Update: How to Host a Goodreads Giveaway

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Goodreads Giveaway Update

Goodreads giveaways are always free to list, that is if you don’t count the cost of your paperbacks and the postage you use to send your books to the winners.

Why even engage in a Goodreads giveaway? I’ve found that I always reap a bump in sales. Besides, giveaways increase awareness of your titles and you as an author, and let’s admit it; giveaways are popular.

Host Giveaways of Your Books

 Contests are easy to create and run on Goodreads because Goodreads is a partner in the endeavor. Follow these steps:

Navigate to the arrow next to Browse, click it, and select Giveaways. On the right column, you’ll find a green link that says List a Giveaway.


Next, you will arrive at a Giveaways page. On the right will be a list of green hyperlinked titles. Click List a Giveaway


Once you click List a Giveaway, you’ll arrive at a new page where you’ll list the particulars about your book. Determine which day your giveaway will commence and end. Write a description, indicate the number of copies you’ll give away and provide information about the genre. There will be other items to complete as well. Also, Goodreads provides a slideshow on best practices.


Agree to the Goodreads terms and click Save. Goodreads should review and approve your giveaway in about two days.

Goodreads Book Giveaway Reminders

There are a few best practices to keep in mind.

  1. You can give your book away at any time. Goodreads recommends setting up your giveaway six weeks before your book is published. If you do this, there will be early reviews on Goodreads but there won’t be any way for your readers to include reviews on Amazon. I recommend that you give your books away as part of your launch and once your book is available on all of your online retail sites.
  2. How many books can you afford to give away? Remember, Goodreads enables U.S. publishers to give away both hard copies and ebooks. Goodreads’ data indicates that a 20-copy giveaway will attract 940 entries in the United States. There are various giveaway strategies. Some people like to give away three to five books at two-week intervals. I suggest that you experiment with your giveaways and determine how many copies bring you the results your want.
  3. Goodreads now recommends that authors who are offering a giveaway also buy advertising. In my view, that’s a little self-serving. I do support using your social media channels and newsletter to announce your giveaway to increase sign-ups.
  4. You can host a giveaway of a book as many times as you’d like but remember that the first giveaway may have the most sign-ups.
  5. You can host as many giveaways of your various books at the same time.
  6. Don’t ignore Goodreads’s email verification. Your giveaway won’t start until Goodreads approves of your giveaway and you formally agree to the terms.
  7. Goodreads will notify you of the winners and their addresses. When you send them a copy of your book, do not market to the winner. You may send them a bookmark, but you can’t ask them to write a review of your book.

When was the last time you hosted a Goodreads giveaway?

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference. In addition, she’s a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com, and blogger and Social Media Expert for BookWorks. She’s written several social media books including the 2nd edition of Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for my free email course.

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  1. Thanks a lot for this helpful information. 🙂 — Suzanne

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