How to Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database

Two Methods:New BookNew Alternate Edition

Are you tired of trying to find a book that you've read (or are in the process of currently-reading) and that isn't listed in Goodreads? It's tiring when you end your search for that great book on Goodreads with the result of "No book by that name results". But as a did you know, you can add new books to the database as you come upon them. Look no further than the advice in this article to give you the advice you need to let you add books to the Goodreads database, so you no longer have to worry that this book won't be found again.


  1. Image titled Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database Step 2
    Visit the Goodreads website in your web browser. Goodreads is a popular social bookmarking tool used to share the books you're currently reading with friends.
  2. Image titled Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database Step 3
    Search the Goodreads site for your book. You can choose to search by name, author's name, ISBN (13 digit/generally starts with '978'), ISBN (10 digit-old style ISBN barcode number), as well as a slew of other items.
  3. Image titled Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database Step 4
    Determine if the book is a new book that needs to be listed, or if it's a new edition of a book that's already listed. Although most often this can be determined by comparing the title with titles by the same author already on the Goodreads site, since every book is different, there are exceptions.
    • Newspapers, magazines, and comics are not books. [1]By definition, these are not books for Goodreads, and therefore MUST not be added to the database.

Method 1
New Book

  1. Image titled Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database Step 5
    Use the Add a New Book to Goodreads website link, to add your book.
  2. Image titled IMG_0357
    Bring your book near your computer. You'll need a few things directly from your book. If you don't have a copy of that particular book handy, it's good to note that Goodreads allows information to be copied off of the WorldCat and Amazon given you have a copy of the ISBN or ASIN of that copy of the book handy. As per policy, you can't take any information from Amazon's competitor, Barnes and Noble, and therefore this information can't be borrowed (such as for a Nook version of your book).[2]
  3. Image titled Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database Step 8
    Type in the new book's title into the "title" field. Although the page tool does a secondary search for verification to see if the book exists and gives you comparable results, take a moment to second check this list. title and determine if any comparable matches can be found. If you think the book's title is a match, but aren't completely sure, right-click the item and click either "open in New Window" or "Open in New Tab".
    • If the book is part of a volume or set of books, this titling can be interesting. After the title of the book, enter a space then the volume number in parenthesis. (i.e. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets should be titled as "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2)" (However, this item is already in the database so don't use this example as a real entry of a brand new book[3]).
  4. Image titled Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database Step 9
    Scroll down the list until you find the "Sort by Title" field. Type the title in again, as if you were looking through an old-style card catalog. You can omit the words A, an, the, etc and type the remainder of the text[4] A title known as "A New Light" would be listed as just "New Light".
    • Book entries that are part of a series get some special treatment. As opposed to adding the volume number last, you add it after the last few words at the end of the title. (i.e."Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets would be sorted out as "chamber of secrets (Harry Potter, #2), harry potter) as opposed to "chamber of secrets, harry potter (Harry Potter, #2)". However, be aware that new editions of already present books should have the corrected sort-by field entered already when you enter in to add another edition entry.
  5. Image titled Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database Step 10
    Type the author's name in the "author" entry box. As is stated on the New book entry page, add authors as they appear on the front of the book; however, if different verification sources disagree on the order or if there is no verifiable cover present, you can list them in alphabetical order.[5]. However, with different format's of authors names, the formatting of the name is different dependent on your exact scenario and few situations will ever be the same for brand new books that aren't in the database just yet.
    • The very first author should be only the primary author of the book. No other authors should be listed within the first text box of authors. Make sure to return the name with the proper capitalization (capitalization should never be the same as the way it looks on the book, if the book presents it's authors in all-CAPS, but should be written as if it was the legal name entry on a paper form). Make sure to list the names starting with the first name with a space then the middle name (if available) then a space and onto the last name. Doing so will help the Goodreads Librarian link the books (if they indeed find it is a separate edition of an already present edition of an existing book) instead.
    • Authors who use their initials should list their names without a space between letters of a name but should have a period after each and every initial. (ex. J. L. Roth should be listed in this box as "J.L. Roth".)
    • If the author supplies their middle name as an initial, follow the initial rules in the sub-step immediately above. (If they send their initial, provide their initial followed by a period followed by a space and then their last name. If they provide their full middle name, type that in the box instead, as was written.)
    • Names with title or degree designations should be included in the list, but must never list these designations in the author name field itself, unless it is necessary to avoid confusion or is part of a recognizable pen name (such as "Dr. Seuss") (however, Dr. Doug B. Hornet should be listed as "Doug B. Hornet")
    • Suffixes to a name should be included separated by a space after the last name.
    • Additional authors (such as editors, narrators for audiobooks, etc.) should be listed as separate entries on new lines in the form. Supply the type of author for the book with the box that is displayed after clicking the "Add role" link next to the author's name box. Although you can choose between many different types of author-roles in the author role drop-down, there is a fill-in box that can be accessed if the author role isn't supplied.
    • If more than one author exists, there's a link just below this box, that asks you for these additional authors. Supply as many as is given in the order they appear on the front cover of the book, after clicking the "Add author" link as many times as you need to enter all of them into the appropriate boxes.
  6. Image titled Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database Step 18
    Upload the picture of the front cover of the book into the box just below the "Add a cover image for this book." field. Although it's okay to use your own image of that exact book from a file you have on hand, it is also acceptable to use the Amazon book picture (as long as the picture isn't just Goodreads or Amazon stock photos (stock photos on Goodreads look like a brown-covered book with just the plain text of the title and author of the book, as for Amazon, these generic cover art may vary a little more widely depending on the situation) or as long as the photo isn't a book with the same title but as another edition-again, it's best to research the item on Amazon under it's ASIN or ISBN before searching with the title.[6]
