Since signing a contract for this book last December, I’ve kept you all apprised of the various marketing strategies I’ve been trying. Most have given me a heart attack, because they’re often emotionally, intellectually and technically exhausting. But usually once I’ve figured them out, I’m really gratified. By practicing the life philosophy of comfortable being uncomfortable, I learn something new.
Goodreads used to offer giveaways for free and allowed authors to send books anywhere around the world. Then the company was bought by Amazon, which restricted winners to those who live in the US or Canada. A seeming deterrent for authors outside of those countries, I’ve told my writer friends they should consider trying the giveaway based on two realities: 1) those are huge book-reading markets, and 2) the publishing world has become so global, readers crave stories based in foreign locales, eras and cultures.
Amazon also instituted a basic package charge of $119, with the option of choosing a more expensive package. Either package allows you to give away physical books or Kindle copies. Before you decide, determine your goal. Do you want to send out signed copies that winners can pose with for photos they post on social media, thus increasing your followers? If so, you or your publisher will have to foot the bill for the cost of the book plus postage.
My goal is to get as many reviews as I can, so I chose the Kindle giveaway that requires an independent author or publisher to connect the book’s Amazon account to Goodreads for an easy digital transfer.
An ebook costs nothing to send to a winner, which means you can offer up to 100 books, which gets the story into more hands and so increases the odds of getting more reviews.
Either way, according to this Goodreads blog post:
About eight weeks after your Giveaway ends, winners receive an email from Goodreads to remind them to rate and review your book.
Though winners are not obligated to review the book, Your Guide to Giveaways on Goodreads claims, “Roughly 60 percent of giveaway winners review the books they win.” I’m not sure I believe that, but even if 1 out of 10 writes a review, and you give away 100 books, that’s 10 more reviews for your book.
The sign-up process takes about 10 minutes and includes a best practices page to guide you in how to use the opportunity while avoiding mistakes. Your current Goodreads friends are automatically notified about the giveaway, while your book is added to the want-to-read shelf of anyone who enters. The offer is also featured in the Goodreads giveaway section, which is well-known to those readers who love trying to snag books for free.
Goodreads recommends running the offer for a month and end at least three weeks before your book is published, giving winners enough time to read and review the book.
Please forward the Winter Light Goodreads Giveaway link to your reader buddies!
And keep in mind that when it’s your turn to promote your book/charity/sports event/artistic endeavor, I’ll be there to help you not only with emotional support, but offer you the experience I’m gaining.
We are all so much stronger as a team!
Preorder my forthcoming novel, Winter Light, due out Oct. 6, 2020.
For updates and a full list of my book launch events, please sign up for my newsletter.