How To Run A Goodreads Giveaway
Here’s a quick summary of what Goodreads is before we get started. Goodreads is like a giant Facebook for book-obsessed freaks. Yes, I just called myself a book-obsessed freak. I wear the title proudly. :)
Goodreads is a place where readers go to congregate, hang out, chill…you know, do what readers love to do; Talk about books and find new books to read. Which means it’s a fantastic place to promote your story. You have an audience that consists solely of readers. An author’s paradise, yes? ;)
Not sure what you think about giving away books for free? Think about this real quick: Most of the people who win giveaways leave book reviews(Goodreads typically chooses winners who have previously left a lot of reviews.) And reviews are fairly crucial to selling books; The more the merrier. :) Also, you can assume about 1/3 of the people who enter your giveaway will also add your book to their “to-read” shelf. And each person who enters a giveaway or adds a book to their shelf will have their actions announced in their feed(kind of like Facebook, right?), and their friends will notice what they did. Then those friends might click over to the giveaway and enter, check out your book, or even find your website and start browsing.
A Goodreads giveaway will get a lot of people noticing your book. Sales tend to rise at the beginning and end of a giveaway too. It’s well worth the cost of giving away a few books.
Now, Giveaways receive a rough average of 800 sum-odd entries each, and a giveaway run with a Goodreads add typically brings in over 1,000 entries. Remember, these are averages. Poorly run giveaways will bring in less entries, as will giveaways for books with poor cover art. That said, There are a few things you can do to make your giveaway more eye-catching. And grabbing peoples’ attention is the only way they’re going to stop scrolling and enter to win your book.
After the cover art and title, which are the main things people will notice when scrolling through a list of giveaways, is the text box. Most people enter the back cover blurb for their book in this space. If possible, don’t. If people want to know exactly what your book is about they can click on it and read the blurb there.
So what should you write in the allowed text box? First, if you are giving away signed copies(which I highly recommend), write “signed” or “autographed copy(s)” in all caps. Having signed books makes it a little more special for the person entering, and one bold line will draw the eye’s attention. But only write this in caps. If you write everything else this way it could make you look pretentious, or people could glaze right over it.
Then write down any awards your book has won. People are much more likely to enter to win a book that has won awards. If yours hasn’t, don’t worry. After/instead of awards, put the best comments from reviews your book has received. Don’t write something your mum or best friend said, though. You want to keep this as professional as possible. If you put something down that is from a review by a magazine, another author, or someone of “standing” in the writing world, say so. It will put your book in an even better light.
If your book isn’t published or you haven’t received any reviews yet, don’t stress. This is when you write the most attention grabbing blurb about the book that you can. A well done blurb can bring in many, many entries.
As for the length of time to run your giveaway, Goodreads suggests you run it for a month. But running one for a month and running one for 8-12 days brings in roughly the same amount of entries. All giveaways bring in most of their entries in the first and last days it is running. The book shows up on the “recently listed” and “ending soon” pages on those days, and that’s where most people look for giveaways to enter.
So here’s what I suggest. If you book isn’t published yet run your giveaway for 1-3 months. Have it end around when the book comes out. This is what the giveaway system was originally for, anyways. Pre-release hype.
If your book is already published, run your giveaway for 5-16 days, or a month. Whatever time frame you think is best. Remember, most of the entries come in on the first and last days, so there isn’t much of a difference between a week long and a month long giveaway.
Try to start and end your giveaway on days that will have as few as possible other giveaways beginning and ending. You don’t want your book lost amid several dozen other books. Avoid holidays and such. It may seem like a good idea, but everyone is going to be ending a giveaway around Christmas, you know? ;)
I hope this helped your Goodreads endeavors! Have you run a Goodreads giveaway before? What have you found works or doesn’t work?