If you’ve been avoiding Goodreads giveaways, you might be missing out on one of the best opportunities to reach new readers. I hear the arguments about why more authors are taking a pass, though. Books are expensive. Postage is expensive. Fewer winners are reviewing. And everyone wants something for nothing, right?
Well…yes. But I’m still a fan, for several reasons. If I have a new book coming out, a giveaway can help generate interest. In 2011, almost nine hundred Goodreads members signed up to receive one of eight ARCs (advanced reader copies) of my first published book, The Joke’s on Me. That’s nine hundred readers who hadn’t known about me or my work prior to the event. This boiled down to eighty-some readers who decided to add me to their “to-read” shelf. Okay, not great, but not too shabby for a completely unknown author. And of my eight winners, six gave me a written review or a rating. (Giveaway winners are encouraged, but not required, to reciprocate with reviews.) Continue reading “Goodreads Giveaway Tutorial Update 2016”
Part of an indie author’s quest to obtain reviews (and gain general exposure) will likely include book giveaways. But where do you find them and how do they compare? While I don’t profess to be an expert, I’d like to share my experiences from two (free) sites.
1. Goodreads is the undisputed king of “social cataloging” sites, with over 40 million members worldwide. They sponsor a giveaway program limited to print books only. There’s no charge for this service, but all expenses associated with it (cost of books, postage, etc.) are your responsibility. I’ve run ten giveaways since 2013 (with one currently running) which offered two or three copies per giveaway. None of my giveaways were promoted and didn’t exceed thirty days in length. My shortest giveaway was ten days.
I have just completed my second Goodreads giveaway. Nearly four hundred Goodreads members entered to win a signed copy of A Gourmet Demise: Murder in South Tampa. My first Goodreads giveaway for My Gentleman Vampire: The Undead Have Style netted nearly nine hundred entrants. I know what you’re thinking. I must have sold tons of books immediately following the contest. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
When a person enters your giveaway you can see all of their profile information. Books read, reviews, friends, the niche groups they belong to, et cetera. The information is transparent and yet protected by specific rules of author/reader interaction. The frustration from this stipulation is like watching a friend eat a luscious hot fudge sundae in front of you. I am relentless when it comes to lost data. During my post-giveaway review I thought, what can I extract and utilize from this information within the rules and regulations listed under the author guidelines? Continue reading “Marketing after a Goodreads Giveaway”
Last year, I attended a workshop given by a local published author on how to promote your book on social media. “Goodreads?” she sneered, in response to an audience member’s question about the site. “I don’t know anyone who’s on Goodreads.”
Uh…well, there are LOTS of people on Goodreads. And they love books. I mean, seriously love books. Some members of this community read hundreds of books a year. They talk about them. Review and rate them. Many blog about them.
Yeah, Goodreads can be buggy, like so many other social media sites, and isn’t the most intuitive place out there. But its many features outweigh the occasional glitch. For one, you can maintain a “bookshelf” of books you’re reading, have read, and plan to read, so you can make friends based on common interests and favorite books or authors. You can join a multitude of groups and grow into the community. Participate in a book club, and read and comment on the selection of the month. You can become “fans” of your favorite authors and follow their reviews and blogs. Continue reading “Goodreads Giveaway Tutorial”