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MartinD
09-07-2011, 02:50 AM
As my self-published novel inches toward publication, I've been wondering about the best way to publicize it.

One idea I've seen a couple of times is to offer a novel giveaway on Goodreads. I understand a contest may raise the profile of my low profile mystery but is that all it will do?

I've contacted a couple of Goodreads authors and both told me they didn't see even a baby bump in sales. Has the giveaway program worked for anyone here?

Alitriona
09-07-2011, 03:53 AM
It has to be a print copy and I do think it raises profile, especially with blog reviewers. I can't say it has much of an impact on sales. My first giveaway was set up by my publisher and offered to US and UK readers with 10 books since it was my first ever release.

My second I set up myself for 1 book and tripled the number of entries by having an international giveaway. It cost me the price of the 1 book and postage, but I think it brought the book to the attention of goodreads readers faster than it would have done without the giveaway. My way of looking at it was, it's inexpensive to do with one book and I had nothing to lose since I had copies to hand.

Medievalist
09-07-2011, 04:48 AM
If you participate openly, and honestly as a genuine member of the community—on Good Reads, or Library Thing or AW—people who think you are interesting, or that you like similar books to the ones they like, etc. are quite likely to check out your books.

Just don't over market so that you're only there to pimp your book.

That's obnoxious.

But creating a real profile, posting real reviews, (not of your own book) and genuinely participating isn't going to hurt.

Alitriona
09-07-2011, 07:05 AM
Another thing,

Giveaways are done with the expectation from Goodreads that the winner will review but there is nothing to say it has to be a good review.

pdblake
09-07-2011, 12:36 PM
One thing I've noticed since self publishing is that most of the places I've been advised to use to get word of my books out are places that, as a reader, I'd never heard of before.

Most of them are places I wouldn't even dream to look for a new book.

I'd never even heard of Goodreads until a couple of weeks ago. So what are the chances that the average person buying my book from Amazon will have?

I'm steadily getting the impression that the only people who are seeing my books in these places are other writers.

tim290280
09-07-2011, 01:31 PM
I'm steadily getting the impression that the only people who are seeing my books in these places are other writers.
:Shrug:

Writers are by definition readers too.

I understand your larger point, and it is one of the annoying things I have found about Twitter, but it is easy enough to find non-writers on Goodreads.

shaldna
09-07-2011, 02:03 PM
I realyl like goodreads, and was initially directed there by a non-writer friend and have since met several people who aren't writers but who love the site, so clearly there are lots of people there who aren't writers.

I think so long as you go to it with the intention of participating and being open and welcoming and willing to interact with stuff, even when it isn't about you, then it can be a great way to bring attention to you and your book

fireluxlou
09-07-2011, 02:51 PM
One thing I've noticed since self publishing is that most of the places I've been advised to use to get word of my books out are places that, as a reader, I'd never heard of before.

Most of them are places I wouldn't even dream to look for a new book.

I'd never even heard of Goodreads until a couple of weeks ago. So what are the chances that the average person buying my book from Amazon will have?

I'm steadily getting the impression that the only people who are seeing my books in these places are other writers.

I thought Good Reads was popular with readers? I don't know anyone online who doesn't have a Good Reads profile.

I'd say it's good. I always add books that interest me to my to-read folder and end up reading them in the end. One extra reader can't hurt.

Enthralled
09-07-2011, 04:38 PM
I was a non-writer when I first found Goodreads, I always go there if I want to check out a review of a book rather than Amazon coz tbh the reviews there seem easily able to be 'faked'.

However you would have to be confident enough in your book to do it, I've read reviews by people who have won give-aways but didn't like the book, and said so -on the plus side, maybe they would be inclined to be less harsh in their review since they had gotten it free.

As the give-awayer you do get to control who you want to send your books to by searching their profiles and seeing if they're 'suitable'.

pdblake
09-07-2011, 07:11 PM
I thought Good Reads was popular with readers? I don't know anyone online who doesn't have a Good Reads profile.

