Tutorial: Getting Your Goodreads Reviews to Show Up on Kobobooks

UPDATE 2 March 2014: Kobo is implementing a new review system outside of Goodreads, so there really isn’t much point trying to link your goodreads reviews to your Kobo books. While as of this writing, the new Kobo reviews are not visible, they are collecting reviews. Please direct your readers to: http://evocalize.com/consumer/business/520e6ea22f18b. They can search for your books and post reviews so that when the system does go live, your books will have some reviews.

[Update 03/13/2013: This tutorial still works great, but you can also use the simplified version.]

Kobobooks.com 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 Goodreads.com 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 Kobobooks.com 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.

Eric Edstrom is the author of the YA science fiction series The Undermountain Saga and The Scion Chronicles
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37 thoughts on “Tutorial: Getting Your Goodreads Reviews to Show Up on Kobobooks”

  1. This is a fantastic tutorial, Eric! Thank you for posting it!

    I had sent off a similar step by step procedure to a few authors as part of one on one communications and had been working on creating a similar post to help more authors — but I’ll be sending this link out.

    Excellent job! Hope you sell a ton of books!

    1. Mark, thank you! I really want to see Kobo flourish, and I;m excited by the general concept behind the Writing Life dashboard.

      I noticed that in the comments on Passive Guy’s version of this post that some folks are concerned about having Goodreads reviews show up because they aren’t always positive. There are apparently some cases of trolls torpedoing all of an author’s books. What a shame. So I guess it’s good that the GR reviews don’t automatically show up. Perhaps Kobo will consider making it a check box option for authors to turn that feature on or off.

      I see you’re from Hamilton, Ontario! One of my favorite musicians has lived there for years. Rob Lamothe.

  2. Hi Eric,

    Thanks for a great tutorial. I followed all your steps. I copied Kobo’s isbn over to goodreads, manually created a book, combined all editions. But the review for “Tell A Thousand Lies” will not show up on Kobo. I emailed kobo’s help, yesterday, but haven’t heard back yet.

    I have no clue why I cannot make it work!

    Rasana Atreya

    1. Rasana, It looks like the goodreads reviews for your books are now showing up on Kobobooks! It might take some time before the star ratings fill in on Kobobooks though.

      1. Eric,

        It was very kind of you to check. I’m still not able to see the reviews for some reason, but since you can, its a huge relief for me. I’ll just wait on the star ratings.


  3. I wonder if Kobo is worth the effort. Sure, if I had a couple of books, but I’ve got a dozen. I already went through this process adding all the books in the first place.

    Kobo sales have been pretty much null. They’ll probably be eaten by Amazon soon anyway making this moot.

    I think I’m just a bit tired today. Maybe tomorrow this will look like it’s worth the effort. Going forward maybe.

    1. I’m glad the tutorial was helpful. I do not think Google play integrates with Goodreads. And now that Amazon has purchased Goodreads, these reviews are are disappearing from the Kobobooks site.

    1. Goodreads reviews were removed from the Kobobooks.com store with their last design change. In my discussion with a Kobo insider, the goodreads reviews might return. That said, Amazon purchased Goodreads in 2013, so who knows what will happen.

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