Every author knows that writing and publishing an amazing book is only half the battle. Once your book has hit the shelves, whether they're physical or digital, a lot of work lies in making your book stand out from the crowd and finding an audience to pick up and read it.
When it comes to promoting a book there are a ton of worthwhile strategies ranging from cultivating an engaging social media presence to building an email list. As you set out to plan and execute your awesome promotion ideas there's one platform that you can't ignore: Goodreads.
Goodreads is the go-to social platform for book lovers. Readers can share and discover new book recommendations and reviews, while authors can promote their work and connect with a massive audience of avid readers.
And best of all, you can start running Goodreads Giveaways.
What Are Goodreads Giveaways?
Goodreads Giveaways allow authors to promote their books on Goodreads by giving away free copies that readers can enter the draw to win simply by signing up and adding the book to their 'Want to Read' list.
Your giveaways can be promoted on the Goodreads Giveaways page, on relevant readers' news feeds, through email notifications from Goodreads, and any other promotional activities you engage in.
Running a Goodreads Giveaway is a highly effective way for aspiring self published authors and established writers to generate interest, engage with fans, build a community and get their work in front of readers.
So what are you waiting for?
How to Run a Goodreads Giveaway?
You can easily run your own successful Goodreads Giveaway by following these simple steps:
1. Create Your Author Profile
The first thing you should do, if you haven't already, is create an Author profile on Goodreads. When you join the Goodreads Author Program, you'll get your own Author page where readers can learn about you and your books.
All you have to do is:
- Sign up at Goodreads
- Search for your book(s), click your name and "Claim" your Author profile
- Keep an eye out for the email letting you know you've been promoted to Author status.
- Personalize your Goodreads account
This is an important step because your Goodreads profile is an outstanding way to connect with readers. The Goodreads author dashboard provides readers with your photo, book listings, blog articles, and recent activities such as book signings and giveaways.
2. Start Creating Your Giveaway
You can start creating your own Goodreads Giveaway by going to the Your Giveaways section of your Dashboard, clicking "List a Giveaway" on the Goodreads Giveaways page, or simply by following this link.
3. Choose Your Preferred Book Format
When you start creating your giveaway, the first choice you will have to make is between giving away a Kindle book, or a print book.
With Kindle book giveaways, authors can give away up to 100 Kindle ebooks without the added cost of printing and shipping.
This format is popular as more copies can be distributed for free, and without having to wait for delivery winners will be able to dive into your books right away.
A drawback of Kindle giveaways is that only publishers and self-published Writers who utilize Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) have access to this feature.
You won't be able to host digital Goodreads ebook giveaways if your book isn't Kindle-compatible.
Print Books Giveaways
If you run a printed book giveaway, winners will get their print copies by mail. This format is great if you're giving out a few copies.
Readers are more likely to appreciate the physical version of a book, as it adds to the classic book experience and means they're less likely to leave it unread.
However, the downside of print book giveaways is the cost of production and distribution, which can lead to fewer copies being given out and a limited distribution area.
4. Select the Right Package for You
Although Goodreads membership is free, there is a cost for hosting a book giveaway. There are two types of packages available to authors:
- The Standard Package, which costs $119 per giveaway
- The Premium Package, which costs $599 per giveaway
Here's what you'll get with each package:
- Entrants will be required to add your book to their Want to Read list. This will spread the word about your book to their friends and help you gain a following.
- When someone enters your giveaway it will be featured in their friends' news feeds, helping you build exposure and boost participation.
- Anyone who follows you or has added your book to their Want to Read list will be notified about your giveaway so you can kickstart your giveaway and engage your community
- Winners will be encourage by Goodreads to review your book which is a great way to develop positive word-of-mouth and help build awareness long after the contest has ended.
The Premium Package gives you access to everything on the Standard Package plus:
Get massive exposure by being included on Goodreads' Giveaways page, which tens of thousands of people visit every month.
Have a personalized email send to everyone who doesn't win your giveaway, allowing you to connect with tons of prospective readers interested in your book.
4. Decide the Length of our Giveaway
Next up, you'll need to select the start and send dates for your giveaway.