I'd say it's good. I always add books that interest me to my to-read folder and end up reading them in the end. One extra reader can't hurt.

I've not been there long enough to be sure tbh, but the only people I've heard mention Goodreads outside Goodreads are other writers.

Medievalist
09-07-2011, 07:59 PM
I'd never even heard of Goodreads until a couple of weeks ago. So what are the chances that the average person buying my book from Amazon will have?

People who participate on GoodReads, and Shelfari, and Library Thing are hard-core readers. They're people who even before they bought a kindle always have a book with them.

pdblake
09-07-2011, 08:03 PM
People who participate on GoodReads, and Shelfari, and Library Thing are hard-core readers. They're people who even before they bought a kindle always have a book with them.

That's good to know. Guess I'll have to give it a go and find out.:)

MartinD
09-08-2011, 01:22 AM
What a wealth of information. Thanks, guys.

The way I read it is, I'll get more response from a giveaway of a paperback than an electronic copy. Most of the participants will be fellow writers. I may get a good review or a bad review but that's okay. I've purchased books off of a bad review before.

I'm a little vague if anyone has managed to sell more copies because of their giveaway, though.

MysteryRiter
09-08-2011, 01:34 AM
People who participate on GoodReads, and Shelfari, and Library Thing are hard-core readers. They're people who even before they bought a kindle always have a book with them.

That's good. Not many people want to read indie books except for hard core readers. Start with them and if they like your book, they will spread the word.And there are many, many people on Goodreads. About a million.

I'm all for Goodreads by the way. I had too never heard of it until a few weeks ago but so far, my sales definitely have increased. I think the reason that it isn't working for some authors is because they don't use it properly. Listing your book in a giveaway is useless, unless, you join a giveaway group where there are just a few hundred people there but each one happily reads your book and reviews it as long as it is in their genre. Worked for me. To be successul on Goodreads, you should first list every book that you have read that you can possibly think of and write reviews for them. This attracts people who too have read those books and they check out your author page. If they like what they see and your book is reasonably priced, they WILL download it. Another tip: you should look at some of your favorite books and find the people who gave them good review, readers or authors. Click on their page, friend them if it seems as though they will like your book. They will then see your author page, realize that they would like that and probably download it. That's what hard core readers do. To be successful on Goodreads join groups that have a smiliar theme to your books, get involved in the comminuty, join the conversation, vote on yourfavorite books, etc. Trust me, this will work. My sales have definitely gone up.

Diana_Rajchel
09-08-2011, 04:28 AM
I actually have heard of Goodreads first from non-writers. I was actually quite grumpy about having to sign up again for an account thanks to a book club I joined this summer. However, now that I'm there, I'm seeing a very different style of community from what I first encountered and it's well worth pursuing from author or a reader perspective.

AlishaS
09-08-2011, 04:42 AM
I'm a Goodreads fanatic. I even have the iphone app! I use it to scan barcodes of books I'm interested in and read the reviews, or a simple way to take me to amazon where I can buy it.
I tend to star rate books (not so much written reviews) and keep up to date.
When my book get's closer to publication I'll move my account to an Author one. It's another way to interact.

As for the giveaway books having to be paperback? I think that's slowly going out the window. I've seen several people give away e-books (whether you are allowed to or not) and tons of people have put their name in.

MysteryRiter
09-08-2011, 04:49 AM
As for the giveaway books having to be paperback? I think that's slowly going out the window. I've seen several people give away e-books (whether you are allowed to or not) and tons of people have put their name in.
Couldn't agree more. Join the eBook giveaways group. Everyone there wants your book.

