Understanding Goodread Givaways

EXTCHART“I’m planning a Goodread’s Givaway ,” I said to my daughter, urban fantasy writer JC McKenzie.


“I’m giving away ten books over a month.”

“Really, Mom?”

“I watched the video clip. It looks easy…”

“No, Mom.” Even though the conversation was over the phone, I could see her head shaking in disbelief.


“Hell, no.”

“But they said…”

“I’ll send you two articles.”

The articles changed by game plan. Talk about eye-popping information. Let me tell you a bit about them. If you’re thinking of doing a Goodread’s giveaway, they are well worth reading.

 Short contests work best

As Catherine Howard explains in her “Goodreads Giveaways Don’t Do What You’re Told,” article:

“Goodreads giveaways are listed in four different charts: Recently Listed, Popular Authors, Most Requested and Ending Soon. Presuming that you’re starting from scratch, you won’t have a hope of elbowing your way into Popular Authors or Most Requested, so that just leaves Recently Listed and Ending Soon…  In short, beginnings and endings are good.

So why in the name of fudge would you minimize the beginnings and endings you have by running one long giveaway? [as suggested by Goodreads] That’s just one opportunity to get into Recently Listed and one opportunity to get into Ending Soon – when we know that appearing in these charts is your giveaway’s best chance of winning entries. Wouldn’t the intelligent thing to do be to construct your giveaway schedule so that you have as many starts and stops as you possibly can?”

11 Tips for Maximum Results

In Emelyn Chand’s article, “How to… 11 Tips We Know You’ll Need,” she explains how she came  up with her ideas.

“I ran a series of 10 giveaways as something of an experiment. Each time I posted a new giveaway, I adjusted one variable:  the length of time, number of countries, etc. When the giveaway was completed, I recorded results in terms of the number of people who requested my book in the giveaway and the number who added it to their shelves. I then took averages for a consistent measure of success.”

She has a degree in survey methodology. Her study is interesting and her tips make a lot of sense. Her recommendations address how to choose the the length of time, the number of copies and how best to advertise them and follow through.

Happy Thursday.


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Author: Jo-Ann Carson

About Jo-Ann Carson Where magic happens … Reports of Jo-Ann Carson’s death on a Gulf Island are greatly exaggerated or, at the very least, premature. The eclectic crew of ghosts that haunt her head spill onto the page in two series: The Gambling Ghosts and The Ghost & Abby Mysteries. A Viking with existential issues, a broken hearted Highlander, a Casanova man-witch and a Pirate with a secret are just a few of the males her strong heroines encounter in tales of fantasy, adventure and romance. A firm believer in the magic of our everyday lives, Jo-Ann loves watching sunrises, walking beaches near her home in the Pacific Northwest and reading by the fire. You can visit her on social media: Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook

7 thoughts on “Understanding Goodread Givaways”

  1. Great info as usual, Jo-Ann. I’m not a fan of Goodreads. I couldn’t even figure out how to add my next book. I think I only have the first one listed. It totally defeats me. 😦 So glad you figured this out before you did the one long give away. I’ll share.

    Liked by 1 person

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