You want run your giveaway for long enough that it has time to gather momentum and reach a large audience, but you don't want the end date to be so far away that it doesn't seem worth entering.
Goodreads Giveaways can run for a maximum of 30 days, and we recommend running yours for as long as you can to maximise exposure.
Also, Goodreads will take a few days to review and publish your giveaway, so make sure the start date is at least three days away.
5. Choose How Many Copies to Give Away
Next you'll need to decide how many copies of your book you want to give away. If you want to get your book into as many hands as possible then giving away more copies is a good idea, but giving away a few copies is still a great way to grab attention and build interest.
Kindle books make it easier to distribute more copies because you don't need to worry about production or shipping costs.
For print giveaways, 10 copies is a good number, and for a Kindle giveaway you can give away anywhere up to the maximum of 100.
6. Write an Engaging Description
You'll need to provide a brief description of your giveaway that is no more than 150 words. You can use this section to announce your giveaway, let entrants know what your book is about and even showcase some glowing reviews.
As well as writing a description you'll also have to provide a primary and secondary genre, and specify whether or not your book contains mature content.
7. Promote Your Giveaway
Once your Goodreads Giveaway is up and running it's time to promote it.
You'll get good exposure through Goodreads itself but it's still important to spread the word yourself, especially if you've chosen the standard package.
Some great ways to promote your campaign are:
- Sharing your giveaway on all your social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
- Send it out to your email list.
- Optimise your book for promotion with an eye-catching cover and engaging blurb.
Run Better Goodreads Giveaways With Gleam
Running a Goodreads Giveaway is an effective way to promote your book and connect with new readers in the Goodreads community, but if you really want to make the most of your giveaways and promote your book to a massive audience on Goodreads and beyond then there's no better option than running your giveaway with Gleam's Competitions app.
Here are a few extra benefits of running your giveaway with Gleam:
- Require entrants to complete powerful actions including following you on Goodreads, joining your email list and visiting you on social media, getting friends to enter your giveaway and so much more.
- Get entrants to sign into your campaign and collect their email address so you can reach out to them with future news, giveaways, events and more.
- With plans starting from $10/month (as well as a powerful free plan), Gleam Competitions are more affordable than hosting your giveaway on Goodreads.
- Goodreads Giveaways can currently only be entered by people in the US or Canada, but when you run your giveaway with Gleam you can allow entries from a worldwide audience.
Take a look at our Goodreads Giveaway template to get an idea of what your campaign could look like with Gleam.
You can run your Gleam giveaway on your own website, or on one of our hosted landing pages. It only takes minutes to setup.
All you need to do is sign up, customise your campaign and start promoting it!
You can promote your Gleam Giveaways by emailing your list, posting about it on social media, and even using Gleam's powerful Viral Share actions to award bonus entries to users who share your giveaway with friends and help promote it for you.
Every author wants that extra leverage in this competitive world of words and stories. With a Gleam template for Goodreads Giveaways, you can run a highly engaging action-based giveaway where potential readers perform valuable entry tasks in exchange for a free copies of your book.
It's the perfect way for authors and publishers to grow a community on Goodreads, raise awareness and encourage readers to check out and read your book. Plus, with Gleam's massive selection of entry actions you can generate leads and grow your social following to cultivate an active, engaged audience that will give all your future releases and endeavours a massive boost.
Selling Books on Amazon
While you're promoting your books through Goodreads Giveaways, it's crucial that you're not neglecting other channels, with Amazon being one of the most important platforms for up-and-coming authors.
In the US, Amazon accounts for at least 40% of book sales, so it's important that you don't neglect the platform. Much like Goodreads, Amazon used to offer their own Giveaway service which was unfortunately retired in 2019. Luckily for you, Gleam allows you to run keep running your own powerful Amazon Giveaways that will promote your books, drive traffic to your store and ultimately drive sales.
You can read all about running Amazon Giveaways with Gleam right here, and check out our Amazon template below to see what your own giveaway could look like.
We have a wide range of ready-to-go Amazon Giveaway templates, so whatever your needs are we've got you covered. For more ideas on increasing your Amazon book sales we sure to check out our helpful guide.