Category Archives: Goodreads Giveaway

My Camino Walk – a Goodreads Giveaway!

Last year, IslandCatEditions published Timothy L. Phillips’ travel memoir, My Camino Walk, A Way to Healing in eBook format. It has now been released in print format (order from Amazon) and, to celebrate, 3 copies will be available in a Goodreads Giveaway, open for entry to those members in Canada, the US and UK.

For more information about Tim’s book and all other books published by IslandCatEditions and IslandShorts please visit: IslandCatEditions

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

My Camino Walk by Timothy L.  Phillips

My Camino Walk

by Timothy L. Phillips

Released October 25 2017

Giveaway ends November 06, 2017

3 copies available

giveaway details »

Enter Giveaway

From Gene Doucette … an excellent post discussing the collective insanity of the publishing industry

This excellent post written by Gene Doucette came to my attention recently, and I applaud him for hitting the nail precisely on the head with regards to this whole “print books are outselling eBooks!” and “eBooks are dying!” business that has been making the rounds in the media and on Facebook. Friends have sent me these articles and asked what I thought of the early death of eBooks. I’ve always thought this was a load of crock, but didn’t have the evidence … until I read this blog post of Gene’s. What he says here is entirely believable, and I know it is, because I worked for publishers for a very long time and, for the most part, they never wanted to change the industry in any way – as long as it was going their way. When eBooks were first introduced, I saw this new format as a means of reaching an even wider audience of readers. Not so the publishers who were angst-ridden over marketing and selling these new eBooks – but would never entertain any of my suggestions as to how this might be done differently or how it could involve the traditional booksellers as well as the new online sales markets. That’s all in the past, though, because I walked from that job and began using my own new ePublication to test some of these ideas I’d had. So, it was with great pleasure to discover the following post that explains exactly why the claims of an early demise of digital books are just not true. (Thanks to Gene Doucette for permission to reblog this post, which has gone viral since I first read it. Congratulations, Gene!.)

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The collective insanity of the publishing industry
February 29, 2016 by Gene Doucette

Unless you’re a writer, I imagine you haven’t been paying quite as close attention to the publishing industry and all its weirdness as I have, and that’s a shame, because it’s been really entertaining.

Actually, entertaining isn’t the right word. It’s been insane, but the kind of insane that’s unreasonably fun to watch from a safe remove. Like watching a man stop traffic to cross against a green light by shouting, “I’ll bite your car!” As long as it isn’t your car he’s threatening, it’s sort of funny.

You might imagine that as an author with published works for sale, I am not at a safe remove when it comes to the publishing industry. That’s sort of true, but only sort-of.

Here’s a superb example of the madness of which I speak, and why I’m not concerned that anyone will be biting my car.

In 2014, there was a drawn-out dispute between Amazon, and Hachette. The latter is one of the largest publishers in the world, and Amazon is a company that sells things, such as books. The essence of the dispute was that Hachette—and all the other publishers we affectionately refer to as ‘the Big 5’—wanted more control over the list price of their e-books on Amazon.

That sounds thoroughly reasonable, and it sort of is, but please let me explain because the crazy is in the details. What was happening was that Amazon was discounting the price of the ebooks, and it may seem like this is something the Big 5 would want to stop, except the markdown was coming off of Amazon’s end. In other words, if Hachette wanted to charge $15.99 for an ebook, and Amazon marked it down to $9.99, Hachette was still paid their cut of the full price of the book.

More people will buy a book at $9.99 than at $15.99, so essentially, the Big 5 was coming out ahead in this arrangement in every conceivable way. They collected royalties at an unreasonably high price point while moving the number of units that corresponded to a lower price point.

So of course that had to be stopped right away. Read the complete post here.

For readers in the US, Gene is running a Goodreads Giveaway for his book, The Spaceship Next Door. Enter here!

Best Books Read in 2015

By July 3rd of this year I had read so many good books that I wrote about the best of those in this blog post. (See the original post for details of these titles.)

As with the first half of the year, the following books are listed in the order I read them and, with one exception (that I have marked), I rate them all at 4 out of 5 stars … because, you know, you have to have written a VERY good book, or be Richard Ford, to receive all 5 stars from me. I am a discerning reader.

