The Goodreads Giveaway for my memoir, BLISS ROAD, starts today! People who enter between now and March 22 will have a chance to win one of 100 free ebooks. The book about growing up in a neurodiverse family will be published June 6, 2023. (Order now!)
I ran my first Goodreads giveaway when promoting WINTER LIGHT my YA novel (now an audiobook), in 2020. The question was whether the cost of $119 — or $599 for “premium” — was worth it. You can read about the difference between the two packages here.
Big 5 publishers automatically use this marketing tool and foot the bill for it. For authors subsidizing their own book promotion, the answer about value depends on what you want.
To date, only publishers, or Kindle Direct Publishing self-published authors, can arrange the promotion. Authors published through small traditional presses like me can’t yet independently take charge. Hopefully Amazon, which owns KD Publishing and Goodreads, will change that, especially since the company now allows all authors to set up their own Amazon ads.
Once you decide to offer the giveaway, you can refer to the How to Run a Goodreads Giveaway, which recommends the giveaway take place during a book’s preorder phase. You designate the promotion’s start and end date, which allows you to decide the length of the giveaway, whether a week or month.
You can give away up to 100 ebooks or actual hard copies. Obviously giving away actual hard copies costs more, given the author/publisher pays for not only the printed books, but postage for sending them to winners. A signed copy, however, may motivate more people to sign up for the giveaway.
Once the giveaway is listed, your book is placed on the "Goodreads Giveaway” page. From there, readers scroll down and choose "Enter Giveaway" for every book they’d like a chance to win.
When the giveaway for your book ends, Goodreads randomly chooses winners, and in the case of ebooks, sends them off. For hard copies, Goodreads notifies you about where to send the books.
I didn’t know what to expect for WINTER LIGHT , and so used the occasion to test the process. Here are the results:
— The giveaway was easy to set up and promote and was within my promotion budget.
— I felt good about telling my newsletter subscribers about how they could enter to win not only my book, but whatever other books called out to them.
— I got about 5 reviews, and more importantly, 5 new subscribers, whom I love having in my community and who have agreed to review BLISS ROAD.
So that’s my suggestion for you: if you’d like to offer a Goodreads giveaway, decide what you’d like out of the experience, but be realistic. While you probably won’t get 100 reviews of your book, or even 20, earning the following of lifelong readers is a huge win.
For updates about Martha’s forthcoming books, new and giveaways, subscribe to her website: MarthaEngber.com.
Bliss Road, a memoir, June 2023
The Falcon, the Wolf and the Hummingbird, a historical novel, Sept. 19, 2023