One of my favorite book promotion tools is a Goodreads giveaway. And, I know that lots of authors weren’t happy when Goodreads changed the program from free to paid.
After taking the new program for a test drive, I think it’s still worth the price of admission. So, I’m sharing what I see as the top benefits as well as the checklist you’ll want to use when doing your own Goodreads giveaway.
The biggest change is that you’ll pay for every Goodreads giveaway that you do, whether print or eBook.
Note: If you're new to Goodreads, here are some helpful posts to help you get up to speed:
Benefits of a Goodreads Giveaway
- You can run kindle eBook giveaways with ARCs if you’re a KDP author.
- The ability to give away up to 100 eBooks means more books in more hands.
- Every time a Goodreads member enters a giveaway for your book it’s automatically added to their Want-to-Read list. And Goodreads generates an update for their friends' newsfeed.
- The author’s followers and anyone with the book in their Want-to-Read list gets a notification that there’s a giveaway starting.
- About eight weeks after your Goodreads giveaway ends, winners receive an email from Goodreads to remind them to rate and review your book.
- You get a list of winners with links to their profiles.
How to Do a Goodreads Giveaway: Your Ultimate Checklist
All your marketing efforts should support each other in a spider-web type approach. So what can you do to enhance your Goodreads Giveaway?
Now that you’ve paid for a new Goodreads giveaway, (or plan to) what other author marketing strategies do you have lined up to support it?
This is crucial for all book marketing. In addition to coming up with promotional strategies, you must find additional ways to easily support the bigger picture stuff.
As Amazon continues integrating its various international sites with the US site, it’s worth looking at your international sales stats. You may be surprised to find that your book is selling really well in a foreign market that you’ll want to include. The shipping cost will be worth the additional exposure.
Sweeten the Print Deal
Print giveaways are a great opportunity to offer added value items to the packages. Maybe it’s a personal note or special swag. This could be bookmarks or any other branded items you have. You can even share sneak previews of upcoming covers or chapter excerpts for your next release—this is especially enticing if you're a series author. Either way, do more than simply signing the books. Include something in the package that makes it more of a gift pack than just a book.
Create a Goodreads Event
Once Goodreads approves your giveaway, create an event, and share it with everyone in your network. Be sure to thank them for their support and ask them to share with their friends, too.
Don’t forget to share the event with your Goodreads genre groups too!
Use Your Personal Website to Promote
If you have a website, create a short and sweet post to remind those who follow you that you’re running a giveaway. Yes, these people probably already have the book, but they should still enter and ask them to share! There’s a ‘Most Requested’ tab on the Goodreads Giveaways page that you should aim to be on.
Plus there’s a free Goodreads Giveaway Widget that you can use on your site to boost your exposure.
Schedule Your Social Media
Taking time now to schedule your posts in advance is one of the most efficient ways to do social media marketing. Schedule posts at reasonable intervals to remind your fans and followers that you’re running a Goodreads giveaway. Let them know how much you’d appreciate their shares, re-tweets, and love. Countdown posts can be fun too!
Leverage Your Newsletter List
Send everyone on your email list a special announcement about the giveaway. Again, ask them very graciously to forward the opportunity to their most book-centric friends or friends that are fans of your genre. Especially if they belong to a book club!
Schedule a Discount eBook Promotion to Immediately Follow Your Giveaway
People who enter your giveaway are interested in your book. And they love a deal. So line up a discount eBook promo to begin right after your giveaway ends. Capitalize on their attention and give them a chance at the next best thing to free—a discount.
Bonus Tip: Consider Running a Shorter Goodreads Giveaway for Fewer Books
On the Goodreads Giveaways page there are also tabs for ‘Ending Soon’ and ‘Recently Listed’ and these are attention-getting.
You can work these to your advantage by doing a shorter giveaway for fewer books if you’re doing print, or just shorter if you’re doing Kindle.
So play with this book marketing strategy a bit and see what gets you the biggest return. I’m excited to hear how the new Goodreads Giveaway works for you!
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