How to run an effective Goodreads giveaway
Many authors claim that when it comes to social media, staying active on Goodreads is even more important than maintaining a presence on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Why is Goodreads so important? Because that’s where avid readers are hanging out already, discussing books, leaving reviews, and making reading recommendations.
One of the best ways to encourage advance reviews for your newest book, build a buzz, and turn those avid readers into fans of your own writing is to host a Goodreads giveaway.
The Goodreads giveaway process is pretty simple:
1) you decide how many books you want to give away (they must be physical books, no eBooks)
2) you set a duration for how long the giveaway should run
3) Goodreads users can sign up to win a free book
4) Goodreads sends you the info for the winner/s so you can mail them your book
According to Goodreads’ site, over 40k users are entering giveaways every single day with an average of 825 people entering per giveaway. That’s a lot of exposure for you and your book.
To make the most out of your giveaway, Goodreads recommends that you:
* Start early — at least 1 month before official publication (3-6 months would be better) — in order to increase your chances of advance press.
* run the giveaway for a month to maximize signups.
* give away at least 10 books, since the more you give away the better your chances of getting early reviews (though it’s worth noting here that Goodreads doesn’t remove negative reviews — so you’ll have to be brave and live with whatever criticism or praise comes your way).
* use Goodreads’ giveaway widget on your blog to increase entries.
* do multiple giveaways — one or two pre-release, and one upon the official on-sale date of your book.
A slightly different take on Goodreads giveaways from an author who saw results
Author Emlyn Chand ran a number of Goodreads giveaways for her book. After analyzing the data, she offers a number of great tips HERE to help you maximize the power of each Goodreads giveaway. I highly recommend you read and test for yourself the tips on her blog (some of which diverge from Goodreads’ official advice), but I’ll summarize a few of them below:
* Run multiple giveaways with lower quantities of free books to boost the number of Goodreads members who’ll read about your book, instead of giving away 10 or more copies all at once.
* Include the words “AUTOGRAPHED COPY” in caps in your description box. Oh, and then actually autograph those books!
* Don’t time your giveaways to end on popular dates (holidays) because you’ll be competing with too many other giveaways.
* Don’t limit your giveaways to the US. Odds are that someone in the US will win anyway, but no need to exclude potential international readers.
* It all comes down to a great giveaway description using review blurbs and info about awards you’ve won. No plot synopses! Those can easily be found on your book page.
Read the rest of Emlyn’s tips in her article “How to Run a Goodreads Giveaway.”
How about you? Have you tried a Goodreads giveaway? How did it go? What worked and what didn’t? Let us know in the comments section below.