelle Campbell-Scott
4.3 Average rating
160 Reviews
6,883 Students
5 Courses
Bestselling author & premium instructor on Udemy

Author of the bestselling books, 'Goodreads for Authors', 'Make Your Book Work Harder', and 'The 10-Day Skin Brushing Detox'. She is a former teacher & trainer, chicken keeper, and field archer.

She started her career in Public Relations then, while her children were growing, she did any work she could get that allowed her to be at home with them. That included: writing, course creation, editing, book indexing, book formatting, document and presentation production, and more.

After becoming a teacher and then an IT trainer, she still freelanced, writing and creating courses for others - before eventually taking the plunge and creating her own books and courses.

She writes as Michelle Campbell-Scott, specializing in publishing and marketing; Mia Campbell, specializing in health (including 'Inversion Therapy' & 'The 10-Day Skin Brushing Detox'), and Michelle Booth, specializing in hobbies and children's fiction.