Should you do a Goodreads Giveaway? The results of my paid giveaway. #WriterWednesday #BookMarketing #Goodreads #AmWriting

At the start of the year, there was a lot of talk about the Goodreads Giveaway and how it is now too expensive for indie authors. I decided to give it a go anyway, because I’ll try anything once (except eating snake because that’s just gross!). So, how did my giveaway go? Here are the statistics Goodreads sent me upon completion of the giveaway:

goodreads giveaway 1

The number of entrants was low – atrociously low! I’d hoped for around five-hundred entries. I’d be curious to see if buying the premium package would yield different results. Of course, I’d have to win the lottery first to pay for it as, at the time, it was $480 more than the standard package. (The differences between the standard and premium package are outlined in my blog about how to do a Goodreads giveaway here.)

The real reason I did the giveaway, though, was not to add to my ‘want to read’ shelf. I’m pretty sure 307 of those who shelved Searching for Gertrude as ‘want to read’ have never thought about my book again. I wanted reviews. I gave fifty copies of the novel away thinking I’d reap at least ten reviews from the entire process. I even waited several months to write this blog article hoping (and praying!) more reviews would come in.

I was wrong. Here are the current stats for Searching for Gertrude.

goodreads giveaway 7

There is only one review and one rating from readers who won the novel in the giveaway. There are an additional two ratings I can’t trace and may be from the giveaway. Pretty dismal statistics, if you ask me. Also, these reviews and ratings are only on Goodreads and not Amazon or any other retailer site.

It’s obvious from the above that if you want to do a Goodreads giveaway to gain reviews, you might want to think long and hard about it. Although your genre may do may better than mine as I’m finding historical romance is a tough sell.

What about other writers? Has anyone tried a giveaway and had better results? Please, have better results.







18 thoughts on “Should you do a Goodreads Giveaway? The results of my paid giveaway. #WriterWednesday #BookMarketing #Goodreads #AmWriting

  1. jenanita01 says:

    We have done several giveaways on Goodreads with pretty much the same results.
    I didn’t realise it had become that expensive…
    There has to be a better (and easier) way to market our books! One that doesn’t cost a leg and an arm preferably!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. shellelp says:

    I can’t give you an author’s perspective and I admit that does sound dismal, however from a reader’s POV, I go to the giveaway list on a daily basis. Winning the books is fun, but I find it to be the best way on the Goodreads site to learn about books coming out, especially for indie authors. Big name publishers will inundate the site (and everywhere else) with blog posts and ads and lists but there is nothing much for indie books so giveaways can be invaluable. Books that sound really great will go from that list to my library wish list or my spreadsheet TBR because let’s face winning a book isn’t likely and that isn’t really why I go every day.

    Also, though I imagine that it is included in the expensive package, because not every book does this, but Goodreads will often follow up with more information about a book after the giveaway is done and will tell me when the book is released if the giveaway was pre-release so I will hear about these books in my email again and that does sometimes make a difference if I was meaning to buy it later and forgot (so many books, so small a brain!). As a reader, this is a big deal for me. So sorry it didn’t work out for you. Your books deserve to be read by everyone.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. amjusticewrites says:

    Sorry to hear it went so poorly for you. I did four GR giveaways while they were still free, each time giving away between 5 and 25 books, and only 2 recipients ever reviewed the book. Each giveaway netted me a decent number of entries and to-readers (around 950 on average), but since GR doesn’t provide a way for authors to specifically market to to-readers (other than occasionally telling people when there’s another expensive GR promotion for your book), I decided the cost, once they started charging for giveaways, wasn’t worth the benefit. I’m sorry to hear my supposition is true. One would think if they are charging authors to run these, that they would offer more after-the-fact support. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ellen Hawley says:

    I did a giveaway on my blog, which did get me some reviews–on blogs, on GR (which I hate) and on Amazon (don’t get me started). And all if cost was postage, since I had a fair number of free copies from the publisher.

    The next question (and I don’t know if anyone can answer it) is whether the reviews actually sell books.

    Liked by 1 person

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