Some Thoughts on Goodreads Giveaways

Mulraney_PENDRAGON_BOOK1_PrintEdition (1) vs bookcover_divisibleBySix_6x9withBleed_25percent

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. 🙂

OMG… the BookBub Gods Have Finally Smiled Upon Me

So, yeah… BookBub. If you haven’t heard of them, then you’re more than likely not a self-published author. If you have, then you know that running an ad with them can often be a marketing and financial boon. I might have set the record for submitting my book (Multiples of Six by Andy Rane) to them… and getting rejected every time. Well, apparently, they just never wanted me to make money off of it. Every time I submitted, I would offer to lower the price of my novel to $0.99. I submitted to them well over 15 times, perhaps 20. Each and every time, I got the standard rejection letter. So, when my next opportunity came to submit, I broke down and submitted the book as a freebie. And now I’m in. My scheduled day is September 2nd.

Mind you, this isn’t the first time Multiples has been free. It’s just the first time in a very long time. You see, back in the day, when the KDP Select  program was in its infancy, going free could be miraculous. My first free day was in February of 2012. I gave away 6700 copies in a single day (thanks to being picked up by Pixel of Ink and Ereader News Today). The next day, the book went back to being $2.99 and sold another 450 paid copies over the next month. It was awesome. A few months later, I ran another promo. This time, I gave away another 9000 copies, but the post-free bump was less than half of what it had been a few months before. Amazon had changed their algorithm. A free sale was no longer equivalent to a paid sale. I ran my last free promotion for that book during the summer of 2012. I gave away another 2500 copies, but saw no post-free bump at all.

I’ll admit, I really didn’t want to go free with that book again.  But, now I’m looking forward to it. I only have one other book in that series and maybe it’ll help generate sales and reviews for both.

If you’re looking to promote your book, take a good look at the options. BookBub can be a tough nut to crack into, but the results are well documented. Be sure to check out some of the other sites listed above as well.

Have you had success with BookBub or other marketing sites? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Me? On TV? Sure, why not?

So, I was holding off on blogging about this, mainly because I wasn’t sure it was going to happen. It still might fall through, but the prospect is pretty exciting. Recently, we had a new addition to my weekly writers’ group meetup. It turned out, she was a writer for television. She’d created several reality shows and had recently sold one. We had a nice chat about writing and selling off your precious creations. She was debating whether to sell one particular idea because she didn’t think the production company that was interested would do a good job with the content. Anyway, I didn’t think much about it after that first meeting, until someone mentioned that she wanted to do a “reality” show on self-publishing.


“Sign me up!” 😉

Of course, I still thought nothing of it. Someone says TV and I think, “Riiiight, like anyone is going to want a no name like myself.” But, then I heard the details. This was going to be a local thing, essentially a regional broadcast to an audience of ~50,000 viewers. When the call went out for those interested, I stepped up to be a guest. The show would consist of several 6- to 7-minute spots with a variety of authors from around the area. Local self-published authors talking about their writing to local readers. Cool, right?

Then, today I received an email from the writer/producer. Would you be able to help with the moderator auditions? I’d love to! Anything to help the cause.

I have no idea how this will pan out, but it’s a fun little adventure to be on. I’ll keep you posted on how everything works out and whether it actually makes it to the air. I don’t have any delusions of grandeur about this affecting book sales in any significant way, but it can’t hurt.