Goodreads ‘Giveaway’ debrief

In my ongoing efforts to promote my book, I have just completed my first Goodreads Giveaway. It was fun! I know, I don’t get out much.


Goodreads advise a giveaway of a month’s duration. That seemed far too long to me, so I set mine for two weeks. As I suspected, most requests came in the last couple of days/hours, but on reflection maybe the point is to have it visible for a good while. Do people look on page 30 of a giveaway list? I am new to this. Seems a sensible tactic would be to look at all those which are completing within one week (about 10 pages), select the ones you are interested in, and visit again in a weeks time.

I’m not sure about Goodreads yet. I find the site a little remote and unwieldy. How do I make friends, or get followers? Not worked that out yet. I feel on the outside looking in. I have joined some groups but am largely ignored. I guess I need to give it time, become a presence. Perhaps, I should dedicate some efforts to the big book of ‘how to get the most out of Goodreads’. Well, I have made a start with my giveaway – 891 people thought it worthwhile requesting. However, quite how many of those people are genuinely interested in the book I have no idea.

When I look at the requests, many have huge lists of books to read. Some with 30, 60, even over 100,000 books! A simple calculation tells me if I read one book a week for fifty years I would still have only read 2,500 books, so why so large a ‘to read’ list? But what do I know of the cultural mores of Goodreads? I assume it is from serial requesters who do not uncheck the, ‘put it on my to read list’, checkbox. So I imagine people with large ‘to read’ lists are using a saturation technique in the hope of winning something. It’s a strategy. But I don’t know what goes on, perhaps it’s a badge of honour/status, or an acknowledgement from someone whose opinion is valued that the cover and pitch are appealing. I dunno.


What I do know is that, anyone who genuinely wants to read my book, or simply win a copy and enjoy Padma’s pinky presence, and not put it up on eBay the moment it arrives, had only a 1 in 300 chance of winning. If said person were to head over to right now, they would have a 1 in 3 chance of winning the same paperback, with the same signature! Only difference, they would be asked to supply a review, if they were so kind.

Everybody and their cat/dog/llama seems to be on Goodreads so I think it would be wise for me to persevere with it. I might even enter a few giveaways myself. I noticed one book today with 20,000 requests for one copy. I can feel its pull. How can I resist?

Anyway, if the people who won copies of my book are reading this, congratulations! I hope you enjoy the read, the books are in the post.

Pictures – my own or courtesy of Creative Commons.

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