My Goodreads Giveaway for To the North went live only a few hours ago, and already I have more than 100 requests.
I’m absolutely tickled by this.
Now, logically, I know there will be more requests right after it posts and right before it ends. People who frequent the giveaways look for what’s newly available and what’s ending soon. So I don’t expect this momentum to continue.
But that’s over 100 people who don’t know me and are now aware that my book is coming out! 100 people who have expressed even the slightest interest in reading it! 100 people who wouldn’t have known about it any other way.
This really is a great tool for word-of-mouth marketing. I’m still not entirely sure how to handle the social aspect of Goodreads, but this Giveaways thing is great. I’m kind of loving it.
Here’s how it works: once I had an ISBN for To the North (which I received when I started the process of uploading it to CreateSpace), I could add it to Goodreads under my author profile. Then I set up the giveaway. I got to determine how long it would run, how many copies I would distribute, and what regions would be eligible.
Had I looked into it earlier, I would have started the giveaway sooner. That’s something we’re going to chalk up to the learning curve. Ideally, the giveaway winners would get their copy of the book before it was released, so they can get some early reviews going. I didn’t plan ahead that far, so my giveaway ends on December 18 – three days before launch.
Anyone with a Goodreads account can enter to win. At the end of the giveaway, 10 people will be chosen at random and I will be sent their names and addresses so I can mail them a copy of the book.
Now, I chose to make my giveaway open to the US, UK and Canada. I know that this could end up costing me more in postage, but looking at the other giveaways I saw most of them were US exclusive. I thought that opening it up to a couple of other places might help my cause a bit. If people from the UK and Canada enter just because it’s one of the few that’s eligible, then To the North climbs a little higher up the giveaway rankings – which, again, translates to greater visibility.
A lot of the giveaways only offered 1 or 2 copies. I went with 10 for a very simple reason – even with the cost of printing and shipping, that’s pretty damn cheap marketing. I can buy copies of my own book for about $3.50 (insert Loch Ness monster joke here) apiece. That’s $35 for 10 copies. If half of those winners read the book and give it a Goodreads rating, that’s totally worth it.
The goal here is to spread the word. I’m pretty confident that it’s a good book. At least, it isn’t a terrible book. People who like this sort of story will probably enjoy it. My problem is, and was always going to be, getting it on people’s radar. Telling my handful of friends is only going to get me so far.
So, yeah. I’m pretty stoked about this. I’ll post again if there are any significant updates.