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Administrative, Marketing, & Creative Services for Authors and Speakers

These days, it’s important for any business to maintain a presence on social media, but when it comes to authors in particular, I believe that being active on book marketing sites and GoodReads is more cost-effective and a better use of your time if wanting to connect with readers and selling more books. One of my preferred strategies for generating book reviews, building a buzz, and converting readers into fans and buying customers is to host a GoodReads Giveaway.

In 2012, when I initially began to research the book giveaway process and before we began executing online book giveaways for customers, it was tricky to figure out what a successful book giveaway was. In the wake of scrutinizing numerous articles on the subject and after two years of actualizing strategies to guarantee an effective giveaway for clients (later bringing about our Book Giveaway ToolKit), I’m happy to report we you can gauge the difference between an effective and ineffective campaign.

So, What is GoodReads?

GoodReads is actually another social network, however, the distinction between GoodReads and other social networks like Facebook and Twitter is that on GoodReads, there is no mystery between who are readers and who are not. On GR, you will only find readers and those who like to discuss books with others on a social level. Once subscribed to the platform as a “Reader” or “User”, you can easily keep track of what you have read, what others are reading, and what you want to read in the future. After setting up an “Author” profile, GR can improve the book promotion and publicity process of getting consumer reviews, star-ratings, and having records of those who have read your book or plan to do so later on (if done properly).

GoodReads Giveaway Simplified: 

  1. Decide how many books you can afford or want to give away (they must be physical books, not eBooks). GoodReads is currently in the process of experimenting with eBook giveaways and will hopefully find a way to track the process.
  2. Set a duration for how long the giveaway should run
  3. GoodReads users can sign up to win a free book
  4. GoodReads selects the winner/s (at random) and sends the info for the winner/s so you can mail them your book

Click here to view GoodReads Guide to Giveaways.

GoodReads Recommends:

  • Start early — at least 1 month before official publication to increase advanced press and book orders
  • Set the giveaway duration for one month to maximize sign-ups
  • Giveaway at least 10 books
  • Use GoodReads’ giveaway widget on your blog to increase entries
  • Do multiple giveaways before the pre-release and another upon the official sale date of your book.

Important Fact:

While it’s true that giving away more books does increase your chances of getting early reviews, something equally important to consider is the fact that GoodReads does not remove negative reviews. If you happen to get a negative review in the process of hosting a giveaway, it will remain on the site, and others can view these reviews.

Blog Post and Tips for Running an Effective GoodReads Giveaway:  

Our blog is meant to serve as a resource for authors, speakers, and communicate our expertise, and to this topic, I’m pointing you to an article by Author and Book Marketing Expert, Emlyn Chand. Ms. Chand ran a number of GoodReads Giveaways, but she also analyzed the data, documented the results, and offers sound advice and tips to help others optimize the results of each Goodreads Giveaway. I had the pleasure to connect with Ms. Chand, and it comes as no surprise that their blog post: How to Run a GoodReads Giveway with Maximal Results, remains one their most popular. You may notice some of the tips in her blog post conflict with the advice and recommendations made by GoodReads, but as a marketing and media professional who is used to comparing data for making evaluations, I’ll report her advice has always worked in our favor. As with any marketing or PR strategy, tweaking is required to maximize your efforts.

Emlyn Chand is the president of Novel Publicity and a YA author.