  7. Image titled Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database Step 11
    Type in the ISBN or ASIN (Amazon-only direct access ID-type) codes. From one Librarian to the rest of the reading community here on wikiHow, Goodreads wants regular paperback or hardcover books to be listed under the ISBN or ISBN-13 number and use only the ASIN numbers for Kindle and Audible books.[7] Use ISBN numbers for anything else, but you can still research the book on Amazon for information using the items ASIN number.[8]. Click the "Click for ASIN" link to switch this box type to ASIN-mode.
  8. Image titled Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database Step 12
    Type the publisher name and publication dates (year, month, day - text, drop-down, text) for the book into the applicable fields. (While the publisher name can be found inside the book on the publisher data or title page or on Amazon itself according to an ISBN number search in the search bar, it is best to use the publication date of the book according to the date Amazon will give to you as the Publication date line will list) However, be careful that you are punctuating and capitalizing the publisher name as it appears there.[9]If there is no data given and the data can't be retrieved from WorldCat, you can take the copyright year, leaving the remainder of the data unlisted for the other portions of the publication year: however, keep that information as a "case of last resort".[10].
  9. Image titled Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database Step 13
    Type the number of pages the book contains into the "number of pages" box. As per Goodreads policies, they consider the amount of pages in the book to include all pages in the book, except for advertisements for other books or preview chapters. You can also grab this information from Amazon for this specific edition unique identifier. Other types of books will get special treatment and will vary greatly.[11][12].
  10. Image titled Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database Step 14
    Click the drop-down menu for the type of format the book is (which you currently own in your hands). Most often, these entries will be "Hardcover", "Paperback", "Kindle book" (as opposed to "eBook" when bought from the Kindle for Amazon store or bought as it's own Kindle book or "Audio CD" or even "Audible Audio", but there are many more format types available in this list.[13]
    • Be careful of books of the types of eBooks out there. If it is bought directly from a company selling eBooks (Amazon, Barnes and Noble), these should not be listed as "ebook" when these formats are on the list already. There are others that have similar conventions as to format types, but aren't commonly recognized or commonly used, but must be applied. If the book isn't sold from a first-rate retailer (Amazon, Barnes and Noble), you must select "eBook" from the list.[14]
    • If you can't determine the format, you must select "Unknown Binding". Be careful not to select "Unbound" as these look similar from the get-go but mean two completely different things.
    • Other commonly mismarked format differences include "Paperback" with "Mass Market Paperback", "Library Binding" with "Hardcover", "CD-ROM or MP3-CD with Audio CD" and must be watched accordingly.
    • If this type of format isn't available, click the "Other" link and type the format into the text-entry box.
  11. Image titled Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database Step 15
    Type the edition number, if the book has more than one edition number or is a special-entry edition information item. This field is for special entry information only (holiday edition, 2nd edition, etc.). This should be entered in the field as it is written on or inside the cover.
  12. Image titled Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database Method 1 Step 12.png
    Type in the "official url" to the book if there is one available. This field is optional and should be used if there is an author or publisher site that describes the book you have. It should never list a fan site, library or other site about the book.[15]
  13. Image titled Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database Method 1 Step 13.png
    Copy the book's description from the Amazon-specific unique description of the book, or enter the words from the very back of the book in the order they appear on the back of the book (unless the back of the book has book critics reviews which you can omit from the Description box. This Description box is critical should the addition other editions pop-up, as these carry-over without even asking the edition adder from one edition to the next. If there is no data on this page as for this description, you can copy the data off the back cover or dust jacket to the book word-for-word, [16].
    • Although this rarely happens, if you still have no data for this box, you can write your own summary for the description, without writing a spoiler inside the box and without using images or links to external sites.
    • You can grab data in certain circumstances as to describe books from Wikipedia, but the exact link to this site must be written inside the description box to explain where this data originated from.
  14. Image titled Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database Step 16
    Scroll your eyes and the page down slightly, and select from the drop-down menu underneath the description, the language the book is written in. Although the default selection at the top of the list is English (as English is the most-commonly used language for book entries on Goodreads), this language will depend on what language the book is written in. (i.e. If the book is a translated book (of an English book) into Portuguese, this entry must be selected as "Portuguese" since this is the language of the book.[17]
  15. Image titled Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database Method 1 Step 15.png
    Look below the "Work Settings" label to find three fields (for non-Librarians) to fill in. Although optional, sending this information out will help those looking to find a book with alternate information, or which has been republished with drastically different information.
    • Type in the original title and original publication dates using the same formatting as the title and publication dates field formatting above, if the data differs widely from the very first publication to the present-day one. Most often times, the original publication date will be the earliest copyright date mentioned on the book's title/publication data page just a few page-turns inside the book.[18]
    • Watch out for the "media type" field. Although it can be your "best friend" when the media is something other than a book, it can also be your worst enemy if you accidentally select "not a book". For information on what isn't a book or is something other than those books most commonly used, utilize the information presented here. The not a book option will now display for every account that is created, though it is only supposed to show for Goodreads Librarians.
  16. Image titled Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database Method 1 Step 16.png
    Look out for the reCaptcha image. Although users who are long-time users are grandfathered in to not having to fill this field out, those who aren't will need to fill out this box. The reCaptcha box, once checked, will verify that you aren't a robot that is sending new books through the database, each and every time you fill out this form.
  17. Image titled Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database Step 20
    Scroll back down to the end again (or tap the End button on your keyboard) and click the "Create book" button.

