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How to Rock the Goodreads Giveaway


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#1 Jennie

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 03:46 PM

I've seen a few tips floating around the internet, but I've discovered a few more through trial and error and thought I would share!
 
My first giveaway for DAMSELFLY netted almost 3000 entries. I goofed up with my current one, so I edited it to end earlier so I can put up a new one following all of the tips you see  below. :)
 
The trick is to get enough entries in the first couple of days of being on the "Recently Listed" page to launch you high enough on the "Most Requested" list so that people can find you. I found that I got about 600 entries in the first two days of the giveaway being up. After that, it tapered down to about 10-30 entries per day while I floated around pages 3-12 of the "Most Requested" list. Since I had my giveaway up for about a month and a half, it creeped up to over 1k entries before it exploded over the last few days.
 
1. Submit your giveaway a good three days before your designated start date. Why? Because, even if it's approved AFTER your start date, it will still list by start date. So you could be miles down the "Recently listed" page when your giveaway finally appears and barely anyone will see it. I made this mistake with my current giveaway, and it really hurt my numbers.
 
2. If you're self-publishing, put that giveaway up as soon as you have a cover and description. Have it end when you're sure you will have ARCs ready to send. And again, these have to be physical copies. When I put together my schedule for my book, I purposefully got the cover done first so that I could get the maximum amount of exposure while I finished editing it.

3. Your blurb needs to be in your giveaway description, otherwise people will have to separately look up your book in order to see what the heck it's about. This is two steps for the person signing up for lots of giveaways and they don't have time for that.
 
4. I put ***Signed Copies*** into the top of my description and played around with it once to see if I could get more people to enter. I changed it to something like, ***Enter to win a signed copy of this retelling of Thumbelina*** and noticed that I got fewer entries after that, BUT more people added it to their "to-read" shelf. Just something to consider if you want to make sure your giveaway ends up with someone who really wants to read that sort of story.
 
5. When you set the dates for your giveaway, look ahead to see how many other titles are ENDING on the date you've picked for your end date. Why? Because the "Ending Soon" page is the default page people see when they look through the giveaways, and books are listed by start date, not title or author name. If you pick an end date that no one else has picked (or that one or two people have picked), your book will be at the top of the page that day and you'll get a lot more entries.
 
6. Tweak your blurb and cover if necessary. A giveaway is a great way to test whether or not these are working. If your book is intended to have mass appeal and you're barely getting any entries, something is wrong and you, as a self-publishing author, can fix it! I noticed that certain details on my cover were getting lost compared to other covers, so I spiffed it up a little and that helped a lot.
 
7. Don't give away a ton of copies unless you're okay with paying the money to print and mail the books and not getting a review in return. A giveaway isn't a great way to get reviews - it's just good for making people aware that your book exists. If you want reviews, sign up for Patchwork Press's Netgalley coop instead. You'll get more of them for less money.
 

Hope this helps! Anyone else have some tips?


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#2 Selene Bell

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 04:41 PM

Great tips, Jennie. Thank you!


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#3 KC Rivers

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 05:23 PM

Awesome tips! I noticed the same thing when I hosted a giveaway on Goodreads. I only gave away 2 copies because it was really more of an experiment for me than anything, and I only had it up for 1 month. Still, it managed to get over 1000 entries in that amount of time, and a good portion of them came as the giveaway was approaching the end, I noticed. That's when I think it bumped it up on the list of giveaways and made more people notice. When you click on the giveaway link, it usually defaults to which ones are ending first.

 

Anyway, great info and thanks for sharing!



#4 Lori Sjoberg

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 05:35 PM

Great tips. Thanks for sharing!



#5 Malz

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 10:31 PM

Thanks for posting these tips..they will definitely come in handy.


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#6 mwsinclair

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 12:55 PM

This is really a great list and worthy of bumping up on the recently commented-upon list.



#7 Midnight Whimsy

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 02:14 PM

I have a giveaway going on right now. Although I didn't see Jennie's great list, I did do most everything right. I have over 600 entries right now and just over one week left. It will be interesting to see how much it spikes in the last couple days!

 

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#8 Jeanne

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 10:23 AM

More questions for folks who have done Goodreads giveaways:

 

Do you have to give away bound copies or can they be ebooks or .pdf ARCs? A friend whose debut is getting quite a bit of buzz sent me an email about giveaways and suggested I start them now, approx. 3 months before the book is launched. She said five books is a good number. Thoughts? I'm looking for any and all successful ideas.

 

Also, she recommended "friending" people whose books are similar to yours because they will often read your book and write a review.

 

Finally, she said I should start a Goodreads blog.

 

Still trying to sort all of these promo activities out--and keep up with writing a new book and get through the holidays and meet my deadlines for editing gigs. My schedule has suddenly become overly full!

 

Jeanne



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Posted 03 December 2014 - 12:04 PM

More questions for folks who have done Goodreads giveaways:

Do you have to give away bound copies or can they be ebooks or .pdf ARCs?

Goodreads only allows giveaways of physical editions, ie paperbacks or hardbacks. You can run an e-book giveaway on Booklikes (works the same as a GR giveaway) but from my experience there is significantly lower uptake. I get about 2,000 entries for a paperback on a GR giveaway but only around 200 for an e-book on Booklikes.

Friending people on GR is a fraught subject. Personally I wouldn't, there is a segment of readers on GR who are very wary of authors due to BBAs & other issues. I would suggest you tread lightly. Or do you mean friending other authors with a view to review swapping? Yes you can friend other authors but please DON'T engage in review swaps, it's one if the quickest ways to get black listed at GR.

#10 AQCrew

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 12:11 PM

Goodreads only allows giveaways of physical editions, ie paperbacks or hardbacks. You can run an e-book giveaway on Booklikes (works the same as a GR giveaway) but from my experience there is significantly lower uptake. I get about 2,000 entries for a paperback on a GR giveaway but only around 200 for an e-book on Booklikes.
 

 

Holy smokes.  Did NOT know that Goodreads giveaways were only for physical editions.



#11 Jeanne

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 04:16 PM

Crap! Bound copies only, eh? Those won't be available until Jan.

 

Friends just to make good writer/reader friends and contacts. No review exchanges. And what are BBAs?

 

Does Booklikes work like Goodreads? I've never heard of it before.

 

Gah, I'm such a newbie in this arena. I feel like every day introduces a new learning curve!

 

Jeanne



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Posted 03 December 2014 - 04:29 PM

BBAs = Badly Behaving Authors. The ones who stalk and harass reviewers if they receive anything less than 4 stars and the Noble Peace prize for Literature. They will also 1-star bomb the books of other authors they perceive as competition, or if they don't like your avatar, or if they take exception to some random comment you made in GR discussion threads.

 

BookLikes is kinda similar to GR but not as easy to navigate. After the whole horrid mess of GR's mass deletion of shelves and reviews, many users walked and went there instead http://booklikes.com/

 

Also please keep in mind GR giveaways are a competition for free books NOT a source of reviews. Many users enter everything, many people have no intention of reading (let alone reviewing) and books often end up for sale on eBay. You may strike gold and have someone enter/win/read and leave a great review - but that's rare. I've given away 20 books so far and only one person out of those even marked the book TBR, none have read or reviewed.

 

If you specifically want to give out ARCs in exchange for early reviews, you would be better off contacting bloggers who review your genre.






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