UPDATE: GoodReads has discontinued their developer API. The method below no longer works. 

Did you know that MyBookTable now comes with GoodReads integration? You can now show off your GoodReads book reviews right on your book’s page. This allows you to use  the reviews you already have on GoodReads while leveraging your website traffic to get even more book reviews. Win Win!

For this tutorial we will assume you already have MyBookTable up and running on your WordPress website. If you need help getting started with MyBookTable see the MyBookTable support page.

Step 1 Sign up for  a GoodReads Account

Chances are, you already have a GoodReads.com account (every author should). If not just go to www.goodreads.com and click the big “sign up” button.

You can even sign up with your Facebook account if you don’t want to remember another password.

Step 2 Get a GoodReads API Developer Key

To turn on book reviews in MyBookTable you will need a GoodReads developer key. Don’t worry. MyBookTable will handle the technical parts for you. All you need is to copy and paste.

How to Get a GoodReads API Key

  1. Go to http://www.goodreads.com/api/keys
  2. Under “Application name” put “MyBookTable”.
  3. Under “Company name” put your name. Remember, as an author you are a business!
  4. Under “Application URL” put your website address.
  5. You can leave the other optional fields blank.  Then click the button “get API key.” 
  6. After this you should see a key and a secret. You look up both the secret and the key in the future by visiting (http://www.goodreads.com/api/keys).
  7. Copy the key. It should look like a long string of numbers and letters.

Show bigger screenshot 

Step 3 Add Your GoodReads API Key to MyBookTable

  1. Log into your wordpress website.
  2. Go to MyBookTable -> Settings -> Integrate.
  3. Paste the key into the GoodReads Developer Key field.
  4. Click “Save Changes”

Step 4 Add the ISBN Number to Your Books

MyBookTable looks up the reviews by ISBN number. This way if another book has the same title, MyBookTable will grab the correct reviews. This means you will need to add the ISBN numbers to each book page for book reviews to work.

How to Add ISBN Numbers to MyBookTable

  1. Find the Book’s ISBN Number. Amazon usually has it. It should also be on one of the first pages of the book.
  2. Copy the ISBN number.
  3. Go to the book’s page within MyBookTable
  4. Click “Edit Book” in the gray bar at the top. You must be logged into WordPress to see this bar.
  5. ISBN is the first field under “Book Details” paste the number here.
  6. Click Update

That’s it! MyBookTable will not add GoodReads reviews to your books.

How do I get rid of negative GoodReads reviews?

Studies have shown time and time again that products with both negative and positive reviews outsell products with only positive reviews. Why? People don’t trust reviews when they are all positive. So a few negative reviews will actually help you sell more books. I know this can be hard, but one of the things that separate professional authors from amateurs is how they handle criticism.

Because of this, GoodReads doesn’t allow authors to remove reviews. See GoodReads Guidelines for Authors for tips and advice about interacting with GoodReads users.

Can I turn reviews off on a book by book basis?

Yes! Just delete the ISBN number from that book and the GoodReads reviews will not appear.


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