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message 1: by Steven (new)

Steven Drachman | 169 comments I did a Goodreads giveaway, and within a couple of days of sending out the books, I saw them for sale ("brand new! untouched!") on Amazon. I thought there was an algorithm set up so that people who actually read and review giveaway books have a better chance of winning?


message 2: by Faith (new)

Faith Steven wrote: "I did a Goodreads giveaway, and within a couple of days of sending out the books, I saw them for sale ("brand new! untouched!") on Amazon. I thought there was an algorithm set up so that people who..."

Winners are chosen randomly. They got rid of the algorithm, maybe 2 years ago. There are many threads on this, including this one.
https://www.goodreads.com/comment/sho...


message 3: by Steven (new)

Steven Drachman | 169 comments Thanks for letting me know. From what I can tell based on the Amazon summary, these winners didn't even crack the book open. Really too bad.


message 4: by Nikki (new)

Nikki Broadwell (nikkibroadwell) | 129 comments I'm sorry to hear that, Steven--I was about to pose a question about success from the giveaways on Goodreads--I suppose this answered it! Discouraging.


message 5: by Steven (new)

Steven Drachman | 169 comments One benefit is that we do see a lot of "to reads" as a result of a giveaway, so that is helpful optically. But in the past people really reviewed them, probably a 50 percent rate, which I think was the biggest benefit. I wonder if large publishers still find it useful.


message 6: by Nikki (new)

Nikki Broadwell (nikkibroadwell) | 129 comments Steven wrote: "One benefit is that we do see a lot of "to reads" as a result of a giveaway, so that is helpful optically. But in the past people really reviewed them, probably a 50 percent rate, which I think was..."
I did a few when I published my first books, but haven't done any lately--in fact I'm not hanging out on Goodreads these days--instead focusing on FB ads for my kindle books (not that lucrative however) Marketing is always a bear!


message 7: by Mellie (last edited Mar 07, 2016 04:14PM) (new)

Mellie (mellie42) | 618 comments Steven wrote: "One benefit is that we do see a lot of "to reads" as a result of a giveaway, so that is helpful optically. But in the past people really reviewed them..."

Giveaways are a great way to promote your book, but you need to be realistic about your end goal. They're not a vehicle to garner reviews. Winners are "encouraged" to leave a review but they not are obligated to, in fact they don't have to read it and can sell it immediately on eBay if they want. If you want reviews specifically then there are far more effective ways to go about it (like the numerous R4R groups).

The issue of bots entering every single giveaway still seems to be happening. While it's great to run giveaways on Goodreads and see the TBRs going up, I've found it more effective to run them on my FB page. I do like/share/comment competitions once a month for followers to win a paperback and use random.org to pick a winner.

By running a giveaway from my page I know only interested people are entering, plus the increased engagement on my page means my other posts appear to 80-90% of people who have liked my page, not just a tiny percentage that other authors are experiencing.


message 8: by Alexandra (last edited Mar 07, 2016 04:46PM) (new)

Alexandra | 374 comments Another thing authors may not really think about, particularly if they aren't regularly using GR as readers as well, is how the simple act of a GR user shelving their book "to read" helps broadcast that book to other GR users.

They may or may not also be aware that when a GR user enters a giveaway GR defaults that book to their "to read" shelf, unless the GR user bothers to deselect it. Personally I hate that and wish it where the other way around - but that's how it works.

So when a GR user enters a giveaway most usually that book is added to their "to read" shelf by default - the user may not notice, may not care enough not to bother deselecting it from doing so, may want it as a reminder they've entered the giveaway. It's not really a true indication that user intends, even at that moment, to read the book if they don't win the giveaway.

HOWEVER, when a user adds a book to their "to read" shelf this action is shown in the feed of those who have friended that person, or who follow them.

Which means each time someone enters a giveaway and in doing so adds the book to their "to read" shelf, that book is potentially seen by a number of other GR users. This in itself adds visibility for the book.

There have been times someone on my friend list has entered a giveaway, I see that book in my feed, I read the blurb and perhaps other reviews, find it interesting and put it on my list to perhaps read (and then it goes through the feed of MORE GR users due to my doing so).

And I'm sure other GR users have done similar.

Just wanted to share other ways people simply entering a giveaway and/or adding a book "to read" can gain a book exposure to a number of other readers.


message 9: by Nikki (new)

Nikki Broadwell (nikkibroadwell) | 129 comments Alexandra aka Auntie J wrote: "Another thing authors may not really think about, particularly if they aren't regularly using GR as readers as well, is how the simple act of a GR user shelving their book "to read" helps broadcast..."

thanks--this is very helpful!


message 10: by Mellie (last edited Mar 07, 2016 07:01PM) (new)

Mellie (mellie42) | 618 comments Alexandra aka Auntie J wrote: "...There have been times someone on my friend list has entered a giveaway, I see that book in my feed, I read the blurb and perhaps other reviews, find it interesting and put it on my list to perhaps read..."

