How To Become A Goodreads Best Reviewer

posted in: Blog-tips, Goodreads, Shelley | 2

Have you ever wanted to know how to be a best reviewer on Goodreads?

Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Shelley Stiff from Shelley’s Book Nook, and I am currently rated as the #2 Canadian best reviewer and the #6 best reviewer worldwide on Goodreads. How did I do it you ask? In this blog post, I will tell you my secrets for being a best reviewer.

First though, what exactly is a best reviewer? Every week on Wednesday, Goodreads publishes a list of its best reviewers. Goodreads rates each reviewer based on the number of “votes”. What is a vote? A vote is every time someone clicks “Like” on your review.

So how do you get these votes? Below I will explain my strategy on how to go about getting those votes.

Friends: You need lots of Goodreads friends and followers. Goodreads allows users to have 5,000 friends. I currently have 4,500 friends and it’s my goal to reach the 5,000 mark by the end of 2024. So how do you get friends? When I started out promoting my reviews, I would send the maximum number of friend requests allowed by Goodreads in a single day.

Should you just start friending people haphazardly? The answer is simple, no. You want to look for two things in a Goodreads friend. You want members who are active on Goodreads and someone who has the same interest in books as you because it makes it easier for you to comment on and like each other’s reviews if you have books in common.

I also recommend you send a friend request to all the best Goodreads reviewers. These readers are also looking for votes, and you will likely be able to give them to each other.

Not everyone will accept your friend request, and that’s ok. But you WILL need to make the first move if you want to be a best reviewer.

Engagement: This is where the real work comes in. To get votes, you need to give votes. I return every single like and comment that someone provides me. You can also go through your feed and like your friends’ reviews. Additionally, you can look up books on Goodreads and like reviews that you enjoy.

Comments do not count as votes. However, comments are helpful because depending on the commenter’s settings, they might push your review to their feed. For example, someone with 1,000 friends comments on my review. This review is then published to that person’s feed, and an additional 1,000 people are now viewing my review. This is great exposure both for likes (votes) and for making new friends.

If someone leaves a comment on your review, make sure to respond. This is a nice way to acknowledge some of your most loyal fans. If you are starting out, consider leaving a thoughtful comment on some of the top reviewers’ reviews.

Content: This should be no surprise, but if you want to be a top reviewer on Goodreads, you will need to read and review books on the regular.

Do you have to review a book every single day? No. I read about 100-150 books a year. I highly recommend reading books that you want to read because if you read books that are of quality to you the quantity comes naturally.

Some Final Thoughts on Being a Goodreads Best Reviewer:

A Word of Caution: In addition to these tips, I will offer a word of caution. If you want to be #1, you could spend all day and night, reading and sending out likes. You might want to determine at the outset how much time you want to devote to being a best reviewer on Goodreads. I spend a couple of hours each morning and a couple of hours in the evening reading reviews, making comments and handing out likes. I also reply to all comments on my reviews as soon as I can. I have to be honest and say I spend just as much time devoted to Goodreads as I do to reading. I think it is worth it to be able to say I am on the Best Reviewers List because it allows me to get the free books I love, some of which I get before the release date.

Compensation: As a Goodreads top reviewer, there is no compensation. Many top reviewers have book blogs or YouTube channels which might be monetized. As for myself, I have received $0 in compensation, but I have received many, many free books both tree and digital.

Paying a Top Reviewer to Review Your Book: Can you just pay me to review your book? No. Why not? If I read a book, I need content for my blog and for Goodreads. If your book is horrible, I will still have to post a review. Can I just lie and say your book is great? No. My integrity isn’t for sale. My friends and followers depend on me to tell them the truth. I pride myself on being an honest reviewer, even if that means publishers stop giving me ARCs.

So there you have it, the basics on becoming a Goodreads best reviewer. If you have any questions about how to become a Goodreads best reviewer, please let me know in the comments and I will answer them as best I can.

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2 Responses

  1. Guilherme Rizzoto

    That’s such a delightful post, Shelley. It’s such a clear insight on the process and really describes the commitment needed to reach this amazing accomplishment, congratulations for it. I think a lot of people get mesmerized by the potential of having the books without the perspective of what is needed to do a good review and be a meaningful member of the book world. Last but not least, I really appreciated the bit about integrity and I think that it’s fundamental that we are genuine and honest in the reviews, and that we avoid the baits and biases that abound. Thanks for the post 😁

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