#Bloggiesta: Goodreads Challenge

For Bloggiesta, I’m hosting a mini-challenge which is about Goodreads. In my mind the reason why this site is pretty popular is because it has a lot of functionality and it has a social media aspect – you can follow what your friends are reading and comment as they read along. As a book blogger, you want to be able to network with readers. That’s my argument for being on Goodreads. :)

(My Goodreads profile)

To make things simple, my challenge has two levels – one for first timers and one for old timers. (If you have any questions – email me or leave a comment below)

* * * * *

FIRST TIMERS – If you don’t have a Goodreads account – create one! This is very straightforward: just go to goodreads.com and create an account with a name, email, and password. I found this youtube video that gives a great overview of signing upĀ and using Goodreads to help you go through the steps, and, if you want to do a little more, it explains how to enter a review (you more likely than not don’t need to watch a video to figure it out, but it’s still nice to have the tutorial if you need it).

When you create your account, comment with a link to your Goodreads page!

* * * * *

OLD TIMERS - Below is a list of some tips and tricks I’ve learned over years from using the site. These aren’t that secret, but I’ve found them useful.

Your challenge:

  • Leave a comment with a tip or trick of your own OR
  • Tell me what you’ve done for Bloggiesta that involves Goodreads (did you put some of your reviews up there, linked your Goodreads account to your blog, or added a Goodreads widget to your sidebar?)

I encourage you to leave a link your Goodreads account too! This way bloggiesta participants can find and add one another if they want. :)

GOODREADS TIPS AND TRICKS:
1. Hiding spoilers
This is done by using the <spoiler> OMG, IT WAS THE BUTLER! </spoiler> tags. You can use this in your review, and you can put them in comments to other people’s status updates. Very nice when I’m having a readalong and don’t want to spoil someone that hasn’t read the book. But they don’t work in status updates, so I hide my spoilers in comments now that I discovered that.

Goodreads also allows other formatting (images, strikethroughs, links, etc).

2. General status updates
So above when I talked about status update, I meant when you’ve got a book on your currently reading queue and you click the link to update what page you’re on and what you have to say. Like so:

But did you know you could post a general status update, like say, link to your latest blog post on Goodreads? You just use the “add general status” link which is in the same area! It took me forever to figure this out!


3. Switching from page to percent and back
So along the same lines, it wasn’t obvious that you can switch if you want to record your reading progress in % or number of pages. The word “page” and the “%” character are links.

4. Other thoughts and suggestions

  • Have a link to your blog in your Goodreads profile.
  • Have a link to to your Goodreads in your blog.
  • If you like someone’s review, click “like” next to it in Goodreads. It helps raise it up to the top of the page for that book. That’s the kind of thing that gives someone a skip in their step.
  • Consider going into your account profile and into your email tab and make sure to select or deselect what you want to get emails for. Personally, I removed myself from getting newsletter emails and group updates because I was getting too many emails there, but I asked Goodreads to email me about pretty much everything else.
  • Consider getting the iPhone or Android Goodreads app. I have the Android app on my nook tablet, and I really like it for reading the status updates of my top friends. I don’t love it for adding books though – a little more complicated.
  • As with all social media, it’s about making genuine connections. So keep that in mind when you use the site. And have fun!

I also asked people on twitter about their tips or tricks and I got a couple of responses:

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106 thoughts on “#Bloggiesta: Goodreads Challenge

    • Yay. :) I hope to get some stuff done there myself. *sigh*. Was pretty bad in 2010 with updating goodreads with my reviews. Yes, I’m talking about not updating goodreads for pretty much a year, 2 years ago!

      • I re-did all my shelves and, with the help of a tip from MJ, moved my DNFs from read to an exclusive DNF shelf. Totally happy about this.

  1. Thanks so much for stopping by!
    I agree that comments have to be reciprocal — not every single one, but if someone is always asking for comments and then never leaving any, I do notice.

    Great goodreads post — I think GR is great for bloggers. I knew some of this but never realized there was a hide spoiler function. That’s awesome :)

  2. Great challenge! I have some organizing on GR to do myself.

    One of my favorite features on GR (that I think few ultilize) is the notes field. These are private notes that only YOU will see. So I’ll type in where I got the book (bought, library, from the author, etc.) and I’ll also write in important details for books in a series. That way, when I read the next book, I know where the previous book left off. Pretty handy when series books are released a year apart.

    • Oo, that’s a great tip! I hadn’t thought of using it for reminders. I don’t think I’ve ever used the notes field. Maybe that’s where I’ll put my “OK, I think this really should get 4.5 stars but I only put 4 because goodreads only lets me put 4″ messages to myself. I like to use my ratings at the end of the year for my faves of the year post and sometimes it takes me a bit to remember the degree of my love for the book so I can organize my faves properly.

