Goodreads Giveaway: Gathering the Info

GoodreadsFirst step to doing a Goodreads giveaway is to upgrade your account so they list you as an author, not just a reader. It’s free. They give directions on the site. (Dear Goodreads: Please have a data specialist organize your site and make things easier to find. Thank you.)

Next, you’ll need to be sure your book is listed at Goodreads. If you just released it, you’ll have to fill out the form and wait patiently for it all to coalesce. They recommend searching for the book first, in case someone else has already added it. I recommend it too, because A Long, Hard Look was already there. (Perhaps Sue added it.)

Now, decisions about the giveaway itself. Here are the questions we’ll have to answer:

As we learned from Catherine, a few short giveaways will be more effective than one long one. How many? And when? How much time between them? Goodreads sets no limitations except it can’t overlap itself, which seems logical.
How many copies to give away?

Since they don’t accept digital giveaways, we’ll be buying these and shipping them hither and yon. This sets the cost for the giveaway, unlike at Story Cartel where they take responsibility for the prizes but charge the author a $25 flat fee. But then, we’re giving away our own book, not some random whoknowswhat.
What countries should we include? How many can we choose?
We’ll be paying shipping to wherever the winners live. I don’t want to limit it to the US only, but I don’t see a reason to include the whole world. Sure, Madagascar or Nepal could turn out to be the world’s hottest bed of fandom for Chandleresque cozies, but I’m not ready to make that gamble just yet. I’ll stick to countries where English is the primary language.
Include a preview ePub copy?
This makes me twitch. Yes, I’m a big fan of giving free to create awareness. I prefer to give to folks I know, in some controlled manner. Free is a strategy, not a price. If anybody who wanders past Goodreads can read a digital copy of my book free, but I don’t have a mechanism to create a relationship with them, that’s just free as a price, not as a strategy. Probably not going for this one.
One book at a time, or three at once?
A Long, Hard Look is barely off the presses and I’ve already released Into the Fog, the sequel to Through the Fog. Do I focus on one, or give away a few copies of each, all at once? I haven’t given this any thought, so I’m not even sure what the parameters for the answer are. Cost? Time? Attention dilution? Must think this through.

Next Monday, I’ll share all the answers we come up with, which will include the dates for the giveaway(s). Because, y’know, you might want to join in, eh?

8 thoughts on “Goodreads Giveaway: Gathering the Info

  1. Hmmm, giving away physical books? I can only imagine the cost of postage. You can have a FREE giveaway for e-books on Amazon. No postage there. Just thinking out loud.

    We gave away Treasure of the Mayan King for a week on Amazon. I have no idea if that generated more sales down the road.

  2. I ran into a glitch with Goodreads a couple of months ago. I wasn’t doing a giveaway, but I happened to be on the site trying to grab a link. I noticed that on Goodreads one of my books had 50 reviews and was averaging 3 stars. I knew this was wrong. I took a closer look at the reviews and they had nothing to do with my book.

    Goodreads tech support was able to straighten the mess out and separate my reviews from the other book that got mixed in. The fix brought my review count lower, but my stars higher. Hopefully this was a random glitch in the matrix, but I have been keeping a closer watch on some of these sites to make sure they’re consistent in the data they display.

    Ever run across anything like that before?

  3. Yup, I plan to do my own private digital giveaway.

    This is all an experiment, remember? I can’t learn what Goodreads does without actually using it, right?

    Personally, I would never enter a giveaway for a digital book, because I don’t read digital books — unless they’re not available in print, and even then, I have to be desperate to read it.

  4. I know its an experiment, my point was….it’s a pricey one! And on another note…YOU don’t read E-Books?? Who’s the Luddite here? Just because you don’t read e-books does not mean you can’t give them away!

    I’m just thinking out loud here…. maybe I should keep my loud thoughts to myself, ha!

  5. No Luddite-ism, just personal preference. I have a Kindle, and can read digital books on my computer, phone, and iPad.

    I just don’t like to 🙂

    This experiment won’t cost any more than Story Cartel, perhaps less. If I ship 3 books in the US, that’s less than $25.

    Yeah, if I ship 1 to Australia it won’t be cheap. We’ll see.

  6. Keep in mind my recent shipping debacle with the USPS using media mail postage. Poor customer service on top of vanishing books in the mail, you may want to consider using a better mail service. I know FedEx and such are more expensive, but it might be worth the cost for better service.

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