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Book Marketing 101: Goodreads Giveaway for Authors

Nowadays, it has become a must for an author to market his own book, whether he is traditionally published or self-published. And at some point, authors wonder if “Goodreads Giveaways” are worth it. Yes, it is possible for a writer to launch an effective book-marketing campaign on his own. But that takes time, energy, and money to accomplish it.

To launch a book-marketing campaign that will produce results, an author has to focus on activities such as book signings, interviews, and appearances at industry events. These require a lot of time, money, and connections.

So if you are just starting out with your book marketing plan, then it is best to start slowly. You can use Goodreads Giveaways as a great way to start.

As an author, a Goodreads giveaway is one of the best ways to get your book noticed and to get people to read it. The Goodreads platform is a great way to connect with fans, reach new readers, and sell books. But it’s also a great way to build a community of people who love your book

if you know anything about book marketing, you know that getting more exposure for your book is something that is critical. In this article, I’m going to show you a simple and surefire way to build a large list of followers through Goodreads and get your book in front of new readers.

What is Goodreads?

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Goodreads (which is owned by Amazon) is not just another social media site. It is more than that. It exists to help authors, readers, and publishers connect and share content, promote their authors and books, and build a community of passionate readers.

Goodreads is an online book club that connects people who love to read.

Members have over 80 million books and over a hundred book clubs. You can also get to know other readers, discuss books and authors, and learn about books you didn’t even know existed.

What is a Goodreads Giveaway?

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A Goodreads Giveaway is, as its name suggests, a free book giveaway on Goodreads—the largest social network for readers and book lovers. There are currently over 125 million registered users, so it is a great way to get exposure and great reviews/ratings for your books.

  • How Much Does a Goodreads Giveaway Cost?

Authors and readers can register on the Goodreads platform for free, but you need to pay to run your own giveaway. It costs $119 per giveaway on the Standard Giveaway or $599 per giveaway for the Premium Giveaway.

Giveaway featured in friends’ newsfeeds when someone joins the contest
Email sent to notify the author’s followers and readers who have marked the book as Want to Read
Goodreads reminds winners to review the book
Premium listing on the Giveaways section of Goodreads
Personalized email sent to everyone who doesn’t win the Giveaway

Why Authors Should Run Goodreads Giveaways

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Many writers frown upon offering giveaways and other promotions on their books. After all, they believe that it’s counter-intuitive to make money. However, the number of Goodreads users who participate in Goodreads Giveaways is staggering.

Whether you’ve written a book or are considering writing one, there are many reasons why you should join Goodreads. It is a great book marketing tool for authors to increase their visibility, find their target readers, and have better engagement with them.

The vice president of communications at Goodreads–Suzanne Skyvara–said that 17 million books are added by their members to their “Want to Read” lists every month, and more than 30,000 book reviews are posted every day. That sure sounds like a lot of leads.

If you want to increase your visibility and reach more people, then running a giveaway is a good way to do that. People also discover books through their friends.

Anyone who enters your giveaway automatically gets the book added to their “Want to Read” list on Goodreads which shows up in their activity feed that their friends and followers see! This builds an audience of people interested in your book on Goodreads and provides opportunities to engage with them in the future.

Benefits of a Goodreads Giveaway

goodreads giveaways

Increase Visibility

You can gain exposure through Goodreads Giveaways as tens of thousands of people join these giveaways each day. This helps you reach more people who might enjoy your book and get them to tell their friends about it. If you get enough followers, then your book will be in front of more people.

Increase Anticipation

Free stuff is one of the most enticing things in the world. Giving away your book in advance of its publication is a great way to promote it. You can use the contest to generate interest in your book on social media, and you’ll have the opportunity to create a buzz for it. Your audience will be more receptive to the book’s release since they’ve already been introduced to it and invested some time in it.

Engage with Readers

After your giveaway has concluded, it’s a good time to connect with your winners. Don’t be afraid to follow up by sending them a message to see how they’re doing. If you have the time, consider reaching out to your winners personally to check in on their reading progress and make them feel special.

Let them know how much you appreciate their interest in your book. Do this as well strategically with the people who added your book on their “Want to Read” list. People who feel your genuine desire to connect will help you build your network and might become loyal fans eventually.

