Goodreads Giveaway, Get Your Book Read and Reviewed

paperbacksThis blog normally talks about selling ebooks, but today’s post is one idea for paperbacks.

Indie authors typically have a hard time gathering reviews. In my experience, reviews really matter because they sell books more than covers do. More specifically, over time good reviews and referrals from other readers sell more books than covers.

It can feel like a catch-22 for new writers. How do you get readers without good reviews? How do you get reviews without readers? The answer isn’t easy, and this blog has a post in the past with some solutions.

A Goodreads giveaway is a great way to get readers into your paperback. The concept is simple. You make some copies of the book available and enter it into a Goodreads giveaway. It’s free to do. They post it for a specific duration and only for the countries of your choice. People sign up for a chance to win. Goodreads emails you the list of winners, and you snail mail the winners copies of your book. (This is not allowed for ebooks and you must follow up or be in serious trouble there.)

The benefits are multiple. Winners who receive, read and like your book are encouraged to leave a review at Amazon or Barnes&Noble, etc. Hundreds and potentially thousands of interested readers will at least check out your book and its description (some may even decide to just go ahead and buy it). Those who don’t win it might buy it. Those who enjoyed it might refer it to others, like at Goodreads where a buzz over a book can turn into immediate sales.

My novel, The Little Universe, was just entered into a giveaway. In less than a day, 85 people have signed up for a chance to win 10 available copies. For the two weeks the free promotion will run, perhaps several hundred and maybe over a thousand people will enter, which is great publicity if nothing else.

(Since wordpress doesn’t allow javascript widgets, below is a mock version of what the giveaway button looks like.)

The Little Universe front cover by Jason MatthewsThe Little Universe
by Jason Matthews (Goodreads Author)
What if you could create a universe…more

Enter to win

Giveaway dates: Aug 09-Aug 23, 2011
10 copies available, 85 people requesting
Countries available: US
Closed to entries in: 11 days and 14:44:30 (clock counts down on their site)

If nothing else, it’s a great way to create some interest in your book. Hopefully it will result in reviews, referrals, a buzz and lots of sales. For those interested in creating paperbacks from their ebooks, my recommendation is to use CreateSpace, Amazon’s POD (print on demand) company. It’s entirely free for do-it-yourself types, and the author’s price per book is very low.

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4 Responses to “Goodreads Giveaway, Get Your Book Read and Reviewed”

  1. motherearthseries Says:

    The GoodReads giveaway is a good way to get some additional exposure for your books, but don’t count on those reviews to be done. I’ve posted a giveaway for both my books, had between 600 and 800 requests for each but have yet to see a review from the winners. (I gave away two copies of each book and it’s been over a year for the first and nearly nine months since the second.)

    I’ve received nothing but positive reviews from the blogs and others that have read the books, so I don’t think they were all cases of “if you can’t say anything nice …,” I just think that a lot of people will sign up for something free, even if they really don’t have an interest in winning.

    • Jason Matthews Says:

      That’s interesting to hear, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the same happens with my books. Curious if it makes any sense to contact the winners to ask if they enjoyed the book and, if so, would they might leaving a review as Goodreads has encouraged them to?

      • motherearthseries Says:

        I suppose it might. I have not done that because it’s not in my nature to pester people ; ) — generally myself I like to be left alone. I’m sure I will do another giveaway when I have the next book finished, we’ll see if it can generate any more response.


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