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Thread: Goodreads charging for giveaways?

  1. #1
    All the nopes. lizmonster's Avatar
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    Goodreads charging for giveaways?

    Did anyone else get this email this morning?

    A HUNDRED AND NINETEEN BUCKS?? I just ordered a box of new copies to do giveaways next year, but this is SO not worth it to me. Now I'll have to schedule them all before January 18th.

    "
    Hi Elizabeth,
    As an author who uses Goodreads Giveaways, we want to let you know we’ll be introducing our new Goodreads Giveaways program on January 9, 2018, offering even more powerful book marketing benefits that authors have been asking for. Our new Goodreads Giveaways program includes two packages, Standard and Premium—you can learn more about them below. And for the first time, Kindle Direct Publishing authors can run giveaways for Kindle ebooks—a feature previously only available to traditional publishers. The new program, which replaces our current Giveaways program, will initially be for giveaways open to U.S. residents.
    Since we launched Goodreads Giveaways nine years ago, we’ve helped authors and publishers get millions of books into the hands of readers to drive prerelease buzz, discovery, and reviews. Giveaways have become a core part of Goodreads’ suite of book marketing tools (advertising, deals, and giveaways), and have become a must-do tactic for authors and publishers, helping many titles – including The Girl on the Train – break out to early success.
    From January 9, 2018, you can choose from the following two packages:
    Standard Giveaway
    (available in your choice of print book or Kindle ebook format).
    1. (NEW) Everyone who enters your giveaway automatically adds the book to their Want-to-Read list, promoting your book via updates in their friends’ updates feeds, and building an audience for your title.
    2. (NEW) The author’s followers and anyone who has already added the book to their Want-to-Read list get a notification, letting them know there’s a giveaway starting. This helps generate even more entries, creating more stories in the Goodreads updates feed.
    3. About eight weeks after your Giveaway ends, winners receive an email from Goodreads to remind them to rate and review your book. This will help other readers discover and decide to read the book too.
    4. Giveaways are featured in the Giveaways section of Goodreads.com, allowing readers to discover new books.
    The new Standard Package is $119 per giveaway for either print book or Kindle ebook format. From January 9, 2018 to January 31, 2018, take advantage of our introductory price: only $59 (save 50%).
    Premium Giveaway
    (available in your choice of print book or Kindle ebook format).
    Premium Giveaways are designed to give you more opportunity to connect with readers than ever. A Premium Giveaway includes:
    1. (NEW) Premium placement in the Giveaways section of Goodreads, with tens of millions of visitors each month, giving your giveaway significantly more visibility and more entrants.
    The Premium package also includes all of the benefits of the Standard package:
    2. (NEW) Everyone who enters your giveaway automatically adds the book to their Want-to-Read list, promoting your book via updates in their friends’ updates feeds, and building an audience for your title.
    3. (NEW) The author’s followers and anyone who has already added the book to their Want-to-Read list get a notification, letting them know there’s a giveaway starting. This helps generate even more entries, creating more stories in the Goodreads updates feed.
    4. About eight weeks after your Giveaway ends, winners receive an email from Goodreads to remind them to rate and review your book. This will help other readers discover and decide to read the book too.
    5. Giveaways are shown in the Giveaways section of Goodreads and the book page, allowing readers to discover new books.
    The new Premium Package is $599 per giveaway for either print book or Kindle ebook format. From January 9, 2018 to January 31, 2018, take advantage of our introductory price: only $299 (save 50%).
    New Giveaways created on or after 1/9/18 will initially be open to US residents only. Giveaways created prior to 1/9/18 will continue to run as scheduled, but will not benefit from any of the enhancements in our new Giveaways program.
    We encourage you to take advantage of this introductory pricing and try the new products out!
    Have questions? Take a look here to learn more.
    Thanks,
    The Goodreads Team
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  2. #2
    reading all the things Anna Iguana's Avatar
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    Hey, Liz. I'm in the Goodreads author program, but I didn't get this email. Of course, I've never done a giveaway... but I'm wondering about the link at the bottom of the email, where you're invited to click if you have any questions. It looks like the link does not go to Goodreads, so I wonder if this is a phishing email.

  3. #3
    All the nopes. lizmonster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anna Iguana View Post
    Hey, Liz. I'm in the Goodreads author program, but I didn't get this email. Of course, I've never done a giveaway... but I'm wondering about the link at the bottom of the email, where you're invited to click if you have any questions. It looks like the link does not go to Goodreads, so I wonder if this is a phishing email.
    Alas, it's not: https://www.goodreads.com/authors-advertisers

    Also some discussion beginning on Twitter.

