Tag Archives: Goodreads

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.


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.

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.

To make available free or not to make available free …

That is the question that’s been bothering me ever since I fist listed for sale the eBook of my novel, Island in the Clouds, in Feb. 2012. I heard about this possible promotion – to offer your publication as a free download – and that it could lead to much higher sales figures that outweighed whatever was lost in offering it for free. The problem for me was that I’ve never been as interested in increasing my sales as I have been in just finding new readers for my writing. And what if the free offer promotion only attracted people who weren’t interested at all in my writing or in this particular book, but just wanted to get something – anything! – for free? Did I want them writing negative reviews, if they didn’t like the book?


Besides, I had all the initial readers to consider – those people who had supported me by buying my eBook and pre-ordering the print book. How would they feel if I suddenly made Island available for free? So I pushed the promotion idea to the back burner where it’s still simmering.

And I’ve been reading articles covering the Pros:
Why Free Book Promotions Still Work – Sort of. by Nick Stephenson

And the Cons:
Are We Done with Free Yet? by Janet Kobobel Grant

In the meantime, I bought a Kindle (I already had a Kobo), because I wanted to download many of the other books that were being listed for free on Amazon. One in particular was Lowcountry Bribe by C. Hope Clark. I could have read this book on my laptop using the Kindle reader app, but realized, since owning a Kobo, that I really appreciate the portability of eReaders. I enjoyed that book so much that several friends read it on my recommendation, downloadeding, and paying for, their own copies. I now plan to order print copies of both this first novel and Clark’s second in the series, Tidewater Murder, so the author has gained, in my case, from having listed her first book for free.

I haven’t been as lucky with all the free downloads – actually, with most of those free downloads. Many of the books have been poorly written or badly edited or amateurishly designed – or a combination of all three. My attitude toward these particular eBooks has been that at least I’m not out anything monetarily, just the time I wasted getting to that point where I finally had to close the file. But the problem with most of these free downloadables having been less-than-good is that you begin to wonder whether ANY of the books you’re about to download for free will be good – or as good as C. Hope Clark’s book, anyway. It really has been hit-or-miss, but I’m happy to say I’ve been discovering more hits than misses. Or perhaps I’m becoming much more discerning as to which free offers I download.

Two new-to-me authors I discovered recently through their Amazon promotions and whose books were hits, in my opinion, have agreed to share their experience and insight of their own free books promotions:

From W.K. Blais:
It’s a great deal of work advertising the free days on various blogs, Free Books and publicity sites and I’m not sure about the return. I gave away about 3,000 books during the last 2-day free promo. My sales still average about 2-3 books each day. There is such a glut of free books at all times, it’s difficult to stand out.

That said, I’m going to do another free promo the end of September, however :). The word-of-mouth strategy of getting out as many copies as possible seems logical.

From Elle Maxwell:
It felt so good to offer my book for free. I found I wanted to gift it, to bestow it upon people, as though I was blessing the world.

I don’t know of any other way I could have reached so many people. Readers from Germany, France, Italy, India, Japan, and Spain downloaded my book. I also had a surprisingly large number of UK downloads, which especially delighted me, because all my favorite novelists are from England (with the exception of Herman Hesse).

It thrills me to picture all these Europeans and Asians reading 24-Carat Murder, being transported into the world contained in the book. I had enough downloads to almost place me in bestseller status (by Canadian criteria). Many readers said they would love to read other books I write in the future. That indicates they will go ahead and purchase any reasonably-priced novel I publish later on. From what I have read, Kindle customers are most comfortable with books priced $4.99 and below. So if my next novel is priced somewhere between $3.00 and $4.00, they will probably take a chance on it.

In fact, my own experience of downloading free books shows me the value of it. I downloaded one Wendy Lindstrom novel free, and paid for three other books in her series. I downloaded one Tom Corson-Knowles book free, and bought three others from him. I also paid very little for Cheryl Kaye Tardif’s book on Kindle publishing, and then purchased her novel, Whale Song. So, if I am a typical reader (besides being one who does not have a big book-buying budget), then I’d have to say there is more likelihood the free book promo will work out in a new writer’s favor.

If I had been ready with a social media presence, I could have reached many, many more potential readers. This is an area I will be addressing in the coming year, although my first priority will be to write more books. In summary, although I don’t have a final, firm and encompassing opinion on the benefits of offering one’s book for free, I am more inclined to think it is a benefit than otherwise.

It is exhilarating to know that thousands of people have now heard of me and have taken the trouble to bring my book onto their e-reading device. When I have more titles on offer, they will probably purchase one that isn’t free, after enjoying the free download. What could be better than that?

Both authors will be offering their books for free again in the future and I will help them to publicize these promotions.

I’m still not convinced, though, that the Kindle Free Promotion is for me. Over this past year I have made many copies of both the eBook and the print edition available for free: as giveaways at library conferences, as prizes on my blog, and as donations to various fundraisers. I think I’d like to just continue in this vein for now and offer free copies as prizes – and, of course, to anyone who is interested in reading and reviewing my novel on their blog or in an article …

The next big giveaway I’ve organized is beginning this weekend on Goodreads! 10 print copies of Island in the Clouds will be available to readers from Canada, US, UK, and Australia who enter to win between Sept. 1st and 30th. I’m really hoping that this kind of promotion is what I’m looking for in order to attract the attention of readers who may not have otherwise heard about me or my book. If you are a member of Goodreads and you live in one of the four countries listed above, I urge you to enter here beginning on Sept. 1st. Good luck! (And please tell your friends!)

And I will report back after this giveaway is over to let you know how successful I was in reaching my goal of finding new readers.

There are also these giveaways to look forward to on my blog. Because I’m all about rewarding the followers and readers I already have!