Goodreads Giveaways … some interesting stats

My regular blog readers know I have been very happy with the 5 Goodreads Giveaways I’ve offered to site members from various countries. I wrote a blog post about my experience of promoting books on the site.


To recap, the first giveaway was held in Sept., 2013 for members in Canada, the US, Great Britain, and Australia. 10 winners, from Canada, the US, and Great Britain, were selected from the 758 people who entered.

The second, held from Dec. 2013 to Jan. 2014, attracted 129 entries from Ireland, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, France, Qatar, Germany, Norway, Denmark and South Africa. (Many members choose to keep their profiles hidden, so I was not able to determine where the rest lived.) The 5 winners were from Portugal, New Zealand, Netherlands and Germany.

The third contest that was held from June to Aug. 2014 was the most successful with over 1300 members entering to win one of 5 copies. This one was offered in Canada, US, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and South Africa and the winners lived in the US, Canada and Great Britain.

The fourth ran for two weeks from Oct. to Nov. 2014, was offered in the same countries as the third giveaway, and attracted 797 entrants. The 5 books went to winners in the US and Great Britain. I wrote about this contest here on my blog and have since done a tally (with the help of my sister) and discovered that the largest number of entrants – by far! – live in the US.

The most recent giveaway in Nov. 2014 was for 3 copies, and I purposely chose countries where, for the most part, English was not the first language. 179 people entered and 55 were from India – the largest number than from all the other countries combined. I included India, because I had heard it is home to the largest number of English-speaking people of any non-English-first country. Consequently, 2 of the winners live in India. The third lives in Belgium (where my mother was born!).

So, all-in-all I’ve considered these giveaways to have been worthwhile, mainly because they attracted a large number of readers to my work who might not otherwise have heard of me or my novel – over 3200! Several of the entrants have become my friends on Goodreads. One entrant from India contacted me about doing an interview on his blog. A number who won have read my book and posted their reviews. And I have to hope that those who still list Island in the Clouds as a “to-read” will do so at some time or another and consider at least rating the book, if not reviewing it.

But in the meantime, I’m happy to increase my readership and give something back to the Goodreads members who do enter these contests. Because I’m also one of those entrants and have been lucky to win quite a number of books. I not only appreciate the free books I have received and read, but also that I’ve discovered many new books and their authors who I would not have known. And that’s the great power of a site like Goodreads – it brings together Readers and Authors!

Now … if they would just open it up to allow for eBooks as giveaways. That would save authors the cost of mailing print copies to winners.

5 responses

  1. I am very glad that I followed your advice and had a giveaway. Almost 700 people entered and are now aware of me and my work. In addition, the 5 winners are now reading my book. Naturally there is no guarantee they will like it, but it’s five people who would never have heard of me – which is the holy grail of marketing…the new audience.
    I will be starting another giveaway in the very near future – perhaps even today.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Tim, and for the news that your Giveaway was also a success! When I think back over my 5 giveaways, the difference in numbers of entrants wasn’t just due to the countries where I offered the giveaways, but also the amount of promotion I did for each contest – a couple I promoted heavily on social media and through my blog; the others, not so much.

      Good to hear too that you will be setting up another contest! You can count on me to help you get the word out!

  2. It sounds like the giveaways were a splendid way to increase awareness and readership of your book. With so many entrants, however did you decide who would be the winners? What was the criteria that you used?

    1. Goodreads chooses the winners, Sharon. They send a list with addresses the day after each contest closes then I must mail the books out to them, at my own expense. Still, I think the amount I spend on postage and free copies is well worth it.

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