The Goodreads Giveaway program makes it possible for readers to receive copies of new or soon-to-be-released books, and for authors to increase awareness of their books. There’s no cost other than the mailing fees. I have been on both sides of this service, and it seems to work well.
I recently won a book from the Goodreads Giveaway program, and since this book is being promoted by a publisher rather than an individual author, I thought I’d share what materials I received. This promotion is for Harryette Mullen’s new poetry book, Urban Tumbleweed: Notes from a Tanka Diary. I received an advance copy of the book, a catalog of new titles from Gray Wolf Press, a thank you note, and an invitation to follow Gray Wolf on social media. The marketing materials are an added bonus. For all other Giveaways I’ve won, I received just the book. If you win a book, the expectation is that you will provide a brief review of it on the Goodreads website.
I gave away copies of my own book through a Goodreads Giveaway earlier this year. I was able to select how many copies of the book I would give away, the length of the Giveaway, and what geographic areas of the world could sign up (I chose US, UK, NZ and CA). Several hundred people entered. Goodreads collected the names, selected the winners, and I was responsible for mailing out the books. (It has to be a print book, not an ebook.) If the publisher initiates the Giveaway, they will most likely be responsible for mailing the books, not the author. Several of my winners were from outside the US, so that was a unique opportunity to get my work into the hands of readers who might not get the chance to hear me do a reading in person. You do need a Goodreads author page to do this, but it is free to sign up. Most of the winners followed through with reviews.
Goodreads Giveaways are one way to build awareness for a new book coming out, but you can also do a Giveaway for a recently released book. All entrants will put their Giveaway books on their want-to-read bookshelf. Goodreads also sends out emails when books on the want-to-read shelf are out for publication. I would absolutely do the Giveaway again when I have another book, and the only things I would change are the length of the sign-up time (I did two weeks and four might have been better), and the number of countries I include in the drawing.
An author’s blog can be linked with an author’s Goodreads page. It allows for an additional source of traffic to your blog, and the Goodreads Giveaway program provides a widget for the Giveaway that you can use as a promotional tool on a website.
More information on the Goodreads Giveaway program is on their website.