Ensuring your Goodreads reviews appear on Kobo

If you have Goodreads reviews for your book and they are not appearing on Kobo, it’s relatively simple to ensure that they appear automatically.

The first thing to note is that Goodreads reviews are linked to Kobo via the ISBN (International Standard Book Number) – just as each version of a book (hardcover, trade paperback, mass market) has its own ISBN, the eBook also has its own ISBN (at Kobo we often distinguish the eBook ISBN from the print book ISBN by called it the eISBN).

Thus, all you need is to ensure that the eISBN you used for the Kobo edition appears on Goodreads. The rest is magic.

But what if you didn’t register an eISBN?  What if you used the auto-generated “dummy ISBN” number that Kobo Writing Life provides?

No worries, you can use that “dummy ISBN” value to create the link as well.

Here is how.

1)      Go to your book’s item page and look for the eISBN field.


You’ll notice that there are no reviews showing on Kobo, despite the auto-populated spot that is just itching to display customer reviews and the fact that the book exists on Goodreads and has plenty of great reviews (see screenshot of Goodreads page for the book below).


2)      Search for that eISBN on Goodreads.  If the book isn’t listed with the ISBN entered (and this works for real ISBNs or “dummy ISBNs”) you’ll likely see the following:


To add a new entry, go ahead and click one of the two methods to create a new record/manually add a book.

3)      The Add a new Book screen will look something like this:


Go ahead and fill out all of the fields, upload a proper cover for the book, so that you have a full and clean record.  Do make sure that you put the eISBN into the isbn 13 field.  When you have completed everything, click on the “create book” button in the bottom right hand side.


4)      Click on the “Other Edition/Change Edition” button that appears on the very next screen – it will bring you to a screen that looks like this:


 Click on the “combine editions” button.

5)      On the Combine Editions screen, select the edition you just created and combine it with the other version or versions of the exact same title.  (Take care to ensure that you are combining the EXACT same book and not two different books):


You’ll see the following screen….


 And then this message:


Now, when you go back to the item page at Kobo, you’ll see the reviews appear.


Because we know you’re curious, because of the great reviews shown, you can check out the book used as an example in this article here.

And all books by the author (Ruth Nestvold) here.

And for those of you looking for more information, or a slightly different perspective/tutorial, there is a fantastic blog post by a Kobo author (Eric Kent Edstrom) on how to do this, which was written in August 2012.  You can read that here.

You can also check out Eric’s books at Kobo here (After all, what better way to thank a fellow author for great advice than to purchase a copy of one of his books?).


  1. One additional tip for Kobo writers, when dealing with GoodReads communities, be aware that they maintain a very open membership policy and ratings policy which means that ratings don’t require a user ID to post. That (among other reasons…) has resulted in GR becoming a haven for trolls and sock puppets. It can be very, very difficult to defend your position on any subject there, so my recommendation is to keep a low profile, try not to use every comment as a potential book marketing pitch, and generally don’t make enemies. I have tried on several occasions, to fight the good fight, but I’m no longer a kid, so the beatings take longer to heal than they used to. On GoodReads, while they officially welcome authors, the majority of community opinion in the various groups there often runs against writers. Even in “authors discussion groups”. Be forewarned. I’ve also gotten some of the best reviews of my career from GoodReads readers, so go figure. Nothing risked…

  2. Can we import Amazon reviews as well?

    • Kobo Writer says:

      Hi Jenn! Sadly, Amazon won’t let us import their reviews to our site. Goodreads and Kobo have a great working relationship, though, which is why we can link to each other’s sites so quickly and easily.

  3. Help, please!?

    My ISBN is the same one on Kobo and Goodreads, but the reviews don’t show (rating do, however). Do you know why this is happening? Do you know how I can fix it?

    Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16062601-precise
    Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Precise/book-3oDtS6kEhUKOe86Kq8wbBQ/page1.html

    • Kobo Writer says:

      Hi, Rebecca –

      When we visit the link (even when we’re logged out), the reviews are indeed showing up for us. Whatever you did do seems to have worked. We’re not sure why they’re not showing up for you. Which browser are you using?

  4. I’m having the same problem as Rebecca. I followed all the steps on this page and created a new ebook edition on GoodReads using the ‘dummy’ ISBN number allocated to me by Kobo. I then combined the three editions. Despite this the GoodReads reviews have yet to show up on Kobo. http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Revolution-Earth/book-f7jU1nPQtUW46LDkEq2UCQ/page1.html
    Can you help?
    Kind regards, Alison LN

    • Kobo Writer says:

      Hi Lambert — like Rebecca, the reviews are showing up on the page for me when I view them. I’ve just tried in Firefox, IE, and Chrome, and they all show up (both when I’m logged in and when I’m not). Perhaps it just takes a bit of time for them to show? Are they showing up now for you?

      • Thank you for your response. No it is strange as they aren’t showing up for me yet, but if they are showing up for you that is encouraging. I wonder if it has something to do with which territory I am logging in from? I am in the UK. I shall ask others in the UK to check on my behalf and report back.

      • I just logged in from a friend’s computer (also in the UK) and my GoodReads reviews weren’t showing up on his machine either.

  5. Hello, I did as outlined and only some of my reviews (3/6) that are on Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17560584-the-curtain—a-novel show up on my Kobo page http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/The-Curtain-A-Novel/book-_T0sWQwgg0SKVTs727vZxA/page1.html?s=767qra-3QU-BaD59AwCA1w&r=1

    I’ve combined my works (ebook and print) on Goodreads so that shouldn’t be a problem.

    Any thoughts?



    • Hi Patrick — all 6 reviews are there, but the preview window only shows 3 of them. We do see that clicking “next” or “2″ seems to skip to the last review — we’ll let the dev team know about this. There is also the option for folks who want to read all reviews, or beyond the first few lines of a review to click “more” which brings them right to the Goodreads page showing all reviews.

  6. Wonderful blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m hopin to start my own website soon but I’m a
    little lost on everything. Would you recommend starting with a ree platform
    like WordPress or goo for a pid option? There are so many choices out
    there that I’m completely confused .. Any suggestions?
    Bless you!

    • We sure do have hints for aspiring writers! See our blog, and take a look at the business of writing section. Loads of great advice from some of the most successful authors in the world.
      And, it’s probably prudent to start with a free platform to start. Test ideas, see what works and invest in a build later.
      But there’s no wrong answer to that one.

  7. You ought to be a part of a contest for one of the finest sites
    on the web. I most certainly will highly recommend this site!


  1. [...] Did you know the reviews customers leave on Goodreads can show up on your Kobo book page? If you don’t see them there already, you may have to do a little work to get them to show up. We’ve written a blog post about this very process. Check it out here. [...]

  2. [...] from KOBO • Five Easy Steps for Formatting Your Book • Ensuring Your Goodreads Reviews Appear on Kobo • Pricing eBooks • Creating Links to Kobo • Working with Booksellers – a video by Mark [...]

  3. […] Also included in this episode are Mark’s “Three P’s of Self-Publishing Success” as well as a listener question regarding ensuring your Goodreads reviews appear on Kobo. […]

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