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I was recently playing around with my Goodreads profile to update it with my latest novel when I saw an "add preview" option underneath each of my books. I don't know if this is a new feature or one I simply never noticed, but I quickly took advantage of it! Here's how it works:

  1. When you log into, on the top right corner of the home page you will see your photo. (If you don't have a Goodreads profile, make one now!)
  2. If you click on your photo, the drop-down menu will include "author dashboard."
  3. Go into your author dashboard, and you will see your book(s), the number of reviews, etc.
  4. Underneath each title you will see the "add preview" option.
  5. Click on the "add preview" button and follow the instructions to upload a sample. (What you upload is up to you. For my books I chose the prologue, or the first chapter if there is no prologue.)

That's it! Now when people visit my profile page or come across the detail page of any of my books, they will be able to open a sample chapter just by clicking on a button that says "preview."

Here's what the detail page for my newest book looks like.

Here's what the sample looks like.

Isn't that cool? Just like giving free tastes at an ice cream shop, offering readers a free glimpse of your writing is a great way to draw them in. If they enjoy the sample, chances are they're going to want to keep reading and will be willing to pay to do it. That translates into a sale for you, as well as a potential new fan!

-Maria Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg

Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at

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Jul 19, 2017 12:17 PM GonzoDon    says:

There is no "Add Preview" option on any of my books in my Author Dashboard. Just the book cover, the title, my name, the number of ratings, number of text reviews, and "View Stats." I did a Google search for this problem and it seems as if quite a few people are having the same problem with no response from Goodreads.

Aug 9, 2017 4:59 AM Nadine1373    says in response to GonzoDon:

Yes. I agree. However, I must say that does what they say they will do over time.

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Oct 26, 2018 5:55 AM AnnaMid    says:

Good tip. I also think some students may be interested in learning what is an annotated bibliography. Have a nice day!