Share and share alike they say. So I guess it’s my turn to share my experiences of a Goodreads Giveaway, just in case it helps those who come after me…
Well, first things first. Before I ran my giveaway, I checked out this page. It gives a nice blow-by-blow run down of giveaway results, showing you how different blurb styles and run times can affect the outcome of a giveaway. Reading this page can help you decide the ideal length of giveaway for you, and to write the most successful giveaway plug you can (e.g. Rather than the back-cover copy – which people can find easily enough – include reviews!).
I would like to add one caveat: Giveaway entries do not equal eventual sales, nor do additions to Goodreads shelves. While I was well aware of this, I was still surprised by other aspects of the giveaway.
If you’ve ever entered a Goodreads giveaway, you’ll know that when you do, there is a checkbox, already ticked, to add the book to your to-read list. Great. If you’re hoping to win a free copy then presumably you want to read the book! Well, yes, perhaps…
Check out my final numbers to see what you think:
People requesting: 1320
People who have it on their shelves: 626 (bearing in mind I started with 33).
I’m happy with that overall. That’s 1200+ people who didn’t know about the book who have now seen the cover at the very least, and perhaps have read the blurb I wrote… and maybe even the reviews I linked. So, as far as raising awareness goes, it’s a great start! I am keen to have another go in future.
But look at those numbers… 1320 requesting, 593 (626-33) added to shelves… Which means that 727 people entered the giveaway and actively unchecked the “Add to to-read shelf” box. They entered to win a free book they had already decided they had no interest in reading. 55% wanted a free book but didn’t care to read it… I’m trying to decide what that means for us authors running these giveaways. I haven’t figured it out. If you’ve got thoughts, feel free to share. Since the giveaway, another four people have actively removed my book from their to-read list to date. No doubt more will follow.
I know this reads nit-picky, but as this is my first giveaway I was very curious about how it would go, and these behaviours interest me. Clearly giveaway entries do not equal readers and additons to shelves do not necessarily equal sales. The hope then is simply that the books that do get given away land in the hands of interested readers and result in a review (which then hopefully attracts sales). That’s really all we can ask. I guess then the biggest concern is that uninterested people may win copies of the book and then might not like it (maybe it’s not their thing but they just wanted a free book… Why? I don’t know), and then post potentially sour reviews… On that score, we will just have to wait and see!
On a brighter note, I am getting some lovely feedback from several readers. Yes, many are friends to date, but I’m pretty sure the feedback they’re leaving is close to honest… (o: Some have loved it. Some have found it a good read but perhaps they’re not raving about it. That’s fine. It’s my first book. The aim is to get better – not that I didn’t want to put out awesome work right out of the gate. Then again, even books I LOVE by brilliant authors receive scaithing, or disinterested reviews… Meh. Can’t win ‘em all!
The main thing is: most people are keen for the next one! Best get back to writing it then, aye?