GoodReads' First Readers discussion

First Reads Discussions > Are Goodreads giveaway winners randomly selected?

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message 1: by Marcia (last edited Feb 20, 2010 11:35AM) (new)

Marcia Scurfield | 2 comments I have a question about the selection of winners at Goodreads. When I first signed up at Goodreads in early January 2010 I was a winner right away. Then after I submitted my first review I won again right away. I just today submitted my second review. The rules state that people who submit reviews will win books more often. After you write a review on a giveaway does your name go into a more highly favored random list? Just wondering.

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

From my understanding, yes it is random. Submitting a review is like adding your name to the drawing again, thus increasing your chances for winning again.

I do not run the giveaways and have never created a giveaway, this is just how I believe they work.

message 3: by Tammie (new)

Tammie (puddles) | 3 comments I write an "immediate review" when I find out that I have won a book....stating I can't wait to recieve it and will update my review when I read it. Seems to work cause I win a book almost everyday or at least every other.

Question: has anyone ever won more than one book a day? Sometimes I enter more than one giveway that ends on the same day...and I wonder if I should just enter the one for the book I really really want as opposed to an assortment of ones I want?

message 4: by Marcia (new)

Marcia Scurfield | 2 comments Tammie, I think your advice is spot-on. As soon as I write a review I get an email that I've won another book. Then I wait until that book arrives, read it and write another review. I have NEVER received a book "inbetween" so why do they state that it is random? It doesn't seem to be random at all.

message 5: by Anne Kat (new)

Anne Kat (anne-kat) As I recall, they don't specifically say that it's random. From the Terms & Conditions, they say that books are awarded at Goodreads' discretion:

"If more people are interested in a book than there are copies available, we will pick the winners at our discretion. The factors that go into our algorithm are: randomness, site activity, genre of books on your shelves, current phase of the moon, and more."

I think their "and more" really boils down to one book at a time per person. Give a review, get another book.

Though, I've been receiving books slower and slower. Used to be the day after a review, I'd win another. Now there have been massive gaps in-between. Anyone else seeing this?

message 6: by Tobyann (new)

Tobyann Aparisi (darkfrog) | 4 comments My last first read was in November. I was on a roll there for awhile and then suddenly nothing. It made me feel like I had done something wrong. I has started the book swap thing and accidently added a book that I really wanted to keep, and when I was requested I had to respectfully deny the exchange. Right after that I have not received one single book. I too continue to review the books I have read etc. but not one bite since. Kind of bums me out. I hope that wasn't the thing that got me black listed or something. I had asked about it, but got the basic it's an algorithm, blah, blah answer. I really love this site and have found so much out there to read because of it. I just hope I didn't screw something up.

message 7: by Tobyann (new)

Tobyann Aparisi (darkfrog) | 4 comments Hang in there, I went through a really dry spell myself (Oct - March), but things are picking back up again. It just takes some time and gives you an opportunity to read other books that may be on your to-read list, or get involved with bookswap. It really isn't that expensive (you only pay the postage,most I have paid is $4) and you can get some great books that way. As well as maybe swap some of yours out that are taking up space on your shelves (every 10 books swapped gets you a free one). Anyways the message is hang in there. You wil get selected sooner or later.

message 8: by Jamie (new)

Jamie | 2 comments I won won quite a few for a couple months but I have not won anything recently. However, I still have some books I previously won that I need to read and review so I figure I cannot complain until I am caught up.

message 9: by Karen B. (new)

Karen B. (raggedy11) Well actually I have been winning a lot. But I believe it was my first win, I won three books on the same day. I never really thought about posting a review that I am looking forward to reading a book before I get it. Also, because I enter for so many giveaways, I have never added the title to my "to read" pile simply because there I won't add it until I know I will receive it.
However, today, I received an email thanking me for entering a contest (which I didn't enter, must have been a mistake) but the author told me to be sure to add the title to the my "to read" list and I would have a better chance of winning.

message 10: by Karen B. (new)

Karen B. (raggedy11) Forgot to say that I won a book today, and had posted a review of another one I'd read on Sunday, so maybe that does have something to do with it.

message 11: by Karen B. (new)

Karen B. (raggedy11) Are you keeping up with reviews? Someone told me that when you win a book, you should enter a review with something like "Review to be revised when finished" and write something about what you expect or what you liked about the blurb for the book. Even if you just write something like "This looks exciting, can't wait to read it." I am not sure. But this is the longest streak I went without winning and that's been about a week and a half until today. I review other books too, not just goodreads giveaways and I think sometimes it just records that I review books. Plus I look at the odds. If it's one book and 1500 people are entered my chances aren't good. I go to the most requested list, and go the last page so that I am seeing the LEAST requested. Then I see if there is something there I'd like. Also I have found that if I go to the ones that are ending soon I seem to find contests for the next day's that I didn't see when they were first listed.

