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Using Goodreads free giveaways

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message 1: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Hayworth (goodreadscomjenhay) | 31 comments Hi, I read a lot about how other authors found running a giveaway on Goodreads and decided to run a giveaway. I offered one copy of my book and offered it for 2 days only midweek. I had nearly 1000 people request and about 460 put my book on their To Read shelf. I figured everyone who wanted to read it would have to eventually buy the ebook or softcover book.

I ran a second giveaway and was having it over 2 days but on weekend. Unfortunately I put it to end at 12.00 pm instead of am on second day and so it ended up running only one day. I had 500 people request 1 copy and a couple of hundred add To Read shelf. At present 5 people are listed on Goodreads as "currently reading" so I figured they either saw book on giveaway and purchased or downloaded during recent kdp select giveaway and then saw I was on Goodreads ( as have widget on my website and FB page).

I thought Goodreads giveaway therefore has been good for getting people to notice my book. As a few people are reading it I figure that could result in reviews (which is main aim at present) and if positive - hopefully that will translate to sales.

I would be interested in hearing how other authors have found this? As my book only published this year mid January - my main focus is attempting to get more reviews which then should impact on sales.


message 2: by Jim, JimsGotWeb.com (new)

Jim Liston (jimsgotweb) | 235 comments Mod
Hi Jenny, I haven't tried running a Goodreads giveaway yet, but your experience makes me interested to look into it.

As far as getting reviews, what are you doing? I've had good luck by contacting reviewers on Amazon that have reviewed books similar to mine. Most of the top reviewers have their email's listed on their profile. It takes some time, but getting one of them to write a review can make a big difference.

Also, I don't know how you feel about review exchanges, some people aren't comfortable doing it, but I've been able to get many reviews this way. I have an extensive list of facebook groups that do review exchanges if you're interested.

I look forward to hearing from others about their experience with the Goodreads giveaway.


message 3: by Holly (new)

Holly Robinson (hollyrobinson) | 3 comments Hi Jenny,

I've had similar luck with Goodreads Giveaways. The other avenue to pursue for book reviews is book bloggers. Just dive in and find book bloggers who review books in your genre. Most will review in exchange for a free copy of your book.


message 4: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Hayworth (goodreadscomjenhay) | 31 comments Jim wrote: "Hi Jenny, I haven't tried running a Goodreads giveaway yet, but your experience makes me interested to look into it.

As far as getting reviews, what are you doing? I've had good luck by contacting..."


Hi Jim, I would be very interested in your list of FB groups that do review exchanges. So far 3 of my reviews have come from people who downloaded the ebook during a KDP giveaway weekend. I am so hoping I get up to 10 soon from the first giveaway (that is my goal).

I emailed some bloggers and had 2 say they would review and are waiting of course, as they had other books to read. I found for my genre that very few bloggers list memoir as genre they willing to review.

I have 5 people reading my book on Goodreads so that should be good but they likely to only review on Goodreads not on Amazon as well and I don't like to be too pushy with people. I have hesitated to find people who have written books similar to mine on Amazon and request a review but I suppose I should try it. I have had a few requests this way myself and 80% of time it is book that interests me enough that I am happy to do so. I just would hate to be identified as a spammer.

I think receiving a number of good reviews is crucial before I do my next KDP campaign. I have paid for a review from Kirkus (very costly) and just received a great writeup (won't be published on their site for a week). I am hoping that will help. I decided as they recognised as international industry leader in this field that it might carry a bit of weight. Read conflicting reports re how people feel about Kirkus but most I read that hated them were those who had received negative reviews from Kirkus and positive from other reviewers. I can understand that.

I have entered about 5 competitions in my genre (all in USA): Beverley Hills book competition, IPPY, Writer's Digest, Readers Favourite and I temporarily forget the 5th! I hope if I even get a mention that would be huge bonus in generating interest and readers and to actually get a placing in my genre would of course, generate sales, and reviews. Two of the competitions guarantee a written review as part of submitting your book (no guarantee what sort of review of course!). So waiting on that.

