Goodreads vs The StoryGraph: Pros, Cons, and Which Is Better for Indie Authors?

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1106 Design

June 06, 2023

As an author looking for places to promote your book and build a following, you’ve likely come across Goodreads and possibly even The StoryGraph. These two platforms are very similar, so it may be challenging to decide which one will best meet your needs. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what Goodreads and The StoryGraph are, what pros and cons they have, and which is best for you.

Goodreads

Goodreads is a platform for authors, publishers, reviewers, and readers to come together as a community. Users can list books they’ve read, are reading, or want to read on their profiles, post reviews, chat in the forums, share reading progress, vote in polls, and follow one another. It’s very socially oriented.

Goodreads launched in January 2007. By December 2007, they had added 10M books and had 650K members. They’re still growing, and partly because they’re owned by Amazon, they’ve nearly monopolized their niche.

Pros

  • The large, more diverse community makes it easier for authors to promote books, increase exposure, and connect with their target audience.
  • Goodreads is more popular than The StoryGraph.
  • It’s completely free.
  • Goodreads has an author program that allows authors to interact with fans, host giveaways, and advertise their work.
  • Goodreads allows users to connect their social accounts and blogs.
  • Authors can reach out to readers for reviews, etc.

Cons

  • Goodreads has been accused of favoring Amazon and mainstream books.
  • The interface is often described as clunky and hard to navigate.
  • Goodreads doesn’t allow half- or quarter-star reviews.

The StoryGraph

Founded in 2019, The StoryGraph has grown exponentially. Though it now boasts over 300K users and 1M books, it still falls behind Goodreads in popularity. Like Goodreads, The StoryGraph is designed to help readers share what they’re reading and keep track of their books, but unlike Goodreads, it’s more focused on this end than building a community. Readers can still interact with friends on the community page, but this platform shines when it comes to tracking books and reading trends.

On this platform, users can log and review books, view their reading stats, set reading challenges and personal reading goals, and receive recommendations based on their reading habits. It also allows users to record detailed private notes alongside their reading updates. They’re currently working on a Giveaways feature, as well as a Book Clubs feature where users can vote on books, organize meetings, and host discussions.

Pros

  • The interface is cleaner than Goodreads, more up-to-date and user-friendly.
  • Reviewers can use half and quarter stars to rate books, which allows for more accurate ratings.
  • There’s no affiliation with Amazon, and emphasis isn’t put on traditionally published books.
  • Many people claim that The StoryGraph provides more apt recommendations than Goodreads, and because The StoryGraph is more data-driven, it can help authors more easily target their niche audience.
  • Supports local bookstores, which is more helpful for authors who wish to promote their books outside of Amazon.
  • Authors can query beta readers and reach out for reviews.

Cons

  • The smaller community can be a turn-off for authors looking for more social interaction and exposure.
  • For more detailed reading stats and a more personalized experience, you would need to upgrade to their paid service, but many users are happy with their free tools.
  • As of this time, there’s no way to connect your social media accounts to The StoryGraph.

Which Is Better for Authors?

This depends on your goals and preferences. We recommend trying out both platforms when you have the time just to see which works better for you. In case you prefer using a mobile device and you come across older articles stating that The StoryGraph doesn’t have its own apps, that information is outdated. Both platforms do have their own dedicated mobile apps now. Furthermore, if you’re already on one platform and the idea of starting a fresh library is daunting, no worries. Both platforms allow users to import and export their book data.

In a nutshell, if you have nothing against Amazon, you’re looking for a larger community, you want to connect your blog and social media, and you want to use a more established platform, you may prefer Goodreads. If you’re trying to step away from Amazon, you want a more data-driven experience, and you don’t mind the smaller community, then The StoryGraph may be a better option. And remember, if you still can’t decide, there’s no rule against regularly and responsibly using both platforms.

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