Why Authors Should Execute Goodreads Giveaways and How to Get Started - article

Whether you're a self-published author or published through a traditional press, you have to market your book if you want to achieve commercial success. One powerful marketing opportunity for authors is a Goodreads giveaway. Goodreads makes it easy for you to run a contest and give away free copies of your book as the prize. You can maximize your book marketing potential by discovering why you should use Goodreads, how to set up a Goodreads giveaway, and tips for an effective giveaway. Once you learn how to run a successful Goodreads giveaway you'll join the growing number of authors who are finding their audiences in big number on Goodreads.

Why should authors use Goodreads?

Goodreads is a website with social media elements that is focused around books of all genres. It allows readers to post reviews on books, find their next read, see what friends are reading, form book clubs, and connect with authors. It is an ideal book marketing tool for authors to gain exposure, find their niche audience, and build deeper connections with their readers.

Goodreads' numbers are huge. In a 2017 Forbes interview, Suzanne Skyvara, vice president of communications at Goodreads, said that "Goodreads has over 60 million accounts globally…over 30,000 book reviews are posted each day, and 17 million books added by Goodreads members to their Want to Read shelves each month." That's a lot of potential readers. Of course, not every member of Goodreads is going to be interested in your book, but Goodreads makes it easy for readers to find new books that match their interests. That's what the site is all about—helping readers find their next good book.

How to Run a Goodreads Giveaway

Only Goodreads members can sign up for a chance to win a free printed copy of any book listed in the giveaways section of the website. Setting up a Goodreads giveaway is quite simple and the author or publisher of a book or soon-to-be released book can set up the giveaway for free. The current program is available for printed books only but will be available for ebooks in the near future. Here's how it works:

Sign up for a Goodreads Author Program. The Goodreads Author Program allows authors to complete a profile page, maintain a blog, engage with readers, and execute promotions such as giveaway programs. You’ll also want to make sure your book is loaded in the Goodreads database.

Complete the giveaway sign-up form listed on Goodreads' website. You'll need to know details such as the start and end date of the giveaway, your book release date, ISBN, countries allowed to enter, number of copies to give away, and a description of the giveaway.

Run it for the allotted time. Goodreads will add your book to the giveaway section of their site and you'll have a giveaway landing page, which includes the first few lines of your author bio, your profile picture, and a "follow author" button.

Wrap up once the contest is over. Goodreads will randomly select the winners and email you the winners' names and mailing addresses. You are responsible to ship a new, printed copy of your book promptly (within two to three weeks).

Benefits of a Goodreads Giveaway

Goodreads giveaways are the perfect opportunity to promote your book. Here are a few benefits of participating in a Goodreads giveaway:

Get reviews by giving it away, whether the books are advance reading copies or the finished product. Reviews help spread the word about your book—people want to read what other people are reading. According to Goodreads, sixty percent of winners review the books they win.

Gain exposure through Goodreads giveaways. Forty-thousand people enter Goodreads giveaways each day. Running a giveaway increases the number of To-Read shelvings of your book—meaning that people see your book and use Goodreads to remind themselves, and tell their friends, that they want to read it.

Build excitement. Nothing entices people more than free stuff. Running a pre-publication giveaway promotes the release of your book. It raises awareness of your book on Goodreads, and you can use the contest to fuel your social media campaign and create a buzz. And as an added bonus for you, Goodreads sends an email to all entrants at the completion of your contest. Just one more reminder about your book.

Connect with readers and make lasting connections with the winners of your giveaway. Sign your book and include a personal note to make the experience even more special for the winning readers.

For additional tips on how to run the most effective Goodreads giveaway possible, read this article. A giveaway is a powerful addition to any author's book marketing plan. Just make sure to read all of the fine print in the terms and conditions listed on Goodreads' website so that you fully understand your responsibilities as the contest sponsor. By planning ahead and following these tips, you can successfully run a Goodreads giveaway, promote your book, gain reviews, and connect with readers. 

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