  3. Thanks for the tips, Janice! I CANNOT BELIEVE I couldn’t find the ‘Add a General Update’ button. I’ve seen people do it, and just wondered how, but somehow never saw that button RIGHT THERE under my books.

    • Thanks, that’s a good couple of tips! I also signed myself up for a Goodreads challenge this year (I always go for 100 books). Yes, that’s always a great motivator to read. :)

  4. I didn’t know you’re hosting a mini-challenge for Bloggiesta! Love that you chose to focus on Goodreads because I’m a big fan of the site (obviously since that’s where we update each other on our readalongs). You have some pretty useful tips here and I can’t think of anything else that I could add. Also, my blog is already linked to Goodreads and vice versa (here’s my profile: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3294750-chachic) so can this be my challenge participation: http://www.goodreads.com/user_status/show/12521204 :P

  5. OK, So I’m participating in my own challenge. :) I forgot about this tip, which I thought was kind of cool. You can customize your Goodreads URL very easily:

    1. Go to your Goodreads account and edit profile
    2. Fill out the User Name (customize your URL) field. For example, I put in “janicu”
    3. Now your URL is goodreads.com/UserName (now mine is goodreads.com/janicu)

    SO NOW, when you are telling people, hey check out my goodreads profile, I’m at goodreads.com/janicu — that’s so much easier than remembering the link on your profile page, which usually has some number and nickname attached to it.

    And I think for Bloggiesta I hope to put some more reviews up there! I have to catch up on 2010 reviews.

  6. I added a link to my goodreads in the sidebar from my blog and I posted partial reviews with links to the actual reviews on goodreads for all books read in 2012. Not going to do the 2011 ones, that is just too much work ;) But I will do it with every book I review from now on :)

  7. I love this post and I’m glad that someone highlighted the benefits of GoodReads with their blog. It’s such a fantastic tool. I’m still figuring out some of the insiders details. My biggest project is going through my friends on their and categorizing them so my updates don’t get bogged down. :)

    • Thank you. Ah, the top friends and such? Is there a way to categorize friends and just see the updates of “YA bloggers” versus “Romance bloggers” etc on there? If so, I would love to know how to do that.

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  9. I LOVE Goodreads. Thanks for the tip on the customized URL – I had forgotten that I had done that. And for my challenge – I linked Goodreads to Twitter & it’s linked on my sidebar – although I wish I could find a matching social media icon for it … might have to try my hand at making one.

  10. I have a lot of work to do on my GoodReads. I really appreciate you hosting the mini challenge. Thanks for all the tips, navigating a site like GoodReads, there are so many ‘hidden’ functions that can really help as you connect GoodReaders to your Blog. I will do my work and follow-up letting you know all the changes I made. :)

    • You’re welcome. Yes, goodreads has a lot of functionality and it’s hard to easily find out everything you can do there. Thanks for joining this challenge!

  11. Pingback: The Beginning of Bloggiesta 2012

  12. I am a Goodreads addict. I use it regularly – daily. I update my books, I have sidebar widgets, I post my reviews there, am always adding to my TBR list, etc. There is one thing that I have not figured out yet though, how do people put the Goodreads buttons in their book review posts?

    Thanks for this mini-challenge. I am following those who posted their profiles.

    • Hmm! I am going to have to bust out the google fu. Do you have a link to an example of a post with a goodreads button? I know that wordpress allows me to choose social media buttons at the bottom of my posts but goodreads isn’t one of them…

  13. Pingback: Sonderbooks » Blog Archive » Bloggiesta!

    • OK, yes, that covers a lot – a good 8 months of reviews! Yeah, that is so time consuming you have to do it a bit at a time or it’s just overwhelming.

  14. GR is such an amazing place. I use it daily. I have the app and I constantly update my book-reading progress and witness other peoples! But more than anything, GR, for me, has been a GREAT connection tool. What do I mean by that? I mean, I have met SO many amazing authors through GR. (As well as fellow Bloggers, as well).

    And, did you know that as well as the “likes” just upping the review of the book, they also change your status in the “top reviewers” board for the week for your country?
    I guess there are probably more US bloggers, but when I first saw I was #79 top reviewer in the UK, I squeed just a little bit! More likes = higher status = more people looking at your profile and going to your blog.

    I also found the groups to be AMAZING ways of not only advertising your blog, of finding others, to discussing books and just meeting new people. Especially people with the SAME interest as you!

    I like every review on my blog to the book’s page on Goodreads, I feel this helps the author and it gives all the readers a chance to see OTHER people’s thoughts on the book. After all, why JUST take my word for it?

