Richard is a professional writer and author. When he's not creating, he's actively pursuing his goal of becoming a handsome billionaire.
What is Goodreads?
If you don’t already know, Goodreads is a “social cataloging” website and as of early 2013 it is part of the Amazon.com family. This is the world’s largest online book catalog and is largely user populated. This is the go to site for readers looking for book recommendations and authors looking for readers.
The site boasts to have over 30 million members, 900 million books in their database, and over 34 million book reviews. Users create a bookshelf and add the books they have written, read, or plan to read and get suggestions based on what their bookshelf contains. It is also a large social network for lovers of books.
But as is true with all massive sites, many users get lost in the crowd or become discouraged or intimidated by the constant growth and change that is necessary to maintain user satisfaction. For that reason, I have assembled a list of 10 sites like Goodreads that can be a great alternative or to be used in addition to Goodreads.
As an author and an avid reader, I like to maintain a presence on several of these sites, not only to toot my own horn but to also find new horns to toot.
1. Library Thing
LibraryThing is a large site very similar to Goodreads that allows users to catalog books that are uploaded from the Library of Congress, all 5 of the national Amazon sites, and “more than 690 world libraries.”
Users can tag books using whatever subject they would like. The site bills itself as the “Facebook” for books because it has a social feature that allows members to search each other’s catalogs and start discussions about them.
LibraryThing is free for the first 200 books in your catalog and then there is an upgrade fee of $10 per year, or if you choose, $25 for a lifetime membership.
This is another social cataloging site for books as well as an online book community. It also happens to be part of the Amazon.com family as of 2008. As a social network for books, users catalog books to a virtual bookshelf which displays the book cover. If you cursor over the cover a popup will display information about the book such as reviews, ratings, and other user generated tags.
Users are also encouraged to edit, using wiki type functions, the book’s info as well as author pages. They are also encouraged to enter details such as character lists, contribute reviews and ratings, and author biographies.
Here we have a social discovery platform for books. Bookstr is one of the fastest growing book sites to curate and aggregate from sources around the world. It has a large member base that actively reviews and recommends books and authors through forum type conversations and virtual book clubs.
As a member, you get to create a profile and connect your book blog. You also have the option to join in their affiliate program and if any of your readers or followers purchase books through The Reading Room’s purchase links then you will earn a commission. It’s a good way to grow an audience on your own book blog as well as connect with people that share your passion for books.
This site allows you to catalog more than just your library of books; you can also keep track of your movies, music, and video games. And unlike many of the other services that cap your cataloging at a few hundred items, Libib has an upper limit of 100,000 items and dares you to come close to that.
Libib allows members to create a searchable profile and allows for your collection to be discovered by other members. It’s a good way to connect with new friends and they have a messaging system that is similar to Twitter posts to start discussions which is very handy when using their service on one of the mobile apps for iOS or Android devices.
Here you can create a profile after registering and connect your blog. Once you have done that you can add a library of books that you have read or want to read. You find friends by joining groups and by contributing to discussions. You can also invite friends from Facebook and your email contacts or even upload a contact list.
You can read reviews to discover new artists or if you prefer you can write your own reviews. In your library, you can rate and organize books into whatever categories you choose and they will be discoverable by other members.
This site offers an easy and clean platform for users to shelve and recommend books. It has a friendly and functional discovery tool where you type in a title or author name and you find other members that have added that book or author to their lists. You can find or write reviews or just rate books that you have read.
Members participate and connect with each other by adding books to their shelves, making lists, posting questions and reviews. Most of the members I have seen are in some way connected to the book business, either as sellers, authors, librarians, or reviewers.
7. Book Likes
This site is different in that it is a blog platform designed for book lovers. Book Likes lets you discover books by engaging with book blogs and the reviews you and they write. It is also a catalog site that helps you shelve and tag books according to your reading statuses, such as, have read, planning to read, or currently reading. You can also add a star rating to as many books as you want to put on your virtual shelf.
This is also a social network where you can connect with others that share your passion for books as readers, writers, reviewers, or bloggers.
This is a book review community that seems to be still going through some growing pains even though they launched some time in 2007. They have what seems to be a clean and easy platform for members to write book reviews and maintain lists to share with other members. They have groups to discuss books, authors, or just about anything else.
The site has its own API and widgets that allow you to include any of your Revish content on your own blogs. I haven’t signed up with this site yet but it might be something to look into.
9. Book Browse
This site bills itself as a magazine for book lovers. There are two major differences between this book discovery platform and most of the others mentioned earlier. Book Browse tends to feature only traditionally published authors with in depth professional book reviews made by their own staff, and they have a monthly subscription fee of $3 for their premium content.
I’m not a fan of sites that charge to gain insight into books or authors, nor am I a fan of sites that exclude non-traditional authors. However, it could be a good site for people looking to start, or need help with, a book club because they offer reading guides and discussions that other readers have started. Reading the discussions is free but in order to participate in them you must first become a paid member.
This site bills itself as a “Lifestyle Destination” for book lovers. Unlike the other book cataloging sites, BookTrib offers in depth articles about nearly every subject and every genre. Beyond the normal review sites, they pair their books with content that is being written about them. They offer members opportunities to get sneak peeks into the literary world through live chats with authors, book trailers, and weekly book giveaways.
While I tend to be biased towards book sites that are author friendly and preferably responsive to non-traditional authors, because being a self published author I am extremely interested in building a fan base and marketing my books. But that is my selfish reasoning. As an avid reader of both traditional and non-traditional books I think that most of these sites mentioned above are great alternatives as well as supplements to Goodreads.
We all have our own reasons for visiting and engaging with book sites. I’ve let on to my reasons and I’d like to hear what you like or dislike about these sites and what you would like to see more of. I offer you the opportunity to respond in the comments below.
petr on January 04, 2019:
revish.com doesnot work anymore. I like ebookshub.org. You can upload and review your own book.
Carl on November 06, 2018:
Shelfari is getting redirected to Good reads. Probably bought by Goodreads.
Booksloom.com also provides a platform for writers to submit their books and to readers offer a chance to vote and vouch for the good books.
Worth checking out.
Bookphile on February 03, 2017:
I don't how you forgot BookBub! It's just amazing!
jain on January 30, 2017:
shelfari has been merged with goodreads
Melanie on November 22, 2016:
Thank you for the list. I am a new Indie author and Goodreads seems for the most part to be hostile towards unknown authors. I will check out the sites. I was wondering however if there is a site like goodreads where authors are more in control (where authors set the pace) rather than being bullied.
Richard Bivins (author) from Charleston, SC on February 10, 2015:
You are both welcome and hopefully you can find some benefit from these other sites.
Roberta Kyle from Central New Jersey on February 10, 2015:
I've had an account on Goodreads for years, and I knew about Library Thing, but have to say the rest of the sites are news to me. Thank you so much for such a useful , well researched and well written hub. I'm going right over to Book Likes and Book Browse to check things out .... They both sound great. Kudos on a job well done and many thanks.... volting this up and awesome
Tami Rogers from Seattle, Washington on February 09, 2015:
Thanks for posting..I never knew about any of these other than Goodreads!
Richard Bivins (author) from Charleston, SC on February 09, 2015:
@gposchman LibraryThing seems to be the most helpful in terms of member engagement. I think it's probably a good idea to test them all out and at least make a profile to add your own books. Use tags that people search for to help in your book's being discovered. It would be hard to keep engaged on all of these sites but showing a presence once or twice a week would probably help.
Gene Poschman from San Francisco Bay Area on February 08, 2015:
Thank you, it was an interesting and useful article. I am also a non traditional self published novelist. Any site that you found particularly helpful?