message 12: by Karen B. (new)

Karen B. (raggedy11) If you go back and read how winners are chosen, it's odd because it's reviews and things like that and also "phase of the moon" so maybe none of that matters. In the beginning I entered for things that I was kind of "well I might like this" and was surprised that I ended up liking as many as I did. But since I got my Kindle I am a little more fussy. I still like to win for the sake of winning. That's terrible in one way because I have a lot of books already.

message 13: by Karen B. (new)

Karen B. (raggedy11) It sounds like you have the whole thing down pat. Do you participate in LibraryThing as well? I have been able to get some member downloads there. I like Goodreads giveaways better. I guess it really does have something to do with phases of the moon. I know the authors don't have any say in who wins. I keep thinking though that maybe it has to do with authors/publishers wanting to save money and offering fewer copies. Plus Goodreads is getting more popular so you have more people vying for each book.
Good luck ... you're bound to win again some time soon.

message 14: by M. (new)

M. Janine | 3 comments I have experienced a rather odd trend. I joined back in July 2011, so I am a relative rookie. At first, I won a couple of times a week. It increased to every couple of days. Sometimes I even won twice on the same day. It was keeping me very, very busy. Then, suddenly it all changed. The last time I won in a giveaway was October 1. I can't really complain about it I suppose, since I have been very lucky until then. I just don't understand why it built to such a crescendo and stopped abruptly. There was no notice given that a quota had been met/exceeded. Also, I am still able to enter the contests - no ineligibility flags. I guess I angered the book gods or something?


message 15: by M. (new)

M. Janine | 3 comments Ooh, over a year is scary. Our winning streaks and the ensuing dry spells are like some kind of hot and heavy romance. Then we suddenly get dumped without ever knowing why. Sounds like the plot for a novel :)

message 16: by Birgit (new)

Birgit (blehner) Well, I've been on Goodreads for about a year now and I've won a book pretty early on. In the meantime I've reviewed tons of my own books, but I've never again won anything. So I don't think that posting reviews really helps to have a better chance, at least not in my case.
Add the fact that there are a low less First Reads available for those living outside the US. Some days I wonder if I should even make the effort to enter, but *sigh* I guess I'm ever the optimist.

message 17: by Wendy (new)

Wendy (wendyneedsbooks) Hello, I just won (and reviewed!) my first Giveaway in December, and I was wondering the same thing. I've been pretty active on GR for the past year, and enjoy writing reviews for the books I read. The Giveaway page used to imply that there was some sort of algorithm for winning, and that writing reviews of books you won increased your chances of winning again. I suspect this was removed, because now it just says that "winners will be chosen randomly". Since the purpose of most Giveaways is publicity and garnering reviews, I think it would make the most sense to get ARCs into the hands of people who will actually write a review, not those just wanting a free book. Perhaps the algorthim is just "masked" to make the process *seem* fair so that readers don't complain. I do think there are a LOT more people signing up for the giveaways now, which lowers the chances of winning for everyone.

message 18: by Wendy (new)

Wendy (wendyneedsbooks) Hooray! I just won a copy of Mark Haddon's new book The Red House: A Novel (I suspect it's because I've been reading & writing reviews of literary books lately). This is my second win--first was in December (see above). So I would guess that writing reviews does skew the scales a bit. Although I didn't know you had to click a button marking it "received" until 2 months after I got the last one, and was afraid that had messed up my chances. Whew, guess not.

Anyway, I wish everyone the best of luck... Hopefully there will be more winners reported soon :) And if you haven't looked at the Giveaways in a while, there's a LOT of good stuff on there right now!

message 19: by M. (new)

M. Janine | 3 comments Congrats!!

I haven't had any activity since October of last year. A couple of the wins I had didn't ever even arrive. But I still kinda think I got "blackballed" because everything changed almost overnight. I dunno . . .

message 20: by Paula (new)

Paula | 12 comments I won a book recently She's Not There She's Not There by Marla Madison . This is my third book in a year.

I'm anxious to read this one as I love mysteries.

message 21: by Mayda (new)

Mayda | 9 comments The last book I won was on September 9, 2011. I still rate and review books I've read and register for giveaways almost every day, but have won nothing since. Can't help but wonder why.

message 22: by Paula (new)

Paula | 12 comments I just won one, that sounded good about a horse that cost $80 and became a champion.

