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General Discussion > ethiquette and giveaways

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message 1: by Liam (new)

Liam Howley (liam_howley) | 2 comments Hello,

I completed a giveaway of a large number of books over a month ago. I immediately posted the books to the respective winners. I have had contact from one person regarding not receiving the book yet. I am wondering if there are others in this situation. Would it be inappropriate for me to contact the winners to see if the book has been received?

Also, I was looking through a google search of my title to see where goodreads reviews would turn up. I was surprised and more than a little annoyed to find that one person had entered the giveaway in order to sell the book on ebay. Whilst not wishing to make a fuss about this, I think Goodreads should be aware that this sort of thing is happening. It is quite discouraging to writers.

Thanks in advance,
Liam


message 2: by Charles (new)

Charles Garard (goodreadscomcharles_garard) | 142 comments Liam: You have every right to be annoyed. I am not a lawyer, but I question the legality of trying to sell your book on Ebay. Diane, I also take umbrage at someone selling another author's book to Amazon. What's going on here? I know that Amazon has a checklist about authorship, but, of course, someone can downright lie.
What can we writers, who have enough to overcome as it is, do about this?

How can we writers stick together here?


message 3: by Scott (new)

Scott Skipper | 23 comments The world is full of annoying people.


message 4: by Christa (last edited May 08, 2014 11:02AM) (new)

Christa (christaw) Charles wrote: "Liam: You have every right to be annoyed. I am not a lawyer, but I question the legality of trying to sell your book on Ebay. Diane, I also take umbrage at someone selling another author's book to ..."

Just to clarify, there is nothing illegal about reselling a physical book. (And Dianne can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think she meant they were claiming authorship, only that they were selling the book.) First sale doctrine allows the reselling of physical books, music, and similar items. Once you give a person one of these items, you cannot control further sale of the item.

Even marking a giveaway book as a promotional copy probably would not do much to prevent it. In fact, it may increase the value if someone believes you might be a bestseller someday. You may be familiar with those records and cds marked with "promo only - not for resale" or similar? Back in 2011, the courts determined that it is, in fact, legal for folks to sell those. Under Federal law, those items are considered gifts, and any such marking does not invalidate first sale doctrine, as the marking does not indicate agreement of acceptance by the recipient.

It would be very different if we were discussing ebooks, as currently there is no legal marketplace for reselling those. In most jurisdictions, "reselling" an ebook is considered a form of piracy. (This may change in the future, of course, but that is the current situation in most countries.)

That said, I don't agree with the practice of signing up to win books for the purpose of selling them. Only pointing out that there isn't much that can done, other than using a more targeted giveaway system than that provided by Goodreads.


message 5: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 38 comments Christa wrote: "Charles wrote: "Liam: You have every right to be annoyed. I am not a lawyer, but I question the legality of trying to sell your book on Ebay. Diane, I also take umbrage at someone selling another a..."

I agree, but if the book was an ARC marked as not for resell (or similar), that would be a different matter. If I purchased a used book and received an ARC instead of a finished copy, I would complain to the seller.

I am curious about the comment made by another poster about selling a book to Amazon. Perhaps the poster meant that the book was listed by a third party for sale on Amazon? Once I've finished with a book I've purchased, received for review, or received second hand via a fellow reader, as long as it isn't an ARC I don't know of any restrictions on what I do with any owned book of mine. Reselling is too much trouble for me, so I send them off to Goodwill or other charity. Except for ARCs - if I received the ARC from Amazon Vine, their rules state I must keep the book for six months and then I can dispose of it (I cannot hand it off to another reader). ARCs received from other sources, unless it's a keeper I may pass it along to a fellow reader or I toss it in the recycle bin.


message 6: by Aaron (new)

Aaron (aaronburdette) | 89 comments Hi Liam, we don't actually recommend you contact your winners. Winners contact us when they don't receive their book, and then we'll work with you to sort out the situation.

As for winners not leaving reviews, I'm sorry to hear you've encountered this. We're always working to improve our algorithm to improve the chances for review writers, but unfortunately the system doesn't always account for this.


message 7: by Mellie (new)

Mellie (mellie42) | 618 comments Giveaways are a competition not a method of soliciting reviews. People enter to win a free book, some may be interested in the book and mark it TBR, others simply want free stuff. I have heard some people run automated scripts to enter every single giveaway.