    I will also be using the mini-review idea! I never thought of doing that before!
    And, I also knew all the other tips, but yay for other people realising them :D

    /long post is long.

    • More like /long post is awesome! Thank you for these ideas! I think I may have known about the likes being linked to the top reviewers but my brain didn’t retain the info – but it makes complete sense. Good point about linking to goodreads when you review too.

      I need to pay more attention to the groups, and you’ve inspired me to download the app so that not only will I have it on my nook tablet, but I’ll have it on my phone.

  15. Oh, and because my comment WASN’T long enough! A tip I just remembered!

    Have you ever started a book but not finished it? Either because it wasn’t for you, you had to take it back to the library or you just got busy? But it was on your ‘Currently Reading’ shelf?
    Do you mark this book as ‘Read’? Even though you haven’t read it? And it can’t be ‘To read’ as you started it, right?

    Ah, there is a THIRD category! Or even a fourth, or fifth!
    What do you mean?
    Well, you can make “Mutually Exclusive” shelves yourself! I have one that’s ‘started but will come back to’ at the moment because it was a library book I had to return!

    How?
    Simple.
    Go to your shelves, create a shelf, whatever you wish to call it. And then click, ‘Edit’ next to the bookshelves (at the top, to the left). Then it takes you to a page with all your sheves! Then you just need to click on the ‘Mutually Exclusive’ tickbox for the shelf you want to be exclusive and VOILA. you have a FOURTH category for your books to go in aside from the main three; read, to read, currently reading.

    Hope this makes sense! Just tap me if it doesn’t and I’ll screencap :D

  16. Pingback: Bloggiesta Update #1 | Me and My Books

  17. Love this challenge – I did not know the % v page thing at all, and it was annoying me :-)

    And I love Faye’s idea about setting up a new Mutually Exclusive shelf. I’ve some ideas about how to use that one…

    I will be doing some GR stuff over this weekend. Umm… my trick probably isn’t really one, and I think I’ve mentioned it before – but I also have my GR RSS feed in my Google Reader (or whatever feed reader you use). It lets me quickly scan through updates if I haven’t been to GR for a while.

    Li

    • That’s a good idea, especially if you are a feed reader person.. which I am. I do look at my google reader a lot every day, perhaps more than I go to goodreads. So now I was curious how to do that.. what’s the RSS feed for your friends? Is there one for all their updates? I can see that I can add RSS’s individually when I go to someone’s profile page, but I can’t find a catch-all RSS feed. I must be missing it.

      I think I’m going to use Faye’s idea too. :)

      • I have the Google Reader bookmarklet (I think that’s what you call it – the toolbar button that lets you add RSS feeds to your reader??) – I just clicked on it while on my Goodreads home page (logged in) and it detected the feed for me.

  18. I have been wanting to do a better job with Goodreads for awhile, but only had signed up for an account and never really used it. Today I tried to sign in. Goodreads created a brand new account for me using my Facebook account and was contacting all my Facebook friends before I realized things were going wrong. It is funny now, but sometimes social media is a bit too social.

    Anyway, I’m trying out your suggestions.

    • Hmm. I hadn’t tried signing up with Facebook so I didn’t know it did this. Not a fan of that happening without warning. :( I would suggest going to the apps tab on your profile and see what Facebook is set to. It may start updating your Facebook with your status updates from GR. If you want that, great, but if you don’t, I think it tells you how to turn it off there.

  19. Pingback: Bloggiesta Update #2 | Me and My Books

  20. I lost my Goodreads in my sidebar when I moved to self-hosted, so I put it back up in there. I love seeing what others are reading, I’ve gotten alot of good suggestions since starting to use it.

  21. Thank you for hosting this mini-challenge! I am on Goodreads to keep track of my-want-to-read list and have started using some of the other features. Thank you SO much for the tip on switching between page and % progress. I’ve recently started reading on Kobo, which only tells me the number of pages in a chapter… not the whole book. I’m updating that, and the progress of the book I’m reading, on Goodreads now!

    • You’re welcome, thanks for taking up the challenge! Yes, that little tip on switching back and forth is a lifesaver with ebooks.

      By the way, thank you for hosting the Facebook challenge. I was contemplating having a Facebook page for my blog but I was a bit intimidated because I am NOT a Facebook person. Your post makes it look easy, so I think I’m going to do it for sure.

      • My Goodreads status is now up-to-date thanks to your tip.

        You’re very welcome for the Facebook mini-challenge. I had fun writing that post. Hope you try it out during Bloggiesta!

