Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Giveaways: Reaching out to readers

One of our main goals for The Writers' Lens is to share what we learn about the writing process. Since I'm just beginning the marketing phase--trying to get my debut novel in the hands of readers--I'd like to share my first steps regarding three different kinds of giveaways and the results.

Some people adamantly oppose giving away your latest book, and others say to offer as many free copies as you can to stimulate buzz. I'm taking the middle road, currently focusing on three main venues: Library Thing, Goodreads, and partnering with other bloggers. 
Library Thing: With more than 1.4 million users, Library Thing gives you a place to write about yourself and your library (I'm a huge fan of libraries!). You can list your favorite authors and bookstores, leave comments for other members, and see the interesting data about your books. After you list your books, you can sign up to become an official Library Thing Author. Memberships are $10 per year or $25 lifetime. Then you can participate in the LibraryThing Member Giveaway, which allows members to give away books to members willing to review them. Currently, 7,014 copies of 83 books are being given away. From Oct. 20-Nov. 6, I offered three Kindle ebooks in a giveaway and 48 people signed up. I haven't seen any reviews yet--I'm still hopeful--but at least four dozen readers learned something about my book!

Goodreads: Goodreads is also a book-cataloguing site where you can post reviews--these also show up in Google's bookstore--and share info about what you're reading. Goodreads has more than 6 million members...and it's totally free. Sign up for the author's program to be identified as a Goodreads Author; readers can opt to become your fan or friend. Even if you don't have advance reading copies of your book, you can offer a giveaway if you have a printed book (no ebooks). My Goodreads giveaway started Nov. 15 and ends Dec. 8. So far, 236 are vying for the two copies, and 43 people have added my book to their "to read" list!

Partnering with other bloggers: I appreciate the chance to join with others in promoting books. For instance, this week The Writers' Lens is teaming up with Pots & Pens to offer two ebooks--my own ZERO TIME and Susan Kaye Quinn's OPEN MINDS--in a giveaway for those who comment on this site through Saturday. It's harder to gauge the success of this approach, but again it's all about getting our books into readers' hands.

Between these three approaches, my giveaways have reached around 300 potential readers at the cost of four ebooks and two print copies. I'd love to hear your thoughts about giveaways as a marketing tool.

1 comment:

  1. Woot! The Goodreads Giveaway just ended with 447 interested AND 65 listing it as a book "to-read." I'm excited.