Goodreads v. Bookbub by Sara Beth Williams

Goodreads v. Bookbub

If you are a reader and have been online long enough, you’ve probably heard of Goodreads. But have you heard of Bookbub? And what in the world are the differences between the two, and why are they important both for authors and readers?

Today I’m going to break down what each one is used for, and hopefully, if you save this page, you’ll be able to come back to it and refer to it if you have questions about Goodreads or BookBub.

Goodreads: Why it’s great for readers

Goodreads has been around a while. It is the place for readers who love to organize and discuss all things books. You can shelve books into customizable categories or ‘shelves’, and keep track of books you want to read, along with books you’ve read. You can sync it with your kindle app and then books that are finished will be automatically documented in Goodreads. You can join in on yearly Goodreads reading challenges. There are numerous forums you can participate in, and you can make lists. Lots and lots. The Listopia feature allows members to create or add to lists. Literally, whatever you can come up with, there is probably a list for it. Then once the list is created, anyone who is a member can add their favorite books to that list. And of course – you can leave book reviews!

Members can also follow favorite authors, and interact with them by asking questions. You can follow your friends and your authors’ favorite books, current reading lists, and so forth.

Why it’s great for authors: it’s yet another place where you can showcase who you are. You can upload your author bio, even link your blog, upload photos etc. Once you set up an author profile, any book you have on Amazon will auto populate into Goodreads. There are also buy links already there! Bonus!

You can also interact with readers who can ask you questions directly on your profile.  You can also read reviews, see who has marked your book as ‘to be read’, and see who is currently reading your books. It’s a great place to keep tabs on how popular your book Is – as well as the popularity of other books. For example, you can follow the current reading lists of popular book bloggers, or other authors in your genre, etc.

As well, there are some marketing services available through Goodreads, such as the popular Goodreads Giveaway. 

Bookbub: Why it’s great for readers

Can you believe that Bookbub has been around since 2012? “Then why am I just hearing about it?” That’s a great question. Well, you’re hearing about it now from me, so if you’ve no idea what we’re talking about, here’s the rundown.

Bookbub is similar to Goodreads, in that you can find new books and new authors, and ‘save’ your books to be read later. You can leave book reviews, and you can then ‘recommend’ them to your friends/followers. The key difference between Bookbub and Goodreads are the marketing services. Readers can be notified directly via email when books go on sale. Win! I love book sales, don’t you? I’ve picked up a few in the last year already, that were over %50 off their listed price. They also list books that are on sale on various locations on their website.

Why it’s great for authors.

While there aren’t as many interactive features between authors and readers, It’s still a great site for authors because of those awesome marketing services. While Bookbub is free to join as a reader and an author, running a bookbub ad does cost money and can be difficult to secure. But think about this. Online stats say that over 15 million Americans use Bookbub. Think about how many people will get an email with your book listed on sale if you’re able to secure a Bookbub ad? Anyone who subscribes to your specific genre will get an email indicating that your book is on sale. That’s the kind of marketing you want. They also list several prominent books on sale on their website as well, so that’s another win.

There are other free benefits as well. The more followers you acquire as an author, the more people you’ll have who will be directly notified when your book is up for pre-order, and when it goes live. This is very similar to Amazon except you can see and count all those followers. Your followers can also see any of your book recommendations, so any time you recommend a favorite read, an email is sent out to your followers.

Both Goodreads and Bookbub are powerful author tools that all authors should utilize. They’re also fantastic for readers too!

Do you use Goodreads or Bookbub? Which one do you like better?

About Sara Beth Williams

Sara Beth Williams is a wife, mother of two daughters, and temporary caretaker of a lovable old lady pit and a spunky Pomeranian-Shih Tzu mix. She lives in Northern California. When she’s not held hostage by the keyboard, she enjoys music, teaching, reading and spending time with her family. She blogs about Christian fiction books at

 She is all about connecting with readers! Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Bookbub and AllAuthor.

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