Goodreads, Amazon’s reading and social book platform, is launching a free e-book giveaway to go along with its print giveaway program. The new beta Kindle e-book promotion will allow an author or publisher—whoever has the book's distribution rights—to launch a promotion giving away up to 100 copies of a Kindle e-book.
Unlike Goodreads' current print giveaway program, which is free for author/publishers to list but requires costs for printing and shipping, listing the e-book giveaway will come with a $119 fee. While Goodreads will manage the giveaway--selecting the winners and delivering the book's to their devices--publishers and authors set the time period for the promotion.
The beta program will initially only be open to Goodreads publishers and authors in the U.S. Goodreads is working with Amazon Publishing to host Kindle ebook giveaways and when it is out of beta, the program will be open to any author or publisher who sells e-books on Amazon.
People enter the Goodreads giveaway program for a chance to win free books. The giveaways, a Goodreads spokesperson explained, attract hundreds, if not thousands, of consumers. Once a giveaway promotion ends, Goodreads will randomly pick the readers who will receive the 100 free e-books. Publishers set the length of the giveaway promotion, which can start either 3 months or 1 week before the book's publication, or it can run for 1 month post-publication. Giveaways are listed on the Goodreads site and provide an "enter giveaway" button as well as info about the book and length of the promotion.
The new e-book giveaway program will not affect Goodreads' print giveaway program, which is free to list. The print program is free since it requires publishers/authors to bear a number of costs. Print giveaways require publishers/authors to spend money on printing, storing and shipping physical copies. Both the print and e-book giveaway programs, Goodreads emphasizes, are powerful tools to promote books
Speaking to the power of giveaway programs, in a Goodreads case study, Kate Stark, marketing v-p at Riverhead Books, said that the Goodreads site as well as its giveaways promotions, "played a major role" in the success of bestselling novel Girl on the Train. (The house used multiple giveaways for Girl on the Train).
Additionally, when a reader enters a giveaway, a post appears in all of their Goodreads friends’ and followers’ newsfeeds, which in turn, creates more entries, more people adding your book to their Want To Read shelves, and more awareness. The Goodreads' case study that refers to The Girl on the Train is available on the company's blog.
Update: An earlier version of this story did not include details about how the promotion was structured, how consumers could enter and the lengths of each promotion.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified the quote that cited the impact of Goodreads' promotions.