Gain Reviews

They are the best way to get your book discovered. People who read your book will leave reviews on Goodreads. If they like your book, they will tell their friends about it. If they don’t like it, they won’t. The more good reviews you have, the more visible your book will be.

It’s not unusual for people to start reading a book without knowing what kind of book it is. Goodreads help them find that out, so they can decide whether to read the book or not.

How to Hold a Goodreads Giveaway Event

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  • Register for a Goodreads Author Program

Through the Goodreads Author Program, authors can create a profile page, have a blog, execute promotions such as giveaway programs, and engage with readers.

  • Sign Up for The Giveaway

Register for the Goodreads Giveaway by completing a form on its website. Prepare information ahead of time to make signing up easier. This includes the book’s description, the number of book copies to be given away, countries allowed to join, ISBN, your book release date, and the start and end date of the event. You will then have a landing page for your giveaway event with your author photo and bio and a convenient “follow author” button. Your book will also be added to the giveaway section of the Goodreads website.

  • Award the Books to The Winners

Once the giveaway event is over, winners will be randomly selected by Goodreads, and their names and shipping addresses will be sent to you. You will then ship the books to the winners within 2 to 3 weeks. Ideally, you shouldn’t wait until the time’s up. Send them promptly as much as possible.

Here are some great tips for getting the word out about your Goodreads giveaway.

  • Start by creating an event on your Goodreads profile and invite everyone in your network to join.
  • Send an email to your friends and family and your fan list, and fill them in on the details with a link to your giveaway page.
  • Add the Goodreads Giveaway widget to your website or blog.
  • Join Facebook groups specifically created for Goodreads giveaways, and promote your giveaway as much as possible.
  • Add the Goodreads Giveaway widget to all of your social media accounts as well.

Goodreads Giveaways Tips

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There are many ways to do giveaways on Goodreads, but if you aren’t doing it right, the exposure you get for your book will fall flat. Here are some tips to ensure you’re maximizing your exposure on Goodreads.

Craft an Attention-Grabbing Giveaway Description

You only have a few lines to make a lasting impression in your description, so you need to capture the reader’s attention immediately. For fiction, you need a hook that will compel them to keep reading, like, “Oh! I wanna know what’s going to happen!” For non-fiction, your hook should make the reader think, “Hey, they’re talking to me,” and that will get them to keep reading.

Maximize the Exposure for Your Book

When scheduling your giveaways, don’t set them to start immediately. You can schedule your giveaways to begin three business days later. 

Why? Because those who signed up for giveaways must be approved first, which takes several days. If your giveaway gets approved around mid-day, your book will be on the “Recently Listed” page, together with all of the books that were listed in the morning, which means it won’t have a whole day of air time. 

I recommend giveaways for a week, not two weeks. Short giveaways can be powerful things. Goodreads organizes its giveaway listings by those that have just started, those that are about to end, and those by popular authors.

Send the Books to The Winners Pronto!

This is super important. There are a lot of Goodreads Giveaway books getting a one-star rating with a review that says, “I never got this book that I won.” One of the main points of running a giveaway is getting great ratings and feedback, and you don’t want to ruin that and your book’s future sales just because you were not prompt in sending the book. 



Goodreads has over 100 million members and offers a plethora of useful tools to help authors reach their target audience. It’s also the only major book review website that lets readers rate, review and discuss books. And don’t forget, Amazon owns it, so makes it an essential tool for authors looking to maximize exposure, reach new audiences, and increase visibility.

If you don’t have a profile on the site yet, it’s well worth the time and effort to get one going. You can create a profile for free.

Running a giveaway on Goodreads helps to drive traffic back to your website, blog, and social media pages.

Your book will appear on reader wish lists and can be sold through your website or Amazon. You can also see who is reading your book and what they’re saying about it.

Readers often post comments and reviews about books they are reading, which can have a big impact on how the book performs on Amazon. It’s also a great way to build relationships with your readers. Authors often use Goodreads as a way to stay in touch with their readers and fans.

Marketing Shortcut

Do you want to be a best-selling author, but you don’t want to go through all the marketing mazes to get your book out there? At Leaders Press, we understand how there are more things you need to prioritize in your business. We don’t just write books from start to finish, we also ensure that everything we publish gets best-seller status. Interested to know more?

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