So here’s my list of Best Books Read for the second half of the year … I’ve linked to their promotions all Authors who have been featured on Reading Recommendations.

12095120_626933277448055_9033175093362345310_o Killer City by Seumas Gallacher – I read this new novel in advance of publication and thought it a fine addition to Gallacher’s Jack Calder series.

10994976_796292483760006_2976227424109873861_nThe Gift: Awakening by J.P. McLean – I have a complete set of JP’s books in The Gift Legacy series and began at the beginning. An excellent premise to this series and very well-written!

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf – 5-star – Sadly, Kent Haruf passed away in 2014 shortly after completing the proofs of this book. I’ve been a fan of his writing for many years and have read everything he has published. This book was a high note in a stellar writing career, as far as I’m concerned. A bitter-sweet story, it’s simply told but nonetheless powerful, about love and growing old. Others to whom I’ve recommended this book have come back to tell me how much they enjoyed it. If you love great writing, and you have a heart, this will make you weep to read for its sheer beauty – in the storyline, in the characters, in the way Haruf tells us about this episode in lives of plain people, lives that are so utterly full of grace.

Villa America by Liza Klaussmann – I received an ARC of this novel about the Hemingways and Fitzgeralds and their set of friends vacationing at a real-life house in France during the 1920s and I enjoyed reading it very much. Great descriptions of the times, the place and the people.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald – I read the ARC of this novel about a Swedish reader who travels to the US to visit the woman who has been recommending, by letters, books to read. A delightful read that anyone who enjoys reading books will also love!

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd – This is a book that had been sitting on my shelf for a number of years. I finally picked it up and was pleasantly surprised at how well-told it is, this story of South Carolinian women.

12283279_10200858274536262_516233112_n Full Circle by Tim Baker – Tim Baker has been promoted on my blog, Reading Recommendations, since the beginning – and for good reason! I’ve read everything Tim has written, and now read his manuscripts before they are published, as was the case with this latest novel. Interestingly, this was the first novel Tim wrote a couple of decades ago, but it didn’t see the light of day until just recently. What can I say? Tim sure knows how to write! I own copies of all Tim’s print books, I have the T-shirts, and I’m a big promoter of all his work. Read this book!

town-father-3d-copy Parts Unknown and Town Father by Kevin Brennan – Kevin Brennan’s writing has impressed me since he first promoted Yesterday Road on Reading Recommendations. I have read everything he has written and own all the print copies available, except this most recent title – a problem I will rectify when I return to Canada in the spring. Kevin is an intelligent writer, well-steeped in literature and history, and he’s not afraid to experiment with genre and style. I liken him to a cross between two of my favourite authors, Ivan Doig and Kent Haruf (see above), with a sprinkling of Margaret Atwood’s exploration of craft and genre. Town Father, his most recent novel, is a foray into historical fiction and I say Kevin has done a brilliant job of presenting a story that’s new and fresh, considering it’s set in the 1880s US Sierra Nevadas. If you’re looking for versatility in a writer, look no further! Kevin is your guy!

AtlantisFNLweb The Road to Atlantis by Leo Brent Robillard – I was approached by the publisher of this book to promote it on my blog and was sent a PDF of the book to read in advance. I had never heard of this Canadian author previously and was very taken by the quality of his writing and the story he tells. I am also happy to see that, since I promoted Robilliard in Sept. 2015, this book has now also been released in eBook format, so it’s available for the entire world to read.

That Old Ace in the Hole by Annie Proulx – I discovered a hardcover edition of this book in the campground library and decided to read it, because I had enjoyed Proulx’s Shipping News when it was first published. I enjoyed this novel just as much. Great writing!

The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths – I won an ARC of this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. I had never heard of the author or the book previously and so was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be a very good read.

18634588 My Temporary Life by Martin Crosbie – Martin Crosbie promoted a how-to book on my blog, but he also writes great fiction, like this novel I read and enjoyed. And it’s the first in a series, too, so more great books to come!