I only sign up occasionally and only for ones offering 25 or more copies.

message 23: by Mayda (new)

Mayda | 9 comments The criteria for increasing your odds of winning a book are rather vague, except for the one about reviewing the books you've won. It doesn't say you have to like the books, or even how long your reviews should be. We aren't professional critics, and yes, everyone does have his or her own style of writing! Do the people who donate the books for the giveaways even have any say in who wins? Maybe it does increase your odds if you have reviewed all the books you've won, but I have to think much randomness goes into selecting the winners. Many enter, but few are chosen. If "the powers that be" really wanted us to be able to truly compete for the books available, they would list specifics of what we should do to increase our chance of winning.

message 24: by Paula (new)

Paula | 12 comments I just received "The Eighty-Dollar Champion by Elizabeth Letts. I won this one and it looks like a good one, can't wait to start it.

message 25: by Hedda (new)

Hedda | 2 comments I would just like to thank the powers-that-be for my very first win -- The Night Circus. I have been trying for a book in the giveaways forevah! I am very grateful for the opportunity and the book.

Thank you

message 26: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Lovatt (RebeccaLovatt) | 2 comments Yeah.. Last year I won 3-4 books within the span of a month.. And I've been entering the giveaways, (and have been posting some reviews -- and rating every book I read), but at this point it's been over a year since I last won a book from there. I won two on August 1st 2011, and none after that.

message 27: by Paula (new)

Paula | 12 comments Congratulations on your win Hedda! It's always fun to win one and I thought The Night Circus was good. Hope you enjoy it.

message 28: by Hedda (new)

Hedda | 2 comments Thanks Paula. I'm very excited to read the story and thrilled to be a winner, finally! :-)

message 29: by Jamie (new)

Jamie | 2 comments Not sure it it is entirely random. From what I have understood, new goodreads members almost will always will right away (guess it is a welcoming thing), and I was told by staff that reviews make a difference (with a 2 paragraph minimum). I believe this to be true. I got a lot of books when I was able to review them right away, but when I took a break from the books I had won to read a couple series I had put on hold, I stopped winning. When I read another book a won and reviewed it, that next day I won again. Beyond those 2 points I do think it is fairly random (although active uses-especially adding books, joining groups seems to be the other real difference).

message 30: by Paula (new)

Paula | 12 comments I've just started reading John Saturnall's Feast by Lawrence Norfolk that I won a couple of weeks ago.

message 31: by Paula (new)

Paula | 12 comments That was very nice of her Joanie! A lot of them wouldn't do that.

message 32: by Mayda (new)

Mayda | 9 comments Well, I have always the reviewed the books I won in what I considered to be a timely fashion - no more than 2-6 weeks after I got the book. But while I did review all the books I've won, my reviews are generally shorter than two paragraphs, though usually about 150-200 words. So maybe that is why I haven't won a book in over a year. I'm just about ready to give up on the giveaways.

message 33: by Sheila (new)

Sheila | 2 comments Mayda wrote: "The last book I won was on September 9, 2011. I still rate and review books I've read and register for giveaways almost every day, but have won nothing since. Can't help but wonder why."

Mayda, I feel the same- I won a few books the first couple of months and reviewed them and nothing now for months. I feel like I may have been "blacklisted" for some reason. I introduced a friend to goodreads and she has won 18 books in two months!! Good for her but disheartening for me!

message 34: by Mayda (new)

Mayda | 9 comments It's nice to know there are others in the same boat, and it's just not me who has been singled out. I still haven't won a book for more than a year and a half. If I knew that whoever selects the Goodreads winners was never going to select me again, I'd stop wasting my time registering for the books!

message 35: by Ana (new)

Ana Soro | 1 comments I have just started entering the giveaways but in the past 2 days I have won 3 books! Hopefully this continues! I usually post a lot of reviews and add a lot of books to my lists.

message 36: by Mayda (last edited Jan 01, 2013 04:35PM) (new)

Mayda | 9 comments Well, I reviewed over 200 books last year, and have added many books to my to-read list, but I haven't won any books in well over a year. I hope your luck continues. Please write back in six months or so and let us know if you are still winning books.

message 37: by Sheila (new)

Sheila | 2 comments Mayda wrote: "Well, I reviewed over 200 books last year, and have added many books to my to-read list, but I haven't won any books in well over a year. I hope your luck continues. Please write back in six mont..."

Mayda, my friend who i introduced to this site in September has now won 24 books, she has so many her reading and reviewing are getting backed up. I don't want to try anymore, it's too frustrating! Good luck, let me know when you finally get a win again! :)(I still want a hint as to what I did wrong!)

message 38: by Mayda (new)

Mayda | 9 comments Hi Sheila, I don't think you are doing anything wrong. I agree it is frustrating, registering and never winning. What a waste of time that could be spent reading! It is my belief that new members to the giveaways win a lot of books, to get them hooked on the site. And then, after we are hooked on getting free books, we stop winning. But hope springs eternal! We stay on the site, reading and wanting new books, which I'm sure the authors hope we will buy when we don't win them. And what am I doing? Still registering periodically, and placing holds for the new books at my library. Good luck to you - who knows what books the future may bring!

message 39: by Paula (new)