KTC
09-08-2011, 05:01 AM
I just finished a giveaway at Goodreads. I put 3 books up for grabs. (I did it independently of my publisher...I had extras from the ones I received for review copies) I DO believe it was a success. Just under 600 people entered. Yes...you get accounts that seem dormant and only there to enter comps...but you also get people who are actual participating members entering. About 80 people added it to their bookshelf over the course of the giveaway. Nobody removed it...I hope some of the ones who entered and did not win still pick it up, but it remains to be seen. I also hope the 3 winners review it...but I don't expect it. You really can't even expect a review when you send your book to a reviewer. They don't have to do one...and most review sites state that clearly.

I love Goodreads as a reader and a book reviewer. It's a social club for book lovers. If the giveaway works for me...great.

Karen Mathis
09-08-2011, 07:01 AM
I can't really offer anything to your original, specific question, but I do want to echo the sentiment that GoodReads is definitely popular with non-writers. I have several friends on there who are not writers, including the one who first pointed me that way. It's a great community of hard-core readers, so I think it's definitely worth your time.

I'd also like to agree that you'll get more response if you're genuinely interactive. People are there to connect with other people, and that means doing more than just telling them about your work.

serabeara
09-08-2011, 08:28 AM
I've been on Goodreads for over three years now. I started using it in order to keep track of my library because I own hundreds of books and needed a way to keep them all organized. I've found a lot of great new authors from recommendations and watching what my friends are reading. If I want to read reviews on a book I go to Goodreads first. I'd say it's a good place for an author to network, and I do have some authors on my friends list, but do be wary because nobody there likes it when an writer is only pushing their books. I use Goodreads to see what people are reading, authors pushing their own material don't get much attention from me. And I happen to know that goes the same for a lot of my friends there.

Alitriona
09-08-2011, 10:19 PM
I've just checked according to goodreads, it did it's first ebook giveaway for epub in June to see if it would work out for them to introduce.

I can't find anything that says the rules have changed to allow ebook giveaways as a norm. I would be very interested if that was now the case. Can anyone direct me to where it says ebooks are allowed now?

Thanks

AllisonK
09-09-2011, 12:13 AM
Another GoodReads fanatic checking in. It's my go-to site for book recommendations and reviews, even before Amazon.

I'm in the middle of doing a giveaway for my own SP novel. It's about a week into the giveaway period (it ends Sept. 30) and already 439 people have requested it, while 122 have added it to their to-read shelf. Now, I realize a majority of those probably won't convert to sales after the giveaway ends, but it might, and if I'm lucky, the winners will post reviews when they finish the book, which will also help.

I am going to take the advice given in this thread to be more active in the community there, and do more reviews of my own. I had to create a new account for myself as an author (I'm using a pen name), so I had to start from scratch there. I have over 1000 books on my original account, so it's going to take some time to get my author account up to speed. *sigh* But I've never really used the site for anything other than looking for books, keeping track of what I read and giving star ratings, so I can see how involving myself more will help as an author. Thanks for that advice! I've also joined Shelfari and a few other sites, but again, haven't really done much there to get involved. I feel like I don't have enough time to do it all.

Speaking of advice, has anyone really had success by randomly friending people based on the books they've liked? I would be afraid to annoy them. Personally, if someone I don't know friends me, I'm leery of it, especially when I think they're only doing it for self-promotion. Then again, I do go and look at the profile of the person, so maybe that's all that matters.

Saanen
09-09-2011, 08:11 PM
I love Goodreads. I use it mostly to keep track of my personal library, but I also check the reviews and what my friends are reading to find books I like. I haven't participated much elsewhere on the site although I've been signed up a few years. I didn't even know they did giveaways until a friend mentioned it recently. I've been trying to be more active lately, though--there's just so much available on the site, it's a shame not to use it all.

I do occasionally friend people whose libraries are similar to mine. Sometimes they friend me back, sometimes they don't. I do it mostly because if they've already read a lot of books I read, they might find and read new books I'd also like to read but haven't come across before. I'm always flattered if someone I don't know friends me.

I do have a Goodreads author page that I update occasionally, but obviously I use the site primarily as a reader. I was on LibraryThing for a while, but you have to pay if you want to list more than 200 books and most of my friends went to Goodreads anyway.