How I Got 500 Goodreads Friends Without Trying

I recently opened a Goodreads Account for Killer Book Marketing.  You can see it here (and feel free to friend me!).

I haven’t done ANYTHING with the account.  Yet I now have over 500 Goodreads friends.  Update: Over 600 at the time this post is up!

There are a lot of things to love about Goodreads.  At last count, Goodreads has over 16 million members.  The best part – it’s a community of people that love books!  It lets you join reading groups, participate in discussions with other readers and writers, and connect with authors.

A few general thoughts about goodreads:

  • Be careful with the “Friends of Friends” option.  I advocate using this sparingly. Goodreads asks that you only follow people you that you know offline or know well in Goodreads – and yes, they will suspend your account of you overdo it.  I’d rather be cautious here than have to start over.
  • Try to make REAL connections with people.   If it feels like all you’re getting from someone is spammy links about their book, it becomes white noise.  You’ll either ignore them or unfriend them.  So really try to participate and interact!  Think 80/20!  80+% of the time focus other books, groups, and interactions.  20% of the time about you.

Before we start, I’d highly suggest going into Edit Profile (emails tab) and removing the email me notification whenever someone adds you as a friend. I had 500+ emails in 48 hours 🙂

Goodreads email event notifications


Once you’ve done that, it’s time to connect with some friends on Facebook!

Making Friends on Goodreads

In Goodreads, in the top right of the page, you can click on your “friends” icon.  It looks like this:

Goodreads Friend button

It’s right next to your Goodreads profile picture


It will then take you to your friends page which looks something like this:

Goodreads Friends List Screenshot

Profile data from friends on my list blacked out to prevent inadvertent sharing of private information


Goodreads Friend Tip: Connect to social networks

This is the best part 🙂  On the right side of your screen, (just above the ad), you see this screen:

Goodreads find friends from

You can click on any of the social networks or click on “Find Friends Now” you get a screen like this:

Add Friends to Goodreads

Now’s where I start getting excited 🙂 If you’ve been following along with me on my advice about growing your twitter account, you should have at least a couple thousand followers on Twitter.  In general, about one out of 15 Twitter users has their Twitter account connected to Goodreads.  However, if you’ve been using Twitter to connect with readers – it’s a ratio of 1 out of every 6 or 7 people!!!

When you connect with Twitter, your screen looks like this:

Add Friends From Twitter

Profile data from friends on my list blacked out to prevent inadvertent sharing of private information


Click the friends you want to add and click Add Friends!  It’s that easy!!!

Be sure to check the box at the bottom to “tweet to share Goodreads with your followers”:

Send a Tweet to share goodreads

You should repeat this for Facebook and again with any email contacts 🙂

Just adding the contacts from my Twitter, I suddenly have over 500 Goodreads friends.

Bonus Goodreads Tip: The Invite Friend Link

Also on the friends page, there is an invite link.

My invite friend link

The “My invite friend link” appears right below the advertisement on the right side of the page.  For me, my eyes focus more on the ad (which I’m sure is intentional) but this link is powerful.  This link can be sent in email (put it in your email signature), on your website, and distributed on other social networks.

Bonus Goodreads Tip: Widgets

Goodreads has some very cool widgets that can be used on your website. A widget is basically a chunk of code that can be inserted into a blog or website that connects back to get live data from another site.  In this case, it’s something you can drop into your site or on your blog to show off Goodreads lists, favorite books, updates, and much more.  The process is:

1. Pick one of the widgets and configure it in Goodreads.  It is located under “Edit Profile” on the Widgets tab.  It looks something like this:


Goodreads Widgets

I added my wife’s latest book so the widget wouldn’t be empty – you can populate MANY books into these lists!

2.Copy the code for the widget and place it on your website.  If you’re using WordPress, you can insert it under Appearance, Widgets into an HTML widget in one of your sidebars.

3.That’s it!  It will show on your website!!!

The cool thing is that it pulls LIVE data – so if you add books to your list, it will auto-magically be updated in the widget on your website.  If anyone has trouble or questions about how to do this, let me know and I can make a quick video walking through this process.  Let me know!

I hope this has been helpful.  I’ll continue to add to my Goodreads account.  From this point, I’ll take a good month or two adding books, reviews, and interacting 🙂

If you find this post helpful, please take a minute to comment below or use the social media sharing buttons.




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