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?).


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