Giving Goodreads Recommendations

December 17, 2015 Blogging Tips, Let's Discuss 37

Read-This

Just the other day, I got a book recommendation via Goodreads from Joycedale, one of my longtime blog readers (she doesn’t have a blog or I’d link you up!). The book looked great, so I immediately added it to my TBR and requested it from the library. (Which reminds me, I have to go pick it up!)

It made me realize that the recommendation feature on Goodreads can be such a great tool when it’s used well – but it’s usually not.

99.9% of the time, I ignore my Goodreads recs from other users. Why? They’re completely random and don’t seem to be aimed at me at all. I’m pretty sure people just use it as a marketing tool, which is kind of annoying, since I don’t think that’s the spirit of the feature.

SO, I’m proposing that we all start using the recommendations feature, but we use it the way it SHOULD be used. (I’ve never recommended a book before – I think I’ll keep my eye out for good opportunities to do so now.)

Not sure how to recommend on Goodreads? It’s easy!

Book-Rec

Go to the book you want to recommend and click the Recommend It link in the upper right hand corner (it’s circled in red above).

Book-Rec2

Start typing in the name of the person you want to make a recommendation to in the search box, and people who match that name will appear.

Book-Rec3b

Click on the little add message link and type in a message to tell them WHY you’re recommending the book. This is a critical step! Without it, your rec seems like SPAM. Tell them why you think this book is perfect for them – and make it as personal as you can (just saying, “It’s a great book” won’t get anyone’s attention).

Book-Rec4

Next, click the Recommend button. And that’s it!

A few things to remember:
  • Don’t recommend a book to someone you’ve never interacted with in any other way. (This seems obvious, but I’m mentioning it anyway because it’s SO annoying!)
  • Make the rec personal. Your Goodreads friend loved a book that was similar to another one you read? Recommend it! Your friend is lamenting the fact that they haven’t found a good sci-fi dystopian and you know of the perfect one? Recommend it! You ADORED a certain book and you know your friend has similar tastes? Recommend it!
  • A great way to get great Goodreads recommendations from people is to request a specific recommendation (tell people you’re looking for a specific genre, etc). Not sure how? I’ll show you in next week’s discussion post!

Thanks for inspiring me to make some recommendations, Joycedale! (And for reminding me that the feature CAN be put to good use!)

Do you ever get recommendations via Goodreads? Are they real, or do they seem like SPAM? Have you ever made recommendations via Goodreads? I want to know!

 

Book Pic designed by Freepik

37 Responses to “Giving Goodreads Recommendations”

  1. Silvara

    I’ve never recommended through GoodReads, nor had anyone recommend a book to me through there. Part of that, I’m sure, is that I don’t have many GoodReads friends! But it’s also that a lot of the time, when I stumble on a book I’d totally recommend to everyone, they’re already reading the book or have it on their wishlists!

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      Yes, I pretty much accept anyone on Goodreads who asks to be my friend, and that results in some spammy results, unfortunately. I think if it happens a lot with a specific friend, I should probably unfriend them (but it feels so unfriendly!). Even if I had something on my TBR, knowing someone specifically recommended something would make me pick it up sooner. 🙂

  2. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    This is such a great post! I have only been the recipient of the spammy kind of recommendations, so I basically ignore them. I mean, why is some random person telling me to read a 5th book in a series I have never heard of!? So who knows, I might even be missing some legitimate ones because I just ignore them all. I will start paying attention though, because hopefully people will take your post to heart. It really WOULD be an awesome tool if people used it in a personal way instead of a mass-spam one!

  3. Jen

    I do get the random spam recommendation through Goodreads, but mainly it’s books that friends loved. And I only send recommendations to the few friends who send me ones back on Goodreads, whose tastes are similar and we don’t text. But for the most part I text my recommendations to a group of friends I have through Goodreads. We setup a group chat so we can buddyread, or chat about the book we’re reading. But there are times, after reading a book, where I want to send a recommendation to every single person on my Goodread friends list who loves that genre haha. But I never do. I do need to get better at using this feature, so thank you for the reminder and conversation about it. 🙂

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      So you’re already using this feature properly! I get nothing but SPAM from it, so I practically ignored it before, but now I definitely want to make an effort to do it more. I think it’s awesome that you have a group of Goodreads friends that you read with. I mostly use Goodreads just to post reviews and check reviews, but it has so many other features that could be great – I think I’ll make utilizing Goodreads better one of my 2016 goals.

      • Jen

        Funny thing is, the day after I wrote this I received two spam book recommendation on Goodreads haha. I’m still working on my 2016 book related goals, but that’s amazing you already have a great goal for 2016! 🙂

  4. DanaSquare

    I wish that I got recs on goodreads that are books that I’m actually interested in rather than authors and bloggers trying to push certain books that I’m not about!

