Monday, January 20, 2014

Blogfest: What Works?

This is the first blogfest that I've joined in, like, two years. Maybe more.  But when I saw Alex Cavanaugh mention this one and put out the invite, I knew I had to participate.  What a great way to learn from others about what works, what doesn't, and everything in between in terms of marketing and promotion in the book and artistic worlds.  Wanna join and learn from others today? Click here for more details.

As a writer, I think one of the best ways to create buzz for your book is on Goodreads.  However, don't be a spammy writer.  One of the ways to create buzz without being spammy is to offer a Goodreads giveaway--e.g. an autographed copy (or multiple copies) of your book.  With giveaways, people will find you.  When someone enters your giveaway, it shows up in their Goodreads timeline.  Someone else might see it and enter.  And tell two friends.  And so on. And so on.  Like that old shampoo commercial.

Although postage from, say, Phoenix, Arizona, to Sydney, Australia, can run pricey into the $25-30 range, I would recommend that you offer an international giveaway if you can.  You don't have to offer up 25 copies, international.  But you could offer 1-2 autographed copies in an international giveaway without breaking the bank.

My publisher was kind enough to do this for me right after my debut release.  I wish I'd done it more, however.  So, for my next release, I'm planning to offer 1-2 autographed copies in giveaways at multiple times throughout the year after, for example, the cover is released.  I had author-friends in my Class of 2K13 who did multiple giveaways throughout their debut year with lots of success in terms of book sales and book/name recognition.  With much of marketing and promotion, hindsight is always 20-20, right?

In short, the Goodreads giveaway tool is a free tool to authors and publishers.  If used wisely at opportune times, it could generate the buzz and additional book sales that you're looking for.  But, like any promotional tool, too much of a good thing can be costly and feel spammy.  Use strategically. 

What works for you?

26 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

My publisher did two Goodreads giveaways for my last book, and yes, it was open to International.
Thanks for participating in the symposium! First blogfest in two years? Glad I could entice you.

Lexa Cain said...

Thanks for the tips! I think that the GR giveaway activity is a great idea, too. But I'm very unhappy that they only offer it to authors with print books. Kinda unfair. :(

J.L. Campbell said...

Hey, Liz,

I haven't used Goodreads that way, but it is definitely something to try with my print books.

Jeremy [Retro] said...

So much great advice... I am picking up so much, thank you for your thoughts and success stories.

Jeremy H.

There's no earthly way of knowing.
Which direction we are going!
[Being-Retro]

Melanie Schulz said...

I've used this and you're right- it gets your work out there in front of a lot of eyes.

Crystal Collier said...

What a great idea! I feel like my brain just exploded with possibilities. Thanks so much, Liz!

Sandra Almazan said...

I personally haven't had much luck with GR giveaways myself, but maybe trying an international one will help.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Must. Do. Goodreads Giveaway.

Thanks Liz!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

This is on my list and advice I've seen half a dozen times already today. Wish my publisher would too it for me.

Chrys Fey said...

Goodreads is one of the best places to promote work and offer giveaways. I used Goodreads, but you're right, you can't be a spammy author. I posted on the few groups I'm a part of and then did an event for my free days, and that seemed to work well.

SittieCates said...

Goodreads giveaway. Hope to have that when I have printed copies of my eBooks. :-) Thanks for the tip!

The Musings of a Hopeful and Pecunious Wordsmith

mshatch said...

What a great blogfest this is! So many helpful tips and such perfect timing!

Nicki Elson said...

I'm a big fan of the Goodreads giveaway. I've only done US because of the postage, but you're right - 1 or 2 books won't break the bank and would be worth the extra exposure. Next time!

Rebecca Douglass said...

Good advice to keep the # of books low in an international giveaway. I didn't realize how much postage would be, and got suckered by the blurb that suggests at least 5 books. Thing is, I did a simultaneous giveaway for both books in the series--ouch!

Lexa--look into CreateSpace or similar to make paperbacks at almost no cost to you.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Interesting that you mentioned a Goodreads giveaway, because that's pretty much the only tool I've used so far. More than 1400 entered to win, and about half of them added my book to their "want to read" shelf, but I don't know that the effort translated to a single sale. And four of the five books went overseas. Although, each of them has sent me a nice note, there's no guarantee of getting a review out of any of them. Even so... I'd do it again.

Yolanda Renee said...

How awesome, that you chose this blogfest. Thank you for participating! We hope to make it an annual event. It's been a wealth of information so far!

I've got a Goodreads giveaway going now - hoping for success!

Tracy Jo said...

This was a great idea for a blogfest. It is so awesome for someone like me who is still learning to read what has worked. Have a nice week!

M. J. Joachim said...

I really like the idea of creating positive buzz, without being spammy and in your face.

Sherry Ellis said...

I've never used a Goodreads giveaway, but I'm definitely going to keep it in mind! Thanks for the tip.

Tara said...

Thank you for this. Very timely for me--I so need to learn to use Goodreads better!

Tammy Theriault said...

when ever I see a goodreads giveaway...I jump on that!! great to have found your blog. newest follower, hi!!

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Like you, I haven't done much in the way of blogfests but this one was too interesting to resist. The Goodreads giveaway is a wonderful tool, especially to get those nice "want to read" lists on your book!

LD Masterson said...

I don't have anything to offer on this blogfest but I'm gathering a lot of great information. Thank you.

Arlee Bird said...

Good advice. It's wise to take advantage of as many free online opportunities as you can in order to promote.

Thanks for participating in What Works....

Lee
Tossing It Out

Chris said...

Hi Liz, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

Michelle Wallace said...

I'm working my way slowly through the symposium posts, collecting information for future reference.
Goodreads giveaway. Sounds like a great marketing tool.
Thanks for sharing.