Goodreads Giveaways: Important Changes Effective January 9, 2018

Image from ShutterStock.

GOODREADS GIVEAWAY CHANGES

Like many authors and publishers, I have used Goodreads giveaways for years to help with discovery, create buzz, and seek honest reviews for newly released books.

I have been a big fan of the Goodreads giveaway, having written a few articles about it on my blog.

I’m still a fan, but there are some important changes coming January 9, 2018:

  • All KDP authors/publishers will be able to offer eBook giveaways. Previously, this was only open to traditional publishers.
  • It will cost a minimum of $119 to run a Goodreads giveaway. That’s in addition to the cost of purchasing and sending physical copies (if you choose to run a contest for print books). Until now, there has been no fee to run a Goodreads giveaway.
  • Entrants will have the book automatically added to their Want-to-Read lists (which friends potentially see through their update feeds).
  • You will gain additional exposure, as Goodreads will notify the author’s followers and anyone who has already added the book to their Want-to-Read list about the new giveaway.
  • Initially, Goodreads giveaways will only be open to residents of the United States. (This restriction applies to entrants, not to authors.)
  • It’s possible to gain premium placement among Goodreads giveaways by paying $599 (instead of $119) for a Premium Giveaway (instead of a Standard Giveaway).
  • You will need to link an Amazon account to your Goodreads account in order to run a Goodreads giveaway. (You can create a new Amazon account if you don’t already have one.)

Are these changes good or bad?

Like most changes to the publishing world, it will be better for some authors than others.

Let’s start with the bad. There are really only two things that I don’t like:

  • It’s no longer free. Having to spend $119 seems a bit pricey. And if you run a print giveaway, it costs even more, as you must pay for author copies plus shipping and packaging.
  • Only residents of the United States may enter the giveaway, at least initially. It’s not a big issue for me, personally, since most of my book traffic comes from the United States, but I have acquaintances in the United Kingdom and Canada who feel left out.

The real question is this:

Will the benefits of a Goodreads giveaway offset the cost?

Keep in mind that with the changes to the Goodreads giveaway program, it’s possible that it will be more effective now than it has been in the past.

How might it be more effective starting January 9, 2018?

  • There might be less competition from other giveaways, making it easier for readers to discover your book. Not as many authors/publishers will be willing to pay the fee.
  • The giveaway might gain more exposure since the book will be automatically added to Want-to-Read lists, and since Goodreads will notify the author’s followers and anyone who has already added the book to their Want-to-Read list that a giveaway is available for the book.

Note also that the cost of the giveaway has not necessarily increased as much as it may seem.

Starting January 9, 2018, you can run a Standard Giveaway for $119. However, if you choose to run an eBook giveaway instead of giving away print books, you will save on the cost of author copies, shipping, and packaging. I’ve actually paid more than $119 for a Goodreads giveaway when it was FREE: I’ve spent over $50 on author copies and over $80 on shipping for several giveaways, which comes to over $130. In those cases, I would have saved money by paying $119 for an eBook giveaway.

The new cost of the Goodreads giveaway encourages authors/publishers to offer more prizes.

You pay the same $119 fee for a Standard Giveaway, regardless of whether you offer a single book as a prize, or several copies of the same book.

If you only give away one book, $119 is a pretty steep price to pay. However, if you offer several copies of your book, the cost per book drops down dramatically.

Like all paid marketing, Goodreads giveaways are more likely to be cost-effective for authors who write compelling books. If you only sell a few books per month, paying $119 for a giveaway will come at a great loss. If your book sells thousands of copies per year, paying $119 is relatively cheap.

Are you upset that you won’t be able to run a free/inexpensive giveaway?

That’s ridiculous! Of course you can.

You can run an Amazon Giveaway directly from your book’s Amazon product page.

You just pay for the selling price of the book. For a print book, you must pay the shipping charges, too. In either case, you will be compensated partly later when you receive your royalty. You can even require entrants to follow you at Amazon. (When you publish a new eBook through KDP, Amazon notifies your Amazon followers of your new release.)

Learn more about the changes to Goodreads giveaways:

  • Click here to see the Goodreads giveaway help page.
  • Click here to read an article by David Wogahn.

Would you like to tell Goodreads how you feel about the new giveaway program?

