Book Reviews on Your Author Website: A Surprisingly Simple Widget

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Why do most online sites include reviews of products? It’s called social proof. If someone else likes a product, you’re more likely to be interested. For clothing, I like to see if the sizing is correct, or if I should buy up or down a size. For household appliances, I read to find out what washing machines are noisy or how they hold up to heavy loads. Book reviews act in the same way. Add a couple reviews to your book and sales climb. How much? That’s the million dollar question! We don’t know exactly how the two correlate, but we know that they do.

Adding reviews of your book to your website is simple. Earlier, I did a series on setting up your author website which covered the basics of setting up your site. This is an extra, but potentially important extra.

Goodreads Widget

Configure the GoodReads Review widget as you like, the copy/paste the code into your site. Click to see this full size.
Configure the GoodReads Review widget as you like, the copy/paste the code into your site.

Goodreads makes it simple to add a Review Widget to your site. Here’s how.

  • Log into your Goodreads author account.
  • From the Home Page, right sidebar, click on Visit Your Author Dashboard.
  • Make sure your account is updated and you have claimed all your books. If this is your first time to set up an Author Dashboard, be sure to read the Author Tutorial linked in the sidebar.
  • Click on Author Widgets in the sidebar.
  • Scroll down to the Reviews Widget and click on Configure & Add Widget.
  • Use the ISBN number to find the right review and configure as you want.
  • Copy the code provided and drop into your website where you wish.

When you paste code into a WordPress site, make sure you have selected a TEXT editing area, not the VISUAL editing. Note: For the code to work in WordPress, you must paste it into a TEXT editing area, not a VISUAL editing area. You’ll find this tab at the top right of the editing area.

Example of GoodReads Widget in Action

Saucy and Bubba. A Contemporary Hansel and Gretel Story.
Saucy and Bubba. A Contemporary Hansel and Gretel Story.

  • Below is what the GoodReads Review Widget looks like for my novel, Saucy and Bubba.
  • Or, see how it is used in a separate tab on the Mims House eBookstore for Wisdom, the Midway Albatross.

Kobo Reviews

On a related development, Kobo eBooks (Here’s a post I did about Kobo and why you should pay attention to it.) has recently announced that they will no longer use GoodReads reviews on their site. This makes sense because Amazon bought out GoodReads a couple years ago. Using reviews from a competitor is bad business. Instead, Kobo will be developing its own set of reviews on its site. For a short time, authors can take control of that and ask fans to add reviews on Kobo. So, here’s my request. If you have read and enjoyed one of my books, I’d appreciate a review on Kobo. If you just rate the books (give it some stars!) that helps, too.

To ask for reviews on your own Kobo books, just change the name at the end of the URL, using a plus sign between first/last names. You’ll see which of your books are offered on Kobo.

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