Paula | 12 comments I was just fortunate enough to win a copy of The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti I'm looking forward to reading it.

message 40: by Cassie (new)

Cassie Hawkings (chawk1993) | 75 comments I have recently entered a handful of giveaways after having been on the site for 3 years and I haven't won giveaways so far. Is it just me or do us older Goodreads users get left out because we've been on the site and have a lower chance of winning then newer users?

message 41: by Mayda (new)

Mayda | 9 comments You could be on to something! Don't you wish that the people who run this site would have a FAQ page that would address this issue? I look at the giveaways to see what books are interesting to me, but I don't expect to win and I hardly enter anymore.

message 42: by Kevis (new)

Kevis Hendrickson (kevishendrickson) | 50 comments I have a question for the members of this group. I recently held a giveaway for one of my books and was curious to know how GR decides who the winners are. The reason I ask is because I find the selection of winners to be confusing. The book I gave away is geared toward female readers, but only men were chosen as winners. Incidentally, one of the winners joined GR only a month or so before he won a copy of my book. Even more distressing to me is that he hasn't read or reviewed a single book on this site since joining it. But he does have several thousand books in his To-Read queue. But this is because every day he enters all of the First Reads giveaways. Am I right to assume that this person joined this site for the sole purpose of making money from the books he wins?

Maybe I am reading too much into this. But I find it very strange that a new member with almost 5ooo books in his To-read queue, no friends, no ratings, or anything else who daily enters giveaways gets to win books over long-time members who have never won anything.

If I'm right that all this person is doing is using the First Reads program in order to make money, is this against GR's terms of service? If so, would I be right to report him? If anyone can give me some advice on this matter, I'd be really grateful. To be clear, I'm not upset that this person won my book only to turn around and sell it. I am, however, upset by the thought that honest readers aren't getting a fair shot at winning a book, while this person looks to be gaming the system.

message 43: by Paula (new)

Paula | 12 comments I don't know how they are chosen Kevis. I've been fortunate enough to win a few but I always choose books that I WANT to read and get to them quickly and write a review. I think that's only fair, after all, you authors are trying to make a living also.

What you describe definitely doesn't sound fair to me if he is not even writing a review.

message 44: by Kevis (last edited Jan 21, 2013 10:37PM) (new)

Kevis Hendrickson (kevishendrickson) | 50 comments Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me, Paula. I find it difficult to stomach that many of the members on this site who genuinely want to read the books they try to win in the First Reads Program aren't getting a chance to win while others who use the Giveaway program solely for profit are getting those books instead. Very disappointing.

message 45: by Paula (new)

Paula | 12 comments It is disappointing and I had no idea. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

message 46: by Cassie (new)

Cassie Hawkings (chawk1993) | 75 comments Kevis wrote: "I have a question for the members of this group. I recently held a giveaway for one of my books and was curious to know how GR decides who the winners are. The reason I ask is because I find the se..."

You have a very good point Kevis. I have seen people who have no books and no friends on the site and they sign up for books and end up winning. I was talking to someone I know and she said that she has only won a book by chance because there were multiple copies and very few people entered. Like I have said in a post above that I have been on the site for over 3 years and have recently started to enter giveaways for books that I think would be good to read. I don't enter them if I don't think that they're interesting.

I can see what you mean. This person could have entered your giveaway just to go and sell it for cash. I think you check what other books he has won and if he hasn't read anything then report him. I have seen people people win giveaways and not read them. I would report him certainly.

message 47: by Tad (new)

Tad (tottman) | 1 comments I think it's an incredible leap to assume that someone who's been on this site for a month and has won 1 book is doing it for profit. There's just nothing to support that.

message 48: by Cassie (new)

Cassie Hawkings (chawk1993) | 75 comments Tad wrote: "I think it's an incredible leap to assume that someone who's been on this site for a month and has won 1 book is doing it for profit. There's just nothing to support that."

You do have a point but don't you think it's odd to have someone enter every giveaway and have nothing listed in their to read queue?

message 49: by Kevis (last edited Jan 28, 2013 05:00PM) (new)

Kevis Hendrickson (kevishendrickson) | 50 comments Tad wrote: "I think it's an incredible leap to assume that someone who's been on this site for a month and has won 1 book is doing it for profit. There's just nothing to support that."

You're right. It is a leap. Or it could have been a coincidence that the book ended up for sale on Amazon shortly after I sent the winner a copy. But it wouldn't be the first time I was wrong about something before. In fact, I hope I am wrong.

message 50: by Cassie (new)

Cassie Hawkings (chawk1993) | 75 comments Kevis wrote: "Tad wrote: "I think it's an incredible leap to assume that someone who's been on this site for a month and has won 1 book is doing it for profit. There's just nothing to support that."

You're rig..."

You have every right to be concerned. Did you contact the guy and ask it is was him that it up on Amazon?

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