    For $30, I might have tried it. My publisher sure as hell isn't going to help me; they've already written me off.

    This is just disheartening.
    December goals:

    1. WIP outline/integration of notes
    2. Revise first 1/3 of WIP
    3. At least 2 blog posts
    4. Progress on side projects
    5. Other WIP, if applicable

    Hey, I got interviewed by AbsoluteWrite!




    Here are some books I wrote.

  4. #4
    What to my wondering eyes... AW Moderator Sage's Avatar
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    Well, $119 is pretty close to what I made with a small publisher before they went under. Total. It sucks, since the giveaways were the best way to get your book in front of the eyes of people who wouldn't normally find it. Now you have to pay to play? It's going to be the same books that get into B&N and advertise on the Kindle
    Come join us in the Countdown to 2018 Flash Fiction Challenge. New prompt every day. (password: flashed)
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    "I'm a failure," Jack cried, covering his face with his hands. "Father Frost will disown me. I'll be replaced by my sister, Jill. Snow will be pink this year!"



  5. #5
    All the nopes. lizmonster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sage View Post
    Well, $119 is pretty close to what I made with a small publisher before they went under. Total. It sucks, since the giveaways were the best way to get your book in front of the eyes of people who wouldn't normally find it. Now you have to pay to play? It's going to be the same books that get into B&N and advertise on the Kindle
    Spouse points out in a few months it might not even be a deductible expense anymore.

    On Twitter, Chuck Wendig pointed out that with the "adds the book to all the entrants' TBR lists" feature, they've given people a way to pay to game the ranking system.

    I'd love to just pull everything off of Goodreads, but a) it's not my call; and b) I suspect, like Amazon, it's one of those things that we just have to live with.

    But it's hard not to take it as yet another existential message from the universe. Sigh.
    December goals:

    1. WIP outline/integration of notes
    2. Revise first 1/3 of WIP
    3. At least 2 blog posts
    4. Progress on side projects
    5. Other WIP, if applicable

    Hey, I got interviewed by AbsoluteWrite!




    Here are some books I wrote.

  6. #6
    What to my wondering eyes... AW Moderator Sage's Avatar
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    As a reader, I hate the automatic "Want to Read" feature. I use giveaways to explore new authors and also request ones I already want, and as it is, I get 1-3 e-mails a day from Giveaways for books I already have on "Want to Read" having giveaways. Giveaways is a way for a reader to explore, but just because we want to check out a book, doesn't mean we want to commit to adding it to our list. A lot of times, I'll recognize those books in bookstores or on Amazon or in someone's tweets, and it will catch my interest because of the giveaway, but sometimes once i check it out elsewhere, I realize I have no interest in it. The giveaway level is not where I want to dive into the first few pages and decide if I want to commit to a book.
    Come join us in the Countdown to 2018 Flash Fiction Challenge. New prompt every day. (password: flashed)
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    "I'm a failure," Jack cried, covering his face with his hands. "Father Frost will disown me. I'll be replaced by my sister, Jill. Snow will be pink this year!"



  7. #7
    All the nopes. lizmonster's Avatar
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    I'm going to publish nowhere but Wattpad from now on. I won't make a dime, but neither will Amazon.

    (I'm kidding. Maybe. Not sure yet.)
    December goals:

    1. WIP outline/integration of notes
    2. Revise first 1/3 of WIP
    3. At least 2 blog posts
    4. Progress on side projects
    5. Other WIP, if applicable

    Hey, I got interviewed by AbsoluteWrite!




    Here are some books I wrote.

  8. #8
    Scribe of the girls in the basement Marissa D's Avatar
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    This just showed up in my inbox too. Guess I won't be doing any more GR giveaways.

    I wonder if there will be a migration to the Member Giveaways on LibraryThing, which remain free (and knowing Tim, the site owner, I don't ever see them charging for it.)

  9. #9
    MacAllister's Official Minion & Greeter AW Moderator Ari Meermans's Avatar
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    Since this thread isn't a promotional thread for a specific book or other published work, I'ma have to move it. There are a couple of options for a destination room, but to save wear and tear on my old heart, we're going to take a short trip on over to Roundtable.

    Hands and feet in the car while it's in motion, y'all. You might want to hold on to hats and scarves while while you're at it. <g>
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  10. #10
    All the nopes. lizmonster's Avatar
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    I was just about to reply to the previous post. But in case others saw it, this is from the Goodreads blog link:

    "All of these benefits are included in the Standard package which costs $119 for up to 100 copies (either Kindle ebook or print book). The new Goodreads Giveaways program, which replaces our current Giveaways program, will go live on January 9, 2018, and will initially be for giveaways open to U.S. residents."

