GoodReads was designed as a “social cataloguing” site – a place where users can organize books they’ve read or want to read. Users can add books to their bookshelves, rate books, write reviews, and also participate in discussion boards. Users can add each other as friends to comment on bookshelves, and both “regular” users and authors can be added as friends. Authors interact with users through giveaways, interviews, blogs, and comments. Claire Miller says there are over 20 million registered users, including over 17 thousand authors.
Benefits of GoodReads
- A social network based around books!
- Fans can interact with authors through hosted Q&A and interviews
- Fans can see what their favourite authors are reading
Disadvantages of GoodReads
- Small userbase compared to other social networks
- Relatively cluttered/confusing interface
Awesome YA authors who use GoodReads:
Awesome YA authors would could improve their presence on GoodReads:
Cassandra Clare is one of the few YA authors who not only holds special events on GoodReads, but actually uses all of the features of the site. Her profile has over 1000 friends and she has added over 100 books to her bookshelf, so fans can see what she’s reading and what she enjoys. She has done exclusive interviews for GoodReads, and has participated in a massive Q&A session where she answered many questions from fans. She is the current #1 most followed user, due to both the popularity of her books and because of her activity and presence on the site.
L.J. Smith, author of the Vampire Diaries series, is one of the most active authors on GoodReads. She regularly updates her bookshelf with ratings, what she has finished reading, and even her current reads, so fans can keep up with her activity.She also adds friends, interacts through comments, and has created interactive quizzes for users to fill out.
John Green may be the #2 most followed user of GoodReads, but he doesn’t seem to use his account very much! With only 23 books on his bookshelf and 0 ratings and reviews, it’s clear that John isn’t very active in updating his current reads. He does participate in events on the site, such as interviews and Q&A sessions, but compared to his activity on other social networking sites, it’s clear that GoodReads isn’t a priority.
Author’s that don’t sign up for GoodReads are still listed in the site, they just aren’t categorized as “GoodReads authors.” Users can still add them as favourites, and GoodReads pulls activity from other social media like blogs, but there is no interaction with fans. Pullman’s page is an example of this: he has many fans and mentions, but he has never actually used the site.