The craft and business of writing and self publishing

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?).

22 Responses to “Ensuring your Goodreads reviews appear on Kobo”

  1. Self-Promotion – A Guide – Kobo Writing Life

    […] 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. Richard Sutton (@RichardLSutton)

    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…

    • Kobo Writer

      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.

    • Kobo Writer

      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?

  3. Lambert Nagle

    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.
    Can you help?
    Kind regards, Alison LN

    • Kobo Writer

      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?

      • Lambert Nagle

        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.

      • Lambert Nagle

        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.

    • kobowritinglife

      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.

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  7. cliftonhhill

    I tried this, then researched further and found that the feature to use Goodreads reviews was removed? Would be nice to be able to get some reviews over to Kobo. I have yet to find any success with getting anyone to look at a book on Kobo and the lack of book reviews certainly doesn’t help.

    • Kobo Writing Life

      We no longer support Goodreads reviews but every book on Kobo can be rated and reviewed on the product page. If you have any questions, please email


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