July 2, 2018
I recently tried out the new Goodreads Kindle giveaway, wherein I gave away 100 copies in Kindle format after paying Goodreads $119 for the privilege of a "standard package." I had participated in a number of print giveaways before, providing a copy of my paperback to five winners. For those giveaways, Goodreads did not charge, however times have changed.
Goodreads now charges $119 for the standard Kindle giveaway package and $599 for the premium package, likely opted for by major publishers. You'd get more exposure and marketing follow-up with that pricier package.
In spite of the cost, I was excited to try this Kindle giveaway in order to garner new readers and especially to gain reviews for my mystery-thriller Out and In.
Results? 403 people requested it and 100 readers received the Kindle downloads.
Out of the 100 winners, six have posted reviews to date (two months later). Most were positive--five or four stars--so that was a good thing. In addition, Goodreads promised to send all 100 winners a reminder email, asking them to rate the work.
Regrettably, authors have no way to follow up with the winners, since Goodreads guidelines prevent authors from contacting readers directly, except to comment with a simple "like" when a reader rates our work. Now, if I had spent $599, Goodreads also would have emailed the "losers" -- not sure what that email would say.
Paperback giveaways yielded almost double requests.
To compare results with my paperback giveaways, 773 readers added Out and In to their bookshelves, while the Kindle giveaway netted only 403 requests. Was that due to my buying only the "standard" package? My mistaken assumption was that there would be a greater number of Kindle readers who would add my novel to their to-read shelves.
Although I had costs of $10.63 to mail each hard copy book, the total of about $54 for a paperback giveaway of five copies netted almost twice the number of readers who added my novels to their bookshelves.
That is the primary value in doing a Goodreads giveaway...having your novel on readers' "to-read" shelves. Some readers eventually follow through and read the work, but not the thousands you hope for.
I am now doing another Kindle giveaway for my novel To Leave a Memory and will post those results as soon as I have them.
Perhaps the better option is to schedule a free promotion "wide" on Amazon and other sites, receive 10,000 downloads and a number-one ranking -- but only if I spend $500+ advertising my freebie promo with sites like Book Bub, Kindle Nation Daily, Bargain Booksy, The Fussy Librarian, BookSends, and E-Reader News Today.
My point, if any, in this post is to advise other authors about my experience with Goodreads Kindle Giveaways Standard Package, and to let readers know how Indie authors struggle to gain readers and reviews. If Goodreads would provide indie authors with greater marketing-communication value for a giveaway, I might do these more often. But doing a "freebie" in wide distribution yields far more downloads and potential reviews.