Last week I listed my first giveaway on Goodreads and this is the promised recap for those interested. My goals for the giveaway were pretty simple and pretty modest. I didn’t have any numbers in mind. I wanted to see how the process worked, so this was a trial run. I also wanted to drive interest in Grinder’s Keeper. West of Dead seems to do alright on its own. It’s short, inexpensive, and it has zombies in it, which are still popular now. I love WoD, but I personally think Grinder is a better book. It’s a more involved story and Caine actually has a more compelling arc. This seemed like a good way to get people talking about it, or at least looking at it. I offered three signed copies for eight days. I checked in mornings and evenings and kept a few notes as events unfolded.
Day 1 The giveaway was on the first page of ‘recently listed’. I was doing other stuff and didn’t get to check in until 5:00 pm. 68 people had entered and 3 had added it to their ‘to read’ shelf. By 10:00 pm, 87 people had added it.
Day 2 Pushed back to the 6th page of ‘recently listed’. I started my giveaway on the 31st so it got pushed back when all the ones scheduled for the 1st opened. If I did it again I would schedule it to stay closer to the front. 102 people entered in the morning and ‘to reads’ up to 40. By evening 132 people had entered.
Day 3 Still on page 6 of ‘recently listed’, but also on page 6 of ‘ending soon’. This is the reasoning behind a shorter giveaway, multiple listings for exposure to people browsing the giveaways. 154 people entered in the morning, and ‘to reads’ up to 64. 181 entered by evening.
Day 4 Still on page 6 of ‘recently listed, page 7 of ‘ending soon’. 199 people entered in the morning, and ‘to reads’ up to 64. 211 entered by evening.
Day 5 Page 10 on ‘recently listed’ and page 6 of ‘ending soon’ (but near the top). 230 people entered, and ‘to reads’ up to 80. 242 people entered by evening.
Day 6 Page 12 of ‘recently listed’ and page 4 of ‘ending soon’. 259 people entered and ‘to reads’ up to 93. 289 entered by evening.
Day 7 Page 14 of ‘recently listed’ and page 3 of ‘ending soon’. 305 people entered in the morning and ‘to reads’ up to 110. 344 people entered by evening.
Day 8 Page 16 of ‘recently listed’ and page 1 of ‘ending soon’. 416 people entered in morning, ‘to reads’ up to 130. 513 people entered by evening.
Day 9 All done! Final count was 544 people entering and 239 adding it ‘to read’.
So, was it a success? A modest one I’d say. I checked the popular giveaways and there were plenty well into the thousands. Like an Amazon giveaway this is probably counting on small percentages, so the bigger the base that percentage comes from the better. But it did at least get 553 to look at the cover and read the description. All it cost me was the postage to send the winners their books (of course two of my winners were in the UK so it was a bit more than a couple stamps). If I do it again I may run it longer. The short duration gives you more exposure for people browsing, but overall the increase seemed pretty steady. If that kept up for two weeks I could have doubled the numbers. One thing to remember is Goodreads is a social site, not a sales tracking site. Just because someone marks your book as ‘to read’ doesn’t mean they bought it, or that they ever will. That can be frustrating when you have a beige bar where your sales should be. But sometimes you have to take a long view and just try to build momentum.