Goodreads Giveaway Postmortem

Some of you might remember that I ran a Goodreads giveaway for my new YA fantasy novel. I was using a new tactic that involved a shorter time frame, fewer books, and a broader audience.

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The giveaway began on August 27th and ended on September 7th. A total of 1409 people entered to win 1 of 5 books. Yay! Over 650 people added the book to their “to-read” list. Yay! The winners came from around the globe, with a representations from Peru, Romania, Italy, Great Britain, and the US.

So, did it do anything for sales of the book? No. Boo! In fact, since the contest has ended, the number of folks with it on their “to-read” list has dropped slightly. This makes me believe that they only added it because of their potential to win it. Anyway, it doesn’t make me any less enthusiastic about sending out copies to the winners. And, I think I might just run another giveaway soon to try and spur further interest.

Total sales of Danny Dirks thus far? 16. :-/ Good thing I had that BookBub run to lift my spirits. 😉

Only 12 hours left on my giveaway!

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Over 1100 people have signed up for a chance to win a signed copy of Danny Dirks and the Heir of Pendragon, but there’s only 12 hours left in the giveaway. Head on over to Goodreads and sign up if you haven’t already. 😀

Some Thoughts on Goodreads Giveaways

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At the moment, I’ve got two giveaways going on over at Goodreads. One for my suspense/thriller, Divisible by Six. the other for my recently released YA fantasy, Danny Dirks and the Heir of Pendragon. I’ve run giveaways in the past, but never two at the same time. The results are interesting so far.

Now, it might not be fair to compare these two giveaways as they are vastly different books, but the information might be useful for someone planning to do one in the near future. If you read the information that Goodreads provides, they suggeest focusing your target audience, running the giveaway for as long as possible, and giving away as many books as you can. So, when I set up the giveaway for Divisible, I followed these rules. That giveaway runs from July 24th to October 7th; almost 2.5 months. I’m giving away 10 signed copies. Almost five weeks into the giveaway, as of this writing, ~70 people have added the book to their “to-read” list and 178 have entered to win a copy.

Recently, I read a very interesting article over at Catherine, Caffeinated that tossed all of the ideas of what was right and what was wrong on its head. Essentially, she says to do the exact opposite of what Goodreads tells you. Make the giveaway short, give away a few copies, and make it available to readers across the globe. I was intrigued by the ideas and the timing couldn’t have been better. I wanted to give away some copies of Danny Dirks to get the name out there.

So, the giveaway for Danny Dirks began on August 24th and runs until September 7; two weeks. I made the book available to all members of Goodreads, no matter the country. I’m giving away 5 signed copies. Five days in, as of this writing, 169 people have added the book and 356 people have requested a copy.

What does this prove? Well, it could be nothing, really. To compare a YA fantasy to adult suspense/thriller isn’t even like apples to oranges. More like rutabagas and kumquats… 😀 Anyway, I think the point is that, by shortening your window and widening your audience, you might have a better chance at getting exposure. The two most popular times for a book to be added during a Goodreads giveaway are when it’s on the “Recently Listed” list and the “Ending Soon” list. So, the closer you can get those two dates together, the better off you might be. Not sure if there’s a magic number, but 14 days seems to be working out quite well.

If the point of the giveaway is to get your book’s name in front of the most people, this method might be the way to go. Now the true test might be the reviews gained per book given away, but that’s for another day. Hope this little bit of data is helpful.

Have you run a giveaway recently? Any advice to share? Leave comment and thanks for stopping by. 🙂

I’m giving away more books!

To celebrate the launch of my upcoming YA fantasy novel, I’m giving away 5 signed copies of Danny Dirks and the Heir of Pendragon over at Goodreads. This is a short-term giveaway that wraps up on September 7th, so head on over and sign up. Danny Dirks releases in ebook form on September 1st!

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5 ways to utilize Goodreads

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I recently updated my Goodreads author profile and it occurred to me how few authors (myself included) really take full advantage of being a Goodreads Author. Sure, maybe you’ve filled in the data for your author profile, but have you really explored the website? Check out these five tips for taking full advantage of Goodreads.

1. Be a reader who also happens to write, not vice versa. Go into Goodreads as a fan of writing. Go into the discussion groups as a reader. Is it ok to talk about yourself as a writer? Yes, but you can’t lead with it. Make good comments and have something to say as a reader first, and people will check out your profile. If they bring up writing, then feel free to interject. The temptation will be there to sell your books. You will more than likely anger folks if you do this in the wrong context. Find the groups that are talking about books like yours. Do you write young adult fantasy? You can bet there’s an active group talking about it. Also, be on the lookout for groups that allow you to post sales or freebies. This can be just as good as a paid advertisement. Be an active member first and a passive bookseller second and folks will eventually figure it out on their own.

2. Connect your blog. Remember that this is another venue through which potential readers may come. Get your voice out there. Maybe they won’t immediately click on your books, but connecting your blog gives them a little snippet of the kind of writing they can expect.

3. Fill out your Ask the Author interview questions. This is an opportunity to engage random readers. Be colorful. Be interesting. Show potential readers what’s in store for them if they read your books.

4. Use the self-serve advertising. While there’s no guarantee for success here, advertising on Goodreads is relatively inexpensive and gets you face time with your primary customer.

5. Host a giveaway for your paperbacks. Goodreads is filled with rabid readers who love nothing better than getting a free paperback. It can generate reviews and good karma and is well worth the relatively low cost of printing and shipping a handful of books.

Do you have a Goodreads good practice? Please share in the comments below!

Goodreads Giveaway!


I’m giving away ten (10) signed copies of the paperback version of my pseudonymous suspense/thriller, Divisible by Six, over at Goodreads. Book 2 in a trilogy, Divisible hits the ground running and races to an exciting finish. The fast-paced sequel picks up right where its well-received (avg 4.0 out of 5 stars on Amazon [21 reviews]; avg 3.93 stars out of 5 on Goodreads [44 reviews]) predecessor, Multiples of Six, left off.

If you’re a self-published author with a paperback, I highly recommend doing a giveaway over at Goodreads. It’s a simple and efficient way to generate interest in your book, and you might just get a review or two from it.

Haven’t heard of Goodreads?! Get thee to Goodreads! It’s a great place to do quiet marketing, be part of a book-loving community, and maybe sell a book or two.