Goodreads: 5 first steps for readers

GoodReads is a great place to be if you want to find book recommendations, get freebies, and have a reading community. Like a lot of great tools, it can be difficult to get started. The next series of blog posts will give tips on how a reader can get started with GoodReads. I’m sure I don’t know all of them, so I look The G from the GoodReads logoforward to everyone’s additional advice.

Step one: sign up

Go on over to, sign up and create your profile. I f you are new to profiles, I recommend you complete as much information as you feel comfortable with. The more information you put up, the easier you will be to find and when someone wants to follow you, they’ll know who you are and how you fit with their tastes.

Step two: add your books

The depth you go to on this is up to you. When I started, I added the books I was reading at the time, and now I add books as I buy them, or download them for free.

Just go ahead and search for your book, then click on the one you want from the list (if your book doesn’t show up, you can ask the librarians to add it. And, you can become a librarian if you want to). Click on the cover and you’ll see a button to add the book to your library – you get three shelves, read, to read and currently reading. You can add shelves as you please.

Step three: join groups

There are thousands of groups on GoodReads. This is a site for readers who love books and talk about books. Click on the Groups link on the top and pick your topic. If you can’t find what you want, just create a new group.

Step four: follow people

Click on the drop-down beside the word Explore on the top, You’ll find People down near the bottom. Click on that and you’ll find a page of people on line, a list of people categories and a button to find friends.

I check out people in the community who belong to groups I joined, people who rate books I like, and people who vote on lists I like.  More on lists in the next post.

Step five: find friends

On the people page, check out the Find Friends button. You can instruct GoodReads to search through your Facebook, email and Twitter lists. The search will categorize your friends and let you choose which ones to invite.

I’ll post some more tips over the next week or so. If you have any tips to add, let me know in the comments, and I’ll compile them into posts.