Thank you for starting such a practical and informative group. The early days when you unknown author and struggle to find information etc and get your writing seen can feel isolating at times.


message 5: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Hayworth (goodreadscomjenhay) | 31 comments Holly wrote: "Hi Jenny,

I've had similar luck with Goodreads Giveaways. The other avenue to pursue for book reviews is book bloggers. Just dive in and find book bloggers who review books in your genre. Most ..."


Thanks for this advice Holly. I need to pursue this more vigorously. Have submitted to a few and had 2 offer to read and waiting for their write ups. I find memoir genre is not an area many bloggers are willing to review or those who are - no longer are taking applications. But I should give it another push.

Have paid for a campaign through Orangeberry with 50 blog sites etc in UK and USA to commence in June this year. I have read some excellent writeups from author's who felt they really helped and then read some others since I applied that feel they got nowhere. The reviewers do not get paid - you pay the site for pushing your book to bloggers and reading groups that are interested in your genre etc. It takes 3 - 6 months before they all review and post. So hoping this will help.


message 6: by Holly (new)

Holly Robinson (hollyrobinson) | 3 comments I know, it's always hard to know where to put the promotion dollars, isn't it? I have a publicist with Penguin, but I actually hired another publicist as well, just for a few hours, to do exactly this kind of thing for me. My husband keeps saying, "How do you know she's worth the money?" My feeling is that you don't always know, but you have to give it everything you've got (or can afford to give), because nowadays there's no such thing as s single book launch. It's all about "snowball marketing" where you just keep putting your book out there in as many places as you can. Good luck with yours!!


message 7: by Jim, JimsGotWeb.com (new)

Jim Liston (jimsgotweb) | 235 comments Mod
Hi Jenny, I've added some links to facebook groups in the Resources folder in this group, here's a link:
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/....

I have a bunch more listed in my book, I'll add more of them here soon.

Thanks for the information about the Goodreads Giveaway. I don't think they've set that up for eBooks yet, hopefully they'll do that soon.


message 8: by Cary (new)

Cary Neeper (cary_neeper) | 5 comments Jim, Thanks again for the list and to all adding suggestions above. Now to it!


message 9: by Jim, JimsGotWeb.com (new)

Jim Liston (jimsgotweb) | 235 comments Mod
I know what you mean, Lynn. I'm a voracious reader and spend as much of my time as I can reading and reviewing books. I write book reviews for http://sanfranciscobookreview.com/ and http://readersfavorite.com/ besides posting to my Amazon account.

There are a lot of great books out there but I've also ran across some that make me cringe to read. My biggest complaint with Indie authors is the fact that some of them skip the step of having their work proofread by a professional editor. I know it can be expensive, but there are some reasonably priced editors out there that do good work. It's impossible to edit your own work. You end up reading what you meant to write instead of what's written.

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now. Maybe we should start a discussion with links to our favorite editors, what do you think?

Thanks for joining the group, I look forward to reading more of your posts.
Jim


message 10: by Ron (new)

Ron McManus | 4 comments The Goodreads Giveaway for my book, The Drone Enigma, finished a few days ago. It was open to entrees from the US, Canada, and the UK. I had over 1,000 enter, so like others have said, at least the process has given the book increased exposure. I gave away ten copies, 5 US, 3 Canada, and 2 UK. I mailed them this week with a not of congratulations and a request to please review the book when they finished it. I also enclosed a card with my web site, Facebook Author page, Twitter, and Google+ addresses. I'm very interest to see how many of the ten review the book and what impact the giveaway has on sales. The latter will be difficult to determine with any degree of accuracy.


message 11: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Hayworth (goodreadscomjenhay) | 31 comments Ron wrote: "The Goodreads Giveaway for my book, The Drone Enigma, finished a few days ago. It was open to entrees from the US, Canada, and the UK. I had over 1,000 enter, so like others have said, at least the..."

