Goodreads giveaways? Just say no.

I wanted An Accidental Awakening to reach new readers.

So I ran a Goodreads Giveaway for 50 copies of the ebook.

I’m always up for trial and error to discover which marketing strategies are the best.

This one was a big fat ERROR.

Who doesn’t like to get free stuff? Virtually no one. So people sign up for freebies…

even for things they have little interest in. Because it’s free, right?

362 readers requested a copy during the giveaway (50 won a copy)

312 readers placed the book on their to-read list (this is the one that often gets the book moving since friends of readers see this and place the book on their to-read list as well).

After the giveaway?

2 readers listed the book as currently reading.

1 reader gave it a 5 star review (thank you!)

1 reader left a written review. A poor written review.

When I looked at her book list, I found few books of my genre on her list. Instead, her preferred genres are romance and suspense: mainly fiction.

Now, it’s not a huge deal that someone read An Accidental Awakening and left a poor review. There are enough positive reviews to balance it all out, and readers should be well-informed on what they are getting. So, the poor reviews often ensure you get the readers who will benefit most from your book.

What I didn’t realize was that, after that reader left her same poor review from Goodreads also on Amazon, the ‘also boughts’ that run on the Amazon book page (which should have been filled with similar genre books as mine) is now all romance and suspense books, which makes my book’s page confusing to prospective readers.

My opinion: you are far better off to be patient with your launch and encourage your circle of supportive readers to post reviews in the early stages of publication.

If you write in popular genres like crime fiction, YA, and romance, then a Goodreads giveaway might work better for you than it did for me. For those of you writing non-fiction, I’d give it a hard pass.

Find marketing opportunities more in alignment with your target audience, and cultivate a relationship with your readers.

Anyone else have experience with Goodreads giveaways? I’d love to hear how it went for you.

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