  5. ShootingStarsMag

    I’m pretty sure I get recommendations from authors recommending their own books. PLEASE STOP THIS AUTHORS!! haha But yeah, I do think it’s a great feature if used in the right way. 🙂

  6. Bookertalk

    I never really noticed that recommend button. Now I understand why I get recommendations from people I don’t know and who clearly don’t know my tastes.

  7. Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books

    I never pay attention to the Goodreads recommendation feature either, mainly because (like you) I never get any good ones. The ones I get are either books I would never read or like or they are ones that I have already read (these are clearly marked on my Goodreads page). I could start using it more, but I guess most of my recommendations come from blogs. Great post!

  8. Lisa @ Lost in Literature

    I rarely get book recommendations that I actually pay attention to. I get one regularly from a certain user that I’ve never interacted with, and I never have any interest in the books they “recommend”. Instant Ignore. When an actual friend recommends a book though, I do get excited. It honestly doesn’t happen often, as you mentioned. It definitely is a great tool that should be used more often, and more appropriately. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  9. jazmen

    If I adore a book I often use Goodreads to recommend it, and when I’m dying to find a certain type of read, Goodreads is my go to. I think Goodreads in general is such a great tool all around!

  10. Melanie Simmons @mlsimmons

    I don’t normally pay attention to Goodreads Recommendations for exactly why you mentioned. I never recommend any because I assume that people will ignore them as marketing ploys just like I do. If people started using it for how it was meant to be used, maybe I would pay more attention to them.

  11. Joycedale

    I feel awesome, I inspired a post! Lol.

    I do get a lot of those spam recs too but occasionally I’ll get a legit one. I can always tell because the message they send with it. They either say why they loved it or why they think I will.

    I hope you enjoy the book!

  12. Terri M., the Director

    I actually use this feature quite frequently with my sister and one of my other reading friends. We like a lot of the same books so if I find a book I think they will like, I automatically recommend it to them. 🙂 It’s a good way to let them know there is a giveaway tied to a book as well.

  13. Danielle @ Love at First Page

    I completely agree! I’ve had only one or two “good” recs… the rest just seem random and/or very un-personal. I’m so picky about my books anyway, so it’s hard to rec me anything, but I think it can be a great tool, especially to spread the word about great but lesser known releases!

  14. tonyalee

    I think what a lot of people do is SELECT ALL when you rate a book 4 stars or more. It pops up all the time and it’s annoying. I don’t recommend many books unless i know for sure the person I am recommending it to will enjoy.

  15. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    It’s funny but I used to get those random GoodReads recommendations but I don’t any more…there used to be a feature where you could ask GR users for specific recs and ever since I did that, I only got helpful recs for fellow GR users. That feature isn’t there anymore but I’m glad I don’t get annoying recs anymore! I like your idea here, I have recommended books on there in the past, but I’d love to do it more regularily. It’d be a good way to push favorite books some more LOL! THIS NEEDS TO BE A THING! Also, good tips there, no one should get recs from people they don’t even know. What even?! Awesome post Nicole^^♥

  16. Cait @ Paper Fury

    AHH I COMPLETELY AGREE!! I hate Goodreads recs with a fiery passion because I can get like 30+ recs a day from random people who’ve never even talked to me and the books I haven’t even heard of and wouldn’t even like *dies* I guess that happens when you have a lot of GR friends? Either way I ignore them all now because of all the spam!! I wish it was done like this though and people could respect that, gahhh. But I just take my recs off blogs and things or if someone tweets me I HAVE to read a book. hehe. I believe them better that way. 😉

  17. Kaja

    I’ve never used this feature but have received a couple of recommendations myself – all without the personalisation. You’re right, it makes all the difference – I couldn’t figure out why this person was recommending a book to me, especially since I’ve never chatted with her on my blog or whatever, though I’m pretty sure she wasn’t trying to spam me.
    I’ll definitely give this a try, it’s an underused option of Goodreads. Thanks for pointing it out! 🙂

  18. Bregje

    All the recommendations I’ve ever received have been totally random and by people I hardly ever talked to. I have never actually used this feature to recommend books to others, but it’s actually a pretty great tool I should use more often!

  19. SJ Bouquet

    (The amount of comments on this post, before I post my comment, was the same amount of emails in my inbox! SWEET NUMERICAL SYNC UP ha cha cha xD sorry i’m a dork)

    Anyways, I’ve had a few books recommended to me before and they are NEVER ever hardly ever recommended because the person thoughtfully believed that I, Sj Bouquet, would love the story. It’s usually just a marketing thing. Hopefully, more people will start to use the rec button as how it was intended! I LOVE WHEN PEOPLE GENUINELY THINK I’LL LOVE A BOOK!

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