    The bit about "U.S. residents" is bothersome, too. It suggests I won't be able to include other countries anymore either.

    I think they're expecting the draw for authors to be the automatic adding of giveaway books to people's TBR lists, which affect Goodreads rankings. If we don't do giveaways, we'll get crowded out.
    December goals:

    1. WIP outline/integration of notes
    2. Revise first 1/3 of WIP
    3. At least 2 blog posts
    4. Progress on side projects
    5. Other WIP, if applicable

    Hey, I got interviewed by AbsoluteWrite!




    Here are some books I wrote.

  11. #11
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    I think the automatic addition of books to users To be read lists is gonna really really annoy folks.

    I kinda lost faith in Goodreads post Amazon acquisition and the whole GoodReads bullies fiasco, which was so poorly handled by Goodreads, in that they got completely taken in by bullies who were attacking readers and other writers.

    LibraryThing is still a good option, in my opinion.

  12. #12
    Making Einstein cry since 1994 Maggie Maxwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
    I think the automatic addition of books to users To be read lists is gonna really really annoy folks.
    I can tell you it really, really annoys me and it's not even active yet. There are some books that I sign up for the giveaway but for whatever reason, I'm not interested in adding it. Like "cool, if I get it, I will, but otherwise, meh." Now they're just gonna start adding them automatically? Then I'm not even going to participate on those to avoid having to clean up the mess they made on my account.

    I need to get on adding my book list to LibraryThing.

    ETA: I've seen this survey going around Twitter re: the new giveaways. I don't know where they got the link, but based on who's tweeted it, I'm gonna assume it's official: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/goodreadsgiveaways20
    Last edited by Maggie Maxwell; 11-29-2017 at 09:53 PM.
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  13. #13
    MacAllister's Official Minion & Greeter AW Moderator Ari Meermans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
    I think the automatic addition of books to users To be read lists is gonna really really annoy folks.

    I kinda lost faith in Goodreads post Amazon acquisition and the whole GoodReads bullies fiasco, which was so poorly handled by Goodreads, in that they got completely taken in by bullies who were attacking readers and other writers.

    LibraryThing is still a good option, in my opinion.
    Yep, this.

    It was pretty much a given that Amazon would find a way to make money off Goodreads, and at the authors' expense more than likely.

    That automatic addition of books to my TBR list would be enough to send me running if I was still on Goodreads. Which I ain't—I, too, recommend LibraryThing.
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  14. #14
    All the nopes. lizmonster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie Maxwell View Post
    ETA: I've seen this survey going around Twitter re: the new giveaways. I don't know where they got the link, but based on who's tweeted it, I'm gonna assume it's official: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/goodreadsgiveaways20
    It's real. The link is from the bottom of the Goodreads blog post.
    December goals:

    1. WIP outline/integration of notes
    2. Revise first 1/3 of WIP
    3. At least 2 blog posts
    4. Progress on side projects
    5. Other WIP, if applicable

    Hey, I got interviewed by AbsoluteWrite!




    Here are some books I wrote.

  15. #15
    Making Einstein cry since 1994 Maggie Maxwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizmonster View Post
    It's real. The link is from the bottom of the Goodreads blog post.
    Ah, so it is. I missed it on the first read. Thanks.
    The insane who believe they are sane are crazy. The sane who know they are insane are writers.

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  16. #16
    reading all the things Anna Iguana's Avatar
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    This move by Amazon to monetize promotions on Goodreads gives more context to how Amazon has recently begun to undercut BookBub promotions by rank-stripping some authors when they use BookBub. Or am I in error connecting those dots?

  17. #17
    Scribe of the girls in the basement Marissa D's Avatar
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    I would not be surprised if there were a connection, Anna Iguana.

  18. #18
    Writer Beware's Faithful Igor Richard White's Avatar
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    Goodreads rankings?

    Wow, I really haven't been paying attention.

    I already almost completely ignore Goodreads given the other demands on my non-work time. It sounds like they're giving me even more reasons to abandon it.

  19. #19
    All the nopes. lizmonster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anna Iguana View Post
    This move by Amazon to monetize promotions on Goodreads gives more context to how Amazon has recently begun to undercut BookBub promotions by rank-stripping some authors when they use BookBub. Or am I in error connecting those dots?
    Nope, you're not in error.

