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Goodreads giveaway or bad results?

A Look at My Goodreads Giveaway Results

(Was it Worth it?)

01-25-24 update:

It has been almost a year since I ran the giveaway, and I have a total of 9 reviews on Goodreads for a book I gave away to several hundred people, and 4 Amazon reviews. If you are just starting out, and hoping that a $100+ Goodreads giveaway promotion will be a good investment . . . well, consider the reality that it might not bring good results.

I really haven’t been marketing the book at all because I haven’t been able to convert sales at a remotely affordable price. I’m hoping with more books in the series, ads will convert better, so I’ll try again later. I mainly make a tad bit of money on library rentals of the audiobook, but it doesn’t even scratch the amount of money I spend just to have a website! Anyway, you have to love what you do before you think you can make money at it–because you’ll probably spend way more than you make until the stars align.

05-02-23 update:

I have 1 Amazon review, and 2 Goodreads reviews. Was the $100 giveaway worth it? Well, it’s certainly hard to justify…

Original Post:

First, I want to start off and say that I didn’t plan this Goodreads giveaway very well. I didn’t know of the “true” benefit of it, which is, according to others, a great way to notify people when your book releases. Running a Goodreads giveaway forces everyone who enters to add it to their Want to Read list. Goodreads then tells all those people when a book that was in pre-order is now available for purchase. But mine came out in the middle of the giveaway . . . for a book they hoped to get for free.

However, that being said, it’s a guaranteed way for me to get 100 people to hopefully read it, and (cross my fingers) review it. That’s really what I need right now: honest reviews from people who are interested in the story. The book has none. And who buys a book with zero reviews? Very few people. I wouldn’t buy a book that has no reviews, let’s be honest.

If I’m remembering correctly, I happened to time it to get a small discount on the Giveaway, which put it at $100. Yes, I have to pay for the giveaway. That puts it at a dollar per copy. They have another giveaway that costs something like $600. Yikes. No thanks, even if it’s “featured.” I had no idea what my results were going to be from my non-featured giveaway. I have virtually no audience. No reviews. I’ve started writing a completely new series. I’m starting from scratch. So the only expectation I had going in was: 100 people are going to get a copy of my book.

Mission accomplished. 100 people got a free-to-them copy of my book. But I was curious to see the day to day results of entrants. So, I started tracking it, writing down the number of entrants every morning. Now, I did run a few Microsoft ads to possibly get a little more attraction to the book, which resulted in 46 clicks, none of which I can confirm actually entered the giveaway. I also didn’t track the first few days, but it was about 100 entrants a day . . . for the first three days, then the growth turned to a crawl. So, the daily results of my giveaway looked like this:

First 3 days: 351
870. Final number.

I ran the giveaway for a month, and looking at the results, I wonder if this was necessary. Since it wasn’t being featured, I’m sure few people saw it in the middle of that month’s time. People saw it at the beginning because it was probably on a list of new books, and at the end because it probably got put on an “ending soon” list. Maybe two weeks would have given me the same results?

Now, those hundred copies have only been in people’s possession for two days, so at this point, I can’t report on if it achieved my one and only goal of getting some real reviews. People probably haven’t even read it. I just hope those copies didn’t go to free book hoarders who like free things, but have no actual plans to use those free things (Epic games free giveaways anyone? Am I the only one who downloads them and knows I’ll never play them?).

I’ll update this page as things progress and hopefully have a clearer picture. Although I’m running a discount promotion next week, which could possibly skew any results for the sake of this . . . oh well. Gotta keep things moving, trying to figure out how to successfully publish.

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