Method 2
New Alternate Edition

  1. Image titled Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database Method 2 Step 1.png
    Search for the profile page of the book, and make this book display. At the very least, search by the ISBN or ASIN number. Then try searching by complete title, but this type isn't very good. Not only will searching help narrow the search down to books with the same name, it'll also narrow the search down to duplicate editions of existing editions of the same book you might be wanting to add. Click the most accurate match to another version of the book (according to title), if it still doesn't display.
    • If a relative search result displays in the search bar in real-time (especially with an ASIN/ISBN search), this yields the possibility that you'll need to add another edition if the two items aren't the same. If you searched by the title and came up with a relative title, it's time to create an alternate edition with the title given - if not, it's time to create a new book entirely.
  2. Image titled Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database Method 2 Step 2.png
    Click on the "Add New Edition" link that is found underneath the section containing images of other editions of the book that are other editions of the book in the database. If there are no other editions of the book, you'll find this link towards the top of the listing above the "Get a copy" section that contains some critical other places to purchase the book that is always displayed.
  3. Image titled Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database Method 2 Step 3.png
    Verify the pre-filled text of the Add a New Edition page is displayed. With the New Edition page, the form will prefill several items including the title, sort-by title, author, and description - most of which you can just do a "once-over". The rest you'll have to type in manually.
    • Recognize the need to add what Goodreads calls an "alternate cover edition" when the ISBN comes up but the cover is different (those that don't have a cover but can be obtained legally for Goodreads' use is different and only a Goodreads Librarian can help and should never be re-added).
  4. Image titled Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database Method 2 Step 4.png
    Try adding in the ISBN-10 or ISBN-13 numbers into the appropriate fields, or switch the ISBN numbers into ASIN entry (for Kindle or Audible books) by clicking the "Click for ASIN" and typing the data into the appropriate field according to what is displayed in the book's details.
    • Goodreads Librarians recognize how annoying it is when adding one and the ISBN sends back an error. However, if you aren't a Goodreads Librarian, you'll want to hold off on clicking the "Create book" until all fields are filled out to their entirety.
    • Acknowledging where the error lays if you get the error message yourself is a big help, and can be remedied through an action that you can also take.
  5. Image titled Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database Method 2 Step 5.png
    Enter all other data into the form, including the cover image of the book, utilizing the same form data as you would have entered had you been entering a new book itself. Use the same conventional formats as those used in the above method (adding a brand new book to the database). These same conventions apply to adding alternate editions too.
  6. Image titled Add a New Book to the Goodreads Database Method 2 Step 6.png
    Click on the "Create book" button at the bottom of the form of data you've just entered.


  • Currently, there is no way to add a book to the database in their iPhone/smartphone app.
  • At the bottom of the page, there are additional fields that you may choose to enter (if the data is available).
  • As of January 27, 2012, Goodreads no longer uses sources to books sourced through Amazon. They will be removing all books not specified to new sources on January 30, 2012.
  • While some fields are mandated to be entered, there are some that are optional. But since you should have the book there, it would be nice to add these too. Don't forget some of the optional fielded questions such as the ones this article has shown above.
  • If the book you are choosing to add is another edition of a book Goodreads previously has but this edition has not previously been added yet, the link/button for adding this additional book can be found in the same section as the Other Editions and "Change Editions section on the other editions of the same said book's book-profile page.
  • For most of the information you see, you can borrow the information from the Amazon page for that exact listing of the book (including that unique/specific edition of the book in question).
  • Acceptable types of books to include in the list beyond just hardcover, paperback and a mess of eBooks and audiobooks of all sorts include coloring books, repacks, F&C sheets, bound sheet music/scores/librettos, atlases, reference books (books on CD-ROM)...and many more....[19]

Things You'll Need

  • Internet access
  • Goodreads account
  • The proposed book that needs to be added to the Goodreads database

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