    The thing that I keep coming back to is that everyone has always been expecting Amazon to act like a publisher (since they are one). But based on my own experience, publishers tend to work with each other to try to maintain a vibrant marketplace. The publicist at Voyager has had me write posts and do panels organized by other publishers, and I see all the time editors and marketing people boosting titles put out by their competitors.

    Amazon wants it all to themselves. Amazon is a software company that sells stuff. They aren't interested in books or readers or the artistic market at all. If they could they'd take the monopoly and charge you a buck for every time someone reads your work.

    I'm a customer of theirs. I buy stuff through them all the time because there's variety and it's easy. That's what makes them powerful, and what makes them dangerous.

    (And yeah, Apple didn't handle it properly, but dammit, some competition would have been nice.)
    December goals:

    1. WIP outline/integration of notes
    2. Revise first 1/3 of WIP
    3. At least 2 blog posts
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    5. Other WIP, if applicable

    Hey, I got interviewed by AbsoluteWrite!




    Here are some books I wrote.

  20. #20
    All the nopes. lizmonster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard White View Post
    Goodreads rankings?

    Wow, I really haven't been paying attention.

    I already almost completely ignore Goodreads given the other demands on my non-work time. It sounds like they're giving me even more reasons to abandon it.
    That will likely be my response, too.

    But it's upsetting. I love doing Goodreads giveaways. I've had to order more copies because I've given away so many of the ones I got for free. And I love opening them to non-US readers as well - I know too many people who live outside the US.

    I haven't any idea if giveaways are a decent marketing tool. I'd be a little surprised if I made back even a fraction of what I paid in postage. But they made me happy. If I could afford to do it, I'd send free copies to anyone who asked. All I've ever wanted is for people who might like my stories to be able to find them.

    I could afford to pay the money. But on principle - I'm not interested in subsidizing Amazon's market grab. And there are too many authors out there for whom $119 is genuinely prohibitive.
    December goals:

    1. WIP outline/integration of notes
    2. Revise first 1/3 of WIP
    3. At least 2 blog posts
    4. Progress on side projects
    5. Other WIP, if applicable

    Hey, I got interviewed by AbsoluteWrite!




    Here are some books I wrote.

  21. #21
    Not as sweet as you think Aggy B.'s Avatar
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    The thing about Amazon is all they want is their cut, whether you're selling books or socks or toaster ovens. The quality of the product, the vibrancy of the individual market is not a concern. All they want is a piece of whatever you choose to sell via their platform.
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  22. #22
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    Booklikes does giveaways, and are pretty international.

    I kinda like them; they're small, originally a Polish site/company, but it's a good community and they've not allowed the kinds of mean and manipulative sockpuppetting etc. that Goodeads allows.

    And LibraryThing, whom I really like a lot, has giveaways.
    Last edited by AW Admin; 11-30-2017 at 01:17 AM. Reason: Wrong link; TY nice member who repped me

  23. #23
    Becoming a laptop-human hybrid Fuchsia Groan's Avatar
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    Just heard, and this is awful. My publisher has provided books for giveaways, but doesn’t run them. Guess I won’t be doing any more on GR.

    I could see investing a small amount, like Liz said, maybe $30. Not $119. I’m already paying to mail books to the winners. And I would be curious to know whether those who shell out $599 actually make it back in book sales. If anyone here tries it, I hope they report back. Is GR expecting publishers to take that deal for placement? Will they?

  24. #24
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Here's an official link from the Goodreads website about the changes and a brief explanation of why they're doing it.

    https://www.goodreads.com/help/list/giveaways

  25. #25
    Not as sweet as you think Aggy B.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by novicewriter View Post
    Here's an official link from the Goodreads website about the changes and a brief explanation of why they're doing it.

    https://www.goodreads.com/help/list/giveaways
    "priced to reflect the marketing value" is not an explanation. I see they are also pushing folks outside the US (who won't be eligible for giveaways for an undetermined period of time once the new system starts) to sign up for the "free 30 day trial of Kindle Unlimited" instead.

    So much nope.
    _________
    A.G.C.

    Touch: A Trilogy - AVAILABLE NOW!
    "The 'Touch' trilogy is a masterclass in world-building, tells a fascinating story with economy and intelligence, and does so with fine, pared-down prose." - Eric Brown, author of The Fall of Tartarus

    "I loved this novella series. Brooding, earthy, whispering to us with a delicious mood of creeping dread while filling the heart with a pure sense of wonder." - Charles de Lint, author of The Onion Girl

    A.G. Carpenter
    @Aggy_C

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