Over the month of June, I ran Goodreads Giveaways for my books The Single Staircase and Sin Walks Into The Desert. I structured the promotions completely differently, altering almost every variable and testing what worked better. Considering a giveaway of your own? Read on.
I offered 20 copies of Sin Walks Into The Desert. And only four of The Single Staircase.
Readers had a whole month to sign up to win Sin Walks into the Desert. But just a few days to register for The Single Staircase.
For Sin Walks Into The Desert, I pulled the cover copy verbatim. But for The Single Staircase, I pulled only one intro sentence off the back cover, and then followed it with the literal description, “If you like interrogations, cops and impossible crimes, this is the novella for you.”
So what worked?
More that 500 people signed up to win The Single Staircase, with 203 of them adding the novella to their to-read shelves. Within two weeks, 75% of the winners had written reviews, with an average rating of 4.66 stars.
Meanwhile, only 386 people registered for Sin Walks Into The Desert, with 180 adding it to their to-read shelves. In the first couple weeks after the books shipped, 40% of the winners wrote reviews, with an average rating of 4.0.
Most of the entries in both giveaways came in the last couple days, as the books crept onto Goodreads’ “ending soon” list. This means a long giveaway is pointless.
I also learned that the chance of winning plays no role in how many people enter a giveaway.
And although I can’t prove it, I believe that more people signed up to win The Single Staircase because my copy clearly identified the book’s genre.
If you’re trying to get as many reviews as possible, the biggest factor is simply how many copies you can afford to give. But for almost any other goal, including building awareness, a short, small, focused giveaway is cheaper and more effective.