A GR Give-Away Adventure


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Here’s a great concept that any self- respecting, indie, self-publisher can’t overlook: The Good Reads giveaway. For those of you who don’t know; it’s a way for an author to set up a giveaway of any books he or she has published, and it’s on the Good Reads website. The process is free and painless (only hardcovers and paperbacks though-no e-books- which means that the author has to buy the books and pay for the postage) the understanding is that by doing so the author may gain exposure, new readers, perhaps folks may sign up to the author’s mailing list, and best of all; the author may bag a few reviews. There are no guarantees but hey, why the hell not? It’s about having faith right?

And so, with a bag full ‘o faith I went through the process three times with my two collections of contemporary pulpy crime fiction. I had a busload of entries, once the winners were selected (the winners are pick randomly by Good Reads) I jumped for joy, bought my books and mailed them out.

Almost a year later and its cricket’s central on my end. Zero, zip, nada. Self-doubt crept in; I must be a really sucky writer- I thought, and the few readers that got the books probably didn’t want to hurt my feelings (As stated on the Good Reads give-away rules; you the author may not contact the winners or any of the give-away entrants, failure to comply with this rule will get you, the author, banned—not that I would do such a thing, but there it is, just so you know.) Whatever, I moved on, went about my life as usual; writing a few things here and there, but mainly working on another book. Then one day I went to visit my favorite sub-reddit which is r/selfpublishers on Reddit. While reading a tread about effective ways to get the word out about your books; someone mentioned that a fair amount (if not all) of the entries and winners on the Good Reads giveaways are SPAM—talk about a sinking heart.

Okay whatever this commenter is probably bullshitting-I thought.

Three weeks later, I read an article saying that Good Reads is planning on expanding their author give-away program to include e-books—woo-hoo! Upon further reading though, the article mentions that it’s going to cost the writers/publishers one hundred plus smackaroos to do this new thing. On the comments section of this article a few authors weigh in by saying:

Katie M Klosterman:

“My print give-away with Goodreads resulted in every book showing up for sale on Amazon less than 48 hours after they were received. I will never do another. I am not convinced about this being worth over $100.”

Jeanne Felfe:

“So people got your free books, then turned around and sold them used? Sux.”

Katie M Klosterman:

Exactly…told them (Goodreads?) and they didn’t have an answer…

I would like to provide a link to this article but I was reading it on my cellphone at work, however, I did manage to get a screenshot of the above exchange.


So it seems that the only winners here are Good Reads which is own by Amazon, moral of the story? I should have done my research.

I’m currently in the process of editing a short novel which I’ll publish soon. (I know, I know; regular readers of my rants are sick and tired of reading about it. Editing is a biach. Bear with me please.) The question is: will I do a Good Reads give-away? Zero, zip, nada—nope…then again; as an indie, self-publisher; I can never say never. It’s about faith after all. Right…Right?

My 2 cents.

Drops the mic Obama style, and walks away in shame for saying that.

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