The Back of the Turtle by Thomas King – I was a sales rep for one of Thomas King’s earlier books and had the great pleasure of meeting the man for lunch when he was in Calgary. He is one of the most interesting, intelligent, funny and genuine “gentleman” I’ve ever met. And I don’t use the term gentleman lightly here. He is a Gentle Man in all respects. This latest novel (I had an ARC) was published last year and won the GG Award for Best English-Language Fiction. Very well done!

coverThe Piano Teacher by Eugene Stickland – I know Eugene from my days in Calgary, so when he announced a new book’s release I asked him to promote it on Reading Recommendations. Then when I went back to Calgary for a visit this autumn I bought a copy of the book from the man himself in his natural habitat, Cafe Beano, over a couple of cups of coffee. Eugene is well-known as a playwright and this was his first foray into novel-writing. A terrific job, I thought! And the good news is … he’s writing a second novel!

2161163 Better Than Perfect by Tricia Drammeh – Tricia has long been an internet pal and fellow blogger/promoter who I turn to regularly for help, advice, and just general comradery. I’ve read several of her novels so far and enjoyed all of them, but Better than Perfect was exactly as the title says, I thought. True life and genuine characters brought perfectly to the page (or screen, in my case) by a very accomplished author.

Sweetland by Michael Crummey – I had the pleasure of attending an event held in London, ON, this autumn at which Crummey read from his new novel. A well-told story of a little known (outside of the province) episode in Newfoundland’s history. Funny in places, but sad throughout. Definitely worth reading, especially if you’re open to learning a new dialect and turns of phrase. (I’m fortunate in knowing a native Newfoundlander so a lot of the speech in this novel was very familiar to me.)

The Quiet American by Graham Greene – I’m not sure I actually read this novel previously, although Greene is a favourite author, but I did see the film starring Michael Caine. I have to say, they did a fine job of casting Caine for the part of Fowler. The novel is an excellent introduction to the French occupation of Vietnam during the years leading up to US involvement in the region.

Sundown, Yellow Moon and Orchard by Larry Watson – I’m catching up on the books by this favourite US author that I missed reading at the time they were released.

What about you? Was there one outstanding book you read in 2015? Or have you posted to your blog a similar list as I have here? Please leave your comments below and tell us what you enjoyed reading. And leave a link to your Best Books post.

Thanks for reading!

I should mention that I tried reading some of the many books that were long-listed, short-listed, and won prizes in the various big book awards that were handed out this year, but in a number of cases I just could not read the books at all and was disappointed in their having been selected. I’m still waiting for holds to come in at the library for a number of other prize-winners I anticipate reading and enjoying in the near future. But I must say that, overall, I was generally disappointed in most of the titles that made those prize lists. I don’t believe it has as much to do with my changing taste in reading as I grow older (and become a more experienced reader all the time) as it does with the judges’ different taste from mine in choosing the lists and winners. That’s a topic for a whole different blog post, however.

Goodreads Giveaway – 5 copies of Island in the Clouds!!

To help celebrate my birthday on June 21st, I’m running another Goodreads Giveaway of print copies of my novel, Island in the Clouds! 5 lucky entrants living in Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia will each win a signed copy. You must be a member of Goodreads to participate, and that’s free, so why not join today? You’ll receive lots of great reading recommendations and be able to enter many more giveaways than just mine.

Please tell your friends and encourage them to enter as well!!

If you have already read Island in the Clouds, but would still like to help me celebrate my birthday, please leave a comment on this post wishing me a Happy Birthday, and I will contact you individually to send each of you a special gift! Think of this as me providing each of my Birthday Party Guests with a loot bag, just for attending!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Island in the Clouds by Susan M. Toy

Island in the Clouds

by Susan M. Toy

Giveaway ends June 21, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to Win

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.

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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.

Goodreads for promoting books … my experience

My books have been listed on Goodreads since they were each published. Those books have been favourably rated and reviewed on the site by many members, both known and unknown to me. I have also been a member of the site and list books that I’m reading, have rated them all when I finish reading, and I’ve even written a few reviews. I’ve found several new-to-me authors listed on the site who I have then contacted and subsequently promoted on my Reading Recommendations blog. And I enter the Goodreads Giveaways all the time and have won a number of very good books over this past year or so.

