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Giving Away 15 Signed Copies of Royal Flush (my medieval comedy novel)

02/06/2013

ImageI’ve tried a bunch of zany things over the last year to promote my humour novel Royal Flush, from hosting an open-source book launch, to selling at my local farmers’ market, to embarking on a month-long blog tour, to recording the first part as an audiobook and giving it away for free.

And while my promotional efforts have resulted in a steady increase of awareness, so far there has been no point when it’s exploded.

Except for, maybe, right now.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Here’s what’s happening: I posted a giveaway to Goodreads, which began two days ago, and which at the time of writing has attracted 401 entries. While I wouldn’t exactly call this the ‘ship coming in’ for my writing career, it strikes me as very promising, and I do believe I’ll be hosting multiple Goodreads giveaways in the future (though perhaps not with as many books).

In an attempt to make this something more than a straight promotional post for my book, I’ll tell you what I’ve figured out about hosting a successful giveaway on Goodreads. (Not that, I’m sure, mine could be called successful just yet. Getting there, though!)

Giveaways are accessible to users via 4 lists, and the more time your book spends at the top of these lists, the better. The lists are as follows:

1) Ending Soon

2) Most Requested

3) Popular Authors

4) Recently Listed

You get on the Popular Authors list by being a popular author–meaning, your books have attracted lots of ratings/reviews from Goodreads users. That isn’t me yet, so it’s not a list I’ll be focusing on for this particular giveaway.

ImageYou get on Recently Listed by, obviously, having recently listed your giveaway. This is probably what got me most of the initial 400 entries. But it isn’t quite that simple–you should choose an unpopular date to start your giveaway, so that you aren’t competing with a bunch of other giveaways on the day you start. I chose February 4th, which is neither a holiday nor the beginning or end of a month.

The same thing applies to the Ending Soon list. (I’m ending mine March 7th.)

As for Most Requested, your giveaway needs to be among the currently active giveaways with the most entrants. To this end, I plan to put a push on to promote my giveaway both on and off Goodreads. I figure the earlier one can get on this list, the better. (Hence this blog post, lol.)

Goodreads also has a paid advertising option, which puts ads in front of its users and only charges you based on the amount of clickthroughs you get to your giveaway–50 cents per. Though I’ve barely paid for any advertising at all over the last year, I’ll probably drop $100 or so on this.

According to my research, having an eye-catching book cover is crucial. Scrolling through the books currently listed, I noticed mine is among the most colourful–many book covers on there right now use a lot of dark tones.

After that, the giveaway description is very important. I’ve read you should start with review quotes, then list any awards the book has won, and then give the book’s description. Some say not to even bother giving the description. I took a gamble and put a slightly-tweaked version of my usual book description first–I believe in my book to speak for itself.

But let’s get back to that thing in this post’s title–go join my giveaway!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. 02/06/2013 7:43 PM

    I found you via Reddit on the r/writing sub. Anyway, I wish you luck on your promotional efforts with Goodreads. I am glad it is working so well for you so far. I have entered to win a copy and placed the book on my to-read shelf!

    • 02/06/2013 10:42 PM

      Thanks a lot, J! Great to meet you–hope to see you back here on the blog! Good luck with the giveaway :)

  2. 02/22/2013 2:53 PM

    Great tips! I’ve also done a Goodreads giveaway before and it had some good results. Now whether the rest of the people who said they wanted to read it actually bought it, is another story lol. But your book sounds interesting, and thanks for the insight. Good point about the end and beginning dates.

    • 02/23/2013 3:14 PM

      Hey Jennifer, thank you! It’s encouraging to hear you had success, since this is my first one. It’s now on the second page of the Most Requested list, but I’ve exhausted all my ideas for promoting it so now it’s just a waiting game. A lot of the giveaways above it are ending soon, so I suppose it will gradually creep up in the rankings.

      • 02/23/2013 4:11 PM

        Wow that’s really good that it’s so far up on the Most Requested! True story about the waiting. I also do advertising with Facebook ads and that seemed to help gain a lot more followers. But Goodreads is the main game for hard core readers, so it’s good to tackle them first. Think it helps that you’ve got some good credentials too. I haven’t won any awards or anything lol, so I think it lends you some more credibility. As many people who are supportive of Indies, there’s a lot who don’t.

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