Getting More from Goodreads Winners

One of the most exciting (and nerve-wracking) times for an author is putting their book into the hands of readers for the very first time. This is when all of their hard work comes to fruition, and they begin to hear what readers really think of their book and ideas.

When you’re ready for this phase of your book release, the question becomes, how do you cut through the clutter and reach active readers and reviewers? The Goodreads community of avid readers and reviewers provides you with an excellent platform for building awareness and buzz for your book. And listing a giveaway or series of giveaways on this community not only offers you a great opportunity to get your books into the hands of readers but also encourages reviews.

To that end, Goodreads recently launched new features as part of its giveaway programs to further promote discoverability of the giveaways and to encourage reviews from the winners. You can now host print and Kindle giveaways, which include varying promotional placements and follow-up to giveaway winners.

Want to learn how to get the most out of your giveaways? Start here:

Craft a Strong Giveaway Strategy

Crafting a strong giveaway strategy on Goodreads will allow you to maximize the opportunity to reach your readers and increase the impact of your giveaways. Goodreads giveaways have the power to help you build momentum for an upcoming title or even reinvigorate interest for a backlist title.

When you’re considering a pre-publication giveaway strategy, your timing is key. Building momentum leading up to publication is one of the best assets you can have in your book launch strategy. Starting the giveaways several months prior to publication floods the market and also creates early excitement and word-of-mouth. And encouraging advance word-of-mouth and buzz for your book through giveaways can then lead to a slew of reviews being shared on publication day.

For a backlist title, creating a strong strategy to reinvigorate reader interest might include tying your giveaways to the anniversary of the publication date, a relevant current event, or a seasonal promotion. No matter what the connection is, the key is for you to get copies of the book into the market to reach new readers and start a conversation around your book again.

Give More Copies Away

It may seem counterintuitive to an author to give away hundreds of copies of the book they’ve worked so hard to publish, but this strategy has been proven to work, and lots of bestselling authors have utilized the power of Goodreads giveaways to reach readers. The more copies you can get into readers’ hands, the greater opportunity you have for building buzz, momentum, word-of-mouth, and reviews. And with the new Kindle giveaway program, you can choose the format of your book that you’d like to give away, or give away a mix of both print and ebook. This opens the door for authors who might have been apprehensive about giving away a large quantity of print books; with the Kindle giveaway program, they can still take advantage of this strategy.

The best way to maximize your impact through this particular book giveaway strategy is by hosting a series of giveaways. This will enable you to build on the momentum of any of your previous giveaways, encourage additional entries, and also create a groundswell within the Goodreads community.

Consider Timeliness

Another key element to implement when you’re creating a strong Goodreads giveaway strategy is your timeliness in sending books to giveaway winners. Goodreads members expect to receive their book within two weeks of the close of the giveaway. It’s extremely important for you to follow that timeline when you’re running giveaways on Goodreads. This will allow you to keep readers’ attention and encourage a good rapport with them. Goodreads is a community where readers go to discover new books, and when you’ve captured their attention and interest through a giveaway, it’s important to keep it. Plus, the sooner the winners receive their book, the sooner they can begin talking about it and spreading word-of-mouth to other readers.

Build a Connection

Sending books to giveaway winners offers you an opportunity to build a connection with your readers. You can add value and a personal touch by taking the time to personalize your books, even including a letter to the winners. If you sign the book, your readers will feel more of a connection with you, which they’re often eager to have. Including a congratulatory winner letter also offers the opportunity for you to both thank your readers for their interest in your book and also request their honest review. Any of these additional touch points can build a connection and keep your book top-of-mind with winners when the time comes to share a review.

So whether your book release is coming up or your book was published several months—or even years—ago, creating a Goodreads giveaway strategy will allow you to create an excellent opportunity to get your book into the hands of readers and encourage momentum for your book. And with all the benefits of the newly-launched features, you’ll be able to really maximize the impact of your Goodreads giveaways.

For more information and tips on how to get the most out of your giveaways, check out Goodreads’ recent blog post.