  22. Hi there Janicu, this is one of the mini-challenges that we decided to join since our Goodreads has been sadly languishing for the longest time and it’s not receiving as much love as it should. Here is our Goodreads site: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/7494472-gatheringbooks
    Will be posting an update on my blog about some of the things I managed to work on for this challenge in a few minutes’ time. Thanks for hosting this challenge.

    • Great job! I saw you added a bunch of new books. Yeah, I am guilty of sometimes not keeping my books up to date over there, but with more ratings and reviews, other readers can know what you like and find you. :) (I’m going over to check out your post right now).

  23. Pingback: Bloggiesta MiniChallenge Update: Goodreads, Pinterest, and Shelfari «

    • Wow, you have a tutorial! Thank you for that, I didn’t know about the exclusive shelves before putting up this Goodreads challenge, so I’ve definitely learned a couple of things doing this.

  24. wow! Im on GR for a while now but have learned a lot in this Challenge and all the helpful tips. One of my biggest problems where my unfinished library books. So happy that I found a solution for that here!
    My Profile:

    http://www.goodreads.com/daisy_chain

    Also I saw the “general update” button but never realised that I could inform people about new posts in it. D’oh!
    Thanks a lot for this Challenge!

    • You’re welcome. Yeah, I had similar “you can do that?” moments with GR! :)

      I checked out your GR page and we have overlapping tastes, so I added you. Thanks for joining the challenge!

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    • Hey, I know you! :) I didn’t know that you had genrereviews.com — ooo. I’m updating my links today so I think I’ll point at that now.

      (Me too re: spying) :)

  27. Great challenge! I’ve been on Goodreads for awhile, but never knew about the general update button or the spoiler option. Thanks so much for the info! I’ve updated my reviews for 2012, have the Goodreads Reading Challenge widget on my sidebar, and usually link the book to GRs in my reviews.

    goodreads.com/Alexia561

  28. Pingback: Bloggiesta Wrap Up | Me and My Books

  29. Oh wow, thank you so much for letting me know that you can switch between page and % on the website! I had been updating my kindle book progress on my phone only because I thought I could only do that on the app! *slaps self*

    I use Goodreads to keep a handle on my to-read list – you can change the order of the books there to keep track of what order things need to be read in.

    Thanks for the great post and happy Bloggiesta!

    • It’s very hard to tell that ‘page’ and ‘%’ are links right? *shakes head*. I wish they’d made that more obvious.

      You can? This is a new-to-me tip! That is great. Wow, they really give you a lot of flexibility in organizing your shelves over there.

    • :) Hehe, yeah, it’s funny how fast time goes by and it’s not enough to do as much as you want.

      You’re welcome. And I’m going to head over and check out your goodreads right now.

  30. I am using Goodreads seriously for the first time this year, to keep track of the books I’ve read (finally I will find out how many books I read in a year!). I hate giving stars, so don’t review much.

    I’ve joined the time travel group there, which is fun–the groups are a good way to meet people with similar interests and get ideas about what to read!

    • Hmm, I know what you mean about stars. I give things stars there and then change my mind. 5 stars is too restrictive – it doesn’t tell you enough. I still recommend reviewing there without actually putting in a star value though.

      I need to explore those groups some more. :)

  31. Pingback: Bloggiesta 2012: Success - Miss Remmers Reviews

  32. I’ve had a Goodreads account for a little while, but I hadn’t done much with it. During Bloggiesta I poked around and added some books and entered the reading challenge for 2012. Your post is great! i plan on referencing it once I get further into using Goodreads. Thank you! http://www.goodreads.com/ladyofnarnia

  33. Pingback: Bloggiesta Wrap-up | Janicu's Book Blog

  34. Great post! I had no idea that I could add a general status update … I’ll have to try that sometime. I also thought about putting just a sample of my review on Goodreads, then a link to my blog — I was usually so behind with posting my reviews, that it seemed like a pain in the butt, but if I stay on top of it, it should be easier! Oh, and the spoilers html … I never thought about that!

    I love having the app on my Android and my iPod … it’s so helpful when I’m reading on the go. I also just heard recently that liking someone’s review bumps it up on the list, so I’ll have to be sure to do that!

    Thanks!

    • You’re welcome. :) Yup, keeping on top of the cross-posting your reviews to goodreads is the key to not being overwhelmed. Sometimes I can get behind for MONTHS and then I pay for it when I have to spend days catching up (yet I do this still… )

  35. Pingback: #Bloggiesta Finish Line | Chachic's Book Nook

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  37. Awesome blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you advise starting with a free platform like
    Wordpress or go for a paid option? There are so many
    options out there that I’m completely confused ..
    Any suggestions? Bless you!

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