  • Click here and scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the survey (if it’s still available). Look for “send us feedback” in bold letters.

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2017

Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more
  • Kindle Formatting Magic (coming soon)

Click here to view my Goodreads author page.

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

Check out these Cover Reveals (good variety)

Curtains from ShutterStock; cover designed by Melissa Stevens at theillustratedauthor.net

Curtains from ShutterStock; cover designed by Melissa Stevens at http://www.theillustratedauthor.net

COVER REVEALS

Why do a cover reveal for just my own book?

Why not do a cover reveal for a variety of new books by different authors?

So that’s exactly what I’m doing.

I was fortunate to get some really cool covers when I asked for volunteers for my multi-cover reveal. I might be reading a few of these books soon.

It’s not just me, apparently: A few of these authors had some impressive sales ranks of their other books (one has an author rank in the top 100 in the category). Thank you to everyone who participated.

Check out the cool new books below.

CURSIVE HANDWRITING FOR MATH LOVERS

Julie Harper and Chris McMullen

Know someone who could use some handwriting practice, who is more interested in math than language? This unique book might be just the thing. Julie Harper has written a number of popular handwriting workbooks, such as Wacky Sentences.

Find this book on Amazon: http://amzn.com/1512181323

Julie Harper’s writing website: http://wackysentences.com

Chris McMullen’s math blog: http://improveyourmathfluency.com

ICHABOD BROOKS & THE CITY OF BEASTS

Charles E. Yallowitz

This fantasy adventure was released on June 1. The author also has a popular sword and sorcery fantasy series:

Find this book on Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00YLUHQRK

Charles E. Yallowitz’s blog: http://legendsofwindemere.com

See the original cover reveal: http://legendsofwindemere.com/2015/05/15/cover-reveal-ichabod-brooks-the-city-of-beasts

RIDGETOP

Carol Ervin

The byline is A Mountain Women Thriller. Carol Ervin is a popular author in the historical fiction genre (though this new release is a contemporary suspense).

Find this book on Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00WZXA6RM

Carol Ervin’s website: http://carolervin.com

See the original cover reveal: http://carolervin.com/2015/05/01/contemporary-suspense

THE FAMILY DIVIDED

Anne Allen

This is Book 4 of the Guernsey Novels, a popular mystery series by Anne Allen.

Find this book on Amazon (available for pre-order): http://amzn.com/B00WZXA6RM

Anne Allen’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/anne.allen.12327

SEARCH FOR THE GOLDEN SERPENT

Luciana Cavallaro

This looks like mythological and historical fiction with a modern-day hero—an intriguing blend.

Find this book on Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00TO8TT9W

Luciana Cavallaro’s blog: http://luccav.com/blog

See the original cover reveal: http://luccav.com/2015/03/27/up-up-and-away

THE MADNESS ENGINE

Paul B. Spence

This is the third book of the Awakening sci-fi series.

Find this book on Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00WLGX4TK

See the original cover reveal: https://northofandover.wordpress.com/2015/04/24/and-the-new-one-too

ONCE BURNT, TWICE BLIND

Christine Plouvier

This is the sequel to Irish Firebrands.

Find this series on Amazon: http://amzn.com/1484165705

Christine Plouvier’s blog: https://irishfirebrands.wordpress.com

See the original cover reveal: https://irishfirebrands.wordpress.com/2015/03/16/irish-firebrands-sequel-gets-title-and-cover

DEATH BEFORE DAYLIGHT

Shannon A. Thompson

Coming in September, but you can get started with Book 1 of the series, Minutes Before Sunset.

Check out Shannon A. Thompson’s other books: http://www.amazon.com/Shannon-A.-Thompson/e/B00AXANG76

See the original cover reveal: http://shannonathompson.com/2015/05/20/deathbeforedaylightcr

HOW LONG ARE THE BOOKS THAT YOU READ?

Have time for a quick survey?

You can view the results when you’re done.

https://chrismcmullen.wordpress.com/2015/05/31/how-long-are-the-books-that-you-read-survey

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

HAVE A COVER REVEAL?

Authors, have you done a cover reveal recently? Doing one soon?

If so, please leave a comment to let me know.

Once your cover reveal goes live, provide a link to it so I can include your cover reveal the next time I do a post like this.

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2015

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more
  • Kindle Formatting Magic (coming soon)

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.