If not enough signed up for a copy then it’s easy – friends and relatives have copies foisted upon them. If too many signed up, however, then you may have your work cut out for you.
I did a book giveaway on Goodreads for nearly the whole month of June. In that time I got over 800 entries (the average is 825). I started early figuring out who the best recipients of my book would be, starting when I had around 130 people. I looked at a couple things:
- # of books on shelves;
- # of friends;
- # of reviews given;
- Recenty read books;
- Level of Goodreads Engagement;
- Favorite Book Genres.
This is really done for the following reasons:
- I want the readers that will like the book to get it;
- I want the readers that are likely to review the book to get it;
- I want readers that have a large social presence on Goodreads, and are likely to tell their friends about good books, to have a copy.
So really, I’m trying to benefit myself more than anything. Since I’m giving something away that people would normally pay for, I have no problems with this.
But the thing is, you don’t choose your Goodreads giveaway winners – Goodreads does that for you.
As soon as my giveaway concluded at midnight on July 3 I got an email telling me the 10 winners and their addresses. The email has links to the winners, which you can even get on a nice downloadable spreadsheet. Here’s what the email looks like:
Yep, these folks aren’t that active, and that’s why I would have preferred to select the winners myself, even if it meant wading through 10+ pages of them and 800+ entrants.
I’d already been doing that as the entries came in, and by 300 entries I’d chosen about 5 finalists.
But…You Don’t Choose the Winners, Goodreads Does!
Will that help with some reviews? Maybe. Mainly it helps with costs. I don’t have to send the books to myself and then send them out again, paying shipping in effect two times.
I paid on average $7.89 for each book, although some were a little more expensive due to sales taxes in those states. For instance, sending to Florida cost me $8.15 while Kansas was $8.26. It was nice to see one winner here in Missoula, an older woman, and I sure hope the foul language in the book doesn’t offend her.
I guess I’ll find out in a few weeks or months as those reviews come in. Goodreads figures that a lot of people actually do review the books they get in giveaways, and I sure hope that holds true for me as well.
Now, I didn’t see the part of the email until later that said don’t contact the winners directly.
Oh well. I don’t really think sending the message I did will cause the world to falter:
Well, as a reader I wouldn’t mind that too much, although you’ll notice on your Goodreads giveaway book page that there is a button you click to tell the site that you have sent all the books:
Goodreads Giveaway Bottom Line
It’s just a great way to get more eyes on your book. And unlike many eBook marketing sites and services, this one allows readers to choose what they’re interested in. If they don’t win, the book is still on many of their “To-Read” lists, and perhaps they’ll even buy a copy.
(Note: Some "To-Read" lists have thousands of books, so that might not help in that case).
Let me tell you, for $8 a copy or so that’s a lot better than doing nothing. What else could you spend $8 on? Some lousy fast food or some beer? A pack of smokes or some gas in the car?
Now you have to figure what that review on Amazon is worth to you, one that actually came from someone that you didn’t have to beg and cajole, and who isn’t related to you, if there's a difference. Those are important, and worth far more than $8 to you, aren’t they? I mean, you worry about them enough!
So that’s why Goodreads giveaways are a smart bet when, like most things, they’re used in moderation and with clear expectations of results.
I’ll give away 10 books and I hope I’ll get a few reviews, maybe 2 to 3 over the next 2 to 3 months. Nothing huge, but something. And something is better than nothing.