I have run 3 giveaways for multiple books and never received a review in exchange, I accept that the purpose of the giveaway is purely promotional. It gives me something to advertise on social media and it raises the book's visibility on GR when people mark it TBR.


message 8: by Liam (new)

Liam Howley (liam_howley) | 2 comments Hi Aaron,

Thanks for the response. I was more wondering about the former than the latter. Thank you for clearing that up.

Regarding the latter. And as I said, I really don't wish to make a fuss, just to draw your attention to it. This wasn't about receiving reviews. It is about the manner in which the giveaway system is being used, or should I say was, by this particular individual. It's not right to enter a competition like the giveaway with the express aim of only gaining an item to sell. Most writers will make very little if any money from what they do. Nonetheless, they write, maybe with some hope, but always with a sense of value. This cheapens it. I'll leave it at that, and won't engage any further on the issue.


message 9: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin DeHaven (ben_dehaven) | 5 comments I bought a big red stamp which says If you paid for this book you were robbed! please contact the publisher-this book was a "giveaway". then stamp it on the spine. (saw similar text in an ayn rand book.) I do it on every page of my signed hardcopies. just kidding. but something similar might deter some. if not and they sell the book. you perhaps just got another reader! and your book has demand. lol. how much money did you lose? the practice stinks. you should see the stack of movie screenplays I have with author notes I was given to review. I'll never sell them because I was paid to review them and assess if the studio i worked for would buy them. great to show at parties. maybe worth some money. but if someone is so hard up for cash. they take the time to list one book from a give away. I'll send them a few of Enzos crappy self help books and they can go nuts. I'd be more concerned if I saw a ton of them up. just an opinion. incidentally I was fired from the studio for giving a green light to a ridiculous story about a racist mentally challenged person over 15 years ago. I guess I have poor taste. Forrest Gump was terrible and made no money. (that's sarcasm your sensing BTW. good luck with Amazon guy. you should buy it! then you'll have his address. you can determine what to do next. lol


message 10: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Amrhein (HistorySleuth) | 55 comments See now me, I'm a realist, I expect that to happen. I don't care for the idea, but it will. I'm getting ready to do a give away. I just re-released a book I wrote with my friend in 2001. Bringing it into the modern world of self publishing. If the winner doesn't read it I can hope the person that buys it does.

I still sell my first edition online at Amazon, but so do other people. They are copies that were signed by both of us, sold or given away by us for some fund raiser of other. It doesn't bother me. There are a few who sell the ones with signatures as collectors items. It kind of tickles me to see.


message 11: by Jack (new)

Jack Knapp | 778 comments Mod
Giveaways are expensive; why not price the ebook free for a day or two and notify readers here? Cheap, you'll only lose sales to people who wouldn't have bought your book anyway. And maybe they'll read it, maybe even be inspired to write a review.
Maybe start a discussion thread for books temporarily free? "My book _______ is priced at $0.00 from _____ to _____; go to Amazon/Nook to download your copy. Please consider writing a review on GR or Amazon if you liked the book."
Simple boilerplate 'ad'; doee this violate any of GR's policies?


message 12: by Claudette (new)

Claudette Alexander | 18 comments Giving away ebooks is far cheaper than giving away books when you factor in the postage and all that.
It can be annoying after all your expense the receiver cannot write a review. But that is their perogative.
On reselling books, I guess it's like any other product.
When you buy something you are free to do whatever you want with it. If you want to resell that is your business. This is a whole bit different from copying someone's work and selling it


message 13: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Hartney | 21 comments Agreed with the free book and writing a review. There is a thing called community and the writing community generally struggles so a review is a simple, inexpensive way of contributing.


message 14: by DS (new)

DS Kane (dskane) | 4 comments Thinking of doing a free e-book weekend, rather than a giveaway, of the first novel ("Bloodridge") in my spy thriller series, but I wonder what everyone here thinks is the best way to let readers know about it?

Of course, I'm interested in reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, so that's something to take into consideration too. Is it okay to request reviews from readers who get the book for free?

I like Jack's idea: Maybe start a discussion thread for books temporarily free? "My book _______ is priced at $0.00 from _____ to _____; go to Amazon/Nook to download your copy. Please consider writing a review on GR or Amazon if you liked the book." Simple boilerplate 'ad'; doee this violate any of GR's policies?


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