My best experience with the site, though, has been in offering my own Goodreads Giveaways. My first contest was held in Sept., 2013, and since then I have run three more. A total number of 2998 Goodreads members in 26 countries have entered the four contests and I gave away 25 copies of my novel, Island in the Clouds. Some of those who won copies have rated and/or reviewed my book after they received and read it. But many, many more have listed it as a to-read and now have the book’s cover on their Goodreads page.

The way I see it, these are 3000 Readers who likely would never otherwise have heard of either me or my book. Whether they actually buy a copy is of no matter to me – I just want these Readers to know of the book’s existence and consider reading it, or tell their friends about it.

And guess what I’m going to do next … To celebrate the availability of my eBooks on Amazon in both Germany and India, I plan to run yet another Goodreads Giveaway for members in those two countries, and perhaps a few other countries, because there are many, many people outside of traditional English-speaking countries who can not only read in English but are also genuninely interested in reading books like mine. I hope to have that organized very soon.

The reason I’m so big on Goodreads as a means of promoting books is because it’s all about the READERS! Absolutely everything about the site is about books, authors and reading – so no distractions from other possible means of entertainment. None of the other social media sites are as specific to books – not Facebook, nor Twitter, nor anything else. The people who sign up for membership in Goodreads do so because they love to read – pure and simple! So I’m very happy to list my books there and offer promotions like the Goodreads Giveaways on a regular basis, because I’m promoting to the exact people I should be promoting to – THE READERS!!

A few authors have told me they don’t really “get” Goodreads and have never thought of using the site themselves, either for finding reading suggestions or for promoting their books. But I say you can’t afford to ignore this site, because it delivers millions of interested Readers to you every single day – and where else are you going to find so many people in one place who are interested in books and reading, I ask you??

So a big two-thumbs’-up from me to Goodreads as a means of promoting my own books and for providing me with a never-ending list of books to read and enjoy!

Another successful Goodreads Giveaway!!

My recent Goodreads Giveaway for 5 copies of my novel, Island in the Clouds, has been a big success, as far as I’m concerned!

797 Readers from 7 countries (Canada, US, GB, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) entered during the 3 weeks this contest ran, and 5 were chosen by the Goodreads Team to receive print copies. I’ll be mailing those books out to the winners in the US (4) and GB (1) on Monday.

There were only a very few Readers who commented on the blog post announcement of this contest. I was running another Giveaway for eBooks there, since we can only give away print copies through Goodreads. So I’ve decided that everyone who commented will win, and I’ll be notifying those commentors about their eBook prizes later today. (Quite frankly, I’m surprised that so few Readers took me up on this offer. Maybe I should have run a contest separate from the Goodreads Giveaway for the eBook versions of my books, but then my experience has been that few people ever comment to enter when these offers are made. Why is that, I wonder …?)

So now we’re down to 4 Reading Recommendations Authors who are still running their Goodreads Giveaways, and I will continue to promote their contests for each of them.

Best of luck to everyone who enters!

Some promotion for ME – Susan M. Toy

I’m so busy promoting other authors all the time that I don’t get around to tooting my own horn about my books or myself as often as I possibly might do. So it always comes as a great surprise and delight to me whenever any of these authors I’ve been promoting in turn offers me some means of getting my name out there or posts a review of one of my books!

Michell Plested, who was previously featured on Reading Recommendations, interviewed me for his own series, Get Published, and that has been posted here on Irreverent Muse. Hope you enjoy listening!

And I recently received a second 5-star review from Tricia Drammeh, this time after she read my novel, Island in the Clouds! Here’s the link to that review on Goodreads. The first 5-star review Tricia wrote was for my novella, That Last Summer, and you may read that review by clicking here. Tricia Drammeh will be featured on Reading Recommendations later this week.

And, still available until Nov. 1st, you may enter the Goodreads Giveaway I’m running to win one of 5 print copies of Island in the Clouds or – if you prefer an eBook edition, comment on this blog post to win either the novel or the novella. It’s as simple as that!

To see a complete list of reviews of my books and interviews I’ve done, please click here.