I do this! I often end up adding books to my TBR because a friend has shelved something that caught my eye. That's the great thing about GR :)


message 11: by Nikki (new)

Nikki Broadwell (nikkibroadwell) | 129 comments A.W. wrote: "Alexandra aka Auntie J wrote: "...There have been times someone on my friend list has entered a giveaway, I see that book in my feed, I read the blurb and perhaps other reviews, find it interesting..."
I'm going to try this...


message 12: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra | 374 comments Nikki wrote: "Alexandra aka Auntie J wrote: "Another thing authors may not really think about, particularly if they aren't regularly using GR as readers as well, is how the simple act of a GR user shelving their..."

Most welcome Nikki! It's something I know some are unaware of, and users entering giveaways and/or adding to their "to read" shelf truly can expose the book to more GR users.


message 13: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra | 374 comments A.W. wrote: "Alexandra aka Auntie J wrote: "...There have been times someone on my friend list has entered a giveaway, I see that book in my feed, I read the blurb and perhaps other reviews, find it interesting..."

I agree! I scan my feed regularly to help me find more good books to read.


message 14: by Mellie (new)

Mellie (mellie42) | 618 comments Alexandra aka Auntie J wrote: "I scan my feed regularly to help me find more good books to read. "

I should just stalk your shelves since we have similar tastes in the books we enjoy ;)


message 15: by Spencer (new)

Spencer Kope Nikki wrote: "I'm sorry to hear that, Steven--I was about to pose a question about success from the giveaways on Goodreads--I suppose this answered it! Discouraging."

Nikki wrote: "I'm sorry to hear that, Steven--I was about to pose a question about success from the giveaways on Goodreads--I suppose this answered it! Discouraging."

Steven wrote: "One benefit is that we do see a lot of "to reads" as a result of a giveaway, so that is helpful optically. But in the past people really reviewed them, probably a 50 percent rate, which I think was..."

My publisher, Minotaur Books (St. Martin's Press), is doing a giveaway right now, so they must still see value in it. While I'm hoping to get some reviews, the "to reads" are worth it even without them.


message 16: by John (new)

John Elray | 1 comments How about ebook giveaways? I brought this up with Patrick Brown of Goodreads 4 years ago and again last month and he replied that it's still not (yet) an option. With Amazon and Nook gift features, seems like this should be just as easy to do as with paper copies... just request entrant email address vs. physical address. And with DRM on the books authors won't experience the reselling of their giveaways. High time to implement ebook giveaways on Goodreads.


message 17: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra | 374 comments A.W. wrote: "Alexandra aka Auntie J wrote: "I scan my feed regularly to help me find more good books to read. "

I should just stalk your shelves since we have similar tastes in the books we enjoy ;)"


Be my guest :D


message 18: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 347 comments John wrote: "How about ebook giveaways? I brought this up with Patrick Brown of Goodreads 4 years ago and again last month and he replied that it's still not (yet) an option. With Amazon and Nook gift features,..."

Now that Amazon is allowing e-book giveaways, the option for Goodreads to do so becomes less important.


message 19: by Mellie (new)

Mellie (mellie42) | 618 comments John wrote: "How about ebook giveaways? "

You can do e-book giveaways on BookLikes. While it isn't as big a site as GR, it still has a large and reading voracious membership :)


message 20: by Jill (new)

Jill | 78 comments Ken, I tried to do an Amazon giveaway but was unable to. Apparently, it depends on the country your account is in. Obviously, Australia is not on that list.


message 21: by Nikki (new)

Nikki Broadwell (nikkibroadwell) | 129 comments A.W. wrote: "John wrote: "How about ebook giveaways? "

You can do e-book giveaways on BookLikes. While it isn't as big a site as GR, it still has a large and reading voracious membership :)"
I just joined Booklikes and offered my ebook free for today...we will see what happens! kind of a fun site where you can write a blog and so on...thanks for that!


message 22: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 347 comments Jill wrote: "Ken, I tried to do an Amazon giveaway but was unable to. Apparently, it depends on the country your account is in. Obviously, Australia is not on that list."

Yes, it looks like it's US only, at least for now. Hopefully, they'll expand it to other countries.


message 23: by Nikki (new)

Nikki Broadwell (nikkibroadwell) | 129 comments Ken wrote: "Jill wrote: "Ken, I tried to do an Amazon giveaway but was unable to. Apparently, it depends on the country your account is in. Obviously, Australia is not on that list."

Yes, it looks like it's U..."


I'm on the amazon s... list--offered two books for free on another site and am now banned from kdp select for a year!! I should have known better---


message 24: by Molly (new)

Molly Whitney | 5 comments I also tried to set up a giveaway on Amazon with no luck. I don't know what was the problem. Amazon help couldn't help me either.


message 25: by Jill (new)

Jill | 78 comments Molly wrote: "I also tried to set up a giveaway on Amazon with no luck. I don't know what was the problem. Amazon help couldn't help me either."