Hi Ron, How many added your book to their "To Read" shelf? This is an indication of how many may purchase your ebook or book as they will need to purchase to read obviously. Many many indicate but even if 10% end up reading that can be a good result.


message 12: by Ron (new)

Ron McManus | 4 comments Jenny, good point. I don't have the number before the giveaway, but have 420 now. I'm guessing most of those came as a result of the giveaway.


message 13: by Angela (new)

Angela Misri (angelamisri) | 2 comments Jim wrote: "I know what you mean, Lynn. I'm a voracious reader and spend as much of my time as I can reading and reviewing books. I write book reviews for http://sanfranciscobookreview.com/ and http://readersf..."
My publishers just launched a goodreads giveaway, so I'll let you guys know how it goes in terms of ROI (which is what we're talking about here). So far 394 awesome folks have entered to win!


message 14: by Jim, JimsGotWeb.com (new)

Jim Liston (jimsgotweb) | 235 comments Mod
Angela, how did your Goodreads promotion go?


message 15: by J. (new)

J. Bennett (jbennett_gwbw) | 47 comments Wow, this is some compelling feedback. Thank you everyone for sharing your experience!


message 16: by J. (new)

J. Bennett (jbennett_gwbw) | 47 comments After reading about all of your experiences, I created my first Goodreads giveaway of my novel Falling. I was worried that they wouldn't accept the giveaway, because Falling is not a new book, but it just got approved. I'll let everyone know about my experience at the end of the month once the giveaway is complete.


message 17: by Jim, JimsGotWeb.com (new)

Jim Liston (jimsgotweb) | 235 comments Mod
Good luck, J. Be sure to let us know how it goes.


message 18: by J. (new)

J. Bennett (jbennett_gwbw) | 47 comments I set up the giveaway last night. 24 hours later, over 80 people have entered. I haven't even started promoting it yet! I set the giveaway up for 30 days (which is what Goodreads suggested in their best giveaway practices slideshow), so we'll see if it continues to grow.


message 19: by Amber (last edited Apr 15, 2014 02:34PM) (new)

Amber Foxx (amberfoxx) | 44 comments I had 796 enter my giveaway and 402 people put it on their to-read list. Sales did not improve much for that book or the one prior to it in the series, but maybe there was a small effect. It's been a month and I have no new reviews yet either. My books are not short, so I need to allow time for the recipients of the giveaway to read them before I conclude reviews are not coming. Nearly fifty people took it off their to-read list soon after they didn't win it, judging by current numbers. I guess they only wanted to read it if it was free.
I did get one review from doing an e-book giveaway on Booklikes.


message 20: by Jim, JimsGotWeb.com (new)

Jim Liston (jimsgotweb) | 235 comments Mod
Sounds like your off to a good start, J.
Amber, I hope you get reviews for your book soon. I'm hoping Goodreads will start doing eBook giveaways soon.


message 21: by J. (new)

J. Bennett (jbennett_gwbw) | 47 comments My giveaway is still in progress (ends at the end of April). I'm not reaching the numbers that others have mentioned, yet. I wonder if it is the subject matter, the fact the the book has been out for a while, the description, or not enough promotion on my end. I'm still happy that hundreds have signed up. I noticed a big amount of initial interest, but the number of new entrants has slowed dramatically. I think this is because other, newer giveaways are stacking up on top of it. I wonder what will happen when it hits the "Ending Soon" tab, which is the first one you see when you click to the giveaway section. I'll let everyone know how it ends.


message 22: by J. (new)

J. Bennett (jbennett_gwbw) | 47 comments Tomorrow is the last day of my Kindle promo, and the numbers are jumping. 652 people have entered and 459 have put the book on their "To Read" list. I think this is a fantastic result, especially because the book is not new and the series doesn't have a strongly established fan base (yet)! I think a Goodreads giveaway can be a really great tactic, especially for the first book in a series. I'll post one more update when the giveaway ends. Thank you all for sharing your experiences, which convinced me to try this.


message 23: by J. (new)

J. Bennett (jbennett_gwbw) | 47 comments Last update, I promise! Giveaway is over. Total tally of entries was 972. Big leap on the last day! 603 people have the book on their "To Be Read" list. The visibility and brand awareness from this giveaway was great, and if even just 10% of the people who put this book on their "To Be Read" list follow through, then it will be nice little boost in readership.


message 24: by Amber (new)

Amber Foxx (amberfoxx) | 44 comments I hope they do. I had almost no follow-through in sales at all after the giveaway. I think it will take time, some kind of presence that reminds people to move this book to "reading" and not just "to read." Maybe my next giveaway?


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