Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tutorial: Getting Your Goodreads Reviews to Show Up on Kobobooks recently opened up Writing Life for indie authors. This is awesome because you no longer have to go through Smashwords if you don't want to. While I love Smashwords, one of the great things Kobo is offering writers is a dashboard with more detail about sales. And though Kobobooks has a way to go to make their store experience all it should be, I'm encouraged by their inclusion of some interesting social features for books. They've built in Facebook comments for each book AND Goodreads reviews!
But when you add your book to the Kobo Writing Life portal, you're Goodreads reviews might not automatically show up. This is bad. If you're like me, you've done a lot of work to get folks to post reviews on Goodreads.

Well, I figured out how to fix that problem, and it isn't too hard. Shall we proceed? Here is the Kobobooks page for my first novel, Undermountain.
Kobobooks Book Page
I've highlighted with the red box the Goodreads review section. Here's what it looks like now that I've got it integrated.
Goodreads Reviews on Kobo
That's pretty awesome! Notice that I've got five pages of GR reviews, which are all positive. That's because the book is good. Moving on . . .
If you want your GR reviews to show up you need to add the Kobo version of your book to Goodreads. Here's how.
Grab the ISBN number from your book's page on Kobobooks. See the highlight below. Kobo ISBN
Now that you know your Kobo ISBN, go over to and search for your book. It doesn't matter if Goodreads finds it or not, because what you want is the Manually add a book link. See the highlight in the pic below.
Manually Add Book
When you click that link, you'll get the page below. Fill in the form with all your book's info. Use the Kobo ISBN in the ISBN13 field. Make sure the title you use is identical to your other edition's title.
At this point you might be thinking, "But my book is already in Goodreads." That may be true, but is whispering to Goodreads in the background, asking "Do you have any reviews for ISBNxxxxxxxxxx?" So if that specific ISBN is not in Goodreads, Kobo will get nothing to display.
Add a Book Form in Goodreads
Okay, you're getting close now. The final step is pretty simple. In Goodreads you need to combine the Kobo edition with your other editions. This makes sure that any reviews you've got for, say your Amazon version or your Createspace POD version, are merged with the Kobo version.
So find your book on goodreads and click it so you are seeing the detail page for that book. Notice that in the pic below, there's a spot for other editions. One is my POD version, the other is the Kobo edition (I added it from my iPad and didn't have the cover art handy. I'll go fix that later.) It doesn't really matter. See that link I highlighted? Combine! Click it.
Combine editions link
Now you're on the Combine Editions page. In the example below I've already combined the different editions of Undermountain. What you'll see is two (or more) versions of the same book, each with a check box. Check the books that are the same (and therefore should all share the same reviews) and click the "combine editions" button.
Combine Editions
When I did this, the Goodreads reviews began to show up on Kobobooks immediately.
If it doesn't allow you to combine editions, you may have to solicit the aid of a Goodreads "librarian." If you've made any friends on GR, it shouldn't be too hard to find one. Notice there's a Goodreads Librarian Group link on the right hand side.
I hope this quick tutorial has been helpful. And more than that, I hope that all your awesome Goodreads reviews help you sell a ton of books on Kobobooks!

Eric is the author of Undermountain and Afterlife, the first two books of the YA science fiction series The Undermountain Saga.

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