I had the same thing happen, Molly. Are you in the US or elsewhere? If your Amazon account isn't in the US, that's probably the problem.


message 26: by Molly (new)

Molly Whitney | 5 comments I am in Texas.


message 27: by Maggie (new)

Maggie Anton | 31 comments OK - my Giveaway just started today for my upcoming book Fifty Shades of Talmud: What the First Rabbis Had to Say about You-Know-What and already 49 people asked for it. But I didn't get any announcement that it had gone live. Now that it's started, what's the best way to publicize it?


message 28: by Jan (new)

Jan Notzon | 211 comments Maggie, I love the title.


message 29: by John (new)

John | 2 comments Hi, my first giveaway just ended. The winner is in the UK. I had thought I'd have Amazon UK send the book to the winner, but Amazon UK would not accept a delivery address without a telephone number of the addressee of the shipment. I did not want to attempt to communicate with the winner to ask for a telephone number, since I thought that that might be considered wrong. I went to Book Depository instead and they did not require a telephone number for the addressee of the shipment.


message 30: by Bruce (new)

Bruce Beckham | 7 comments Hi - I have run a number of Giveaways and I use Amazon for deliveries. Initially I encountered the same hitch - but now I just enter my own mobile phone number in the required field. I have had no queries with this approach - either in the UK or USA/Canada. Hope this helps.


message 31: by John (new)

John | 2 comments Bruce wrote: "Hi - I have run a number of Giveaways and I use Amazon for deliveries. Initially I encountered the same hitch - but now I just enter my own mobile phone number in the required field. I have had no ..."

Hi Bruce, that's a good idea. Thanks!


message 32: by Bruce (new)

Bruce Beckham | 7 comments You're welcome!


message 33: by Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) (last edited Mar 15, 2016 02:17PM) (new)

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) I wasn't aware Amazon now offers ebook (kindle edition) giveaways. I thought the amazon giveaways were restricted to non-digital products. (That's what it still says but maybe they haven't updated relevant help/FAQ screens).

As to goodreads offering ebook giveaways -- that could seriously negatively impact the discoverability aspect of a goodreads giveaway simply because of the higher volume of books that would be offered again burying your book in the crowd.

From a "promise to get reviews which will also increase discoverability " versus "just increase discoverability" angle, might be better for some authors to offer the ebooks to the r4r groups and threads intended to get reviews (and sometimes letting you choose recipients and a few more parameters than the official goodreads giveaways do) than try to get goodrwads to offer ebook giveaways.

Think it's bad that a physical book gets resold? It's just as or even more frequent that an ebook gets pirated out to torrent sites (with or without DRM -- people who will steal your books to pirate up to torrent sites don't exactly balk at stripping DRM).

To add to Auntie J's post about other positives to book discoverability from the goodrwads giveaways -- those shelvings when entering giveaways also move your book up in the display orders of all kinds of features and areas on goodreads, including but not limited to popular in genre and new releases by month. Basically, every shelving or rating (even a shelf like "oh hell no" or a ★☆☆☆☆ rating) adds to what goodrwads considers a book's "popularity" and many areas of site display books in descending order of popularity.


message 34: by Paul (last edited Mar 16, 2016 05:23PM) (new)

Paul Valerga | 5 comments Hello all,

My first Giveaway is starting tomorrow, and I feel great that whoever clicks on the link to have a chance at winning my book will have it placed in their 'to read' folder. So what? I hope that whoever attempts to win actually wants to read my book. If they choose to remove it, so be it. Since I am responsible for providing the hardcopy and shipping costs, and since it costs the person who is trying to win absolutely nothing, it seems like a fair trade to me.

It would not be too cool to see a bot win and just place it up for sale, but those are the chances you take. Maybe GR can eliminate people from this site and entering these contests again if they are found out.

I am offering to autograph each book, so whoever would buy it online will be getting someone else's name on the first page. This would be a great way to finding out who is entering these contests just to sell on eBay.

I think it's great that GR is doing its best to help authors who are little/not known and give us an opportunity to stand up on our soapbox and try to see if what we have worked so hard to create can actually appeal to the audience we are targeting.

Personally I am not a fan of giving away an ebook, as I prefer to hold paper in my hands when I read, but I am seeing more and more people going paperless these days, so my mind may have to change in the near future when people stop printing books.


message 35: by Berneta (new)

Berneta Haynes (bernetalhaynes) | 32 comments My giveaway is listed here on Goodreads, and I'm pretty happy to see so many folks entering. I like the idea of giving away paper copies, but I'm not opposed to giving away e-book copies. I'd be pretty annoyed if a bot won and then my book ended up for sale somewhere, but oh well. I'm not going to worry too much about that. The great thing is that every time a person enters the giveaway, my book shows up on their "to-read" list by default. This means more exposure! Win-win.


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